Having just completed her A levels, Charis is preparing to spend 9 months serving with BMS World Mission as part of a team going to Uganda. She describes what she will be doing and why – and a personal sacrifice that is helping to fund the venture.
Counting the cost
I have to raise over £4000 for the venture, to cover food, accommodation, flights and so on. It’s a lot of money, though I know it will definitely be worth the cost.
One of the ways I am fundraising is by collecting sponsorship to cut off 12 inches of my hair, which I have grown quite attached to over the years. The hair will be donated to the Little Princess Trust who will use it to make wigs for children who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment.
Christ Church is contributing to the cost but Charis also welcomes individual donations!
Hi! My name is Charis and I have been a member of the Reloaded youth group ever since I moved to the UK two years ago. My parents are members of Selly Park Baptist Church and we enjoy having strong connections with both churches.
I have recently completed my A levels, and instead of going straight to university I am joining a BMS World Mission action team. Our team of four will travel to Gulu, in Uganda, and for six months will take part in a range of projects and aid the full-time mission team already working there.
The projects will focus on legal and developmental work, including water and agricultural development. I will be involved in training events and activities, in children and youth events both in the Gulu church and in village churches and communities. We will also be helping out and organising activities for a local juvenile detention centre.
This is the first time BMS is sending a team of this kind to Uganda so we will have to be quite flexible and able to adapt to whatever is thrown at us. Before travelling to Uganda, BMS will provide our team with a month of training in the UK which will include public speaking, teaching English, church placements and other activities.
Upon our return to UK, we will complete another two months debriefing with BMS and presenting its work to churches up and down the country; so I will be working with the project for a total of 9 months.
Confirming the call
It took me a long time to decide whether to be part of this venture. Had I chosen it because I grew up with missionary parents or was it really something God was calling me to do? Even after BMS World Mission had offered me a place, I was still unsure whether this really was what God had planned for me. Should I accept their offer?
The weekend before I had to make my decision, I visited my Grandma’s church, still praying about it. The pastor was talking about spreading the word and how we are instructed to do this in the gospel of Matthew. Then at the end of the service the pastor prayed that we would all be brave and just say “Yes” to the Lord.
Still I was doubtful, and as I walked around the church at the end of the service I came across a prayer display board. On one side it showed that the church was praying for the BMS Mission Centre. On the other side, they were praying for Uganda, the country to which I had been assigned. And that was when I finally said “Yes” to the Lord and accepted the offer to join the action teams.
Another important part of Charis’ story is her time with the Christ Church team at Soul Survivor, which gave her the assurance that God would equip her for the time ahead.