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Yes, We've Helped Felix!"

"Let's help Felix!" was the call from Mercy House - and St Richard's people responded with the best kind of generosity and self interest, because Penny and Mick had again laid on a superb ploughman's lunch and other fund raising attractions.

At least fifty people enjoyed a bright interlude in the garden, and their thoughts were with the young Sudanese war refugee, now in Johananesburg.

Felix, a war survivor from Sudan, when seven years old, survived the murder of his family, managed to enter a school in Uganda and prepared for University, then fled again from the vengeance of war groups - even attempts at poisoning him - and trekked the eighteen hundred miles to South Africa. He worked to save for a University place, was robbed by a trusted associate, but has found a safe haven at Mercy House. Now aged 23, he hopes to complete a four year course in medical biology. Today's donations and takings will help him along the way and the final total will soon emerge.

Guests had a chance to win a bottle from the tombola, purchased bargains on show and then wentinto the garden for a new device in the fund raising armoury.

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The giant onion no less, was wielded by Gerry Farrell, looking pretty well after a hectic spell with the medics of late. Mick is a dab hand at weight guessing - but he lost - the winner pitched it at 3lb .5oz (yes, no metric)and raised 21!

No need for raw onion in the magnificent spread unveiled at 12.30 - and enjoyed by all.

Penny, Judy and Mick can take pride that their events at Laburnum Grove have given hope and help to a series of young people in the bungalow at Mercy House.. Remember John Paul (a trainee Nurse) and Shadadi (a scholar) - all potential leaders in their communities.

Diana has already sent her thanks to the team. She believes that the monies raised at the luncheon will cover the balance of Felix' fees for this year. "He is an amazingly focused young man: studies sometimes right through the night. A few times even slept at the University library to use reference books! He got 'A's for almost everything in his mid-year exams and if he gets them at year end his fees are reduced very considerably for next year!" Diana reminds us that they "have already helped young Sudanese refugees: 6 trained as teachers (all went back to work in what is hopefully a more peaceful new South Sudan), 2 as accountants, who also went back to Sudan and one doctor, who is now a heart and lung specialist and works in Pretoria, another, Pasquale, was awarded his honors degree here and is now in Australia. One of the earliest with a very remarkable story ( see first item on Mission's website index) concerns Wilson, who was forced to become a boy soldier, but escaped to Mercy House, has married and, now aged 33, is working in Johannesburg as a driver."

After a week of turmoil in UK, it's clear that Christians have much to do, both at home and abroad, wherever need is great.