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Archive for the ‘Christian Missions’ Category

Examples of Christian Charities Working in Africa

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

It goes without saying: Africa is a large and diverse continent. It is also a poor continent and faces a whole range of struggles, from political issues to health problems, poverty, famine and natural disasters. Tackling these sorts of issues is always challenging, but Christian charities have been dedicatedly working in Africa for many decades.

There is a long history of Christian charities working in specific African countries on many different issues. If we tried to list them all, we’d probably never finish. However, looking at a few examples can give us a better idea of the range of work that goes on and the kinds of organisations that get involved.

Tearfund

Tearfund is a Christian charity that was set up in the 1960s following the famine in Biafra. This was a tense time in the region; the civil war in Nigeria was what led to the famine and it was so severe, this organisation was born. Since then, the group has worked in lots of different African countries to help difficult situations such as famines and droughts, as well as supporting development. These countries have included Somalia, Ethiopia and Rwanda.
Christian AidThis is probably one of the most famous Christian charities working in Africa. Christian Aid has a focus on issues such as HIV/Aids, malaria, climate change, dealing with conflict, trade and human rights. It works in countries right across the continent, including working to end sexual violence in the DRC and engaging in issues in Sudan.

Rainbow Africa

This is a charity that works primarily in Zambia. It works in areas where there are very high levels of poverty with the aim of providing education to children and other support that can aid development. The organisation also has a focus on healthcare, which is of utmost importance in poor, impoverished areas.

World Vision

Children are often some of those most affected by problems in Africa and so supporting them in any way possible is of utmost importance. This is one of the aims of World Vision – actions include running campaigns to encourage people to sponsor a child in Africa so that they can receive support for their ambitions. Other projects include addressing the causes of poverty and working on disaster relief projects.

Overall, Christian charities from all over the world have a vital role to play in supporting Africa and its people. No single organisation can fix the issues alone, and these charities often work on very different issues in very different areas – but they all have one thing in common: their Christian ethos means that they are dedicated to working against all odds to help people in any way they can and they are all thoroughly committed to working together to achieve positive results.

Guest Post on behalf of World Vision UK. If you would like to support a child through the food crisis, why not sponsor a child in Niger?

A Brief History of Microfinance

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

 

If you don’t know much about microfinance, you might assume that it is a relatively recent idea designed to help the poor. However, the idea of microfinance charity actually goes back centuries and a wide range of related organisations have existed for many years. For example, Indian chit funds, West African tontines and Indonesian arisan all have histories as credit groups in deprived areas.

 

The concept of microfinance arguably first came to prominence during the 1700s in Ireland. It was during this time that the Irish Loan Fund was set up by Jonathon Swift, who is better known these days as an author. The aim of this fund was to provide small amounts of credit to poor people who didn’t have the assets to back up bigger, more formal loans. This scheme was ultimately very popular and at one time was providing loans to around a fifth of all Irish households.

 

As time went on, other organisations started to develop in Europe – often these were bigger and not specifically focused on microfinance, but they still had a strong focus on the poor and were often started by poorer people. Credit unions are one popular example of this; the idea behind the credit union was to help the rural poor get away from their dependence on rich moneylenders. The movement was started in Germany before moving across the rest of Europe and eventually into developing countries.

 

Elsewhere in the world, other microfinance and poor-focused schemes were starting to come to prominence around the same time. One notable example is the microfinance scheme that was started in Indonesia in the late 1890s. This was the Bank Perkreditan Rakyat.

 

It was in the early 1900s that the modern microfinance system really started to take shape – previously, it was the poor themselves who had owned the new institutions, but as the idea of microfinance spread to Latin America, banks and government agencies started to get in on the act. This wasn’t always successful and one of the key concerns – particularly during the 1950s-1970s – was that much of the money meant for poor farmers didn’t actually get to where it was intended.

 

Meanwhile, during the 1970s, some schemes were set up to support women entrepreneurs in areas such as Bangladesh. These started to be very successful and there was generally a low default rate on the loans. NGOs and charities also started to get more involved and the poor themselves often gained greater ownership over the microfinance institutions. Today, microfinance still faces challenges but the system is much more sustainable than it once was and the core principle of helping the poor remains.

 

In more recent times, World Vision UK has focused on helping the public fund micro finance loans for entrepreneurs in need.  As for Microfinance in Africa, World Vision Microloans funds businesses in Rwanda and Kenya at the moment and work may be extended into new areas in the future. If you want to help a small business in a community in need, why don’t you fund a loan today?

 

Guest Post on behalf of World Vision Microfinance.

 

5 Resources for Finding Bibles in Any Language

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011



Find A Bible

The Forum of Bible Agencies International launched the Find A Bible project and on-line database.  It is an innovative and interactive website that gives easy access to Scriptures in more than 3,000 languages.  The Find A Bible site provides the most comprehensive and current database of Bibles and portions in majority and minority languages available.  Many Scripture products noted on the site have never before been listed on the web.   Through Find A Bible, users now have a single place to search, download, view, or listen to these Bibles through links to Forum member agency websites.

Find A Bible is the culmination of years of research and work by Forum agencies working together to see that all who are searching for God’s word in their own language can find it.

Scripture Earth

Wycliffe Canada maintains the Scripture Earth website which contain audio files, Jesus Film, written scriptures, and links to other information for select languages of 24 countries in a easy to use format.

Jesus Film

The JESUS Film Project distributes the film “JESUS,” a two-hour docudrama about the life of Christ based on the Gospel of Luke. The film has been seen in every country of the world and translated into hundreds of languages since its initial release in 1979.

On this site you can watch the entire Jesus film in any of the languages in which it has been produced.  There is also an audio tract and children’s version available for many languages.

The Jesus Film Project also will grant permission for ministries to direct links to watch the film in their language from their agency’s own website.


Ethnologue

The Ethnologue database has been an active research project for more than fifty years. It is probably the most comprehensive listing of information about the currently known languages of the world. Thousands of linguists and other researchers all over the world rely on and have contributed to the Ethnologue database.

Ethnologue.com is a place where you can conveniently find many resources to help you with your research of the world’s languages. Ethnologue.com is owned by SIL International, a service organization that works with people who speak the world’s lesser-known languages.

IFOBA (Forum of Bible Agencies International

The Forum of Bible Agencies International is an alliance of more than 25 leading international Bible Agencies and other missions organizations with a shared vision: “working together to maximize the worldwide access and impact of God’s Word.” This vision conveys that the Forum is not only concerned with delivery of Scripture but also, most importantly, with engaging people in the Word of God so that lives may be changed.

The IFOBA website contains resources for Scripture Engagement, Find A Bible, and information concerning its many regional alliances.

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

On Sunday, November 12th, congregations around the globe will by uniting in prayer for the persecuted church. Start now to make your congregation aware of the thousands of persecuted believers around the world.

The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) is a global day of intercession for persecuted Christians worldwide. Its primary focus is the work of intercessory prayer and citizen action on behalf of persecuted communities of the Christian faith.  Read more at the offical day of prayer website.

Voice of the Martyrs website has some powerful testimonials, biographies, and current news about persecuted Christians and churches.

Click here to download FREE SUPPLIES to mobilize your congregation for this day of prayer for the persecuted church.