Posted by: Redcliffe | April 6, 2010

New Redcliffe blog

Please note, the Redcliffe Global Community blog has been replaced by a new Redcliffe blog integrating current and former student stories plus much more: Training for Mission

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Posted by: Redcliffe | June 22, 2009

Celebrating Children’s Day in Moldova

Chris and Helen are working in Moldova. They studied at Redcliffe between 2005 and 2007, and Chris is currently studying for the MA in Global Issues in Contemporary Mission in flexible-learning mode. As part of their work, they raised money for a new children’s play area – which was opened at the beginning of June.

Children's DayMonday 1st June was Children’s Day in Moldova and we opened the play area with a special day of activities, games and fun. We had an official opening ceremony led by Pastor Dumitru, together with the village mayor, and the regional President. After some short speeches and songs from kindergarten children, the park was opened by two local children cutting the ribbon.

Over 750 children (and more than 250 adults) joined in the fun, with face-painting, family photos, ice cream, competitions and the chance to try out the new swings, slide, helter-skelter, seesaws, sandpit, inflatable trampoline and climbing frame, as well as volleyball and basketball. Many of the children worPicture3e their special “Sunday clothes” for this special occasion.

It was a very beautiful day, with temperatures topping 30 degrees, and the biggest coming-together of the village that anyone could remember. For us, it was wonderful to see the vision come to life, and for the church to be able to bless its community with this tangible gift of love. The happy faces of so many children made the months of planning worthwhile. Thanks again to everyone who helped us raise the final total of £8000 – which paid for the play area, the opening ceremony, and a thank you BBQ for everyone in the village who had helped us.

Picture1We’re now back in the UK for a few weeks, so we may see you very soon!

Posted by: Redcliffe | June 16, 2009

Redcliffe Reunion

Six former Redcliffe students met together at Merrifield in Eastbourne. They studied at Redcliffe during the late 1950’s and early 1960s.  Kathleen Parsons wrote the following report of the day.

Those present were Kathleen Hall, Megs Owen, Barbara Gamage, Rita Hay, Hazel Newman and Kathleen Parsons. We were warmly welcomed by Kathleen Hall and over coffee and biscuits we shared what we had been doing over the year.

After a time of praise by song and prayer to the Lord, Kathleen Hall shared news of Palestine and Israel, which we brought to the Lord in prayer.

Over a delicious dinner there were great discussions and sharing concerning those who had been with us, but were unable to join us due to age, illness and some had been taken home to glory.

We had a reading from Psalm 139 and shared a few thoughts on being wonderfully made by the Creator, for example, “hands” (v10) leading our thoughts to the Lord’s hands which were stretched out wide in love for us and allowe to be nailed to the cross for us.

The rest of the afternoon was taken up in prayer for Redcliffe, staff, students and other needs as well as past students in various parts of the world serving the Lord. A beautiful fox sitting on the lawn visited us, which we had to admire!

After home made scones, cream, jam and tea, and a short walk around the lovely garden, we reluctantly said goodbye and went our various ways.

God willing we meet again the third Saturday next May 2010. Our prayer is that more Redcliffites will join us.

Posted by: Redcliffe | May 11, 2009

A surprising encounter

Douglas and Maria Augusta, former Redcliffe students, work in Quito, Ecuador. Douglas called into the college recently to speak to current students about his work. He told the following – very encouraging- story.

On Easter Sunday, Maria Augusta visited a bakery in Quito. She was on her way to the women’s prison to lead a service for the inmates. Normally she would buy bread to give to the women before the service started, but today she wanted cake for a special Easter celebration.

In the shop she noticed two men, also buying bread – and one had a bible in his bag. Their dark skin gave away the fact they were from Esmeraldas on the Ecuadorian coast, a long journey away by bus.

‘Are you preachers?’ she asked the strangers.

‘Yes’ they replied and went on to explain that they had come from Esmeraldas the previous day. Before they became Christians, they had been gang leaders and drug dealers. The Lord had transformed their lives, and now they spent their time preaching in Ecuadorian prisons.

They had been able to get into the men’s prison to speak on Easter Saturday, but they felt God also wanted them to speak in the women’s prison. But with no contacts, it was difficult for them to gain access to the prison.

‘This is the most unusual thing,’ said Maria Augusta. ‘I’m going to the prison, and can take you with me.’ So they went together, the men spoke to the female prisoners, and twenty decisions for Christ were made that day.

Later that day, Maria Augusta reflected on what had happened.

“I cannot say what happened was a coincidence – it was God leading me into their path so we could have such an amazing time on Sunday. God’s grace is such a big grace, and it doesn’t matter how much of a sinner we are – he just touches our lives and transforms us.”

Posted by: Redcliffe | April 8, 2009

Former student’s ‘marathon’ effort!

Redcliffe’s former students get up to all kinds of things! Marge, who graduated in 2008 brings us up to date with what she’s been doing since then, and why she decided to run the Hastings half-marathon, raising £750 for Redcliffe’s Strategic Leadership Fund in the process.

After graduating from Redcliffe I got a job with Abernethy Trust, which runs four outdoor activity centres in Scotland. I work in the centre at Ardeonaig in rural Perthshire as the ‘In House Team Leader’.

My work has given me plenty of time for thinking and processing all the things that I learnt whilst at Redcliffe. At the centre we tell the young people who come here, mainly from primary schools, about our faith and we contribute to our local church (about 8 miles away). I have also been helping organise and run the GAP year team Bible studies.

How has your training at Redcliffe helped you in your job?
It’s helped in many ways! Having lived in a vibrant multi- cultural community helped me settle in quickly with the community here. It also helped me to be able to deal with the multi-national team that is under my care.

The Biblical studies courses that I took have been invaluable to me, as I no longer have the library resource that Redcliffe offered. However I have many notes from lectures and a real understanding of how to study the Bible and make it accessible to others. My training at Redcliffe also gave me much more passion for the word of God and I hope that this has been evident in the studies I have led for the team. The leadership course has to have a mention as I now work as a team leader, and as one of the older members of the community (at 28!) I have more responsibilities. Recently we have gone through some tough times as a team. Aspects of the course keep coming back to me and I have been able to put them into practice.

The practical nature of Redcliffe life also has to have made some impact on me as part of my job now involves cleaning showers, toilets, bedrooms, and corridors – just like College Teamworks!

Why did you decide to run the half marathon?
During my third year at College I thought that joining the Redcliffe runs to get some exercise was a good idea and having a goal would be even better. I then rashly and rather foolishly decided to run the Hastings Half Marathon in under 3 hours (Having run it in 1999 in 3hrs 1min).

However if I was to run the half marathon I wanted to raise money for something, and as Redcliffe has been such an influential part of my life I wanted to give something back to the College.

Redcliffe’s Strategic Leadership Fund provides part funding for emerging leaders from the Global South to train at Redcliffe. Why did you want to raise money for this fund in particular?
The SLF is a cause that is close to my heart, my time at Redcliffe would have been very different if many of those benefiting from the SLF had been unable to attend. The fact that we can learn so much from emerging leaders from majority world countries means that it is important that they can come and teach us about their point of view. Not only is this helpful for us as we are living in an increasingly multi-cultural society, even in rural Perthshire but it also helpful for them as they learn about other cultures in Redcliffe’s unique community.

I found that this sharing of ideas, world views and culture served to broaden my theology, mission and understanding of the world at large. It has also helped me in speaking with other members of my community here at Ardeonaig. How perfect it is, having lived with Brazilians, Africans (of many countries), Americans, and Canadians before coming to live and work with them here. It has given me such an understanding and ability to learn from and accept them for who they are. I really appreciated having input from those who are supported by the SLF during the courses and life at college. I want so much to support people like those I studied with, so that others can have the same opportunities.

Posted by: Redcliffe | March 4, 2009

A warm welcome back

Edith, who trained at Redcliffe in the 1980’s, hopes to return to study one of our MA progmrammes. She recently came to the College for an interview, and found a warm welcome awaited her…

During my training at Redcliffe in the 1980’s, I joined AIM International, an interdenominational missionary society working in East, Central and Southern Africa. I began my ministry with AIM in Tanzania and then transferred to Kenya where I have spent most of my missionary career in the field of education.

For the past three years I have been working at AIC Missionary College in Eldoret. The college opened in 1986 with the purpose of training Africans to be cross-cultural missionaries. Our students follow a two year course which has a strong practical bias to prepare the student and their family for living and working in unreached areas. In 2006 the college became a satellite campus for Scott University and we began to take in theology students as well. My main areas of ministry at the college have been teaching English, mostly to the theology students, as well as taking care of the library and giving administrative support.

As a college staff, we have discussed the future development of AIC Missionary College. Raising our academic standards is on the agenda as well as diversifying our curriculum. These days, with a more educated population, African students are looking for university degrees rather than just certificates or diplomas.

There is also a need for cross-cultural training of those going on short-term mission, perhaps as tent-makers in neighbouring countries. I am returning to Redcliffe to do some research on the training of short-term African missionaries as well as gaining the qualification I need to serve at university level.

When I attended Redcliffe recently for interview, I was given a warm welcome back. The college site has changed since I did my missionary training but I was aware once again of that personal interest that Redcliffe staff take in the individual student. I was provided with a tailor-made, individual programme for my visit. A staff member gave up her evening to interview me. I had opportunities to interact with students and staff to find out pertinent details related to Redcliffe’s MA in Global Issues in Contemporary Mission.

I had a very positive time at the college and felt that my visit was well worthwhile. I realise that the MA programme is going to be a challenge but I’m looking forward to the stimulation of being in an academic, mission-oriented environment that will prepare me for further service in Africa. I’m also looking forward to the opportunity to give, by sharing with other students something of my experiences on the mission field.

Posted by: Redcliffe | February 11, 2009

God’s love at work

News from Huub and Margeriet, Pick and Mix  short course students in 2007

‘I’m sorry, the doctor has gone for a couple of weeks’
It’s a Tuesday morning when a car arrives at the hospital. A Gabonese woman, pregnant, is carried out of the car. She is nine months pregnant, and unconscious, after having suffered from epileptic seizures during the night. However, as she lives in the dark bush, it would have been too dangerous for her to travel at night. This morning, she was driven to the hospital in Mouila, a village 2 hours from where we live, where they told them:

‘We are sorry, but we don’t have a doctor here to help you at the moment, he’s gone for a couple of weeks’. Can you imagine that this would happen in the Netherlands or elsewhere in Europe…? After this, she was put back into the car and taken to our hospital.

She is diagnosed with a pregnancy intoxication. If she had been able to have more regular check-ups with a midwife or GP, they would probably have decided to deliver the baby earlier, especially as she experienced the same problems during her last pregnancy.

We decide to do an emergency C-section. Fortunately, the operation is successful and the newborn baby is healthy. The first days after the delivery, Esther remains unconscious, but little by little she recovers and starts to recognise her family members.

I speak with her husband a couple of days later. He isn’t a Christian, and says to me: ‘I’ve been to church a few times, but I’m young, I enjoy life, hanging out with friends and I don’t have much time to read my bible’. However, the incident with his wife has started to change him and he realises that God has saved her and their baby. This is an example of one of the precious moments in our work here in Gabon, where God used the circumstances to draw people nearer to Him. He is using this hospital and the staff in this place to show patients His everlasting love.

Posted by: Redcliffe | February 5, 2009

Meeting special educational needs in India

Educare

Educare

Former student Christine writes:

“Having trained as an Infant and Special Needs teacher I worked for eight years in the UK. I felt God’s call to overseas service, and served with F.E.B.A. at the
International School in Seychelles for three years. At the end of my contract there I heard about Hebron School in South India, joining the staff in 1992. I served in a variety of teaching and support positions until setting up and directing the school’s Learning Support Department between 1996 and 2006.

 

Christine Morris“Around 2003, I returned to the UK and studied for a year at Redcliffe. A key part of this course was a personal study on the care of children of Indian missionaries (IMK’s) working in cross-cultural situations in their own nation. I found the staff very supportive and the small multicultural community quite diverse in age and experience yet able to understand and empathise with each other about cultural issues.

“During this time I felt called by God to develop the care and Educational provision of
TCKs across the Indian subcontinent. From this desire Educare India was born.

“Educare’s  aim is to resource and equip those involved the education and care of children with Special Educational Needs (including TCK’s) by providing:

Training seminars for agency staff, teachers and carers and distance learning courses; organising seminars for schools, organisations and parents on:

  • Awareness of Learning Disabilities (Identification of student’s needs)
  • Assistance for classroom teachers/ carers hostel staff on management skills
  • Assessment and record keeping techniques
  • Advice and specialist training for Learning Support Coordinators
  • Activities to motivate children to learn (reflecting their learning styles)
  • A one year distance ‘Certificate in Recognising and Teaching Children with S.E.N’ learning course

Consultancy services for schools and organisations, on Life Skills, Instilling values and understanding children.

Information on alternative schooling options including home schooling for parents.

Resources for TCK’s – children who develop an alternative world view as a result of living in a different culture to that into which their parents were born. Working an Indian colleague these include seminars, camps, devising a Home Schooling programme and newsletter for TCK’s.”

You can find out more about the work of Educare India on Christine’s website

Cheryl

Posted by: Redcliffe | December 18, 2008

A Redcliffe graduate, I presume?

Audrey Featherstone, I PresumeEarlier this year the biography of Audrey Featherstone, a Redcliffe student in the 1940’s, was published. Audrey Featherstone, I Presume is written by Tim Shenton and tells the story of Audrey’s life and 25 years of ministry in Congo.

The book also includes some of Audrey’s recollections about her time at Redcliffe, which was then based in Chiswick, London. Here are a couple of snippets:

The students represented many different missionary societies and fields, and some had not even applied or been accepted by a mission when they joined the college. Two or three shared a room. If Miss Nash [the then principal] reckoned two girls might not enjoy each other’s company, she deliberately put them together. The reasoning behind her actions was because, on the mission field, you could not pick and choose with whom you worked – you might have to work with someone particularly irksome to your natural temperament. (p.66)

At 6:30 a.m. the bell rang and after a cold wash, the students prayed and read the Bible for an hour before doing chores such as cleaning and cooking. At meal times they sat at three long tables and were not allowed to pass by any food they did not like – all had to be eaten… Again it was useful training because on the mission field there were few delicacies to enjoy and little food to be rejected. After Audrey left college, she appreciated the training, but at the time she was not so sure! (p.67)

Audrey Featherstone, I Presume is published by Evangelical Press and was recently reviewed by Redcliffe’s Paul Tanner in the December edition of Encounters Mission Ezine.

Redcliffe, of course, is rather different now; for example, everyone has their own room and you don’t have to eat the custard skin! But it made me wonder, if you were to write an autobiography, what would you include in your chapter on training at Redcliffe? Why not put some thoughts down on the Your reflections page?

A very Happy Christmas and New Year to our global community from all of us at College!

Cheryl

Posted by: Redcliffe | November 12, 2008

Redcliffe graduate’s new environmental organisation

picea-5004Former Redcliffe MA student, Simon Penney, has set up a new web-based organisation for Christians working in all aspects of environmental action.

Called Professionals International in Christian Environmental Action (PICEA), the network aims to support environmental professionals around the world in their personal and professional development and through networking, to connect individuals and groups. The PICEA website www.joinpicea.org will provide job listings, latest research, a discussion board and a peer review facility.

It was launched on 21 October 2008, by Sir John Houghton FRS CBE at the IFES International Symposium on Climate Change in Jamaica.

Sir John Houghton said, “The belief that God cares for all of creation brings a strong message of hope that Christian Environmental Professionals share as they get together in PICEA. In this exciting new association, experts from rich and poor, north and south, east and west, will cooperate in facing the enormous challenge of halting and reversing the unprecedented environmental degradation in today’s world.”

Simon studied the MA in Global Issues in Contemporary Mission at Redcliffe during 2005-6. He is the founder of Promise Consulting, an environmental consultancy providing advice on a wide range of environmental and sustainable development topics to organisations and individuals around the world. Projects include work for Send a Cow in Uganda, with OM in Sri Lanka, with Metro Vancouver in Canada and others.

Some of the profit from commercial work is used to help bring environmental relief to some of the poorest communities on the planet and raise awareness amongst community groups, faith communities and others.
 
So what was behind the vision of PICEA?

“There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of Christians across the globe who are in, or seeking to become involved in, one type of environmental profession or another,” Simon said. “They are motivated by their faith to care for their fellow humans, their environment and the world God has given us to live in.

“PICEA is for those people, to help strengthen them in their calling to this vital and important ministry area. We envisage the organisation will be useful to all environmental professionals and even non-environmental professionals who would like to support this area of work.”

For more information, or to join, visit the PICEA website
www.joinpicea.org

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