Joel & Ruth forster
I am Joel Forster and I live with my wife Ruth and our daughters Vera and Elsa in Valencia (Spain). I lead EvangelicalFocus.com, a news website for Europe that gives a Christian perspective on current issues. My passion is to do journalism that serves God’s mission by giving a voice to Christians who are making a difference in all spheres of society. We are a small team of journalists but are working alongside dozens from all across Europe who share the same vision of Bible and society.
As a family, we are members of a small evangelical church near the port of Valencia, where we serve and seek to learn what God wants to do in our lives, in our community and our city.
Hi I’m Andy Osenton and I head up the team here at Wearside Youth for Christ. I’ve been working here in Sunderland with YFC since 1997. I’m married to Faye and attend Calvary Christian Fellowship in Silksworth. My role is to lead the team but I also spend a lot of my time in senior schools delivering RE lessons, clubs, well being courses and nurture groups which I love doing as well as seeking to support the amazing churches in our city in reaching out to children and young people. We work with over 20 different schools in the city and partner with many local churches in our city on a regular basis. We have an amazing team of people that enable us to do what we do.
Our desire is to see young people’s lives changed by Jesus and we work in partnership with the local church to see that happen. We seek to engage, empower and equip ourselves as a body of believers in order for our young people to experience the love and grace of God in their lives.
I have been volunteering since 2014 in South Africa with an organisation called Timion based in Jeffreys Bay in the Eastern Cape.
Timion supports children who have Cerebral Palsy and their caregivers in a holistic approach. We understand that having a disabled child affects the whole family, so our heart is to support in a multifaceted way.
We support practically though the manufacture and distribution of specialist disability equipment such as standing frames or walking frames, where we are able to give to the children free of charge.
We visit the children at their homes so we can get to know the whole family and understand the social and practical challenges they face. Our therapists make sure that the equipment is fitted to the child and educated and empower the caregivers on how to use it to allow the child to reach their best potential.
Our family support workers come alongside the caregivers to provide emotional and spiritual support, praying and counselling the caregivers through the challenges they face.
Our bigger team includes carpenters who manufacture the equipment and admin support who keep us organised and on track! We opened a daycare in 2019 specifically for children with disabilities, as in South Africa there are limited places for children with disabilities to attend for education and stimulation.
We started in 2019 with a small group of 6 children but in 2020 we have finished renovations to the building to allow us to accommodate up to 15 children in the future.
Timion is a greek word and it means precious and of considerable worth. This is what we believe about these often forgotten and ostracized children, that they are beautiful creations and reflect God's heart to love those who are not seen.
For further info Timion has a website www.timion.org
and facebook page under Timion.