Hope you are well.
First of all, just to be clear, you don't need to be wearing a mask while reading the magazine, unless you are shopping at the same time.
It's great to give our congratulations and welcome a couple of new additions to the wider church family- see below (Please do send in your news if there is anything you want to share with folks.)
A good test for whether or not these wee ones are the wunderkind their parents might hope for will be if they can get involved in this week's online Holiday Club 'The Wonder Zone'. If you have children (or just for you as a break from watching re-runs of Dickinson's Real Deal) make sure you're ready to start on Monday 3rd.
The magazine is off for a fortnight.
Enjoy the mag!
to Sue and Charles on the birth of a grandson: Matthew Amery MacDonald. Born Friday 24 July at 3pm. 7lb15 (with Julia and Finlay)
and to Peter on the birth of his grandson, Rory Vincent Siviter, born 24th July 2020, 9lbs 13ozs, first born to Jonathan and Flic (Felicity) Siviter
What is sin?
Sin is rejecting or ignoring God in the world he created, rebelling against him by living without reference to him, not being or doing what he requires in his law—resulting in our death and the disintegration of all creation.
This is a really good answer to a really important question. What I like about it is that is doesn’t talk about individual ‘sins’ – which can really belittle the profound calamity of the Fall – it talks about the whole concept: ‘sin’.
It is interesting that this Answer makes two references to creation. We are used to thinking about sin being a personal thing – things that we have said and done or omitted to say or do – but sin is so much bigger than just us and our failings. The Fall affected everything, resulting not only in death, but this “disintegration of all creation”.
Sin and its effects are undeniable. You can see in creation and in humanity that so much is beautiful and amazing that reflects who God is – and then you can turn to other parts of the world and think -“This isn’t how it is supposed to be!” – whether it is a war zone, a river choked with plastic, political or social unrest – there is something wrong.
This 'something' is sin. This idea of “living without reference to him” I think captures contemporary culture – and explains the lostness and disintegration of the world.
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.” Romans 8 vs 22-24
Holiday Club Online
3rd - 7th August for 3-12 year olds
As we are unable to host our usual holiday club this year instead we are having a week of holiday club on our Facebook page. SU Scotland have created daily videos based on the Wonder Zone holiday club material which we will supplement with our own videos and there will be activities for children and families to try too.
There is more information on our news page and look out for the updates on our Facebook page and share the information widely so we can engage with as many families as possible.
The support for ECRAD during lock-down has been fantastic!
We had hardly mentioned the damage to this year’s harvest from the “army-worm” (yes, that’s what it’s called!) when donors stepped in and covered the cost of the maize and beans shortfall right through to next Spring’s harvest. The food has now been bought before prices rise too much further and is now safely stored. What a relief this was and a big thank you once again.
Three years ago, our work party from Maxwell started rebuilding the Nursery School, and relatively recently the roof went on to allow the building to be fully used – it was of course in use most of the time with no roof! We are now about to see the fruits of our labour as the Nursery is currently being brought up to Secondary School standard in readiness for the new school year when Covid 19 allows this to start.
Two years ago, we brought the Primary School back from being State run under our wing, allowing our 400 orphans to be taught by Christian teachers alongside a further 600 or so village children. This has been a great success, encouraging us to a pilot Secondary education program last year which in Malawi is all privately run. So rather than having to leave home, we had 40 of our orphans moving through to secondary education at Zioya last year alongside 41 fee paying students. We are confident of attracting 110 fee payers for the new school year which will fund the costs of the school. This is ECRAD’s first serious move towards self-sufficiency and all made possible by our work 3 years ago. We are therefore close to our goal of providing a Christian education right through school for our orphans and other village children, without needing to increase our required funding.
Given Malison’s former prominent role in government and ongoing profile, no article about ECRAD can escape mention of the last two year’s turmoil. Malawi recently re-ran its May 2019 rigged General Election, resulting in a decisive victory for the anti-corruption coalition parties led by Rev Dr Lazarus Chakwera, who is a Christian lecturer and former president of the Assemblies of God. This is great news for Malawi and an answer to all our prayers. As expected, the transition is painful with elements of the civil service still loyal to the old regime, and militia not retreating as quickly as we would have hoped. The police and army are firmly on side with the new Government, and this augurs well for the future. This violence however still needs to settle down before it is safe for Malison to return. Our own Primary School headmaster, George Chipeta, a respected senior pillar of ECRAD and the community, became caught up in this and was tragically killed.
Meanwhile the feeding continues for our 400 orphans, with Malawi style social distancing supervised by the teachers, and Covid 19 still hasn’t proven to be too big a problem as yet.
So ECRAD really needs our prayers. For George’s family, for confidence and safety for the ECRAD team lead by Paul (Malison’s son), Pilirani (Malison’s niece and education coordinator), Fred (her husband and administrator), Gibson (food coordinator), Radson (maintenance and buildings). For the Covid situation to remain subdued. For the schools to get back to normal, and for the recruitment of a new head teacher. Also for Malison as he judges when it would be safe to go back, whilst coordinating and living each moment with the team over WhatsApp from Barrhead.
I am planning to take Malison to Stornoway next month to visit ECRAD’s supporters in Lewis and the Laxdale Primary School in particular. This will be a welcome break for him. As ever, thank you all for your continuing support and prayers – it is making a huge difference.
Around the House Bible Quiz
A Quick Quiz for the holidays
(answers at bottom of page)
What is the name given to the time when the Israelites put blood on the door frames of their houses?
Noah opened a window in the Ark and sent out which two types of bird? What did one of the birds bring back?
The people murmured against the Lord doubting He could ‘spread a table for them in the wilderness’. What 2 types of food did God miraculously give them? For an extra bonus gold star which Psalm is this quote from?
What was the name of the young man who dozed off and fell out of the window during Paul’s sermon?
What was the name of the town Jesus was in when a man was lowered down through the roof?
Finish this proverb: Better to live on the corner of the roof than to share a house with a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
When Jesus visited two sisters one them listened to Jesus teaching and the other was busy in the kitchen. What were their names and which one did what?
Which book of the Bible will you find these words of warning: if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Which Judge killed King Eglon and escaped because the servants thought the King was still in the toilet
Which Psalm finishes with the words ‘I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever’.
Ladybird Book of Maxwell
1. Passover 2. Raven and Dove Olive leaf 3. Manna and Quail , Ps84. 4, Eutychus 5. Capernaum 6. Quarrelsome wife 7.Martha (worked) and Mary (listened) 8. James 9. Ehud 10. Psalm 23