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Guild News - 15 June
Thus far the Lord has helped us.  1 Samuel 7:12
Muli bwanji! How are you?

Three months ago, I had just returned from a trip to Zambia to visit the girls in Kanyama, who are part of the Journeying Together: Empowering Teenage Mothers Project. This was an opportunity to experience first hand the work of the project and to share the girls’ stories. This was a week when we shared worship, prayer, action and fellowship with deaconess, Mable Sitchali, and the girls. These girls have all experienced trauma in their young lives. One 19-year-old who has a two-year-old son told me that she called her son Innocent because what happened was not his fault. It was not her fault either. The project is helping her to get her life back on track.

Thus far the Lord has helped us.
So how did the trip fit with our Guild aim?

Worship and prayer: every day started and ended with worship and prayer. From a long busy action-packed Sunday service, and a meeting with the Women’s Christian Fellowship (the Guild), to the World Day of Prayer service and devotions each morning at the Synod office. Faith is such an important part of life in Zambia. The verse from 1 Samuel is seen in every church building. They put their trust in the Lord and rely on him.

Action: the girls love to sing  and dance and talk. We joined in their dances and we taught them some Scottish dances. Each day started with singing together, “Welcome, everybody. It’s good to see you here.” With actions of course. We showed them how to make things they could sell: scrunchies and aprons; cards and biscuits. We showed them how to make simple toys and games which they could use with their children. We taught them basic first aid. Little did we realise at the time just how important washing hands while singing 'Happy Birthday' would become.

Fellowship: we shared; we sang; we danced; we laughed together and sometimes cried together, and in a short week we became friends.

Thus far the Lord has helped us.
Life is different in Kanyama. Homes are basic and crowded, sanitation is poor and social distancing would be impossible, but they help one another. One girl told me her aim on the project was to finish her education and earn enough to pay for her child’s education. She likes working with children but does not yet have the confidence to train as a teacher. I pray that will come. I suggested she could earn by childminding. She had never heard of childminding. I explained and she looked horrified. She said, “Auntie Helen, why would I take money for helping a friend?”

Already the project has made such a difference to the girls. They are gaining confidence. They are finding the courage to speak for themselves. Mable works tirelessly to find opportunities for the girls: finishing their education; help with writing business plans; some training as midwives; places offered at a nearby agricultural college. This will not only benefit the girls and their children but their whole community.

Thus far the Lord has helped us.
There is so much more to tell about the trip and the girls we left in Zambia, but brought home in our hearts. Those who visited the project hope to share that with you in Guilds and Guilds Together groups when we can.

Stay safe and God bless,

Helen Eckford, National Vice Convener
Bring a little sunshine
This week we heard of a great idea - how one Guild is keeping in touch with its members. They have been doing safe doorstep deliveries of some sunflower seeds to Guild members and they are already getting text messages, phone calls and photographs of the little seedlings that are emerging.

What a great way to keep in touch with members and encourage them to maybe try something a bit different. It will also give them something to look forward to, seeing grow and develop in the weeks ahead. Maybe this is something that your Guild could do?
Life and Work Coronavirus Diaries
This weeks's diary in Life and Work takes us to Malawi where the Guild has so many friends. One of them is the Church of Scotland's Mission Partner, Linus Malu, based in Mzuzu who shares his experiences.
Read more
Coming to a home near you... well actually your home!
We’re delighted to announce that a special online Guild Annual Gathering 2020 event will take place on Saturday 5 September. As you know, the original event, which was scheduled to take place in The Caird Hall on that day, has had to be cancelled. However, a number of features from the event in the Caird Hall can be transferred into an online format, and we’re going to screen an abridged Annual Gathering at 11am on Saturday 5 September — when the original event would have taken place. The programme will run until about 12pm.  A recording of the event will be available soon afterwards.

The day will include the transition from Marian to Mabel as National Convener and the first singing of our new Guild blessing. The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair, will also be contributing and we will be having a question and answer session with Dave Kendall, the Church of Scotland's Chief Officer. There will be music and some short clips from our project partners. The event will end with a short communion, led by the Rev Tom Macintyre, and those watching should have bread and a drink available if they wish to take part in that.

The event will go out online but, to enable as many people as possible to take part, we can offer a DVD for sale. This will cost £12 plus postage. A USB stick can also be ordered, which will be £15. Please let your members know about this as people may want to have a copy of the DVD so they can join in. The DVD would also be a good thing to use at a meeting when members are able to meet together.

Email us using the red button below to request a DVD or USB stick.

Save the date and keep an eye out for more information.
I would like to order a DVD or USB
Pray this week
Monday: Name before God someone who needs the spirit of God to heal and restore them at this time.
Tuesday: Name before God leaders: in your church, your community and in our government. In these days of social upheaval, political complexity and economic challenge, ask God to fill whose with overwhelming responsibilities with the wisdom of heaven.
Wednesday: Name before God friends who are struggling and need your counsel. Ask the Holy Spirit to show them who You are, who they are and what You want them to know.
Thursday: For the weak, for those seemingly without power. For those crowded in refugee camps or slums. For those in the grip of addiction or chronic mental health issues. God give them strength and capacity so they can do both ordinary and extraordinary things.
Friday: Name before God one friend or family member who knows just a little about you. Spirit of knowledge, lead and guide them into the truth of your love.
Saturday: For yourself, asking to see God revealed to you in new and exciting ways.
Sunday: Name before God our project partners, asking them to be encouraged by their partnership with the Guild through the resources and prayerful support that it provides.
Pat and Bob Brown have started a vegetable garden. Bob has made three raised beds for them so they can tend the garden but not damage their backs. We look forward to seeing the fruits of their lockdown labours!
Keep in touch
If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, you can keep in touch with us by emailing guild@churchofscotland.org.uk.
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