Our Mission Partners
St. Columba’s has a long record of partnership with overseas mission workers for various charities. This involves providing prayer and financial support and maintaining contact with those overseas on a regular basis, in recent years largely via e-mails. Jason and Tracy Day, our Church Mission Society (CMS) partners moved to Chiang Mai in Thailand in 2012 following several years working in a teaching hospital in Nepal, where Tracy was a course tutor and Jason an administrator. Jason is now a personnel manager, seconded from CMS to OMF (Overseas Mission Fellowship) helping to support over 400 Christian mission workers working in a variety of East Asian countries. Tracy, in addition to looking after their children, Ruby and Libby, does voluntary work in a local school and works with a group seeking to bring help and care to some of those who work in some of the problem areas of Chiang Mai. The family recently enjoyed their first long leave in the UK for some years and visited St. Columba’s on several occasions as well as joining us for a church weekend away – a good time to deepen friendships and for us to understand more of the challenges they face in their work in Thailand.
Our relationship with mission partners working for MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) in East Africa reaches back for almost 20 years. MAF provides support for a wide range of ‘customers’ ranging from UN agencies, international charities and churches to small mission groups and needy individuals through flights to many different sites, often using small, remote and primitive landing areas. Our current link is with Geoff Linkleter who works as an aircraft maintenance engineer in Uganda. He and his wife and daughter, Celia and ‘Mim’, live in Kampala and Geoff works on the neighbouring Kajansi airfield. Many of the planes he services provide links from Kajansi to the troubled area of South Sudan and the refugee camps in the north of Uganda, often in dangerous conditions, in support of the work of Christian charities such as Medair. MAF’s work is crucial in saving or improving the lives of many people in this and other parts of the world.
A more recent link is with Dave and Helen Smithers who, with their young son, Daniel, have lived in a largely Muslim area of Birmingham and have been working with Interserve to help break down barriers between the different community groups in that area. They have recently transferred to SIM (Serving in Mission) to move to Pakistan for2 years with the aim of learning more about the language and culture there while being involved with a local church. They then intend to return to cross-cultural work In England.