MAG - Mission Aid Group

A Ministry of Aid for the Gospel of Jesus Christ

News from MAG

Over 33 years of ministry
MAG was formed in 1981 to help our missionaries, churches, hospitals and Bible Colleges through a time of poverty and economic disaster. MAG sent goods and resources that Christian workers just could not get in that difficult time. Tanzania today is quite different to the way it was then, so MAG needs to rethink its position as to what the future holds. When I returned from Tanzania and was asked to join the Committee, I soon realised how much MAG depends on a few faithful people, most of whom are not getting any younger.

After much deliberation and prayer, we came to the following conclusions:

1. Many more of the goods we send are now readily available in Tanzania.
2. It is increasingly difficult to send some goods – we can no longer send personal items to missionaries and no second hand clothing. Changes in classification continue to reduce the range of acceptable goods. Inspection by the Tanzanian Bureau of Standards plus other import procedures all cause costly and frustrating delays resulting in higher costs to MAG to get containers of goods into Tanzania.
3. Working conditions at the depot are challenging, as there are limitations to available space. Having to store a backlog of accumulated stock and the health and safety of our ageing workforce are all causes for concern.
4. We are very dependent on the combined efforts of a few key people, especially Rod James, Keith Nott, Mark Reid and Barbara Smedley. Without their team effort we would not be able to continue to send goods.
5. There are fewer experienced volunteers able to help pack regularly at the depot as we have lost a number of key people over the last year or so and those remaining are becoming older and slower.
6. We sense that, in some areas, the number of people who donate goods is decreasing. Our donor base is ageing, there are fewer MAG deputations being requested and smaller numbers attending Celebration Day.

In consultation with CMS-A the Committee has carefully and prayerfully considered all these facts and have decided to wind down MAG activities over the next 18 months to 2 years. It will mean sending one more container to each of six Dioceses we have supported in the past.

The final container for the Diocese of Mt. Kilimanjaro is due to sail on 9 July 2014 and the container to the Diocese of Ruaha – to be packed on 7 August – is scheduled to leave on 13 August.

This will also mean that the “What to Send” list will be revised. We need to send all goods already stored at the depot, but will need more of some items to supplement them. Please refer to the revised lists for details of these changes.

Fortunately, our financial position is strong at present, however further donations will be needed to cover all anticipated expenses. We ask for continued co-operation from all MAG supporters to achieve the effective wind down and eventual close of MAG.

A huge ‘thank you’ for all your support in the past. Please continue to help us through the months ahead, by praying, by packing goods into the containers and by delivering your goods to the depot as usual. We will keep you informed of progress and needs through future newsletters.

Wendy Reed

July 2014

“You hold me by your right hand, you guide me with your counsel.” Psalm 73:23-24.

Mission Statement

In prayer and by the guiding hand of God, to be partners in the practical support of Anglican Churches and associated Christian work in Tanzania, by sending goods and resource materials. Such goods will be sent direct to Diocesan agencies or via CMS missionaries, to support their work and for free distribution to needy people. As an adjunct, where space is available, missionaries’ personal goods may be sent to them via MAG.

A History of MAG.

Mission Aid Group is an Auxiliary of the Church Missionary Society NSW & ACT LTD. Its function is to provide goods and resources (as listed in the What to Send Pamphlet) to many Dioceses in Tanzania, East Africa, where CMS Australia personnel have been working for more than 100 years.

The war between Tanzania and Uganda in 1980 first alerted the outside world to the economic disaster unfolding in Tanzania. The defeat of Idi Amin and his regime in Uganda left Tanzania in near bankruptcy. People were in great poverty without basic necessities. With the returning soldiers came the scourge of AIDS. Anglican bishops pleaded for help.

On 24 July 1981, a small group of people met at CMS House, Bathurst St, Sydney, to pray and to seek a way to respond to this cry for help. A committee was formed. In a miraculous way a storage and packing area became available, free of charge, in St. Thomas’ Anglican Church complex at Kingsgrove. Providentially it had rear lane access and a loading bay suitable for container trucks right at the back door. MAG finished up its faithful service at the end of 2015.

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