Archive for the ‘Overseas’ category

Mary’s Meals

September 9th, 2015

Mary’s Meals.

You may remember that our Christmas Offerings last year went to the Mary’s Meals Charity. Since then, another milestone has been reached.

More than one million children – 1,035,637 – are now eating one of their meals in a place of education. It is thanks to donations such as ours, that this has been enabled to happen.

The charity began feeding 200 children in 2002 and passing the 1 million milestone has given the charity “a great deal of encouragement to the army of volunteers and supporters across the world, but it also enables them to tell the world even more loudly that their vision is possible: We can provide every child with a daily meal in school in this world of plenty.”

it is good to know that our small efforts can have such a significant effect to those who often have a daily struggle to feed their families.


Christian Aid

September 9th, 2015

Christian Aid – Did you know?

Harvest is a time to reflect on how fortunate we are to have such a wealth of food readily available to us, a situation which is far from reality for women like Tomey in Mali.

Tomey lives in one of the driest places on earth, the Dogon Plateau in Mali, where rain is scarce and droughts are becoming more frequent. Life there has never been easy, but with a changing climate, families face an ever more bitter battle for survival.

In the drawn-out dry seasons, the ground is cracked and bare, leaving mothers in doubt about how they’ll be able to stop their children from going hungry. But there is hope

Christian Aid is providing seeds, tools and training to help women in Tomey’s community to grow market gardens. Unlike traditional crops, these gardens are irrigated and do not rely on rain. They give women a chance to grow plentiful food to last through the leaner seasons.

By selling surplus crops from the market garden, Tomey could save money for the first time in her life. So, when her grandson fell ill with malaria, she was able to buy the vital medicine he needed to recover.

This project is about more than seeds and tools; it’s about giving families the strength not just to survive, but to thrive. This work is life-saving and only possible with help of generous supporters like you and your church community. Any proceeds from the Soup and Sweet Lunch on Harvest Sunday (27th September) will go to Christian Aid.

Work and Play in Bangladesh

April 29th, 2015


Thoughts of those who went to Bangladesh earlier this year

Joyce Lawie.

I found the Bangladeshi people so very warm and friendly. Our work group of the four of us plus twelve young people from The Church of Bangladesh really bonded. As one of them said on the final day ‘we became like a family’.

We shared the hard work, the sense of achievement at a job well done, and learnt a great deal about one another’s culture and customs. We taught them how to do the ‘Gay Gordons’, ‘Donald Where’s your Troosers’, ‘Ten Green Bottles’ and ‘Head Shoulders Knees and Toes’- none of which I will be repeating on a Sunday morning or at any other time in public!

I learnt from them to take pleasure in small things. The young people had so much fun playing games we enjoyed as children. The children didn’t have the fancy toys our own enjoy but were seen to play happily with a bicycle wheel! We all take for granted our comfortable lifestyles but they who have so little wanted to share all that they had with us-it was very humbling.

What stands out particularly for me was the worship in a Very cold church at 7am every morning. The sense of fellowship that I felt there I also feel at Carnoustie Panbride Church and it is very special. The hymn ‘I am the Church, You are The Church, We are The Church Together’ which we also taught the young people, really emphasizes how alike we all are wherever we come from; I will always be reminded of the happy times in Bangladesh whenever I sing this hymn.

The food was plentiful but I have to admit to an aversion for curry for a few weeks after we returned, the coffee and chips we had on our last afternoon in Bangladesh tasted amazing, and I don’t drink coffee!

We all adapted quickly to the cold showers, the squat toilets and the bedbugs! And I would be delighted to return to see more of the interesting country that is Bangladesh.

Lyn Ross.

The people – everyone was so welcoming – from the people who met us at the airport to those we met when out visiting and everyone in between.

The kindness- I was, as before, overwhelmed with how kind the Bangladesh people are. No matter how little they have they are willing to share what they do have.

The country itself – the countryside is absolutely beautiful and so much greener than you think it will be. The traffic in the big towns and cities is incredible – there seem to be no rules of the road – and driving can be very scary!

Building the road- working together with the Bangladeshis and starting something that, hopefully, will make a difference to many folk. The 4 of us got on well together and with the 13 Bangladeshis I think we made a formidable work team

The children and young people in schools and further education -how eager they are to learn and how little they have. They all want to do well and make a difference for their families

Claire Milne.

The people – It was great getting to know my team mates, both those from Bangladesh and those closer to home. We certainly know plenty about each other, perhaps not all for public consumption, but hopefully as good friends for life.

R&R in Dhaka – A little time to adapt to and from Bangladesh time, and to shop!

The food – At no point could I ever say I was hungry, in fact, quite often I felt fit to burst! Our hosts were wonderful; providing us with many local delicacies and countless cups of tea. The fruit was exceptional and curries flavourful, if perhaps slightly toned down for our benefit. The only thing I wasn’t overly sure of was the equivalent of super-noodles and cabbage at breakfast time, although the cauliflower and paratha combo was a real hit on the cold mornings.

The power of team work in helping us achieve our goal ahead of schedule – Although we didn’t really know what we were going out to construct, and possibly still weren’t overly sure several hours into construction, it was fantastic to see how a great deal of effort and teamwork, in often very hot conditions, resulted in the clinic road being completed to a distinguishable state, a day ahead of target!

A visit to the silk factory, and the subsequent visits from the tailor. – Looking around Dhaka I realised that the ladies in Bangladesh are very slim framed, unfortunately I had set my heart on taking home something I could wear but was finding this a bit of a struggle! One of the Bangladesh team understood my problem and arranged for us to visit a silk factory where I could buy the material for a tunic and have it made-to-measure. After a few stretches of the tape measure and 24hours I had the most beautiful tunic and was grinning ear to ear. Only problem is that I need to wait for some warmer weather to wear it!


March 26th, 2015

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Christian Aid – Did You Know?

February 18th, 2015

Christian Aid – did you know?

Loko’s daily battle to stop her children starving. Loko walks alone for eight hours a day, in shoes so thin that thorns repeatedly pierce through to her feet, to gather and sell firewood so she can feed her children. Loko is frightened of being attacked by hyenas with no one to hear her screams. So she prays as she walks. Her faith pushes her on.

It’s a job she dreads, but she has no choice; she must continue, week after week. If she doesn’t, her children will starve. As it is, Loko can only afford to give them one small meal a day. ‘I pray to God as I walk, asking him to change my life and lead us out of this.’

Loko refuses to give up hope. She dreams of owning a cow one day; its milk would help her children to grow strong, and she could also sell some so she could save enough money to set up a small business buying and selling tea and coffee.

Give Loko hope. With your help, we can provide cows to vulnerable women in Ethiopia – just £150 is enough to buy a female cow and a promising future for someone like Loko.

Christian Aid Week 10-16 May 2015 will focus on our transformative work in Ethiopia. Carnoustie Christian Aid Committee is organising a Coffee Morning on Saturday 14th March in the Philip Hall.

Bangladesh News

August 22nd, 2013

Visitor from Bangladesh

Bishop Paul Sarker, Moderator of the Church of Bangladesh paid a quick visit to Carnoustie after attending a Conference in Caledonian University. He spoke to a number of members of Presbytery in Forfar about the Garment Factory Collapse and then signed the Twinning Agreement with the Presbytery of Angus.

He also spoke to Primary 6 children at Carlogie School, visited Brookfield during its Open Afternoon to mark Care Home Day, as well as East Scryne Farm Shop where he bought some strawberries. These he took to Rev Margaret Macgregor who had been his tutor in Bishops College, Calcutta and who is now retired in Edinburgh and Rev Eileen Thomson who had worked in St Andrew’s Theological College in Dhaka when Paul was Principal, and who is also retired in Edinburgh. He also bought some Strawberry jam which he took back to Bangladesh for his wife, Janet.

On the Friday evening he had a meal at the Ganges and enjoyed chatting to the Bangladeshis who work there. He also enjoyed the food!  After visiting Edinburgh, he went by train to Birmingham where he met two others who had worked in Bangladesh before attending a meeting of the Bangladesh Group which represents various mission bodies, including the Church of Scotland, to discuss ways of helping those who work in the Garments Industry.                                                           MSB

Changes to the Partner Programme

February 14th, 2013

Our Mission Partners.

James and Linda Pender and their daughter Sophia have now settled in the UK where James is due to start a new job in Peterborough this month as “Programmes and Advocacy Officer – Asia” with the Leprosy Mission, England and Wales. This means they will no longer be our Mission Partners as they have finished their ecumenical appointment with the Church of Bangladesh. It has been good to have had the opportunity to meet with both James and Linda over the years – we had more opportunity two years ago when they came to the Presbytery of Angus just as the snow fell and they were stranded in the manse for the first week as all their engagements in the Presbytery were cancelled due to the snow!

We wish them well in this new venture. Life for Linda will be very different to her growing up in Bangladesh and I am sure Sophia will adapt well to a new culture and climate! Her mother had never seen snow until she came to Carnoustie – and I am sure that 2 year old Sophia will have seen plenty since she moved to UK.

Thanks also to June Black who has been the correspondent for the last few years and who has kept in touch with them and also had the opportunity to meet them in Bangladesh.

We do not know yet whether there will be replacement Mission Partners but the Presbytery still has the link with the clinic in Panihata which we support each year at Easter.   MSB

Memories of Bangladesh

April 4th, 2011

Bangladesh visit. Those who were making their first visit to Bangladesh were invited to write down the 5 things which they enjoyed about the visit.  In the last issue, Lyn and Helen made their contributions. Here is what Gillian, Ross and Scott wrote:-

Gillian Lawie:- Five things I enjoyed about Bangladesh

1.    The generosity of the people; many of them had very little in the way of possessions, but we came home with many gifts, and always received a warm welcome and a cup of tea.

2.    Our visit to Panihata: after hearing about the clinic in Panihata through the Church and Youth Group, it was really interesting to finally see it and meet the people in the village.  After the elephant rampage last year, it was also really nice to see the re-building of the houses.

3.    Experiencing a different culture and learning about all their customs and traditions was really interesting. Everything from the church services, to the food, to the driving was an experience.

4.    Visiting the River Ganges was a nice way to spend Hogmanay, and we heard a lot about the effects of climate change on the river, particularly how much the water levels have decreased in the last few years.

5.    Matthew’s dancing; he was invited to join in with a traditional dance, see attached photo!

Ross White:- 5 Things I liked about Bangladesh:

1. The people were all very friendly and always made us feel welcome.
2. The experience of finding out how poor some people are, making me more thankful for what is so easily taken for granted.
3. The weather, warm without being humid.
4. Seeing the difference that we can make to people’s lives via the projects.
5. The sense of community, people do not see religion as a barrier between them.

Scott Coull:- 5 things I liked about Bangladesh:-

  1. The hospitality that we received from the people when we arrived and throughout our stay.
  2. The group that went, we had so many laughs and a fantastic trip overall.
  3. The experience of a culture completely different to the one we are all so accustomed to.
  4. The various places we went, great to see all over the country and not just a single place.
  5. The experience of the driving, although at some points deadly!

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Bangladesh Visit

March 1st, 2011

Those who were making their first visit to Bangladesh were invited to write down the 5 things which they enjoyed about the visit.  Here is the list as compiled by Lyn Ross and Helen Bicket.

Lyn’s comments: It’s really hard to condense into 5 things or else I would have to say ALL of it. It was an amazing experience which I wouldn’t have missed for the world. The place, the people I travelled with and the people we met made it a very special 2 weeks.

  • · Meeting the people – they were so friendly and so very kind everywhere we went. The people in the villages who wanted to know all about  us and who had so very little compared to us, the Nuns who were so caring and all the other people connected to the Church of Bangladesh – the priests, the people who helped us (like Jasmine) and all the young people.
  • · The flowers and green trees – I hadn’t expected Bangladesh to have so many flowers or green trees and Jorbarpar was absolutely wonderful.
  • · The welcomes – the singing, dancing and flowers and yes, even the cups of tea!
  • · Travelling with the group – ok sometimes the driving was a bit scary but the laughs far outweighed those times.
  • · The worship – even though we didn’t understand a lot of what was being said it was very special. The confirmation service was very moving and watching the faces of the young people being confirmed was something I will remember for a long time.

Helen Bicket’s comments:

  • · The hospitality and generosity of the people – everywhere we went we were offered food and drink and gifts.
  • · Seeing a different way of life – much more of a community spirit, everyone helps out if something needs to be done.
  • · The weather – nice mid 20’s in winter –  The excitement of travelling – no journey here will be as excitng or interesting – The Bangla Way!

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News from Abroad

July 8th, 2010

News from Dipty Linda and James Pender

The latest letter arrived just a little late to be included in the April issue of Update.

In the last year their work with the Church of Bangladesh has seen significant change in the following areas.

  • External evaluation process of the CBSDP
  • · Consecration of new Bishop of Kushtia
  • · New approach to schooling through multi-lingual education
  • · Planning new project on adaptation to climate change.

The letter gives much interesting information on all these aspects. Copies of the letter are available at either door of Panbride Church  We were able to meet and hear from Bishop Samuel Sunil Mankhim the new Bishop of Kushtia at our morning service on 30 May.

In your prayers James and Linda have suggested you ask that

  • · God  continue to bless and guide the work in climate change adaptation.
  • · God would keep watch on Linda’s mother who is quite frail, her father and neighbours who are vulnerable being tribal and Christian minority particularly after the violence they suffered last year.
  • · The love of God would touch the hearts of the men, women and children they are working with and that they would be effective in their activities to uplift them.