James and Linda Pender
James and Linda Pender were based in Rajshahi, Bangladesh in 2007 - 2011. James was an advisor with the Church of Bangladesh Social Development Programme.
The CBSDP works mainly with people from Bangladesh's 70-plus ethnic minority communities; people groups such as the Garo, Santal and Oroan peoples. It runs seven schools for children of poor backgrounds, half of them catering specifically for Santal children.
James and Linda focused on climate change adaptation and introducing Multi-Lingual Education into schools run by the Church of Bangladesh respectively. They were also involved in arsenic mitigation, anti-human trafficking, and project management with the CBSDP.
Read James' articles on Climate Change during his time in Bangladesh:
Read James' newsletters from his time in Bangladesh:
Q & A's with James and Linda during their time as Mission Partners:
In a paragraph, how would you summarise the work you are doing as mission partners?
We are currently focusing on climate change adaptation and introducing Multi-Lingual Education into schools run by the Church of Bangladesh respectively. We are also involved in arsenic mitigation, anti-human trafficking, and project management with the Church of Bangladesh Social Development Programme.
What has been your greatest challenge?
The greatest challenge is to build the capacity of local staff and empower them to work with greater effectiveness, so we try to walk alongside and help them to implement changes, rather than telling them what to do or doing the work ourselves.
What impact do you feel you have made?
By God's grace the projects have been strengthened, poor communities empowered, previously trafficked women given a new start, villages given safe water to drink, medical treatment given to the sick, and the environment enriched through tree planting.
How do you think God is guiding you in your work?
Even when we are not aware of it, we can look back and see God giving us strength, ideas, and success in many of the initiatives we have helped to pioneer.
What has surprised you most of all?
The pleasant surprise is to see how Gospel values in our development work are used to inspire empower, equip and envision communities (whether Christian, Hindu, Muslim or Animist) God enables them to begin transforming their villages. Especially through the groups of women federated into 'Village organisations' who confront families where divorce is threatened, abuse is happening or dowry requested and convince them to stop their negative actions.