Fields of Life have reflected on the end of their 20th anniversary year.
There were many great memories throughout the year. Photos taken by Jonathan Porter were exhibited at the Photographic Exhibition in City Hall in March while there was an anniversary gala ball in La Mon Hotel and Country Club in April.
The Service of Thanksgiving took place at Fisherwick Presbyterian in April while the opening of Fields of Life’s first charity shop Practically Perfect took place in July in Coleraine.
Richard Spratt’s, the Fields of Life chief executive, completed a 600-mile mammoth cycle round Northern Ireland in August while there was a spectacular eight-week UK and Ireland Celebration Tour with the Fields of Life choir from Uganda and Nathan Jess in September and October.
Richard said, “What a wonderful year it has been as we celebrated what God has done through our organisation and what a privilege to serve and see many thousands of people supported and lifted out of extreme poverty through the gifs of education and water.”
Trevor Stevenson, the founder of Fields of Life, said, “There are many memorable moments of transformation, too many to mention, that I can recall in what has been a landmark year in the history of this wonderful organisation.
“God always seems to move and speak when you least expect it. The last 20 years have been an amazing journey impacting hundreds of thousands of people.”
Following a recent fact-finding visit to the world’s newest country during November he said, ”South Sudan has done something to me that no other East African country has done. It has got into my head and thinking that, even sleeping at night has become difficult. Reading the team report brought back smiles from those moments that we needed to laugh and also the times of tears at those moments that were difficult to stomach.
“The three moments that brought tears to my eyes were Sister Margaret’s words at the Solidarity Teacher Training College, or should I say lack of them when asked, “How important is your faith to doing the work here?”. “Without it,” she said, “I would not be here.” She then had to leave the room to shed her own private tears. Secondly, the kids at the bush school in Onjirima singing that song, ’When you leave do not forget us’ and finally the young man in Ibba drawing water from the dirty stagnant pool on the road and knowing that 50 kids died that day from drinking the likes. I honestly don’t believe I will ever be the same again after this trip.”
Since returning from South Sudan Fields of Life has committed to drilling six boreholes in Ibba, potentially providing nearly 9,000 people with clean, safe drinking water and to build an eight-classroom primary school in Onjirima.
If you wish to find out more about the work of Fields of Life visit www.fieldsoflife.org.