So, in two very different but complementary ways, they will be bringing hope to people, who have little or no hope, and bringing change to people for whom change seems impossible.
I trust that as a Parish we will support them (and the projects that they will be involved with) in many different ways, through our prayers, our giving, by keeping in touch, by responding to their requests for help.
A call on us all
Yes, I did ask Mark and Rosalie why on earth they were giving up the obviously cushy number - the one day a week job of vicar of Furze Platt - to go and work in one of the toughest places in the world. 'We believe that Jesus is calling us' was the gist of their reply.
Not many of us will be called in such a way, not many of us will be called to set up a Foodbank as Sue Brett has, but all of us are called to care about and actively support those who do not enjoy the advantages that we do.
In his parable, known as 'The Sheep and the Goats', Jesus makes it clear that what we do to help hungry, the stranger, the sick, those in prison, we do for him. And, conversley, what we fail to do for them, we fail to do for him, and that failure has dire consequences.
How, I wonder, are we being called to serve those around us who need our help? And how are we following that calling?
On the Church News page you will see a special appeal from Maidenhead Foodbank, following increased requests for their help by familes who cannot afford even basic grocery requirements.
Fortunately, for the vast majority of those families, the need to access the Foodbank is only temporary and within a few weeks they are back on their feet again. But that is not true for everyone ...
A call to La Terminal
On Mothering Sunday, Mark and Rosalie Balfour visited all three of our churches. Mark was, until January, vicar of the neighbouring parish of Furze Platt, but now he has given all that up in order to go to Guatemala to help families, especially the street children of La Terminal.
In the capital, Guatemala City, La Terminal is said to be the largest market area in Central America. All sorts of 'business' is conducted there - legitimate buying and selling, but also drugs, gangs, prostitution and protection rackets.
It is also a place of real poverty: families living by scavenging on La Terminal's rubbish dump; people scraping a living selling sweets, one by one, on the city's buses. For some children, home is a dangerous place and living on the street, although still dangerous, is seen as a better option.
Mark and Rosalie are being sponsored by CMS, a longstanding and hugely respected Christian charity. Later this year, once their period of preparation and learning Spanish is over, Mark and Rosalie will be working with those street childen, and other young people at risk, by offering mentoring and life skills training at a new centre in La Terminal. They will be working in partnership with local charity Mi Arca.
In time, they hope to start a church in that area where there is little or no church presence.