The inspiring story of the organisation LIFT – Labour In Faith and Trust - was revealed to members of Ballywillan Men’s Fellowship recently.
LIFT is a Christian organisation set up 17 years ago with the aim of giving practical help to missions and missionaries anywhere in the world who need a labour force to carry out building, medical or teaching work.
Gary Moore, who is a team leader with LIFT, was the guest speaker at the Ballywillan Fellowship’s weekly meeting and he revealed that since 1999, it has organised 151 projects in 38 countries, involving 1,399 volunteers from 386 different churches.
Mission organisations served had totalled 42 and five long-term missionaries had been aided. Participation in LIFT projects, the speaker explained, was open to Christians over 18 years of age. The skills involved include joinery, bricklaying, electricity, welding, painting, plastering, plumbing, tiling and cooking. Handy enthusiasts are most welcome.
Medical teams are composed of doctors, surgeons, general practitioners, nurses, physiotherapists, opticians and other types of health professionals. Currently, LIFT volunteers are working in Zambia on a two-week project with the Oasis Village Trust in Ndola, Zambia. The aim of the Trust is to provide a home for orphans and vulnerable children in an environment where they will feel loved, secure and have a sense of belonging. Oasis provides spiritual, educational, physical and medical needs.
Gary, who is a member of Eglinton Presbyterian Church in North Belfast, is leading the team of five. They left Northern Ireland on Saturday, two days after Gary’s visit to Ballywillan, and will not be returning until the end of the month.
The seven team members come from various parts of Ireland, including Portadown, Cork, Monaghan and Belfast.
A veteran of 13 LIFT projects, Gary profiled the projects which LIFT is undertaking in 2017. They will involve more than 120 volunteers travelling to Argentina, France, Serbia, Colombia Tanzania, Hungary, India, Poland, Zambia, Israel, Uganda and Niger. Previous projects have taken LIFT volunteers as far away as Ukraine and South Africa Each volunteer pays for his or her own travel expenses, etc, the sums ranging from £550 to £1,300, the finance being raised by the individuals themselves or through sponsorship.
Sadly, LIFT is unable to send a team to every mission that applies for assistance as there are not enough volunteers. Anyone interesting in helping in the work of LIFT is asked to contact Gary Moore on 028 9059 3282 or 07788 26 96 18 (mobile). Thanks was expressed by the Fellowship president, Dr. Michael Gardiner.