- Last Updated on 22 November 2013
Hopefully I’m not the only one in Cromer shouting 'No' at the TV in early November as the Christmas adverts began to appear; refusing to eat the mince pies (lovingly bought because they were on offer) at the end of the month because ‘it’s too early’ - am I?
It’s easy to be ‘sniffy’ about the commercialization of Christmas - and, of course, it is too commercial, and to go wholesale down that route leads to emptiness and disappointment and that sense of ‘so what was that all about’ at the end. And yet as a Church, as Christians, Christmas still presents us with huge opportunities: we had over 1,700 people at our special Christmas services last year; plus all those who came to the two school Carol Services we hosted; and all those who sang carols around the tree at Cromer Christmas Lights up; not to speak of those at the Christmas Lunch and all those connected through our Parent and Toddler Christmas Events. Add them all up it’s a hefty percentage of our town engaged with us at this time. Huge opportunities to remind people what it is really all about.
A baby born, flesh and blood like us, who Christian’s believe to be God himself here on this earth. A baby who by his life, his death, all that he taught has transformed our world more than any other life that has ever lived. Who still does it today offering peace, purpose, forgiveness, hope. Who still satisfies all those Christmas longings that a purely commercial Christmas can’t even get close to satisfying. When - says Matthew - the wise men who visited Jesus shortly after his birth, "saw the child, with his mother Mary, they bowed down and worshipped him." (Matthew 2:11) And for a Christmas that really satisfies, there can really be no other response. May it be our response, too.
David Court - Vicar of Cromer
- Last Updated on 30 November 2013
Our Mission Partner is Michelle Proctor who works with SIM (Serving in Mission) at Mukinge Hospital in Zambia.
Mukinge Hospital is in the North Western Province of Zambia. It is a large general hospital with over 200 beds and is run by the Evangelical Church in Zambia, but it is also under the Zambian Government. The hospital management is mainly Zambian professionals. There is a busy outpatients department, two general wards, two paediatric wards, a maternity ward, a TB ward and an eye ward. The operating theatre is always busy and the surgeon and Michelle often have night calls. Mukinge also has a Nurse Training School where about 100 students receive a two-year training, leading to the national Zambian Enrolled Nurse qualification. The nurses in training attend Bible Classes run by senior staff (including Michelle) and many go on to have significant roles in their churches and to serve as Christian nurses in the government hospitals after qualifying.
Michelle is a registered children's nurse. She grew up in Cumbria, but bases herself in Cambridgshire when on home assignment. She has worked at Mukinge Hospital for about 15 years and has made a significant impact on the lives of many famiies through her Christian witness, her skill in caring for children and their relatives, her expertise as an anaesthetist and her work helping to set up an orphanage for AIDS orphans in the area.
At the moment, Michelle is also working as the acting Matron of the hospital while the Zambian Matron is doing further training, Michelle leads a Bible Class for Student Nurses doing their training at Mukinge; this ministry has an impact on the rest of Zambia as many of the nurses who train at Mukinge move into leadership roles in their local churches and healthcare facilities. So, a number of nurses who trained at Mukinge are themselves missionaries to their own people.
Liz Bennett is our Mission Partner Champion for Michelle Proctor. You can contact her for more information or to receive Michelle's prayer letters. You can read Michelle's prayer letters on her newsletters page.