‘A new season of ministry’

L-R Daniella, Hikmat, Krista, Betine and Marcus Kashouh

L-R Daniella, Hikmat, Krista, Betine and Marcus Kashouh

One of our focuses in ministry in Lebanon is helping underprivileged families. Every family  has a unique story but they all have something in common- all these families have gone through pain, lost their loved ones and have left their homes behind, family and culture. Many have used their savings to travel to Lebanon.

Pray for these families who face humiliation and stress every day as they struggle to survive.

Over the past several years the Learning Support Project at RCB has helped to close the   widening gap in the educational needs of Syrian, Lebanese and now Iraqi children.

When the LSP first began, only supplemental help was needed. As the war rages on and children remain displaced, the issue has become more than simply incorporating children into existing school structures.

Children have grown older without a formal education, and the odds of children successfully entering a school become almost nil. In the face of the crisis of leaving a generation of refugee children without an education, the LSP staff are teaching basic literacy and numeracy to an increasing number of students.

For three days a week this summer, the LSP will be adding three more classes to the existing five, in congruence with our abilities and the increasing need for education among displaced children. Our hope in giving children the gifts of literacy and numeracy go hand-in-hand with our desire to give children a ‘love of learning’, an invaluable trait for life.

RCB Aug 2016The upcoming theme, ‘All Around the World’, will pull on the myriad members of RCB who will share with the children about the places they come from, be it Latvia, Great Britain, or Brazil!

We look forward to the opportunities to teach children about understanding, respect and love for one another, no matter where we come from or what our customs might be.

We praise God for the faithfulness of the many who have allowed the LSP to function at such a high standard up to the present. Please continue to pray for the staff and students of the Learning Support Project as we enter into a new season of ministry among an eager and needful group of children.

Hikmat and Krista have sent the following prayer requests:

Give praise to God for St John’s support
Pray for the new emerging leaders who are serving amongst their own ethnic groups
Pray for RCB as it expands its mission in the Middle East and North Africa
Pray for health and strength for the Kashouh family

Hikmat and Krista are Pastors of Resurrection Church, Beirut, Lebanon www.rcbeirut.org

 

‘Musing about my vocation and future’

Duncan Moore

Duncan Moore

Last summer Student Life finished strongly. We doubled the number of student leaders and saw people getting involved and coming to faith. We’ll start next term in the strongest place I can remember.

We have an amazing opportunity to be involved as a society welcoming new students into their accommodation, serving refreshments and introducing Student Life. This gives us the potential to meet up to 3000 students right at the start of their time on campus. Thank you Lord.

Over the last few years since our son Aidan was born, I turned forty and then my dad  suddenly died, all in a very short space of time, and I’ve began musing about my vocation and future.

A number of things came together very suddenly and unexpectedly around Easter with the result that I have now become a part time minister of a church in Gateshead.

I will now be working 3 (ish) days a week with the church and 2 (ish) days with Student Life. There’s loads of potential for overlap, and doubtless a few challenges.

My priorities for Student Life will be helping Kimberley as she takes over sole leadership of the staff team, supporting Phil and training Robbie, the other men on the team, and         developing ministry with the male students. Very exciting.

Pray for effective prioritising and balancing my different responsibilities on campus and at church.

Thank you again for being in this with me.

Duncan Moore works with Student Life, Agape in Newcastle upon Tyne

www.agape.org.uk

 

 

 

‘Reaching young people from diverse backgrounds’

Darren Richards

Darren Richards

When I joined Youth for Christ I could never have imagined almost 13 years later I’d be stepping into my fifth role here.

I started as an Assistant Fundraiser in 2003 and later became the Fundraising Senior Manager.  In 2009, I switched to the Reflex team, supporting YFC’s work with young offenders in prison as Programmes Manager.

Then, in 2011, I began a six year stint overseeing this national prison ministry as Head of Reflex. Now, here I am, stepping into another new role, with a new set of challenges and hopes to boot!

In April this year I took up a newly created post that I helped to develop and shape: Head of Diversity and Inclusion.  My remit is to research and spearhead YFC’s strategy to work with churches and local YFC Ministries in order to reach young people from diverse and marginalised backgrounds.

I’ll also be forming a strategy for partnering with others to support those with physical or intellectual disabilities.

It’s been a whirlwind few months. Much of this time has been spent travelling around the country meeting YFC youth workers, church leaders and pioneers.

As the initial research phase draws to a close, I’m delighted to have helped a YFC partner with Sanctus in Stoke on Trent, an incredible ministry working with asylum seekers and refugees.  They would like us to help them set up a youth club for the most disaffected 11-18’s who are being drawn in by gangs.

I’m also in the process of organising a symposium event, to bring together diverse church communities, in order to pray together, share ideas and talk about cross-cultural youth mission.

I’m so grateful for your prayers and gifts as I get to grips with this new undertaking.  I am currently raising my whole salary cost (rather than just 50%), as well as all of the associated project spending, pioneering this new project and doing my best to make it sustainable. It’s a big undertaking and I’ll need your wisdom, support and encouragement. https://yfc.uk/team/darrenrichards/support/

Darren Richards is Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Youth for Christ 

www.yfc.co.uk

 

‘welcome – include – integrate’

Jeremy Thompson

Jeremy Thompson

The referendum debate and the rhetoric on immigration has raised concerns for refugees and asylum seekers.  On the day of the referendum result one asylum seeker voiced his fears:

“What happens to us now, do we just get flushed down the toilet?”

Refugees continue to arrive in Birmingham mainly from Syria, Eritrea and Iran. In this uncertain environment we can be counter-cultural.

An example of this was the Methodist Church in Stratford-upon-Avon hosting a day trip for refugee families at the end of July which included a boat cruise, a trip to the Butterfly Farm and a buffet lunch.

At times we feel hard pressed but we are grateful to those who set up Restore in 1999 to respond to the Kosovan ‘crisis’. As a result we are now able to respond to the current refugee ‘crisis’, bearing in mind that a crisis is both a challenge and an opportunity.

The world is literally on our doorstep – it’s a great opportunity to serve and share the love of God in practical ways.  Our strapline at Restore is ‘welcome- include- integrate’. Refugees will only be welcomed and integrated if the host community takes the initiative.

Give thanks for our team of over 100 volunteer befrienders who offer compassionate, consistent one-to-one support to our refugee friends.  Please pray for our training courses in the autumn: that new volunteers join us for those sessions and are then inspired to get involved.

Please also pray for the financial resources to fund the increased demand for our services.

JeremyThompson is BefriendingCoordinator at Restore based in Birmingham.

www.restore-uk.org

 

 

‘Stories of lives definitely changed.’

Photo of Alison

Alison Fuggle

A big thank you to all who have enquired about BarnabasThe Musical; the accompanying novel The Encourager and the work of Christian Music Ministries using them both.  Feedback so far has been encouraging, with stories of lives definitely changed. Praise God!

This year, travelling teams including soloists and instrumentalists have led events using Barnabas in Barnt Green, Brixham, Ward End, Hemel Hempstead, Marston Green, Westward Ho! Barrow-in-Furness, Macclesfield, and Kidderminster.

There has been a Music Week at Grange-over-Sands, with three more in August and September at Lee Abbey, Willersley Castle and Sidmouth.

Other planned events include, among others, Haydock, Welshpool, Macclesfield, Beverley, Hull – and a small team travels to Cyprus, home of Barnabas himself.

As you can see, many exhausting miles, weekends and evenings have been given up to bring both music and encouragement to local communities.

In every case, the aim is not just a pleasant hour or two of music, but worship, fellowship and teaching, for both the local participants and those friends and relations who come to listen.

Barnabas is a terrific opportunity to teach about how the Holy Spirit works, to encourage those present, and to let him do the same in their lives, fellowships, communities.

Praise the Lord for what he has already done and all he intends to do, and for encouragement given and received.

Pray for openness to see where and how to invite the Spirit in – and for his continued  working in lives afterwards.

Pray for health and safety for all participating.

Alison Fuggle is a libretto writer for Roger Jones Musicals with Christian Music Ministries

 

 

 

 

‘We have just planted a new church!’

Hoult family 2016

Nick and Cristina Hoult with (L-R) Gabriela, Bonita, Natalia-Grace and Louis

We are in a tremendously exciting place at the moment as we have just planted a new church!!

Southgate Family Church now has two branches – one in Pool Farm (the original one), and the other  currently meeting in the chapel in our home, and building towards a launch into Hawkesley Primary School in September.

We are thrilled that a core team of 35 have come with us to plant the new church and we are already growing with new visitors.  Cristina and I remain Senior Pastors of both branches and our Leadership Team has been split between the two.

Both congregations are so very excited for the next stage of the mission here, and there is ‘no holding them back’!  We are so grateful to the Lord for placing us here, we love the work he has given us.

Would you pray for protection for our family as well as for the churches and would you also pray for our BBQ mission in June.

St Johns, we are so grateful for your love and support – thank you for all the years of prayer that you have given us!  Much love to you all.

Visit www.southgatefamilychurch.com

 

 

‘Baby ministry on the Macedonian border’

Baby in refugee camp May 2016We thought you would be interested to read this letter from Rezi

“I pray all is well with you and you are enjoying the start of the summer.  Life has been very exciting for me, very busy and challenging at times but humbling as well.  My health has not been that good – just before Easter my eye pressure was really high and I had a scare of glaucoma.  Thank God everything is fine now.

“In April, two staff from Agapé UK and I had the opportunity to join with GAiN Holland to go to the refugee camp near the Macedonian border. The plan had been to go to Serbia but then the route of the refugees changed.  There were 18000 refugees in Idomeni camp, mainly children. The first 2 days were so heartbreaking, we had only 1000 packs of milk, bananas, apples and baby food but we could not distribute them at first, as people started fighting in order to get some. Seeing people queuing for a long time to get food and  to have  a shower with cold water, was heartbreaking.  Read more

“Please… Pray for my forthcoming journey to Iraq June 12-25, including my visa approval and safety.”

Rezi KardellemajUpdate from Rezi on 1st June: “I have a great news my visa for Iraq did come through :). Now I need prayers for the funds to go there.  I did all my vaccination yesterday and monitoring risk levels.”

‘God’s presence and blessing with ‘wives’ from many different countries’

Photo of Jill Edgington

Jill Edgington

Last term we saw much blessing, with ‘Wives’ coming from many different countries. For our Bible studies we looked at parables – ‘Stories Jesus told’. Everyone was glad to join in.

After the Easter break, we began a new series on ‘Prayer-an-Adventure with God’, which we will study until July. Once again, those who come seem eager to join in.

We continue to offer lunch on Fridays before each Bible study. A few wives also come on Monday afternoons to improve various craft activities. This time offers the opportunity for gentle discussion!

Pray that we continue to know God’s presence and blessing each week. Some who come have very pressing problems, and they need the opportunity to share in a relaxed atmosphere.

Please pray for us – for the leaders and the ‘Wives’ each time we meet.”

Jill Edgington heads up ‘International Wives at Jill’s’.  For more information about St John’s ministry with internationals go to http://www.stjohns-church.co.uk/internationals

 

‘Eight students had stories to tell – pray for them’

Heidi Helb

Heidi Helbig

We had our annual student conference Fireseeds in February. Eight students joined from London and each one had a story to tell after the conference.

Daisy is studying at King’s College,  doing Pharmacy. She said that Fireseeds has encouraged her to do more evangelism at University and share what God has done for her.

John* from the Far East, said he felt he wanted to serve God fulltime.  He has lots of questions about his future and career. He has big dreams, but how will this decision affect his mother and  brother back home? Being the oldest son he is supposed to be the breadwinner.

Marie* is also from the Far East and is in London for just six months.  She wants to do what we are doing to reach her fellow students back home.  She also wants to serve God full time after her studies.  Both she and John come from a country where missionaries are not  tolerated, so pray for them, that God will guide them every step of the way.

Other students that I’ve been meeting up with are Joey, Tanya*, Erica*, Nita* and Sally*.  They are all in different stages of their spiritual journeys.  Only Joey is an undergraduate and a Christian. The rest are doing post-grad courses, so they will go back to their own countries after their studies.

Please pray they will be drawn closer to knowing God this last term.

We have a summer project from the US coming to London mid-May to mid-June.  We will be helping them to organise evangelism at different Universities.  Please pray for a fruitful time, that they will grow in faith and they will see God work.

Thank you for all your prayers!

*not their real names

Heidi Helbig works with the ‘StudentLife’ ministry of Agape and is based in London.

www.agape.org      

 

‘Giving thanks for fruitful times’

Jo Jowett

Jo Jowett

Jo works as Mobilisation Director for Global Connections, the UK network for World Mission. She is responsible for: production of Christian Vocations’s (a ministry of Global Connections) major publications; involvement in some of the major UK Christian events; and supporting joint mission agency initiatives including GOfest, which she chairs, amongst other network initiatives.

Give thanks for the encouragement of seeing through a number of projects that were undergoing significant change: two major publications (iServe and SERVEshort-term) and SERVICEstation (formerly ‘Vocationzone’) which is the advice service offered at major events.

Give thanks for a fruitful time running the all-new ‘SERVICEstation’ at Spring Harvest. The new look was well received and we had the highest ever volume of people coming through, doing the gifting questionnaire, browsing service opportunities, and talking with our advisor team.

Give thanks that the trip to Croatia in early April went well. This was in Jo’s role as Chair of European Christian Mission (Britain). The conference brought together 450 people from across ECM International.

Pray for on-going strategic discussions across the Global Connections network to facilitate working towards a more cohesive approach to mission mobilisation among mission agencies. Jo is leading this initiative.

Continue to pray for GOfest, which has been the UK’s largest mission festival but is now evolving into something new, with a new strategy and format. It is run by a partnership of mission agencies chaired by Jo. Pray for wisdom and clear strategic thinking as they research potential venues and suitable locations for future events.

Outside of GC work, Jo and Mark Jowett head up the City Pastors ministry. Training of the new batch of City Pastors recruits is underway. Pray that each one will get to grips with the role quickly and prove to be effective in this important ministry.

Jo Jowett works with Global Connections and is based in Birmingham.

www.globalconnections.org.uk