News and Events

Mission Spot! (May 2020)

If we hadn’t been in lockdown…
The SBC Basic Bank would have opened on Thursday, 2nd April but…

On the 23rd March Shaun, and Dave & Anne Richards received the following email from Dave of the Southampton City Mission (SCM):
“Hi both,
It looks like the physical move is not going to happen as planned for Basics Bank coming to Shirley Baptist this week.  Sorry about that, the current emergency has meant the people who were physically doing it cannot now. We’ll therefore have to put it on hold and do it as soon as possible.
I’ll let you know more when I know it myself.
Anyone who was planning to be involved can be still at any of our current outlets. We have lost 80% of volunteers so it’s proving difficult at the moment. We’ll advertise amongst referral agents that we have postponed the move, as carrying on serving is the priority.
Will be in touch very soon,
God bless,
Dave ”

Please pray

  • that replacement volunteers for the existing banks will make themselves available so that this invaluable work can continue throughout this critical time.
  • that donations of food to the Basics Banks will either be maintained at the current level, or miraculously increase to meet the need.
  • that the SBC Basics Bank will go ahead in due course, and in accordance with God’s will.

***

If we hadn’t been in lockdown
We would have had a visit from some friends from Central Asia, on Thursday, April 16th.  They would have shared their first-hand insight into mission work abroad in the 21st Century. We would have worshipped together; listened to them talking about the way in which God is leading and using them, and then prayed together concerning their future ministry.

John W’s recent attempts to make contact have all been frustrated, but the couple in question were considering putting together some sort of video link so, possibly, that will still happen.  Whether it does or does not happen, this couple would still really value our prayers.

John W says:

  • Please remember our Mission friends who serve and are scattered across the world.
  • Some newly married friends value the time they have had together because of the lockdown. A blessing to married life, they have been able to delve into God’s word more deeply together.  Pray that there they will find the answers they are seeking.
  • And their main prayer request is that we pray for our brothers and sisters across the world that they may know God’s grace in their suffering with Covid 19.

***

If we hadn’t been in lockdown…
The BMS’s longest serving missionary, Ann B, would have been staying with her friends, Elaine & Clem M, and able to join us when we met to EAT, TALK and PRAY on Monday, 27th April but…

Elaine tells us:
As it was, Ann could not leave her location because, like so much of the world, India is in lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. She has been in isolation in her little flat since the 14th March. She can go for a walk round the college campus first thing in the morning (5.45a.m.) before the heat of the day. The daytime temperature is around 42C and rising. She is distressed because her patients in the hospital are asking for her and wondering where she is; she can’t teach her girls Bible Class, and she can’t teach or fulfil her pastoral role at the local school. Good friends bring fruit and veg to her balcony, but she has to manage without her daily help who usually does the washing (no washing machine), and cleaning (lots more dust and bugs than we have), and some cooking. All the cooking has to be done from scratch, including boiling the milk when it arrives, but she does have a little freezer, and the electricity supply is fairly reliable. Through it all she keeps positive and is grateful to God and her faithful friends. She has some access to the internet, and has heard some of Shaun’s talks but, unfortunately, couldn’t get our services. She has, however, found some services elsewhere. She is confident that she is in God’s hands and He holds the future. In her last newsletter she quoted 2 Thessalonians 3 vv 16-17: May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God the Father who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”

Please pray

  • That Ann will be given all the strength that she needs to cope with her current circumstances, and be filled with the joy and peace of her Lord.
  • Give thanks that the airline from whom she purchased her ticket to fly home have guaranteed to honour it for a year, and pray that God will enable her to come home when it is safe for her to do so.
  • Pray for all those whose lives have been enriched by Ann’s daily visits and are missing her; may our Lord meet all their needs, and by so doing ease her distress, and that Ann will be able to go back into hospital after 14th April. They have air conditioning there!
  • Give thanks for the loyal friends who are ensuring that Ann’s daily, physical needs are met.

***

When we sent the section of this article about the SBC Basics Bank to Anne R for checking, she asked us whether we were also going to tackle this topic from the opposite angle i.e. instead of looking at things that should have happened and didn’t, perhaps also considering things that shouldn’t have happened and did. In that respect, she was particularly thinking about Bev’s safe return (for which we gave thanks last month), and the fact that she is now working from home for an indefinite period due to the pandemic.

If we hadn’t been in lockdown…

According to her letter dated 05.06.2020, Bev would have been on holiday for the next 3 weeks, but since all the family events she was expecting to attend have now been cancelled, she has been trying to make herself useful by working for O.M. from home!  She is encouraged to connect with her leader regularly for updates, and with the rest of her team for online prayer meetings, Bible study and weekly departmental meetings. Unfortunately, she says, these begin at 9.00a.m. which is 7.00a.m. in the UK!

Please pray

  • For those who would normally attend the O.M. Centres that are now closed due to Covid19 and are, therefore, no longer receiving a daily hot meal. May God guide O.M. as they seek to arrange the distribution of food parcels.
  • For those (in the villages) who work seasonally and therefore won’t be receiving any government compensation; she asks that we pray for the people at this time, as despair becomes overwhelming.
  • Uphold Bev as she also spends her time in the UK studying advanced accountancy. She can’t book her exams at present, but give thanks that she does have access to the resources she needs, and her tutor who is working from home, too.

SBC Mission Team