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Moving on

Leaving the Highlands Region today, so Michaela is bidding farewell to Bishop Morris and his wife, who have looked after us well and been deeply appreciative of our visit.
Missionaries only arrived in the Highlands in the 1950s and the bishop lives on the Methodist compound dating from those times. The arrival of the President designate of the Methodist Church has been seen by everyone as significant and welcome and led to several important conversations.



And today Micky is addressing a youth convention in the Highlands Region. 600 very enthusiastic children and young people!


I am in Papua New Guinea accompanying the President designate, Revd Michaela Youngson, on her visit to join the jubilee celebrations of our Partner Church. The United Church was formed 50 years ago next Sunday and we are today worshipping with the people of East Central Region as they begin a week of festivities. Mick is pictured here with their bishop.

Partnership visit to MC Sierra Leone

Happy New Year everyone!

It was nice to see friends and acquaintances in Freetown following few years after the Ebola crisis – the loss of Rev Francis Nabieu and Rev Albert Beah in addition to the mudslide disaster in August 2017. We were greeted by the interim President of Conference- Bishop Arnold Temple and we honoured the former leaders that transitioned into God’s presence with a moment of silence.

Then we sang the popular Methodist hymn – ‘Are we yet alive?’ with gusto and gratitude for His faithfulness in years past and we look forward to 2018 with great expectations.

MCSL staff and executives shared their hopes for MCSL with each other as they look forward to impending changes to ways of working in response to the ongoing Organisational Assessment taking place in 2017 – 2018.

May His will be done?

Bunmi Olayisade
Africa Partnership Coordinator

Sent from my iPad

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is a colourful, vibrant and sprawling city. It has over 13 million inhabitants and is a city of celebration and parties, but also of violence. Many Brazilians I have spoken to say that violence in the favelas has recently increased, with conditions becoming increasingly precarious for the poor as a result of the Temer government scaling back resources that had been invested in social programmes by the previous Lula and Rouseff governments.

Rio is also the home of the largest number of Methodists in the country. While in Rio I was blessed to meet with Revd Maria do Carmo or ‘Pastora Kaká’, as she is affectionately known in the church. She is a national in mission appointments postholder, working with three youth offender institutes in the town of Duque de Caxias, a town in outer Rio de Janeiro. The majority of youth offenders were caught on drug trafficking charges or related violent crimes, and maintain their gang affiliation while incarcerated. However, in Pastora Kaka’s sessions with the young people, she teaches them to leave their gang affiliation and enmity at the door, and focus on what unites them: the saving Gospel of Christ. She shared stories of hope and also of tragedy with me. Testimonies of how some young people had been able to turn their lives around after serving their term, and were now doing well in life or even better, were serving and worshiping God at a local church. Other stories she shared were of tragedy, of young people being murdered during incarceration, of distraught mothers seeking support and comfort after learning the fate of their son or daughter. Through good times and in bad, Pastora Kaka continues to support young people, their families and staff at the institute, giving testimony of the hope the young people can have through Jesus Christ. She asked me to thank the Methodist Church in Britain for supporting her ministry.

I also got the chance to meet with the church’s newest regional Bishop, Bishop Paulo Rangel. We discussed what work we might be able to partner with in Rio, and explored the possibility of sending an Encounter World volunteer to work with the church’s Shade and Fresh Water programmes in the favelas, run by the coordinator for the programme, Keila Guimaraes. If anyone is interested in finding out more, please do get in touch!

Every blessing,


Monday, Myanmar

Finally made it to Mindat District for the first time after an eight-hour drive. This area was only opened up to foreigners last year so it’s quite an adventure.
A very enthusiastic district, very appreciative of our support for an income generation project in 2012. The yams are now being exported to China and making a good income.
Steve on Wednesday

Scholarship and Leadership Group Training Grants-Sol Andino and Otila Chaves women’s empowerment programme

Today I visited the Faculty of Theology located within the Methodist University of São Paulo. My predecessor, Revd Thomas Quenet, was key in encouraging the Faculty or FaTeo as it is known in Portuguese, to offer theological education to Methodist Churches in the region who did not have a theological seminary of their own or who were emerging churches who felt that the theological education offered by other denominations did not meet the needs of their development and learning needs. The fruit of this joint work was Sol Andino or Andean Sun, a theological programme that is run by the FaTeo in Ecuador, Chile and Peru to support the continuous training for lay and ordained church members. The project has been particularly beneficial for the United Methodist Church in Ecuador, where over 400 lay and ordained church workers have benefited from the Sol Andino programme since 2012. The Methodist Church in Britain has been supporting the programme through the World Mission Funds’ Scholarship and Leadership Group Training grant (SALT) since 2012.

Another programme that the SALT group training programme has been supporting is a women’s empowerment programme run by the Faculty’s Otila Chaves Centre for women’s studies. Brazil is a huge country, so there is a limit to how many women can participate in the programme that is hosted three times a year by the Faculty. However, in collaboration with the Methodist University’s communications team, the programme and topics covered are recorded onto a DVD and streamed live so that women from all over Brazil can access the course. This has allowed thousands of women all over the country to have access to this empowerment course, to feel connected to other women across the connection and to grow in confidence in their value and worth and ministry as women. The Coordinator of the programme, Revd Dr Margarida Ribeira, thanks the Methodist Church in Britain for its support and reiterated several times how important this partnership is to them. They would warmly welcome any women from the UK who would like to take part in the empowerment programme in the future.

It was also very good to meet with Demetrio Soares, the coordinator for international relations at the Faculty, Revd Dr Paulo Roberto Garcia, the head of the faculty, to explore ideas for further joint work. They are really keen to develop partnerships and exchange visits to Cliff College and Queen’s College, and I hope to follow up on this when I return to the UK.

Every Blessings,