So far this year, we have considered the work of Amity in terms of their missionary & outreach work and also their humanitarian work in response to natural disasters. In this issue, the focus is upon their continuing work to improve living standards of people in rural communities across China.
Walk for Living Water
Simply put, water is life. It is estimated that over a billion people in the world lack safe drinking water. In China alone, some 200 million people still struggle daily to get safe drinking water. As an independent non-governmental organisation (NGO) working in China for 27 years, the Amity Foundation has witnessed the consequent human tragedies, including poverty and water-borne diseases that disproportionally affect the young and lead to high rates of child mortality. The Amity Foundation is privileged to have provided assistance to millions over the last quarter of a century. In the last six years alone they have built over 650 water systems or well projects across China.
As part of Amity’s response to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, they have also organised projects, such as the so-called ‘Walks for Living Water’ in Hong Kong, to raise awareness—and raise funds—of this issue still affecting so many people in mainland China. The walks have seen up to 2,500 people and a variety of schools, churches and other groups taking part and have in themselves raised money to provide clean drinking water in eight remote villages in Guizhou Province, thereby benefitting over 10,000 people directly.
Another focus of Amity’s work is education & fostering and their main project for 2013 is to help left-behind children in rural villages, often adversely affected when their parents leave to find work in other provinces. Thousands of children have been sponsored over the past few years. This sponsorship has allowed orphans and left-behind children to still have hope in the future with many progressing from primary school to high school and even on to university.
Here is Jia’s story.
Jia’s father died from cancer in January, 2002. Shocked by her husband’s death, her mother suffered from mental illness before she also died, in a car accident, in October, 2003. They left behind four children. Due to financial difficulties, Jia’s three elder sisters dropped out of education and Jia was sent to live with one of her uncles. After her uncle and his family left to work in another province, Jia was left to live alone.
With Amity sponsorship, she was able to enter the best local high school in July, 2009, ranking sixth among all the contestants from her county. She tells Amity that in the future she wishes to be admitted to Beijing Foreign Studies University so she can realise her elder sisters’ education dream.
These are just two of many concerns Amity currently is helping to alleviate across China.
Over the August Bank Holiday weekend the Ellams family were lucky enough to join Rev'd. Denise at Greenbelt. A festival where faith, arts and justice meet which is held at Cheltenham Racecourse. Most of us hadn't been to Greenbelt before and wondered what it was going to be like.
All of us enjoyed the weekend. There was so much to do, see, hear and taste. From music, talks, poets, magicians, comedians, show, films, discussions authors, silent disco’s, food vans, services of all descriptions, and stalls.
This is what Georgina and Jonny had to say.
"I think Greenbelt was Amazing! It’s a brilliant place to take young children and older children as well. I was really impressed with the amount of different things to listen to and do. When my Mum said it was a Christian Festival I was a bit like everyone is, 'is it just going to be praying?' but it weren't I went to listen to a poet called Harry Baker and his poems were great and on all sorts of topic’s. I also enjoyed the comedians Adrian Plass and Milton Jones. There was a main stage where bands and singers preformed. I thought the best act was the London Gospel Choir because they were very lively and excitable. I loved Greenbelt and I really want to go again."
"Summary of Greenbelt
Great atmosphere, good acts- great for music and comedy, good friendly place, people, atmosphere, safe acts for children, good facilities. Good venue and clean.
Not much – in fact nothing this year.
Harry Baker, Milton Jones, Adrian Plass, London Gospel Choir and Lemor were amazing. I enjoyed the camping, although you don’t have to camp. Greenbelt is a great festival for members of any religion or none at all. Fantastic for all ages. Greenbelt is a must do festival."
If you are thinking of going next year, it would be good if a group from Frodsham Methodist Church could go together. If we book before the end of January the tickets are cheaper. Adult weekend ticket is £99. Under 18 weekend ticket is £54. Family weekend ticket. (2 adults and 2 children ) £254. Single parent weekend pass with 2 children £156. Speak to Andrea Ellams for details.
Written by the Minister & Members