When the first
General Assembly decided in 1840 to send missionaries to India, The
Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) was wholeheartedly committing
the work of Mission overseas. That commitment continues today, with
PCI now engaged in partnership in Mission
in 20 countries worldwide.
WHICH INVOLVES -
people to work alongside our Partners overseas. Currently, almost 80
adults in 14 countries in four continents are engaged in a wide range
of activities from evangelism and church planting to medical and
development work. All are committed, dedicated Christians, who seek
to share the love of God in Christ with people at their point of need
- whether it be spiritual, physical or material.
our financial resources. Many of our partner churches are extremely
poor, with some in lands where it is difficult or impossible for
foreigners to enter. In these situations even modest sums of money
can make a real difference to the work of mission. Church-wide
support for the United Appeal and 'extra mile' project giving by
congregations, Sunday School & Youth, Junior BB, PWA, Young
Women's Groups and individuals enables PCI to make a significant
contribution in many different places. Like helping to fund Christian
literature and Bible correspondence courses in Thailand, or Christian
radio broadcasts to Sudan in local tribal languages, or resources for
a Christian Training Centre in Indonesia.
from our overseas partners. It's not easy receiving from others but
much of value can be leant from receiving their ideas, their vision
and their people. We quickly learn, for instance, that we don't have
all the answers, that our way of doing things, whilst not necessarily
wrong, may not be the only way or even the best way! We can also find
ourselves being challenged to re-examine our vision, values and
priorities as we see how our partners live out their faith with
courage and conviction, often in the face of extreme hardship.
partnership can be humbling, is never easy, and requires commitment
and a willingness to, 'receive' as well as to 'send' and 'share'.
It's about people relating to people. "Partnership
isn't primarily about our churches as institutions but about us as
members relating to one another" as
one overseas visitor has put it.
All of us here at
home can (and should) be 'Partners in Mission'. We can each commit to
pray regularly for our people overseas, their partners and the work
they are doing together, to support them financially and to find
practical ways of helping and encouraging one another.
News of hope and
salvation in Jesus Christ has never been greater. May God help each
of us to obey His command to "make disciples of all nations
", at home and overseas.