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Fifty years, fifty countries: UK

By Tearfund | 17 Dec 2018

How an organisation founded by two Tearfund staff is breaking the silence in churches over domestic abuse.

To mark 50 years of Tearfund, we’re sharing about 50 countries where we’ve worked, celebrating God’s provision and power to transform, and praying for each of these nations. For this, the final week, we’ve come home to the UK.       

You won’t find Tearfund at work in the UK in the same way as would in, say, Zimbabwe. However one thing is at the heart of our work wherever we are in the world – the local church.      

In Zimbabwe for example, the church is supporting the nation’s million-plus orphans, teaching revolutionary new agricultural techniques and much more besides.     

Whereas in the UK, it is churches like yours who are praying, giving and volunteering. You are also advocating for social change – whether it’s for less food waste or action on climate change.     

Without their, and your, support, nothing you’ve read about in all the other ‘50 Years…’ stories would have been possible.     

However there is another remarkable work, based in the UK, that I’d love share with you. It was founded by Tearfund staff and it operates from our offices. It tackles an issue that lots of us would rather not think about, but that needs our attention...     

Restored revolution     

Restored is an international Christian alliance to end violence against women. It operates to answer two questions: ‘Where is the Church?’ and ‘Where are the men?’ when it comes to ending violence against women.        

In the UK, Restored focuses on ending domestic abuse and equipping churches to identify and best respond to it.


Restored logo on church background
Domestic abuse is a shameful secret within so many churches, and Restored is helping people to break the silence.

Although Restored works with churches and Christians to achieve this, many churches are often doing little to prevent it. It’s a shameful secret within so many churches, and Restored is helping people to break the silence.        

Still good news

According to Restored co-founder Mandy Marshall, while some churches haven’t always been particularly helpful to women who have faced such abuse, she believes Jesus remains good news for them:       

‘Often, churches are ill equipped and have no idea how to treat survivors of abuse, and so they [survivors] end up ostracised or unsupported,’ she says. ‘However, we have seen again and again that their faith has sustained them through everything. And through the supportive and compassionate Christian network at Restored, they have found somewhere they are understood and where they can recover.’      

This recovery has been expressed beautifully by members of the network through some moving and inspirational poems, like the one below:

Butterfly:

'It melted and slept
Struggled and wept
Then fought for beauty
One drop of sacred
blood at a time.
Beautiful thing,
How did you emerge
from such a gruesome
scene?'
Anon

It is the hope of Mandy and everybody at Restored, that more and more women can find this kind of healing and transformation, after all they have faced.       

Join us to pray

Missed articles in this series? Find them here.

Anyone experiencing domestic abuse should call The National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247

For anyone who would like to join Restored's online Christian Survivors' Network, please email: info@restoredrelationships.org

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