Mission Circle – News from South Africa

Mission Circle money has been very active this past few months: with it we were able to provide school shoes for a lot of children, which was really a blessing because we have just come out of winter and, although they can manage, bare feet fare better in the summer – it was too cold to bear thinking about during the winter! But that’s not all…

We also managed with the help of Violet Mashao, whom some of you may remember when she and her friend Alena visited Scotland a few years ago. Anyway through them we became involved in a project of providing sanitary towels for young girls who had up until recently no hygienic ways of dealing with menstruation. This I found so tragic because it is something of a personal nature and I think quite awkward and embarrassing for young teenagers! Nevertheless they were so very happy to receive the sanitary towels. We hope to be able to continue supplying them because as we all know this is a constant ongoing thing. I managed to buy in bulk cheaply and our guest room at the moment is like a warehouse with sanitary towels!

Violet has a collection of AIDS orphans that she has been trying to assist continuously and we have been trying to support her as best we can with the aid of Mission Circle. She shared a tragic story with us recently: one child who is only 5 years old was raped by a local store owner in the township! Because Violet had managed to raise money for her older siblings to attend school she was left on her own and just wandered around the township – Violet was not aware this was happening. It wasn’t until the rape occurred that the situation was highlighted and so she was desperately trying to get this child admitted to a nursery school where she was at least out of harm’s way until her other siblings could look after her. Thanks to Joyce and Caroline who were visiting us from Alva church recently, they managed, from funds donated by their congregation, to give enough money for a whole year’s nursery for this child.

There but for the grace of God… We never cease to give thanks for all our blessings and for the generosity and kindness of all you in Mission Circle who never forget those less fortunate than yourselves.

Sandra and Graham Duncan,
October 2015

For newer members of the congregation, Graham Duncan was the minister here at the Old Parish before Catriona. He returned to work in South Africa where both he and his wife Sandra have also become involved in a whole range of projects helping local groups and individuals to make a better life for themselves and their whole community. Social problems in that country are still very challenging and with no health or welfare system, life for the poor and vulnerable is a very real struggle.

Our little Mission Circle was set up to support the Duncans in their work and it consists of members and friends donating £1 per month. So little for us, but it is amazing the good that has come from it. The above story is just a small example of the work we have supported. Those of you who know Graham will know that he will wring the good out of every penny and it will make a real difference to many, many lives. If you would like to help just speak to Elizabeth at church or phone her on (01236) 726451.

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