From the end of September, Andrea Givans from Ballinderry Parish in Cookstown will be undertaking a 10-week Short Term Experience Placement (STEP) in the Diocese of Madi West Nile, Uganda. Andrea will be working alongside the women’s ministry team in the diocese, helping to train young women to learn new cookery skills at the Vocational Training College and the diocesan guesthouse.
On Sunday 17th September, Andrea’s home parish arranged a celebration and commissioning service for Andrea. It was a chance for her fellow parishioners to pray for her and send her out, as she visits Uganda for the first time.
CMSI staff members Jenny Smyth and Gillian Maganda took part in the service. They highlighted the significance of STEP placements – how they allow for the building of bridges between the Church here in Ireland and the Body of Christ in Uganda.
It was wonderful to see over 100 of Andrea’s family, friends and church family rally round her and send her off with their blessing and heartfelt prayers. Jenny Smyth shared from Philippians 4: 4-7:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
These word are very fitting, as they are a reminder to Andrea that there will be good times and challenging times – but God, in His great mercy and love, will journey with her in the weeks and months ahead.
Please continue to remember and pray for Andrea, her family and our partners in the Diocese of Madi West Nile. And keep an eye out for Andrea’s blog, which will be going ‘live’ later this week.