Your generous help through WorldShare last year helped to change many lives. Even though this has been a very difficult year financially for WorldShare, for our partner ministries, and of course for very many of our supporters, it has been an outstanding year in terms of impact.
Each year we conduct a survey of our partner ministries to assess briefly what they have achieved. We take great care to make sure that these figures are as accurate as possible.
In 2011 our partners around the world planted 1600 new churches, provided training for over church leaders, and helped over 315,000 people who were the victims of war, famine, poverty or ill-health.
CHILDREN: During 2011 you helped several hundred children receive a high-quality education as a beginning to transforming their lives, and the lives of their families and communities. Children living in violent or disaster-struck countries such as DR Congo, Myanmar and Haiti have benefited from your care; as have those from oppressed Dalit communities in India. Children from extremely poor communities in South Africa, Brazil, Albania and Guatemala have often been the first in their families ever to learn to read and write. New sponsorship schemes have been established in DR Congo and Albania.
Schools in Haiti have been rescued after the earthquake, and provided with new equipment. Orphans have been given safe and loving refuge in Haiti, Myanmar, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Supplementary feeding has been provided for particularly vulnerable children in Cambodia and the Philippines.
HEALTH: Children and adults have been given specific help to avoid contracting malaria in Bangladesh and DR Congo and to prevent cholera in Haiti. Hospital patients in DR Congo are benefitting from a new palliative care programme, which you have helped to make possible, to ease suffering caused by disease, accident and warfare. Help of various kinds has been given to the many victims of rape in the ongoing civil war in eastern Congo. A sophisticated new computer system has been installed for a hospital in Congo.
EMERGENCIES: Help has been given to victims of natural disasters in Indonesia and Japan, to those (particularly Christians) whose homes have been destroyed in the violence in North Africa. WorldShare are one of very few Christian missions able to operate in Libya, and especial help has been given to Christians whose livelihood has been destroyed during the violence in that country.
POVERTY: In numerous places families in poverty have been helped to begin to earn their own living – for example, by the provision of goats, piglets, chickens or rabbits. Their husbandry can enable a family to move out of need and dependence into a new and better life. Food aid was distributed in Zimbabwe, and farmers impoverished by the problems in that country have been helped to begin raising their own food again.
EVANGELISM: WorldShare is a Christian mission and help has been given to evangelism, church-planting and discipleship in a number of countries. Bible Colleges have been supported in South Africa, Myanmar, and Indonesia. A vital church-building project has been assisted in Macedonia. Christian pastors and evangelists have been provided with support in a variety of countries. Above all, the unique and powerful ministry of ECTV in Turkey, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan has been strengthened and extended, so that many thousands have heard the Good News of Jesus for the first time, and dozens have trusted Him. A new series of programmes for women was funded, and preparations made to extend the broadcasts to a most important additional language group.
This is a brief summary of a very busy year. Despite the effects of the economic difficulties which have impacted WorldShare as they have almost every other charity, your help has made possible a huge worldwide impact. Some parts of this impact, like ECTV are large-scale and well-known. But equally-important (if less well-known) are the day-by-day efforts of the thousands of workers in our 120 partner ministries in over 50 countries who are helping needy people one family at a time, day after day.
None of this would be possible without the faithful giving of our many supporters who have continued to give sacrificially despite the economic pressures they too are facing. On behalf of all our beneficiaries, we send you our grateful thanks.
...and what of 2012?
One possible response to the current economic conditions would be to contract our activities and try to ‘take cover’ until things are better. Many people are doing just that.
But it often seems to be the case that times of economic shortage coincide with times of greater possibilities in ministry. Many of our partner ministries are facing times of unprecedented opportunities. This challenge to us is undoubtedly to trust God and go forward.
Accordingly, WorldShare has great plans for 2012:
- developing our new partnership in Moldova – raising funds and campaigning to draw awareness to the tragic plight of women and girls from that country drawn into the sex trade.
- undertaking huge development projects at Grace School in South Africa aiming to double the number of child-places to 1000, and provide unique new facilities for science and IT education.
- funding amazing new opportunities for Christian ministry within the state education sector in Albania
- providing new facilities for widows and for orphans in Zimbabwe
- building a new school in Haiti, and redeveloping others
and much more.
In the UK we are developing new email and social networking facilities to keep our supporters informed. We will shortly be able to offer Direct Debits as a means of giving, in place of the older Standing Order system.
We will have a number of new initiatives aimed to inform potential younger supporters, and inaugurating a youth advisory body to shadow the work of our Board and bring a new-generation viewpoint to our discussions.
We also hope to be offering a whole new range of volunteering opportunities both in the UK and overseas.
Your prayers for all these new developments are very welcome.