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Challenging the Charity Mindset

ALun.pngPs Alun Davies writes on going deeper than the surface-level ‘charity mindset’ of missions to becoming people of justice that will change the world....

ACCI Missions & Relief is able to have an incredible impact across the world due to the engagement, support, passion and commitment of the ACC movement. Last year over $9 million was raised to assist a multitude of people and projects, and every year the impact we collectively make continues to grow. 

Last year alone – our Field Workers were able to make the following impact:

• 9,216 leaders trained (50.8% increase on 2010 annual figures),

• 33,915 children assisted (166% increase on 2010),

• Over 78,000 community development beneficiaries (225% increase on 2010),

• 53 churches were planted,

• 5,598 salvations,

• 1,082 water baptisms, and

• 1,237 baptisms in the Holy Spirit


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Leadership Development in Mozambique

2.jpgRobbie Housen has been ministering in Mozambique for many years. One of her great achievements in this time, supported by Australian churches, has been to establish the Hope Training Institute (HTI).

With a vision of enhancing the leadership of the oftentimes divided church in Mozambique, HTI trains students over a four year associate degree program. Students experience two years of formal bible curriculum, then a one-year internship in a local church, followed by one year of planting a new church.

After experiencing many years of war, Mozambique still struggles with many social, economic and other development problems. In order to address the varied needs of local communities, students are prepared both through their education and through gaining practical skills.

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Providing the Recipe for Change

Untitled_design_(18).jpgA passion to help prevent human trafficking led an Australian church to partner with ACCI Vietnam in the remote mountain communities of central Vietnam. Five years ago, Hope City Church (Brisbane and Toowoomba) started the journey with ACCI by working alongside a boarding school which services one of the most vulnerable communities in Vietnam. At the time, 89% of its students dropped out by the end of grade 9. The construction of a much-needed kitchen and a successive lunchtime program provided the ingredients for change. Its success led to Vietnam’s District Department of Education replicating the initiatives in six local schools, with more to follow.

Bruce and Marion Macaulay from Hope City Church, share how the partnership came about with ACCI Vietnam and Vietnam's District Department of Education...

“In 2011, we were asked to assist a struggling boarding school in central Vietnam, in a district where there is a known significant threat of human trafficking. Located near the border, the district is surrounded by thick jungle and is heavily populated by an ethnic minority group. 

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A Family Restored

Untitled_design_(14).jpgIt is easy to make assumptions when we hear of children living in orphanages in developing countries: They must be orphans if they’re living in an orphanage, or their families have abandoned them, or at least an orphanage provides a better environment for them to grow up in when you consider the extreme poverty they’ve come from.

However, the problem with assumptions is that they generally don’t see the whole picture. Assumptions ‘suppose’ something to be the case, without actual proof. This can affect the way we deal with issues, creating new problems without solving the old ones.

Despite our assumptions, orphanages are not filled with orphans or children without adequate parental care. Up to 80% of children living in orphanages globally have families. Due to issues such as extreme poverty where little or no support is available to assist families in crisis, desperate families will place children in orphanages to ensure their children receive food, education and clothing.

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Together we're empowering families in Sri Lanka

Untitled_design_(12).jpgACCI Field Workers Alison and Narel Atkinson have seen incredible impact through their community-based care for children in Sri Lanka. HelpKids Centre not only provides a safe environment for children to develop and receive a quality education, but support to their families and broader communities - because it takes a whole community to raise a child. One such family that has been impacted by HelpKids, is Shari & Dineth's. Their lives have been changed for the better and here's how... 

It is difficult to tell you what it feels like to watch a family torn apart by poverty, lack of support, or lack of knowledge. Children are placed in orphanages, away from their parents, their families and their communities.

It is for these reasons that HelpKids Centre in Sri Lanka work tirelessly to keep children in families. HelpKids champion families through education (both early childhood learning and tuition classes), providing a loving, safe & caring environment and empowering families to stay together. 

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Missional Business, Training & Leadership Development in SE Asia

Untitled_design_(4).jpgPaul and Kim work for a missional business that operates as a professional education centre in SE Asia, teaching English language, vocational skills and Christian leadership. The main focus of this school is to train both men and women to get into the workplace and to become active leaders in their communities and churches, bringing fullness of life to the people of this region.

The school serves both educated urban people and rural young people. Each year students are screened and accepted for one or two years of vocational training in baking or housekeeping. Through living in community, classroom and practical training, and daily work experience, these students are nurtured in their life and faith so that they in turn may support and impact others. Many of the students are from believing families, and embrace the opportunity to receive discipleship and Christian leadership skills before returning to their home communities and churches. Beyond purely vocational skills, students also learn life skills that will help them to thrive in a rapidly changing society. They are taught budgeting, time management, work ethics, coping with change and other skills essential for success.

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Training Pastors in Mozambique

Untitled_design_(2).pngGreg and Kim Hart are focused on impacting Mozambique with the gospel by training and discipling pastors and leaders. They train multiple church denominations in different rural areas. Oftentimes these leaders are illiterate. To overcome this Greg and Kim use audio recordings and MP3 players to communicate concepts effectively and consistently. The Harts’ training is focused on teaching sound doctrine. They also help broader community life through training in improved farming techniques and business development.

Leaders who undertake the training include potential church planters, local Pastors and denomination leaders. At the end of 2014, Greg and Kim hosted the first of three graduations. Greg shares: “It’s that time of year again! Graduations are a celebration of the work our students have done during the year. This year we have hosted three Graduations in various locations throughout the district. It is a privilege to be able to award certificates to recognise the study that the students have completed.”

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Championing Women in Europe

Untitled_design_(88).pngLeanne Rhodes is the Founder of Abolishion, an anti-trafficking organisation working in Romania to raise awareness, provide professional training, build capacity in government and provide restoration care for survivors. She is also a champion of the church in Romania and wider Europe, spending time working with churches and womens’ movements. She shares about this aspect of her work with us here:

“Absolutely not!” they said. “We knew right from the start it wouldn’t work to have a woman in this role.”

In that moment I tried my best to remind myself that this was not about me, even if it felt like it. Our trainer for the upcoming Romanian Pastor’s training had just dislocated his shoulder and was unable to do the training. As the newly instated Next Level International (NLI) Romanian Country Leader it made sense for me to jump in and do the training, given I was a fully ordained pastor myself and was already going to be there. 

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I volunteered in an orphanage and why I think you shouldn't..

TeachersAppreciationWeek_(4).pngAs we drove away we could hear the sobbing of children fade off into the distance. Just moments ago their fingers were being pried away from the sides of the jeep as we tried to make our exit. Some children stood in silence with blank stares while others wept uncontrollably.  We sat in the back of the jeep in silence as we tried to process the scene that had just played out. One of my fellow volunteers broke the silence by simply saying “What have we done?”

What had we done? We had spent 6 weeks playing, teaching and caring for kids living in a children’s home in the Philippines. Every year millions of people travel around the world to volunteer, and orphanages are one of the most popular destinations. I had provided those kids with hours of English practice, hugs and laughter but in that moment as we drove away it finally hit me it wasn’t worth it, for those children I had caused more harm than good.

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Part 2: What's the link between orphanages and cane toads?

TeachersAppreciationWeek_(1).pngOrphanages - Lessons from the Cane Toad

Lesson 2

by Matthew Jarlett, Harvest Bible College

In Lesson 1 we compared the importation of Cane Toads with that of orphanages in the developing world. In this article I wish to develop this idea even further.

I remember my first visit to Queensland as a young boy. One of the locals had set up a tourist attraction where kids like me could not only come and see the infamous toads up close, we could even race them! Mine came last, but I had lots of fun anyway.  

The truth is though, all the locals hated the toads. Even the attraction owner wished they have never come, but reasoned, “While they’re not going anywhere I might as well make a buck.”

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