As a CMS advocate you are a vital link between the work of CMS and your church, not just in practical and communication terms but also in linking our respective hearts for mission.
So what does your church’s mission heart look like, and how does it align with the work of CMS? Two of our advocates explain the process they went through to discern how they could bring together their church’s mission passion with the work of CMS mission partners.
Whole families sharing Jesus – St Peter and St Paul Hawkley
The email arrived at exactly the right time.
Robin and Mary Crittenden, CMS advocates for St Peter and St Paul Hawkley, choose to believe it was not a coincidence. The email, from CMS, was highlighting mission partners seeking churches who would be willing to partner with them.
Among them were Tom and Verity Clare, who will be headed to Arua, Uganda, with their four children. They will be working with the Ugandan population and South Sudanese refugee communities; in particular, Tom will use his medical skills. Robin and Mary spotted this family, and their interest was piqued.
St Peter and St Paul’s has partnered with CMS mission partners for a number of years. Most recently they have linked with Doug and Jacqui Marshall and their two children, based in Malta. They have found that visits from mission partner families have drawn local families to church, when otherwise it can be a struggle to encourage them to come. So linking with another family group was an appealing prospect for the church.
Most of all, Robin and Mary appreciate CMS’s mission focus, which is motivated by sharing the love of Jesus and seeing lives transformed, regardless of location or activity. Undoubtedly, the church’s relationships with mission partners has had an impact on their own outlook on mission.
Only an email, but a call answered, an opportunity taken. As a new partnership begins, we pray that St Peter & St Paul and the Clare family will be mutually encouraged by what God continues to do in their lives and where their worlds meet.
Partnering with God in Egypt – All Saints Woodford Wells
In 2018 All Saints Woodford Wells learned that Helen Botros, who they had partnered with for over 10 years, was stepping down as a CMS mission partner.
Helen had been serving in Egypt and the church had journeyed with Helen through the story of God’s mission in that region. So when the church heard that new CMS mission partners Joe and Sarah Harvey were preparing to move to Egypt (albeit in different context to Helen) it seemed like a clear choice to form a link with them.
CMS Advocate for All Saints, Peter Dowsett, explains:
“It was an easy decision and we thought, ‘Yes, it’s got to be them.’ They have been great at visiting the church and have been a delight to get to know, including linking in with some of our home groups. We’ve been really impressed by them and their heart to serve God in a Muslim context.
“Our historic overseas mission link as a church is with Kenya so it’s great that through CMS our congregation can invest in mission in a different context.”
For the congregation at All Saints partnering with CMS mission partners enables them to witness God at work in contexts which they would otherwise have no connection with.
Their journey with God in Egypt started through Helen and will continue with Joe and Sarah. We look forward to hearing how the church is impacted through this.
As always, we are keen to hear your own stories of what mission looks like in your church so do email us: firstname.lastname@example.org