It is with a real sense of excitement that I am writing to you about Help International. It is probably completely off your radar as nothing has been heard of it for well over a year and yet it is still doing some amazing work. Since late January 2011, I have taken on the role of directing the charity and I have found out that 2011 is a very special year for Help International. It is the 25th anniversary of the completion of the first relief and development project that the charity started. Back in 1986, four containers of food, medicine and clothes were sent to Lusaka, Zambia. A seven-tonne truck was also given to be used in transporting containers, building materials and other items as well as people to church conferences and special meetings!
Since then, Help International, has been able to achieve so much across the developing world through the generous donations of thousands of people and churches along with the fundraising efforts of many unsung heroes over the last twenty five years. Literally, hundreds of thousands of pounds have been raised to help so many people in need. In addition to this, teams of enthusiastic volunteers have been sent (predominantly from the UK) to Africa and India to serve communities there through education and training, engineering, farming, electrical and plumbing skills, medical support and a whole host of other practical works of service.
Here are a few examples how we have been able to help:
I believe in our time God wants to do even greater exploits through His people. Greater acts of kindness, accomplish greater missions of mercy, greater signs, miracles and wonders and greater provision of care and resource. God wants us to understand His heart and fill our hearts with His nature and His desires. We find in the Scriptures so often our God introducing Himself in such a different way to all others who claim to be gods or to those having power and authority to wield. He introduces Himself as “a Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows” (Psalm 68:5). Jesus came to proclaim good news to the poor, bind up the broken hearted, set the captives free and declare a continual jubilee (a continual day of debt cancellation) (Luke 4:18-19)
As Help International re-emerges in our collective consciousness in the next few months, I want it to build on all the excellent work in the past. I would also like to see Help partnering with other organizations to relieve poverty and distress in the UK as well as overseas.
Moreover, I would like to see Help partner with businesses and educational organizations to raise funds and glean expertise for specific projects across the globe where we have a clear and effective working relationship with people who live in those communities.
In addition to this, I believe the “Together family” can play a major role in the future of Help International. Across the church expressions in the country there are many excellent projects and connections across the world. Many of us are actively involved in supporting children’s homes and schools in the developing world. Many of us have life connections with ministries in different places where we find mutual support and encouragement. Help International can create awareness of the good works already going on and perhaps see to it that we remain connected to all that is happening.
Help International needs to carry the apostolic heart of our family of churches. A major part of our charitable work must be towards people and projects we have a long-term relationship with in order to build permanence. Whilst the apostolic council reminded the apostle Paul to do one thing that was “to remember the poor” (Gal 2:10), Paul instructed the Galatians to “do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers (Gal 6:10 NIV).” All the resource raised will go to people of integrity who can be trusted to defend the poor and provide for the needy. Help International will remain committed to establishing partnerships with communities who want to be empowered to find their own solutions to their problems and who can administer effectively the aid received. As a charity, we will also continue to help to provide for the widow and orphan who simply need our care.
Amongst other things, we are currently involved in helping support Sharonstan Children’s Home in Agra, India working with Ralph and Renuka Gloekner (Rays of Joy Ministries) and would like to extend our support to two more children’s homes. One is in Sri Lanka (Rainbow House) with Dr Lalith and Hiranthi Mendis (we have already made significant donations to this home) and the other is the children’s home in Bangalore, India with Arthur and Angeline Paul (Grace Gospel Church). The home is called Krupashraya this means “Grace Home”.
We support Sachibondu Clinic in Zambia every year paying for medical supplies when needed and when not required, we help the clinic with maintenance costs and staff support. This clinic is literally a lifeline for so many people in a rural area of Zambia. It has helped save many lives under the supervision of Ruth Wallis.
In addition to this, we help sponsor the education of sixty children in Zimbabwe, Zambia, India and The Philippines improving their life chances.
We would also like to complete the development of a skills training and community centre in Lusaka, Zambia so many people can have the opportunity to learn a trade and help themselves and their families escape the poverty trap. We would also like to open a Christian Education Centre in Cape Town that would help train Christian leaders across Southern Africa and beyond. These projects are just the beginning. I would also like to see us sending teams of people to our partners and projects across the world to work practically serving the people and making a difference. I know this has started amongst some of the churches and it would be wonderful to see this as part of our culture as a family of churches together working with Help International.
Bryn Jones founded Help International and it was birthed out of an apostolic company who saw that their revelation of God’s plan of restoration meant that they had to be prayerfully and practically involved in bringing righteousness and justice into communities around the world. There are many of us who still hold dear the vision of restoration of society and of the world. We believe we will see the kingdoms of this world becoming the Kingdom of God and of His Christ, where peace and prosperity will be available for all of humanity. Many people may believe that the reality of seeing this vision progress in the season we are in is unlikely as generally people seem more inward looking, more localized in thinking and more inclined to withhold time and money resource in the midst of economic instability. Nevertheless, Jesus said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible (Matt 19:26).” I know this verse is out of context, but sometimes God speaks to me out of context – How about you?
The apostle John tells us that God is Love (1 John 4:16) and God is Light (1 John 1:5). Paul tells us that God has poured His Love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). He also prays for believers to have their hearts flooded with Light so that they would know the hope of God’s calling (Eph 1:18 NLT). Therefore, with the Love and Light of Jesus in us – all things are possible for us regardless of the season we find ourselves in. Jesus said, “All things are possible to the one who believes (Mark 9:23).” Faith in the limitlessness of God is the key to change the season. When we see the problems in our world today and even simply the issues facing our local communities, we can become despondent and fearful, but it is time to let the love of God motivate us again. It is time to believe again and time to carry the Light inside again to help wherever we can as a co-labourer with Christ to bring about God’s restoration plan.
We are currently having a new website designed, but while that is happening you can still check out our old one at www.helpinternational.org.uk to find out more about us. You can even securely give to Help International online on our current site too.
We will be looking to do fundraising events across the country in partnership with the churches and would love an army of “Help Agents” to emerge across the country to promote the work of Help International and represent the charity in church, business and educational settings.
If that is something you are interested in then please write to me at Nettle Hill or via email at JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING . In conclusion I simply want to quote the words of Jesus that kind of sum up the main reason for Help International in my mind:
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ (Matthew 25:31-40 NKJV)