Restored - Ending Violence Against Women

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Sept 2011

Welcome! We hope you have had a wonderful summer and welcome you to the Restored September prayer update.  We thank you so much for your continued prayer for Restored, the more we do this work, the more we are aware of the massive ongoing spiritual battle in working to transform relationships and end violence against women.

Answered Prayer

Volunteers
God has recently provided us with several new volunteers.  We now have four regular volunteers: Nina, Lucy, Carolina and Mercedes and three volunteers gave us their time over the last few months: Sarah, Kat and Gugush.  We are praising God for them and are so grateful for their willingness to give us their time and energy in working for Restored.  Please pray for them as they volunteer with us, that God would grow them and bless them.  Please pray that we would use all the resources God provides us with wisely.

Mandy's trip to DR Congo, Rwanda and Burundi 
Mandy was part of the team that went out to work with local Tearfund partner staff and the Anglican communion to raise awareness of sexual violence & work together with them on a response in DRC, Rwanda and Burundi following the Silent No More report.   The response in each country was amazing, with a Bishop from DR Congo saying "We are perpetrators. We have allowed this to happen in our churches" and the President of Burundi saying, "God allowed us to be here to see how we can care for the image of God." He had earlier quoted Scripture in his opening address saying that "both men and women are made in the image of God"  There was a host of media present including national and christian TV and radio.

There was strong leadership and opening addresses from both the Archbishop of Burundi & Rwanda who were determined to speak out and be silent no more about sexual violence and to restore the dignity and respect of women and girls. The Archbishop of Burundi reiterated that "'men & women are equal before God" and that "when men use women as tools for sex we miuse the image of God." The Archbishop of Rwanda focused of the need "to open our eyes & see the what is going on, as gender based violence is a reality within our communities."  Adding that "the Church needs to fight and denounce gender based violence."

They saw a real determination to make a difference, to move forward, to address the issue from within the church. Preliminary action plans were developed around leadership, equipping the church, working in partnership with others, addressing stigma & discrimination, behaviour change & creating a safe environment.

The meeting in Burundi ended with a march through central Bujumbura to break the silence. Both Archbishops and the Bishops joined together with others in wearing white t-shirts and caps stating 'We will speak out on sexual violence' and 'silent no more' on the caps. A band went ahead creating noise and attention as we marched together in solidarity for the church speaking out on sexual violence.

Please praise God for the amazing way He is working with the Church to bring about transformation in these communities.  This is the start of the process; recognising that we and the Church have much to learn from those that have gone before us in addressing sexual violence. Bishops need to develop actions plans, funding needs to be gained, hearts changed, survivors finding comfort, healing & support. Please do continue to pray.

Events

Please praise God with us for the events we have taken part in over the last few months, and pray that God will use the input we had to further His Kingdom and enable violence against women to be ended and relationships transformed.  Please pray for those who attended the events, that the seeds we planted in our talks would grow through God's tranforming power.

CLAN Gathering
Mandy and Natalie led a seminar at CLAN Gathering in Scotland.  As it was Restored's first event in Scotland, we consider this to have been our Scottish launch!  The seminar went really well and many who attended shared that they had been challenged and were considering how to respond better to domestic abuse in their context as a result of the seminar.

New Wine South
Mandy spoke at New Wine South, doing a session on the situation for women globally.

New Wine North
Rev. Graeme Skinner a vicar from the Wirral did a session at New Wine North called "Men Behaving Godly" and in it considered some of the issues of First Man Standing.

Faith Camp
Mandy and Peter did a seminar at Kingdom's Faith's annual camp, Faith Camp.

Social media & web

As usual Mandy has been active on Twitter (check us out @Rest0red) and we are on Facebook pagewhere you can join and ‘like’ us. The page is called ‘Restored’.  We are regularly adding resources and blogs to the Restored website.  Please do take a look if you have not done so recently and make sure you check out the website each week for the latest info, blogs and resources.

Prayer for...

Women who are currently in living in abusive situations or are dealing with the consequences of the abuse perpetrated against them. Pray that they would find safety and security, freedom and support. That God would restore to them everything that has been stolen.

Ongoing health
Please pray for the ongoing health of the Restored Team.  SInce arriving back from DR Congo, Mandy has been recovering from flu.  Please pray she will recover quickly and get the rest and recuperation she needs.  Please also pray for Paul Brigham who part of the Restored Board, he had a stroke in May and gradually recovering.  He is now being cared for in his own home, praise God!  Please pray for his recovery and his wife Sue, their daughters Emily and Rebecca and their wider family and friends as they support him.

UK Church Strategy
We have almost completed development of our UK Church Strategy.  Please pray for wisdom as we complete this and for opportunities and open doors to take the strategy forward.

Resources
We are pursuing various funding options, please pray that God would give us the resources we need to continue.  Please also pray for our members in this challenging financial climate that they would be able to access funding and oter resources that they need.

Ann-Marie Wilson
We welcome Ann Marie Wilson, Founder and Director of 28 Too Many to the Restored team.  Ann Marie will be spending one day a month with us as part of her work.  Please pray for her and the work she is doing to end female genital mutilation.

Members

Each month we are asking you to pray for two Restored members who are working to end violence against women.  This month we are praying for 28 Too Many and HEAL Africa.  Please do pray for all our members (they can be found here)

28 Too Many
Please pray for 28 Too Many as they work to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the twenty-eight countries within Africa where it is still practised.  Please pray for Ann-Marie Wilson, mentioned above, as she continues to work on doing this.  Her commissioning is being held in October, please pray for her as this goes forward.

HEAL Africa
HEAL Africa’s hospital and community development work address the root causes of illness and poverty for the people of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Their hospital and the 28 women’s houses in Maniema and North Kivu have provided a safe place for many victims of the war, and have been a motor for combating poverty and promoting community cohesion over the past 14 years.  They are integral to the implementation of the Silent No More report.  Please pray for all the work they are doing including their gender and justice work which is alongside other things is working with tribal leaders to bring about change in communities.  Please also pray for Lyn Lusi, the Co Founder of HEAL Africa as she copes with ill health.

Forthcoming eventsWe have various events happening over the autumn.  Please pray that God's will be done as we speak at them and that those who attend will be challenged and will go out able to make a difference.

Restored Conference

Restored is holding a free half day conference on Tuesday 4th October,: 9.30am - 2pm at Teddington Baptist Church. 

Cabbage Patch 10
Mandy, Peter and Natalie will be running the Cabbage Patch 10 mile race on Sunday 16th October to raise money for Restored.  You can access their charity giving pages and sponsor them here: Peter,MandyNatalie

Romford YMCA Conference and Training Day
Restored is delivering a conference and training day for Romford YMCA on Saturday 22nd October, 9.30am - 4.30pm, the cost is £10.   You can download a poster for the day here.  If you would like to attend or have any questions about the day please contact natalie.collins@restoredrelationships.org.

Ongoing Prayer Points

We want prayer to continue to be a central focus of all that we do.  Our ongoing priority prayer requests are:

• For the many thousands of women suffering daily in abusive situations that they would find freedom, justice and love
• For men’s attitudes and actions to change so that violence against women is ended
• For women to examine their own attitudes and hearts about unhelpful beliefs and attitudes
• For Christians to catch the vision, share God’s heart for this issue and take action;
• For unity in the church to act as one in ending violence against women
• For the continued development of Restored; that it will honour God, know his blessing and make a significant difference in addressing VAW;
• That we stay close to God and don’t take any wrong turnings
• Give thanks for the different types of support and encouragement we have received for this work to enable us to get this far

Thank you for continuing to partner in prayer with us.

Please do feedback any thoughts, words or pictures that you may have as you pray. We really do value and appreciate you setting aside time to pray.  If you have any prayer requests or require any further information, please do email Natalie (natalie.collins@restoredrelationships.org)

Mandy Marshall
Peter Grant
Natalie Collins