Disarmed by tins of Cadbury’s chocs

THIS month’s meeting of Morpeth Stobhillgate Townswomen’s Guild was in total contrast to February when we had a sing-song with Mrs Brown.

Mrs Jackie Ryalls of Mission Ministries In Faith spoke to us of her time in Croatia in 1992 after hearing a late night appeal for help on Radio 2.

She and her husband Paul began driving a lorry full of provisions to help refugees.

They continued helping people in Bosnia at the height of the war there and had some narrow escapes. One such was when their lorry became stuck in a ditch, stuck fast, with provisions, including some tins of Cadbury’s Roses, scattered around them. Some men approached from nearby woods, but were ‘disarmed’ by the Roses.

She and her husband had many more harrowing times, being shot at by snipers when they were returning to England with a young Bosnian boy hiding under some three weeks of soiled clothes. They arrived back home with him and he is now married and has a family.

How the Ryalls managed the treacherous mountain passes, plus bombs, to help innocent people, especially children, is testament to their faith and their courage. The mission they started is still needed today and fund-raising continues.

Mrs Ryalls has just returned from Bosnia. Temperatures there were Minus 32 degrees and there was two to three metres of snow. No more complaints from us about our weather.

Mrs Lumley gave a vote of thanks to Mrs Ryalls for informing us that Bosnia still needs help.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, April 12 at St Robert’s Church Hall at 2pm. Visitors very welcome.