CLOSE

Search the BMS website

What are you looking for?

Skip to Content

November 2023

Disruption

We had to learn a new Bangla word this month – oberod - it means blockade.

As we head towards national elections, travel in Bangladesh has been disrupted because of blockade days, strike days and demonstrations. We have had to make decisions about how much to allow these events to disrupt our plans. It has meant working out what is safe and what is unsafe, which risks are worth taking and which are not.

Working Amid the Disruptions

In spite of the uncertainties, we've been kept busy. October saw Pete teaching Wisdom Literature to the MA students at CCTB and Louise running family development camps in Khulna and Rajshahi. In November, Louise went to CCTB to support the teaching of the first BTh Christian Family course. It was an intense three weeks, but a really positive way of working. Champa, the Librarian at CCTB, completed her MA last year and has now begun teaching, so working to support her to develop and teach the course, was a privilege. The students ran a seminar for all the families who live on campus and it was good to see them finding new ways of teaching and having the courage to talk about taboo subjects. Between us we have spent twelve weeks teaching at CCTB this year, so with Graduation next week, it feels like we are at the end of a significant amount of time and input into people's lives.

A First Christmas Apart

It is hard not to feel that family should all be together at Christmas, so to be approaching this one knowing that we won't see the boys feels somewhat disrupted. We have hatched a plan to compensate which involves finding somewhere cold to go (you can guess where) – and we are aware that in spite of Covid and everything else in the last 5 years this will be the first time we have not met up either in Asia or the UK. However, the good news is that Lou's mum and dad did get together with the boys a couple of weeks ago to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary, and it is not too long until Easter when Jonah and Abbie have booked some flights to come and see us.

Disrupted Thinking

We had a long-standing plan to spend a week in NE Bangladesh with James and Bina who are planting churches in the area. We were really thankful that we could make that journey. Before we left, we had written a draft outline for a six-week training programme we will be running next year for those going to work in new outreach areas. We came back (again thankful for safe travel) and immediately rewrote our plan.

As we spent time with them, visited homes, prayed with people, and met with the new workers recently sent to the area, we felt our perspective shift. Our theoretical plans were disrupted by the realities of the lives of people and the realities of the challenges of the work. The more time we spent with people, the more we felt ourselves disturbed. The scenery is breathtakingly beautiful, but the depth of poverty and struggles for families also steals your breath away.

Never Lose the Wonder of a Waterfall

While we were visiting the area, we went to one of the local beauty spots. Bangladesh is full of wide, lazy rivers weaving their way towards the Bay of Bengal, but - it is short of hills, rocks and waterfalls. Therefore, to go up into the hills that border India and to see a waterfall was a pretty rare opportunity. It was fantastic to see the face of our friends as they exclaimed “this is God's miracle!” It reminded us of the need to stop and to rekindle that sense of wonder. Most of us have seen quite a few waterfalls in our time - but it was good to be reminded that we should appreciate the miracle.

Please join us in praying:

Pray for the CCTB students graduating and being placed in new work areas during December and January.

Pray for the new community outreach workers being sent as couples to work in different part of Bangladesh

Pray for the BBCS elections and for the smooth transition of work and responsibility that are involved

Pray for the nation of Bangladesh and for peaceful national elections due to happen on January 7th

Pray for the churches in Bangladesh as they celebrate Christmas in their communities.

As we prepare for next year – pray for the ministry work here; for the planned visits of BMS personnel; and for our visa renewal application.

Our prayer is that you will have a wonderfully blessed Christmas – whether disrupted or not!

May you appreciate the miracle of Christ's coming and know God's peace.

With our love

Pete and Lou