Two of the projects which we currently support through our mission giving will soon be coming to an end. Both receive a full ‘seventh share’ of our mission giving. The projects are:
- Bible Society: translation of the Bible into Albanian, to complete in 2019.
- Church Mission Society (CMS): supporting Peter and Sally Bartlett, Bishop of Paraguay. Peter retires and the couple will return to the UK in October 2019.
PCC took the opportunity to consider alternative partners, rather than simply continuing to support the current recipients ‘by default’. PCC chose to support:
1. Mercy Ships
Who they are
Mercy Ships is a faith-based international development organisation that deploys hospital ships to some of the poorest countries in the world, delivering vital, free healthcare to people in desperate need. Mercy Ships follows the 2,000-year-old model of Jesus by “bringing hope and healing to the forgotten poor”, helping people of all faiths and none.
Mercy Ships has worked in more than 56 countries, providing services valued at more than £1.2 billion. By improving healthcare delivery in every country it visits, Mercy Ships is working to eradicate the diseases of poverty and effectively do itself out of a job. It does this through the following three steps:
- Offering direct medical care and surgery to local people;
- Training and mentoring local health professionals;
- Improving healthcare infrastructure
As well as completing thousands of urgent operations onboard its floating hospital, the Africa Mercy, Mercy Ships volunteers also work closely with host nations to improve the way healthcare is delivered across the country, by training and mentoring local medical staff, and renovating hospitals and clinics.
Why we chose them
We have a direct current link through a church congregation member (Bill). We expect that through Bill’s visit, and his enthusiasm and connections, we will have a readymade link who can help build engagement with this charity.
2. Open Doors
Who they are
Open Doors works in over 60 countries, supplying Bibles, training church leaders, providing practical support and emergency relief, and supporting Christians who suffer for their faith.
In the UK and Ireland Open Doors works to raise awareness of global persecution, mobilising prayer, support and action among Christians.
In 2018, Open Doors:
- distributed 2,023,093 Bibles and Christian books
- trained 570,702 persecuted Christians through leadership and discipleship courses, trauma care training and persecution survival seminars
- provided advocacy and legal assistance for 51,890 people
- helped 375,919 persecuted Christians with emergency relief, community development, education and medical care
Why we chose them
As Mercy Ships delivers a practical outworking of the gospel, the MOC wanted to ensure our second choice was explicitly Bible-focussed. We chose Open Doors in part because of its bible translation and distribution work, but also due to its advocacy for the persecuted church.
Open Doors work is explicitly gospel and church focussed and so is fully aligned with our church’s mission and vision.
As a result of their work persecuted Christians know they are not forgotten.
How Did We Arrive at these Decisions?
The Mission and Outreach SubTeam investigated several mission agencies before settiling on Mercy Ships and Open Doors. We want to thank them—and especially Tom —for their thorough research and decisive recommendations. It allowed PCC to reach a major decision very quickly. This is how we wanted our subteams to operate.