Friday 2 November 2018

A Mission in Cyprus

Roger works with the Gatehouse Singers in 2012
Roger and a team from CMM are shortly going to be travelling to Cyprus for a special mission using the musical Rock.  It is really amazing how in recent years God has opened the door for us to visit the island and spend time ministering both to local people and British ex-pats. We are so grateful to Mick Green, one of our trustees, who has been one of the driving forces behind this ministry, as he has so many friends and contacts on the island.

There were a few connections that enticed Roger into first taking a trip - one of our associates was on holiday in Limassol with her family and went to St Barnabas' Church and was amazed to hear a CD of Two Sisters and a Funeral playing in the Sunday School.  Then two vicars on the island - Simon Holloway and Derek Smith completely independently invited Roger to visit.  And to complete the puzzle, Peter Day and his Gatehouse singers in Ayia Napa were about to perform From Pharaoh to Freedom.

The local student choir and Jesus soloist with Yvette in 2013 in Famagusta
In 2012 Roger had a sabbatical and Mick convinced him to go to Cyprus as part of it, and on this 'holiday' visit he ended up leading a worship seminar, leading worship in two churches and preaching in a third, as well as hearing the Gatehouse singers rehearse and networking with clergy.  This then led to an invitation for a CMM team to travel to the island for a full mission with the musical Two Sisters and a Funeral in 2013.  This visit also inspired Roger to write the musical 'Barnabas'.

The priests in the Limassol performance in 2013
November 2013 saw a CMM team made up of Roger, Mary, Yvette (at very, very short notice), Helen, Devon and Mick travel to Larnaca, which was to be their base for the next 12 days for an extensive programme of performances, workshops and services across the island.  There were Two Sisters and a Funeral performances in Larnaca, Famagusta, Kyrenia, Limassol and Nicosia, as well as evenings with Devon in Paphos and Ayia Napa and worship workshops in Paphos, Limassol and Larnaca.  The team even divided up with Roger taking a group to lead a service at Larnaca and Helen taking another group to Ayia Napa.  We used some local soloists to take on the roles of Jesus and the priests, and we also had a wonderful local stand-in for the Mary role in Larnaca when we thought our own team member might be unable to come.  It was an incredible whirlwind visit that really fired up the locals to organise and plan a repeat trip, this time with the musical 'Barnabas'.

The 2016 Barnabas team on retreat at the end of their tour
The Barnabas Cyprus mission took place in November 2016 and (thankfully for the team) was nowhere near as busy!  Barnabas was performed in Kyrenia, Famagusta, Larnaca, Paphos, Limassol and Nicosia with a slightly larger CMM team covering all the main roles - Roger, Mary, Yvette, Helen, Bill, Alan and Devon were once again accompanied by the wonderful Mick.

And now, two years later, another team prepares to travel.  This time comprising Roger, Mary, Mick, Devon, Yvette, Paul and Ann, and the musical to be performed is Rock.  Local soloist Claire will play the role of Zillah. Sadly some of the contacts to the north of the island have gone a little cold, but there will still be performances in Larnaca, Paphos, Limassol and Ayia Napa.  Please pray for the team and all those organising and publicising on the island.

The massed choirs performance of Barnabas in Nicosia, 2016
There have been so many wonderful friendships made across the island, and we have been so blessed by the love and hospitality.  Particular thanks go to Sue and Richard Fairhead their hospitality and for all Richard's hard work with PA, Deb and Geoff Graham with their organisational skills, Jane Roberts and the many other choir trainers, the Lange family for their hospitality and friendship, Sue and Derek Smith and Simon and Pauline Holloway for starting things off, and Terry and Jean in Paphos.  Sorry for all those missed out in this paragraph - it really has been a team effort!

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