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.

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