travel bursary reports
I would like to start by thanking the Timios trust for the extremely kind donation that I received from you. It made this life changing experience possible. Soul Edge has been the most transforming, life changing, and formative time of my life. The teaching I received I will forever remember, and the missionary trip to Pelican Narrows has cemented and formed a new approach to what radical life as a Christian should look like.
Soul Edge can be broken into two sections; Training, and Mission.
BMS World Mission is a Christian mission organisation, working in around 35 countries on four continents. They aim to share life in all its fullness with the world’s people by: enabling them to know Christ, alleviating suffering and injustice and improving the quality of life. This is done through many different programmes and projects. I took part in Action Teams which is a gap year programme for 17 – 23 year olds to serve God around the world. It is made up of one month training, six months overseas and two months UK mission tour.
Training began in September and consisted of morning bible study and prayers, team building activities, cultural training, a trip to an outdoor activity centre, public speaking training and first aid training. I lived with the rest of the action teamers in the International Mission Centre (IMC) in Birmingham and it was a great opportunity to get to know other young Christians from around the UK. It is at training where I met the rest of the team I would be going to Zimbabwe with; and it is a chance to get to know each other and become accountable to one another before heading overseas into a new culture and country. My team consisted of another girl called Maisie, and two boys; Olly and Tom and of course myself.
Firstly a big thanks to the Timeos Trust, who through their bursary, enabled us to move to Myanmar and settle with our young daughter, to do the work we are called to do. As a brief introduction, we are Phil and Lisa Crosby (and our daughter Elsie). We moved to Myanmar in February 2016. Our story for moving here is a long one and if you have a few hours and a pot of coffee, we’re happy to tell it.
2016 – A year at LIV Village, KZN, South Africa
2016 got off to an unexpected start; after a delay in the process of my visa due to violence in South African universities and the subsequent change of visa type, my outlook on my planned life in South Africa was presenting a lot different to reality. I had originally intended to study education in South Africa, whilst working at LIV Village as a trainee teacher, but a change in study fees sent higher education in the country into turmoil, and the threat of violence seemed too high a risk to pay. It’s oddly comforting to see how God intervenes in our plans and shows us that His way is better than our way, if a little unconventional. A two month delay, and three trips to Mainland England later, I was at the airport with my volunteer visa in hand, and a little confused albeit enthused to see what the year would hold.
Before I went to Honduras a lot of people asked me what Christian veterinary mission was... How do you do short term veterinary mission? I had a learnt response but actually part of the aim of this trip for me was, not only to serve God and learn more about him but, also to investigate the possibilities of longer term missionary service and how my skill set may enable that. I will try and briefly describe the set up in Honduras!
The long journey to Tegucigalpa went smoothly and my bag and I arrived safely to meet up with the American counterpart of our team (this was a huge answer to prayer as it was my first time actually travelling that far on my own.)
I have just got back from Musoma, in North Tanzania after 6 weeks with the charity ‘Go Make A Difference’ or ‘Go MAD’ as it is often abbreviated to.
I was not entirely sure what to expect before I left, but have come back with so much joy from what can only be described as an incredible experience. The primary focus of the trip was humanitarian aid, partially in the form of assisting building projects. The charity was originally set up when the founder Graham McClare went to Musoma to help build the Anglican cathedral there, but was concerned by the terrible water conditions and wanted to make a difference.
Niger is a country with immense need in almost every area of life: economic, medical, educational and not least spiritual need. This year I have had the privilege of serving the Lord through serving the people of Galmi (in the Tahoua region of Niger) with my wife, Emily. My working life revolved largely around the Paediatric department of the hospital. However, given that approximately one quarter of the population is adolescents, in order to create a manageable workload, paediatrics was defined as under fives. This meant running a clinic in the outpatient department, where we saw between 30-75 children per half day session (with other people helping when it got busy!). From there, I would admit any patients that needed inpatient care and be responsible for their care whilst they were in the hospital. On top of this, I covered on calls overnight and at weekends for the adult and paediatric medical department.
I have been back from India for almost two months now, and I am still amazed when I look back at the time I spent there, and at how faithful God was, and how much He taught me.
I spent 17 months in India in total. 17 months living and working in a foreign land, in a culture unlike my own. 17 months being challenged and stretched; yet also experiencing indescribable joy and love through it all.
Imagine for a moment the perfect patient examination, you find clubbing, a heart murmur and discover signs of heart failure. Rheumatic heart disease appears on your differential; and you’ve made the perfect diagnosis. However this isn’t just an exciting case allowing us to congratulate ourselves on our medical skills, this is a real patient. She’s the same age as me, has 3 children, and has travelled 3 days from Northern India for treatment. She can’t speak the language, has no money and has left her children behind. What’s the solution?
Read our reports from those we have supported through bursaries!