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MWiB Conference Report

We also heard from various people working with refugees and migrants and heard some harrowing and moving stories from Greece, Italy, Syria, Mexico and Palestine.  We were also privileged to hear stories from a lovely group of young people from the Karen Community in Myanmar who are now living in Sheffield and they shared some of their songs and dancing during the Saturday evening.  Anne and I had a go at the dancing but we’re not sure we’ll make their dance troupe!  A group from Zimbabwe also took part during the Saturday evening and led us in some exuberant and joyful singing.

During the Saturday afternoon there were about eight workshops on offer, two of them led by Anne and myself.  Anne shared stories of her experiences in Germany and Greece and I based mine on a workshop I had attended in Houston on Biblical hospitality which generated some lively and interesting discussion.  Other workshops were led by some of the visitors and speakers including Tim Annan, Youth President sharing stories of his trip to Mexico, Laura Cook from All We Can speaking about forced migration in the Middle East and Africa, Katy Brookes-Duncan speaking about the charity she has helped to establish called ‘People Not Borders’ working with refugees in Greece and a group from the Living Stones of the Holy Land speaking about some of the current issues in Syria and Palestine.  As part of that we heard a moving story from a man who was born in one of the Palestinian refugee camps which brought a personal touch to the workshop. 

There were several stalls with information and products from various organisations and charities and a temptation to buy a variety of wonderful things.  I came home with several new books and a Nepalese Yak blanket for a family member’s birthday! 

The conference closed on the Sunday with a service of Holy Communion and an exhortation to make sure that we reflect on what we have learned and seek God for a way in which we can help show the love of Jesus to displaced people in our communities, nation and across the world.
Aside from all the speakers and activities, I found it a wonderful opportunity to meet with others who share a global view of the church and to fellowship with brothers and sisters from around the world and learn more of their lives.

Next year’s MWM weekend will be on the theme of ‘Africa – Gospel and Culture’ so that promises to be full of exciting stories and worship.  It will be held at Swanwick from 1 – 3 June 2018 so if you haven’t been to one of these conferences before, I would encourage you to come along and experience it along with me next year.

 

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For more information about MWM check out www.mwm.org.uk
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Carolyn Lawrence (British Area Officer for WFM&UCW)