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Our Diocese was linked in the early 2000's with branches in Dhaka, Women's Fellowship in the Church of South India, Bauchi, Kano and Maiduguri in Nigeria and Taiti Tavete in Kenya.

Our project was to make it possible for four members to visit link branches in Kenya and Nigeria and what an experience it was!

Angela O'Hare and Jean Whitbread said it was a privilege to be the first to represent the Lincoln Diocese in Nigeria. Everywhere they went they were welcomed by enthusiastic singing and dancing, from city cathedral to tiny mission churches in villages in the bush. Once, after the road ran out, they abandoned the minibus and continued on foot in the bush, being given a lift by a motor cyclist and crossing a shallow river. They arrived breathless, much to the amusement of the locals.

The Christians have problems with Shar'ia, the Islamic Law, which looms large in the future of Northern Nigeria. After the riots in 1991 and 1995, when the Christian community were victimised, now they are naturally concerned. Owing to lack of funds in Kano Diocese, some priests have not been paid for months. What was outstanding was the joy in their faith in living out their Christian life.

Liz Lilley and Margaret Cardwell were met at Nairobi Airport by three Mothers' Union members in their blue uniforms. The following day they travelled for five hours to Voi and were welcomed with song, dance and flowers.

It was very humbling that the members were prepared to walk for up to three hours to attend meetings. Mothers' Union is seen as a lifeline in their difficult lives, and not just an option. Most branches have their own choir and Liz and Margaret heard about local projects, including building houses to generate rental income, training schemes and raising money to provide church buildings in areas of Christian growth. Our links particularly embraced the idea of our IMPC and applauded, literally, our praying for overseas links during midday prayers. Sometimes there were 250 members attending meetings and all had to be fed before their return home. They were anxious that Liz and Margaret should bring back their greetings to you all.

Five delegates from our link diocese in Kenya and Nigeria paid a return visit to Lincoln in June 2003.

Lincoln Diocese Mothers Union

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