For the past 15 years North Africa has been a major focus for Yeovil Community Church. North Africa is a mainly Muslim part of the world and the small church there faces many problems and pressures. YCC believes that all people everywhere have the right to hear and experience the Good News of Jesus and to decide what faith they want to follow.
YCC has sent many small teams to North Africa to pray for God’s blessing on the land. We believe that God has been answering our prayers in many ways. But we need to continue to pray. Would you like to join a small prayer team to visit a North African country?
Did you know that there are Palestinian Christians?! Many people are ignorant of this fact and believe all Palestinians to be terrorists! But there are churches on the Palestinian West Bank. Sadly they are struggling and get very little support from the outside world. In fact since the events of 9/11 financial support for Christians from the west has plummeted.
In 2004 two students from Bethlehem Bible College (link to www.bethlehembiblecollege.edu) joined the Urban Warrior youth training program at YCC. This led to a growing interest in the Israel/Palestine situation within the church. Some of the leaders have made a visit and we have been involved in supporting the Bible College , the Shepherd’s Society (link to www.bethlehembiblecollege.edu/shepherds.htm) (a group bringing material relief to Palestinian families from all backgrounds) and Musalaha (link to www.musalaha.org) (a reconciliation group). In 2005 a small team including members from YCC went out on a medical project to Bethlehem and amongst other things were involved in training the Palestinian police force in first aid!
It is hoped to increase the links with more students coming to Yeovil and more teams from Yeovil visiting the West Bank.
The Middle East situation is very complex and it is easy to become biased and prejudiced in our views of both Jews and Palestinians. In YCC we believe that God is calling us to preach His Good News and seek justice for all. And it seems especially important that we should support Christians in the Middle East from all backgrounds: Jewish, Christian and Muslim.
Asha - Delhi India
Asha is a Charity working in the slums of Delhi, India's capital city. It is a hindi word meaning 'hope', and it is this hope that Asha is seeking to bring to the poorest and most marginalised people in India's society. Established in 1988, it now works in about 45 slums across the city, providing medical care, through doctors and Community Health Volunteers (who are women from the slum community who have been trained in basic medical care). Asha also encourages the slum communities to stand up for their rights, to lobby councillors to provide improvements such as toilet blocks, water standpipes, and covered drains, etc. They ensure that as many children as possible attend school and provide extra teaching in English and IT, the two skills most important to students as they make well-paid employment a real prospect. Many slum dwellers are hindu and muslem, but Asha is demonstrating the love of Jesus in practical ways to all regardless of their religion. Many have responded and come to know Jesus personally. Worship meetings are held regularly in many of the slums!
Dick and Julie Hogben and Alan Guy are local 'ambassadors' for Asha
More information is available at their website: http://www.asha-india.org/