Mon 11, Mar 2019
Our Sydney Committee arranged for the launch of the 2019 ABM Lent Appeal to be at St Luke's, Enmore on Ash Wednesday 6 March, 2019.
Beginning with a Eucharist at which the new rector, Fr Jeff Parker, gave a moving sermon about how to keep a good Lent, the launch took place in the parish hall over a fine morning tea. ABM staff members Wilnor Flores (from the Partnerships and Reconciliation Units) and Simolyn Delgado (from Anglicans in Development) were interviewed by the Partnerships Coordinator, Robert McLean.
Simolyn spoke about the situation for women and girls in Zambia, where ABM is working with our local partner, the Zambia Anglican Church Outreach Program, in the Gender and Governance project, which seeks to lower rates of gender-based violence and child marriage, and to provide microfinance to help women establish small businesses to earn an income to support their families. She told us the story of Maureen Daka, whose own life has changed since she was trained to help victims of abuse. She also talked about Maiwase Banda, a woman whose life has changed for the better since she was originally given a small loan. From being able to sell a few bags of peanuts and repay the original loan, Maiwase has now been able to grow vegetables and raise pigs, allowing her to purchase a solar panel for her house. Her family's welfare has increased. Due to her hard work in the community, she was chosen as the chairperson for the local savings group as well as to be a member of the parent-teacher association at Mzenje primary school.
Wilnor spoke about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mission Grants - one of the three projects being supported this year through the Lent Appeal - and gave examples of some of the exciting work that was funded last year. For example, Hope for Life in Moree, NSW, where teen mothers are supported, boosting their self-esteem and helping to strengthen positive relationships. Another example was the establishment of Pondee Church in Toronto, NSW. Newcastle Diocese has one of Australia's largest Aboriginal populations and this church, led by the Rev Di Langham, embraces Aboriginal spirituality with a liturgy that reflects the sovereign peoples of this land.
Wilnor also spoke about St John's Seminary in Kitwe, Zambia. It was established by an Australian priest, Fr Charles Helms. The seminary relies on overseas donors to cover most of its costs. She related the stories of two students preparing for the ordained ministry, Timothy Njovu and Austin Ng'andwe, who are now in their fourth year of study. Both men are studying hard to be able to make a contribution to the Church and to Zambian society. ABM is privileged to work with St John's Seminary to raise up leaders for the Church because we know that strong, cohesive societies rely on leaders with vision and ability. Wilnor played a video of Ackson Kampala, the Student President, who told us about the stimulating learning environment at the college and thanked ABM's donors for their prayers and support.
Thank you to Edwina Waddy, Moya Holle and the Sydney Committee for organising such a wonderful event, and to Fr Jeff and the parishioners from St Luke's for their warm welcome and generous hospitality.
To find out more about the 2019 ABM Lent Appeal, please visit www.abmission.org/Lent2019