About Us

Bethan is a Music Therapist, who completed her Music Therapy Master's (MMT) at Anglia Ruskin University in 2008, and her Batchelor's in Music at Sheffield University in 2003.

My first experience of Uganda was in 2004 when I worked in Lira, northern Uganda, with Lightforce International.  I was involved in their aid programs, supplying clothes and food to internally displaced people (IDPs) and later was involved in developing a project in conjunction with UNICEF creating 'Child-Friendly Spaces' in the IDP camps.  These involved teaching the children core subjects in order that they wouldn't fall behind as they were not able to attend school.  During this time I also visited a rehabilitation centre for ex-child soldiers with my guitar in tow.  I saw how music has the ability to transform lives and determined to go home and study for a Master's Degree in music therapy.

Gareth and I moved from our flat in London to a house in Cambridge and I completed my Master's.  During this time Gareth was posted to Iraq and he suggested that while he was there I should fulfil my idea of starting a music therapy program in northern Uganda.  I did some research and fundraising and started "Music for Peaceful Minds" (MPM) in Gulu, northern Uganda.  I trained a Ugandan lady in music counseling and she is now working in two schools, two orphanages and two special needs units (including a class of deaf children), offering weekly music therapy sessions and extra musical instruments to boost the music departments, as music is such a huge part of Ugandan culture.

Upon returning to the UK in 2009 I worked as a Music Therapist for Nordoff-Robbins in a school for teenagers with special needs.  I also worked at a mainstream school in Hertfordshire offering music therapy to three children with extra emotional needs.  Along with these I started a new music therapy group in a psychiatric home with men who had mental health problems due mostly to drug and alcohol abuse.  This was also with Nordoff-Robbins as part of their outreach program.  To make up full-time work I also worked as a Teaching Assistant with the temping agency "Select".  I love this hands-on work in special needs schools and, along with some piano teaching and babysitting, it made my working week varied and fun.  Even though Gareth was then a student, by the grace of God our bills were paid each month, often with some unexpected work or payments and sometimes with only a few pounds left over to go out on the odd date!

Whilst doing these jobs I got pregnant and suddenly the weeks seemed long and tiring!  But after a long nine months, Samuel arrived more or less on time and has been a ray of sunshine for most of his short life so far!

Brought up in the Church of England, I started going to a Baptist church in London, simply because it was literally on my doorstep and I am not a morning person!   I decided that the Baptists were for me and we continued to worship in St Andrew's Street Baptist Church, Cambridge, when we moved there.  I believe that God placed that Baptist church on my doorstep as it is through this denomination that we heard about BMS World Mission and with whom we later felt called to serve.

My passions are singing and walking, often together!  Many a time I have been embarrassed as I belt out a ballad at the top of my lungs only to walk around a corner and have a perplexed person looking at me as though I were mad!  Since the gospel choir I started in my home town of Hertfordshire has stopped singing together after seven lovely years, I do most of my singing in the car.  (I have to give Samuel something to complain about in later years!)  I hope to lead a choir in Kasese as singing together is such a pure form of worship and friendship, aswell as being cathartic and good for the soul.

Gareth studied English Literature at the University of Sheffield (2000-2003) before joining the Royal Navy as a Warfare/Seaman Officer.  After leaving the Navy in 2009 he completed an MA in Conflict, Governance & International Development at the University of East Anglia.

Following a year at Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth, and Fleet Training on HM Ships GLASGOW, INVINCIBLE and SEVERN, I Navigated the Mine-Hunter HMS QUORN.  I loved this challenging job as we found and destroyed WWII German mines around the coast of the British Isles, conducted Fishery Protection Duties in the North Sea, Irish Sea and English Channel, and performed other Fleet Tasks around Britain and Europe. 

In 2008 I deployed to Basra, Iraq for an Operational Tour with the Civil-Military Reconstruction team within the Multi-National Division HQ for South-East Iraq. This job, implementing reconstruction projects in war-torn Basra Province, working with Iraqi Civil Servants and local government and alongside the UN, DfID, FCO, USAID and US State and Defense Departments, was a life-changing experience.  On returning from Iraq I spent two months post-tour leave in Uganda with Bethan teaching English in two primary schools. I submitted my notice to leave the Royal Navy to pursue a vocation in hands-on development/peace-building work and to spend more time with Bethan and raise a family.

Having served my notice as an Officer-of-the-Watch on the Destroyer HMS GLOUCESTER, completing my service in Rio de Janeiro, I spent a year completing an MA in Conflict, Governance and International Development at the University of East Anglia (2009-2010), whilst working part-time for the Royal Naval Reserve.  During this period our calling to work with BMS World Mission grew stronger and stronger.  In September 2010 we commenced training at the International Mission Centre (IMC), with BMS World Mission.

I was Baptised as an infant and confirmed as a Teenager within the Anglican Church and greatly influenced in my faith as a teenager by the Greenbelt Festival.  We started worshipping at Baptist Churches whilst living in London in 2005, and became Members of St Andrew's St Baptist Church, Cambridge in 2010.

I love music and enjoy playing the drums whenever I get the opportunity.  I will always be fascinated by the sea, and all manner of vessels which cross it, but am equally excited about living and working in the East African interior. I enjoy reading books and watching films about people in all places and cultures.

Samuel was born in Addenbrookes Hospital Cambridge in June 2010 and Dedicated at St Andrew's St Baptist Church in September 2010. He loves music and shows this passion by dancing in his own unique style to anything from baroque to beat-box! Excited doesn't even begin to describe how he gets when he sees other children and he wriggles in our arms until we let him down and he dashes over to explore a potential new friendship.  He is a happy boy and will laugh or wave at anything, now that he has learned the royal wave!