GO . . . . INTO ALL THE WORLD . . . .
THE WORK OF LIBERTON KIRK’S WORLD MISSION TEAM
OUR CALLING—is to spread God’s word throughout the world, whether that is just outside our door or across the globe. Here are the words of Jesus to his followers:
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything
that I have commanded you. And surely, I will be with you always, to the very end
of the age.” (in the Bible in Matthew’s Gospel Chapter 28, verses 19-20)
OUR AIM—is to increase awareness of God’s world. We try to play our part in Liberton Kirk’s overall aim “to draw closer to God and each other so that, through us, He can make known, to ALL people, the joys and challenges of following Jesus.”
WHO ARE WE? The World Mission Team is made up of church people with a particular interest in how God is working around the
world. They seek to raise awareness of this as widely as possible. The Team is led by Roslyn Wilson, and individuals have particular
responsibility for events and activities throughout the year.
The Team is always on the lookout for new members who would enjoy contributing to this key activity of the Kirk’s ministry.
How does the World Mission Team work?
The key words above are “increase awareness”. One of WMT’s principal roles is
communicating to the wider congregation and beyond. Over a year, this can include:
- Fortnightly Prayer Points
- A fuller Quarterly Mission Prayer Newsletter covering our Mission Partners
- Occasional Zoom meetings with one of our Partners
- Fund-raising activities for WM projects e.g. the Christmas concert
- Mission-related fund-raising events e.g. for Christian Aid, Fairtrade, Church of
- Scotland HIV Programme
Annual church service with guest preacher and links with partners
- Highlighting appeals in emergencies following disasters.
In the last 18 months many of these activities have had to be done differently, adapting and innovating to cope with the restrictions put on us by Covid-19.
The MOST important aspect of our work is the relationship we have with our Mission Partners. There are thousands of potential partners we could have linked up with. However, it needs to feel ‘real’ and Liberton’s Partners are therefore focused on individuals/agencies personally known to folk within the church. The World Map below shows where they are:
World Mission Partnerships in Europe
WALDENSIANS + MEDITERRANEAN HOPE IN ITALY
We have a long-standing connection with the small Protestant Church in Italy founded by the Waldensian community through visits in both directions and regular updates. One of their very practical ministries is Mediterranean Hope, helping to settle incoming migrants arriving in Italy through the support of humanitarian corridors, provision of small-scale accommodation and language training.
We have a live link with Fiona Kendall, a Scottish lawyer sent by the
Church of Scotland working in the agency’s Rome office. Fiona held an
excellent Zoom session specifically for Liberton Kirk in late 2021; it is
always better to put a face to the words.
The Waldensians, in 2021, in conjunction with other faith-based agencies, agreed a new protocol with the Italian Government granting another 1,000 refugees (currently in Lebanon) entry to Italy through humanitarian corridors.
SYRIAN REFUGEES IN EDINBURGH
A couple of years ago, Liberton delivered a Family Day for a group of Syrian refugees now living in Edinburgh, meeting in the Kirk Centre and taking them on an outing. This was under the auspices of Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees (SFAR).
Because of Covid restrictions, it has not been possible to repeat this, but hampers were delivered to some refugee families at Christmas, and the church has been involved in running a 10 week pilot conversation café with support from Edinburgh City Mission, to help refugees in SE Edinburgh develop their English. Numbers were variable, and it is therefore being re-assessed as we seek to find out how best to serve the refugee population who live in our corner of the city.
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved . . . As it is written: How
beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News.” (Romans 10: 13-15)
World Mission Partnerships in Africa
There are lots of links between churches in Scotland and the continent of Africa, following in the footsteps of David Livingstone or the Church of Scotland’s strong relationship with the church in Malawi. In Liberton, we focus more on people rather than organisations or churches, in particular Kathleen Burns in Uganda and the Mturi family in Kenya.
Kathleen Burns is a nurse from Edinburgh serving the Lord in Uganda under the auspices of Africa Inland Mission (AIM). AIM currently sees its focus as working strategically to send missionaries to Unreached People groups and to mobilize the national church to join them in that endeavour. Kathleen began her work several years ago with the peoples
who live on the Ssese islands on Lake Victoria. This is mainly medical work. However, in the last couple of years, she has relocated to Kampala, the country’s capital, working in a co-ordinating role with Christians who are considering serving in Africa, both in the short and long term.
Kathleen began her work several years ago with the peoples who live on the Ssese islands on Lake Victoria. This is mainly medical work. However, in the last couple of years, she has relocated to Kampala, the country’s capital, working in a co-ordinating role with Christians who are considering serving in Africa, both in the short and long term.
Personal relationships are often the best with Mission Partners. At Liberton Kirk, we have the active involvement of the Mturi family (Nelson and Fidelis), who both work in the NHS in Edinburgh. In normal years they return to their home village, Rutune, North of Nairobi in rural Kenya.
They have a burden for the physical and spiritual well-being of the community there. Through them, Liberton has channelled some of its annual Mission giving, which has been used for some very practical
items: mosquito nets, medicine for the local pharmacy and grain.
Community life in Rutune can be quite fragile since crops are not only dependent on weather and climate change. In 2021, they lost some crops as a result of trampling elephants . . . not something we need worry about in SE Edinburgh!