Monday, 10 December 2018

I feel so much better now!

Tian Biqiu/ (70) is not from a Christian background at all, but she has come into touch with a Church in her neighbourhood in ZhiJiang county because of services for the elderly that this Church is providing. She was initially very hesitant to come when her friends invited her to the Church, but after visiting for the first time, she found that the Church volunteers were very loving and kind.  She was very touched by the fact that they cared about her as a person and the welfare of her body. Since attending church activities, her body feels much better and she feels more loved and cared for.  This Church is just one of many Churches in Hunan & Guanxi province who have received training from NMS in how they can reach out to the marginalized in their communities through different projects and initiatives through the training project called “Practical Diakonia͟”.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Cleaning the river!

As a result of one of a courses NMS ran in Qinghai, the church in HuangYuan decided to clean the Qingshui river of rubbish, and that way be able to show Christ’s love in a very practical way and also help to protect God’s creation. 
Over the course of four months, the 16 kilometer (10 miles) long Qingshui river has been fully cleared of rubbish. When NMS Ole Jacob and Tom from NMS arrived in June the river looked like a landfill. Both banks of the river and the river itself were covered in rubbish and plastic, and sundry products were floating in the water.

Dramatic Change
A major effort was initiated to clear the river, with 20 Church volunteers working hard for months to transform the river, removing endless truckloads of rubbish. Through hard manual labour the river has been cleaned up all the way to its source. The water now looks as clear as bottled water, and the water is actually drinkable. 

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

"The Centre Opened my World" says Hua Wen

Today, Hua Wen (11) is visiting his old school in Changsha where he studied for a year before joining a regular school.
His mother, He Ming Ming (34) relates to us how she believed it to be utterly unthinkable that her son could ever join a "regular" school, but that was before he attended the Speech and Hearing Rehabilitation Centre. 

The year at the centre enabled Hua Wen to communicate with the world around him. Hua Wen has many good memories from his time as a student at the Hearing Centre. His favorite dishes are spinach and beef strips. His favorite hobby is painting. 

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Proud and Happy!

Wang Jingxi is a pastor in Guangxi province. Though her Church may not be rich, the congregation has worked together to establish a school stipend program for orphans.

The orphans who receive a scholarship are funded from elementary to middle school/junior high, high school and eventually university. The church supports between 20-25 children and youth. 
Rev Wang JingXi

The pastor is a passionate and proud advocate of the program and the church's positive impact on the life of these young orphans who otherwise would not be able to get an education. 

Wang Jingxi is currently enrolled in an NMS course that equip Churches to help the marginalized in their communities. Her church has set up with NMS. She is enthusiastic about the program and has found it to be very useful for her church's existing work.

Monday, 3 November 2014

No longer cold!

Peng Rei and her brother PengZhen live in the countryside in YongShun in Hunan Province in China.  They live there together with their grandma and their mum. They belong to an ethic minority group in China called the TuJia people. They have their own traditions and culture which are a bit different from most Chinese people. Because they belong to an ethnic minority group, their parents got permission to have more than one child.
Rei (the girl) is in third grade and Zhen (the boy) is in fourth grade. Reis` favourite food is cabbage and rice, but Zhens’ favourite is definitely meat. Zhen likes Mathematics, but his sister Rei likes all the subjects at school. 
They both are happy to have a sibling, because they can play together when they have finished their homework. They both enjoy school. However, life has not always been so easy.
When Rei was newborn, their father went to the city to seasonal work. It is very common in China for farmers go to the big cities to find work for 8-11 months a year leaving their kids with grandparents (or their mother) on the farm to take care of any animals and farming. This way, the parents are able to earn enough money for the family to live on. However, since their father went to the city nine years ago, they have not heard from him. They suspect that there may have been an accident and they presume him to have died, but they are not sure. Their mother, Peng ShuiYing (36), has therefore been taking care of the children and her mother-in-law, Chen YinNan (80). It has not been easy to make ends meet. Certain periods of the year, they have not had enough food for their family and YongShun is very cold, also inside, so the winters are tough if you clothes are not warm enough. 

Last year, their mum, Peng ShuiYing, started a course in Brocading which is a part of the International Biogas Project in China. The type of brocading art she is doing is unique for their ethnic group, the TuJia people. So, when Rei and Zhen are at school and she does not need to work on the fields, their mum is now making very pretty carpets. She is able to sell these easily, and they thus have some additional income. They are not rich, but life has become a lot better than it used to be says their mum Peng ShuiYing.
“Now, I have got a new winter coat and don’t need to be cold any longer! » says Rei with a big smile on her face and shyly but proudly shows me her new pink coat. “Now, we have got pencils and notebooks and can do our homework better” says Zhen. What is the best think about mum being able to do Brocade? I ask. “The best thing is that we can eat meat!” says Zhen and smiles so that his eyes light up. In the countryside in China, many families are so poor that they cannot afford eating meat except for perhaps once a year at Chinese New Year (this is a celebration that in some ways is similar to Christmas celebrations in Europe). This was also the case for this family.  «Since mum started doing brocade, we eat meat almost 10 times a month! » says Zhen and gives me another big smile. 

Maybe you're wondering what to give as a Christmas gift to someone who already has much of what they need? Supporting a family through this project can give an entire family a better future. Find out how you can support this project here.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Art For a Better Life.

"Hi Uncle!" calls Peng ShuSan (3) as he climbs on to the loom with a cute smile on his face. The three-year old has a lot of energy and is in a good mood. It is the first time he has met a foreigner, and he says that he is excited to meet a "real foreigner".
We have been invited into the home of Mi ErMei (38) and are received with warm smiles even though it is cold in the apartment. She belongs to the Tujia ethnic group, and has recently completed a brocading course for women. This training course is part of the International Biogas Project that NMS runs in YONGSHUN, located in Hunan Province in China. The course taught her how to make traditional Tujua brocade pictures and rugs. This course gives life to an old tradition and simultaneously provides much needed income for Mi ErMei and the other women who are taking part in this course.

Mi ErMei’s husband died earlier this year. Although she is smiling, her face is marked by sorrow. The time is approaching nine o'clock at night and it is dark outside. However, her daughter, Peng Shuyi (12) is still at school where she has evening lessons. Evening lessons entails that she needs to eat at the school cafeteria, which means an additional expense. Mi ErMei knows exactly how much dinner at the cafeteria costs and although the cafeteria is very cheap, it has an impact on her tight budget. A few months ago, she did not know how she would cope financially after her husband's death. How would she be able to pay for her daughter’s schooling? The vegetables from their farm alone are not sufficient to even give the kids enough food. With the loom and her newfound skills, she is upbeat about the future. Now she can do brocade when it suits her and the rugs she makes provides a very welcome additional income.
Mi ErMei throws a ball on the cement floor of the apartment, and Peng ShuSan runs to catch it. The small apartment is sparsely decorated and there are two cheap broken suitcases and some broken toys next to the chair I'm sitting on. As I look around, I think to myself that they would get more space if they threw away these things. Then it strikes me that in Europe we often think that the poor have nothing. This is partly true - they often have very little. However, poor people in this community are also too poor to be able to throw away things that are broken or that they do not need at the moment. Being able to buy something later is a privilege of the rich. But that is obviously not what Mi ErMei is concerned about today. Right now she is very grateful because she has the loom that she has received from NMS. It helps her to be able to buy meat for her children almost every week.
Do you have something to be thankful for? Perhaps the amount of freedom you have? Or are you thankful for your safety or health? Do you want to contribute to give more freedom and security to poor women who, like Mi ErMei, who want to earn a living in a dignified way without having to worry unnecessarily about tomorrow?
This brocading course for women is part of the International Biogas project that provides biogas to poor farmers in China and Madagascar. Women have more disposable time once they have a biogas digester on their farm because they no longer need to collect wood etc. For this reason, this project started several courses in China and Madagascar which gives women an opportunity to use their newfound leisure time in a way that can improve their life and family income. This course is a brocading course for women and Mi ErMei is one of the participants. Do you want to support the International Biogas project and help to change the lives of women like Mi ErMei?

Give a donation to this project here

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Pancakes and the mountain of bachelors.

Luo LingShen (58) lives on "GuangGu'er Shan" in YONGSHUN in Hunan Province, China. GuangGu'er Shan means "the mountain of bachelors." The reason for this name is that life is tough out here. Because the tradition in China is for women to move to their husband's home and become part of his family when they marry, the name implies that life is so tough here that women don’t want to marry men from this village because they don’t want to live there.
Luo LingShen lives here with his wife Xiang Zhenying (54) and his mother (84). Their son works as a seasonal worker in a city in ZheJiang Province. They have sheep and two cows, but life on "the mountain of bachelors" is not always easy.

Luo Xiang and Zhenying LingShen are one of the many families who dream of installing biogas on their farm.

Biogas is formed when animal and human dung is converted into methane gas in a tank under the ground. This gas has no smell or smoke, and can be used for cooking and lighting. When the mixture has released its gas, it comes out as a high quality organic fertiliser. That means that LuoingShen and his family not only get gas for cooking and lighting, but also high quality organic fertilizer that increases crop yields.

In addition to increased revenue, reduced costs and more free time for poor farmers, biogas is helping to improve the status of women, health and hygiene, and protecting the environment.
Over the past five years, NMS has made it possible for over 1,000 families in YONGSHUN in Hunan to have biogas on their farms. Over the next year we want to provide biogas for several families like LuoZiPing and YuTiuanHong on "The Bachelor Mountain." Would you like to help make this possible?

Today, many Christians in the UK and other countries around the world celebrate Pancake Day by eating pancakes. The reason is that Lent starts tomorrow and making pancakes finishes up all of the last eggs in the house. Lent is a gift - a time for reflection and a simpler life. It is also traditional to give up something you enjoy during Lent. It can be anything from ice cream, sweets, coffee, meat or even meal each day. This is a golden opportunity to give the money that you save on e.g. sweets or coffee to people who are in need. That way, we can fast the way the Lord asks us to:

Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
    only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
    and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
    a day acceptable to the Lord?
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

Isaiah 58:5-8
New International Version (NIV)
How about trying to give up something that you like during Lent this year and give the money to one of NMS's great projects? Through the International f Biogas project you can help to provide biogas for farmers both in China as well as Madagascar where we seek to transfer this ingenious technology. Do you want to join in this adventure that is both helping to combat poverty, protect the environment and improve women's health? If you’re interested, you can support this project here.