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THE MAGAZINE OF THE

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE MESSAGE SOUTH AFRICA PAUL GIBBS EDEN BUS

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About the Cover Editor: Alistair Metcalfe Associate Editor: Ian Rowbottom Senior Art Director & Graphic Design: Dan Hasler – Message:Creative

Saturday 9 November 2013, Audacious Church Manchester, moments before we kicked off Vision Night '13.

PICTURE EDITOR: Hannah Prittie Graphic Design: Hannah Prittie, Matt Varah Wilson Contributors: Andy Hawthorne Stuart Chell Paul Gibbs Subscription & Supporter Enquiries: E: info@message.org.uk T: 0161 946 2300 Giving: E: giving@message.org.uk T: Lauren Mangold 0161 946 2304 Contributing Photographers COVER STORY: Hannah Prittie INTERNALS: P12 – Emma Jeffery Photography P32 – flickr Stig Nygaard ILLUSTRATIONS: P24/28 – Matt Varah Wilson P9 – freevectormaps.com Contact: E: flow@message.org.uk T: 0161 946 2300 flow – The Message Magazine Lancaster House Lancaster Campus Harper Road Sharston Manchester M22 4RG www.message.org.uk/flow

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PAGE News Including reporting from Vision Night '13

NEWS

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The Message Trust is a registered data user and only uses personal data in connection with its charitable purposes.

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PAGE Do it again, Lord! Andy Hawthorne

MEC apprentice Cheryl talks about how she found Jesus in prison and is now helping others find him too

ABOVE: Parents, grandparents and carers all join in with the games as well as an all-important brew outside the bus.

REASONS TO CELEBRATE

Turn over for more pictures.

ABOVE: Dave, from a local church, gives a short gospel preach.

ABOVE: Cheryl turns up every week and helps local girls with the beauty treatments. Turn over to read her amazing testimony.

BELOW: New mission team Brightline perform for the crowds.

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PAGE Guest Teaching from Paul Gibbs

to be a blessing

The whole Message movement packed into Audacious Church Manchester for a breathtaking Vision Night on November 9. It was a night full of reasons to celebrate that God is well and truly on the move. And as worship leader Jamie Hill prayed out, ‘Give us 10,000 more, Lord!’

PAGE Testimony: Cheryl¹s story

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VISION NIGHT '13

PAGE When Eden Bus came to Merseybank

PAGE Lead Feature: Seven Teams, One Mission

FEATURE

When Eden Bus came to Merseybank

The Eden Bus team is urgently seeking financial support to continue working on this estate. If you can help, please contact bus@message.org.uk

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Twelve24 aren’t the only missions team to emerge from our year-long training programme, Message Academy (formerly Genetik). They’ve been joined this year by Brightline, a four-piece with a truly international pedigree. Jacob (guitar, vocals) hails from Argentina; Daniel (beatbox) from Portugal; Katrine (vocals) from Sweden; and Joe (drums and percussion) from Preston. Please pray for the team as they develop songs and lessons while helping to deliver workshops for Genetik Sessions, a vibrant Youth Alpha launched off the back of a recent Twelve24 schools week, and serving as part of Ivy Sharston.

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Introduced in the last issue of Flow, Emma and Georgia are working in schools delivering multimedia lessons on sex, relationships and self respect.

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w h at are y ou l ook i n g f or?

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DO IT AGAIN, LORD!

'HE 'S E' OVE R THER

Who Jesus is to you affects who you are to others, says Paul Gibbs

>> Contact the team at: respectme@message.org.uk

' NO THAT 'S HIM'

>> Contact the team at: brightline@message.org.uk

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WHEN WE PUT THE GOSPEL ON A STAND, WE SHOULD EXPECT AMAZING TRANSFORMATION,WRITES ANDY HAWTHORNE

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Registered Office: Lancaster House, Lancaster Campus, Harper Road, Sharston, Manchester, M22 4RG The Message Trust is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales No. 3961183 Registered Charity No. 1081467 VAT Registration No. GB 727 177616

COMPETITION WINNER (ISSUE 12)

The winner of the stack of worship CDs we found in Andy's top drawer is Mrs S. Smith from Radcliffe, congratulations they're in the post.

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DEAR FRIEND, The Message is well and truly going into multiplication at the moment and after much prayer, I’ve committed 25 percent of my time to responding to the hunger around the globe for what God’s been doing here in the UK. I'm writing this on a plane on the long flight from Cape Town, South Africa to Brisbane, Australia. To say I’m encouraged by the last week working with Tim Tucker, our new Message South Africa director, would be an understatement. As we've consulted with church, community and business leaders, it really feels like we are pushing at an open door. We've got our first South Africa Eden team on the map in a tough community called Salt River; developed a plan for intensive prison work and reintegration (prisons in South Africa really have to be seen to be believed); and have developed a plan for a Cape Town enterprise centre providing the same dynamic mix of jobs, homes and supportive community as our own in Manchester.

Whilst in South Africa I've been thinking a lot about Jesus’ challenge to us to ‘go and make disciples.’ That's his passion and it truly needs to be ours. We've got to go wherever he leads us and do whatever it takes to produce true Jesus followers. Hands in the air at the end of a gig or prison chapel service are not enough – we are called by the Master to cooperate with him to help everyone we reach get all they need to become his disciples. That's increasingly the vision of The Message in Manchester and will be at the heart of this exciting new ‘World Wide Message Tribe’ as things continue to open up for us around the world, focussed on the last, the least and the lost. You know well by now that none of this would be happening without wonderful people like you standing with us over the years. Right now we need your prayers and continued financial support more than ever, so on behalf of so many young people whose lives are being transformed, thank you so much.

'We've got to go wherever he leads us and do whatever it takes to produce true Jesus followers' BELOW:

In the shadow of Table Mountain, Andy with Tim Tucker (L) and Mark Slessenger (R)

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NEWS

VISION NIGHT '13 Reasons to celebrate The whole Message movement packed into Audacious Church Manchester for a breathtaking Vision Night on November 9. It was a night full of reasons to celebrate that God is well and truly on the move. And as worship leader Jamie Hill prayed out, ‘Give us 10,000 more, Lord!’ Turn over for more pictures.

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An explosive night!

from top: new dance missions team Square1 showed off some of the amazing

skills they’re now taking into schools; left: An energetic routine from the Juggernaut Crew – young people from our Genetik Sessions – had the audience cheering with delight; Andy Hawthorne hosted the night and spoke passionately about creative arts, community transformation and Christ-centred enterprise; Andy interviewed Premiership footballer Fabrice Muamba about his dramatic healing and his faith: ‘It’s important we speak as much as we can about Jesus. You never know the people you might touch.’ To see clips from the night, visit our website, message.org.uk.

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NEWS

‘Eden showed me a love nothing can ever compare to...'

Message Academy student Lauren, 18, knows exactly why The Message’s work with hard-toreach young people is so important: because until recently, that was her story too. Lauren grew up in Arbourthorne, Sheffield in a difficult home. By her early teens, she was hanging around with a bad crowd and self-harming because of her suicidal thoughts. It wasn’t until an Eden team moved in nearby that things started to change. ‘The Eden team moved into my area and totally met me where I was at,' Lauren says. 'I was this girl that was just completely broken but the Eden guys believed in me, no matter how hard I was to work with. Even though I caused fights they never gave up on me. They showed me a love that nothing can ever compare to, and that’s the love of God.’

It was at an LZ7 gig that Lauren finally made the decision to follow Jesus for herself: ‘I was dragged along by my youth leader and stood at the back. But then Lindz said, “There’s somebody here who tried to commit suicide last night.” That was me. Then he said, “You need to know that God loves you and has a plan for your life.’” Lauren joined Message Academy this September, alongside another 11 young people training to be creative youth evangelists. ‘I’m really passionate about seeing young people in my situation break through and see God’s love,’ she says. Find out more about Message Academy at www. message.org.uk/academy.

andy on BBC Songs of Praise Andy will be appearing on BBC Songs of Praise on December 29 as part of a special episode looking at Christians who have won Queen’s Honours. Andy received an OBE for services to young people in 2010. As well as an interview, the segment will feature footage taken in the MEC and at our Vision Night. www.message.org.uk/flow

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LAUNCHING IN FEBRUARY:

MESSAGE This Spring sees the launch of the first international Message movement outside of our UK base as we launch Message South Africa, in partnership with local churches and businesspeople and a dynamic new team based in Cape Town. The move comes in response to an overwhelming demand for partnership to bring our combination of ‘lamp on a stand’ gospel proclamation, long-term missional living in tough neighbourhoods and Christ-centred enterprise for ex-offenders. ‘We’re on our way to becoming a genuinely World Wide Message Tribe,’ says Andy Hawthorne. ‘South Africa is our first bold step towards that reality and Tim Tucker is just the visionary leader we need to help us.’

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A selection of pictures taken during Andy's recent trip to South Africa.

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Message SA national director Tim hosted Andy and Michele when they visited in October: ‘There was a real sense of God’s favour upon our time in Cape Town as every meeting exceeded expectations. Whether that was more than 50 young people coming to Christ at Hillsong Youth, or in discussions with church leaders, prison ministries and business people – God is opening up doors for The Message in South Africa!’


NEWS

MESSAGE SOUTH AFRICA Prisons

Eden

The team are also working on a brand new pre-release programme designed to reach juvenile offenders and prepare them for life outside of prison – including eventually channelling them into a Cape Town-based Enterprise Centre planned for 2015.

Keep an eye on our website, www.message.org.uk for the latest news and updates from South Africa

One of the team’s early focuses will be on ministry to prisons – renowned as some of the toughest in the world. Newly appointed Operations Director Mark Slessenger is helping to shape a strategy informed by his 10 years’ experience of sharing the good news with offenders. ‘It seems that God is leading us to be a catalyst for greater collaboration between the various ministries already at work here,’ says Tim.

CAPE TOWN FACTS:

Plans are also taking shape for South Africa’s first Eden team, to be launched in 2014: ‘We are in advanced discussions that will lead to us partnering with a prominent church in Cape Town and establishing an Eden team in the community of Salt River, on the fringe of Cape Town city bowl,’ says Tim. ‘We are hopeful that the team will begin moving into the community in the second half of 2014.’

Population: 3.5 million South Africa’s second most-populated city City motto is ‘Spes Bona’, Latin for ‘good hope’

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PICTURED: Left to right – Jamie Hill, Ian Henderson, Sam Ward and Matt Wilson

Handing on the baton Back in the autumn, we said farewell to two legends of The Message, both going on to head up exciting new mission organisations. Matt Wilson, part of the Message movement since 1995 and most recently National Director of Eden, moved on to become Chief Executive of Safe Families For Children where his experience in urban mission will help to develop this crucial new UK charity. Stepping into his big boots will be Sam Ward who has been part of the Eden Network since 2000, first as a volunteer on Eden Openshaw, then team leader and most recently Eden Regional Director for Yorkshire. Ian Henderson, another member of our senior leadership team to emerge from Eden, also recently stepped down from his role as Missions Director to concentrate on his own evangelistic charity, Visible – one ministry of which is Naked Truth, which aims to open eyes and free lives from the effects of pornography: www.nakedtruthproject.com.

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Jamie Hill, who has been helping to develop the mission teams over the last year, was named as Ian’s successor and brings a wealth of leadership as well as a massive heart for evangelism to the role. ‘To lose two such key guys ina short space of time is obviously really sad for us all here at The Message,’ comments Andy. ‘But what a tribute to the quality of leaders that they have grown into while here that they are leaving to head up two really significant ministries. We’re also really excited and confident in Sam and Jamie to help us take The Message to the next level.’

MISSION OPPORTUNITY

WITH OUR FRIENDS CRMI

Our friends at CRMI will be running a two-week mission to Uganda beginning May 28, 2014. For details of this life-changing trip, email andrea@crmint.org


NEWS

Could you be an Ambassador? Inspired by all you’re reading about in Flow? Wish you could do more to help? We’re looking for Message supporters who are absolutely passionate about our work and can help to mobilise other people to give, to pray and to volunteer to help us reach more young people for Christ.

If you could share your love for The Message with people in your world, please consider becoming a Message Ambassador. Request a pack today: Email andre.adefope@message.org.uk or call 0161 946 2329.

2 minutes witH Christian ALLSWORTH Christian joined The Message back in September as a Conference Organiser in our Enterprise Centre. Please give us a brief description of your role! I market and handle all external booking enquiries for our venues and facilities. Next year I will be getting more involved more with the day-to-day running of the MEC and working more with the apprentices.

What does the MEC have to offer for businesses and churches? It’s a really inspiring place for people to meet with a guaranteed ‘wow’ factor! We can handle groups of any size – from training days to conferences – and we have in-house experts to help you with all your technical needs. Plus our on-site coffee shop and catering business means we can offer food and drink service to restaurant standards.

How can people find out more? Drop me a line on:

Tell us a little about your family... I am married to Jelena. We have 3 sons, Lucca (6), Micah (4) and Ezra (3). We live in Prescot in Merseyside. We belong to the Foundry church in Widnes.

christian.allsworth@message. org.uk or 0161 946 2300. I’d be delighted to show you around.

FORMER URBAN HERO STILL GOING STRONG One of the highlights of Vision Night was the amazing testimony of Mo Timbo, who met Jesus in HMP Thorn Cross thanks to our Reflex team.

He spoke movingly of the investment of our teams into his life – and the investment of friends like you who made it possible. Visit our website, message.org.uk/media to watch his testimony in full. www.message.org.uk/flow

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s W h e n Ed e n B u c ame to Mer seyba n k

'What would happen if, instead of taking the Eden Bus out at night, we took it out in the middle of the day? And instead of putting on a youth club, we parked up and reached out in a local Eden area every week?’ hese were the questions Eden Bus team Sid Williams and Chaz NewtonSmith (pictured below) started asking earlier this year. Within months, they had their answer: it would start to transform a community with the good news of Jesus. The site chosen was Merseybank, a small council estate in South Manchester, where a small Eden team had moved in in 2011. Sid and Chaz approached Eden Merseybank’s team leader Steve Small who immediately saw the potential to develop the work he and his volunteer team were already doing locally. The bus started its weekly visits in May. ‘We started seeing the impact immediately,’ recalls Steve. ‘You can’t miss it – this big bus with all this life spilling out of it. And the fact that it’s here every Wednesday at the same time makes a big difference. People are attracted to the love of God being shown by our team.’ Bus manager Sid adds: ‘It’s galvanising a community and we’re seeing new faces every week. When we first started, people we spoke to said, “We’ve lived here for years but we didn’t know anyone’s name. Now we feel like we have a community again.”’

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The area has widespread problems with debt which the Bus will soon begin to address with the help of a Christians Against Poverty (CAP) team who will be based on the bus each week. As the team has offered prayer for healing, many have accepted – and there have been some miraculous results: ‘There’s a lot of goodwill toward Eden and people trust us to help with their problems,’ says Sid. ‘In the summer, we had an extraordinary healing from addiction and that encouraged others to come forward too. We prayed for a lady with an involuntary shaky hand – she was healed. And a lady with severe neck pain saw that dramatically improve too.’ Since the Bus started visiting, Eden Merseybank has seen growing numbers at its Community Lunch every Sunday followed by an open invitation to attend an afternoon church meeting at Ivy Sharston. Around 30 people now join in each week and several have started following Jesus as a direct result. ‘It’s accelerated everything,’ reflects Steve. ‘Things our team had hoped to see happen over the course of a year or more have happened in the space of a couple of months.’

‘You can’t miss it – t his big bus wit h all t his life spilling out of it.'


Feature

ABOVE: Parents, grandparents and carers all join in with the games as well as an all-important brew outside the bus.

ABOVE: Dave, from a local church, gives a short gospel preach.

ABOVE: MEC apprentice Cheryl comes every week to offer free beauty treatments. Turn over to read her amazing testimony.

BELOW: New mission team Brightline perform for the crowds.

The Eden Bus team is urgently seeking financial support to continue working on this estate. If you can help, please contact bus@message.org.uk

www.message.org.uk/flow

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MEC apprentice Cheryl talks about how she found Jesus in prison and is now helping others find him too


TESTIMONY t’s nothing short of a miracle what’s happened in my life. God healed me in a powerful way while I was in prison and now I want to help other broken people meet him too. I don’t want to linger on my past, but let’s just say I was on my third prison sentence when things started to change. I had lost control to drugs and alcohol – my life was a mess basically. I realised I was going round and round in circles. The third time I was put in the exact same cell I had been in the time before: the same people, the same faces, the same problems. One night when I was totally broken, on the floor and hysterically crying, I just started praying. I said to God, ‘If you’re real, and if like people say you have a plan for my life, I need to feel something. I need to know for myself that it’s real.’

Every Wednesday morning I go out on the Eden Bus to help out in Merseybank. I absolutely love it. I do people’s nails for free but it’s much more about the conversations. There’s a lot of issues right across the board in Merseybank – and I’ve lived through a lot of them. Domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse. Well, God has redeemed a lot of the horrendous stuff I went through in my life and when I speak to people on the bus, I guess there’s something they connect with. I could tell you a lot of stories but there’s one lady called Laura. The first time I met her, I knew something was wrong. She looked broken to me, but I wasn’t sure what I could do to help. She was very quiet.

I felt I should ask her, ‘Do you mind if I pray for you?’ and she said ‘OK.’ As I touched her, I had a strange electric shock go through No exaggeration, as I was me. I knew something powerful 'God has praying, I heard a tapping at the was happening. So I prayed for window. I looked up, and there redeemed a lot her. I didn’t know exactly what was a white bird between the of t he s t uff I went was wrong but I prayed for bars, pecking at the window. anything that was wrong to That got my attention! Then I t hrough. When I be lifted off her. suddenly felt the presence of speak to people on someone else there with me. Something amazing Instantly I stopped crying and happened: the next week she t he bus t here’s I felt good for the first time in came back and she seemed somet hing t hey a long time. a little brighter, then the next week, then the next. It was obvious connect wit h' I needed to know what had that something had happened but she happened, so I went to the prison still hadn’t told me what. I later found out chaplaincy and asked them about it. They that she had been a heroin addict for 27 years – until showed me scriptures about how the Holy Spirit that day I prayed for her. She had been totally set had come in the shape of a white dove, and they free. reassured me that God was trying to tell me he loved me and had a plan for me. I was able to help her over the next few weeks. She’s doing really well now – she’s on a After that, I knew I had to ask God to surround specific recovery programme and she looks better me with the right kinds of people; people who would all the time. She’s knows God’s on her case and do me good. Shortly after that, I met Hannah from has started coming along to church with us on a Reflex. She helped me so much and told me about a Sunday afternoon. job at the MEC, using the beauty therapy skills I had learned in prison. It’s amazing to see that and to think that God could use someone like me to be a blessing to Now I work in Shine, doing my dream job. I other people. always wanted to be a beauty therapist and now God’s also called me to be an evangelist. When you’re Find out more about what's going on at the doing people’s hands and nails, you’re already MEC at: www.message.org.uk/mec holding their hands – that contact is powerful. It’s easy to ask them, ‘Can I pray for you?’ Most people say yeah! www.message.org.uk/flow

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COVER STORY TITLE Something’s different about Twelve24. There’s an urgency and a confidence about the band that makes you think they’re going all the way. Not that they ever lacked passion. When the band came together in 2008, these Genetik graduates knew they were called to share the good news of Jesus in schools. Last year, they fulfilled a massive 23 schools weeks and countless other gospel-sharing gigs. But in the wake of their new album, Tell The Truth, there’s a fire in their hearts and a new freedom to be who they really are. Catchy, clever and clear: the songs on Tell The Truth demand to be heard. ‘This is the sound of us,’ says Josh. ‘We wrote this album, we produced it, it’s our message and our heart. We’re confident in the good news of Jesus and we’re confident in our music.’ It was clearly on display in Hull’s Archbishop Sentamu Academy in October, where the band led an ExploRE week together with Eden Preston Road. They came into contact with every one of the school’s 1,800 pupils making a profound impact with their music

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and their personalities. And they left an impact too: at the end of the week gig, well over 100 young people made responses to the gospel message. The band are eager to recapture what the World Wide Message Tribe achieved at the height of their fame in the 1990s – the ability to reach large numbers of people with songs that are loaded with truth and the power to change lives. That’s one of the reasons behind the decision to give the album away as a free download. The other is to give young people in schools something to keep once the band have left. It’s undoubtedly effective – over the space of one schools week in Leicester, the album had been downloaded 300 times, a number equivalent to half the school. >> Download Tell The Truth for free: twelve24.co.uk >> Book the band for your school. Contact: schools@message.org.uk

'...there’s a fire in their hearts and a new freedom to be who they really are. Catchy, clever and clear...'


'...the show is touching raw nerves in every school it’s played and Muslim teachers in particular have been singing its praises...'

If there’s one Christian theatre company that has never been afraid of being edgy, it’s In Yer Face. But this Autumn, the team have been touring schools with easily their most provocative show to date. A Town Called Malice is the story of two teenage neighbours – Parveen, an asylum seeker from Afghanistan, and Gina, whose racist dad believes Muslims are taking over the country. When Gina’s brother is killed on foreign soil, tensions between the two mount. But an act of surprising heroism challenges everyone’s understanding of what it means to love your neighbour. It’s just the latest in a series of dramatised Bible stories that began with Hosea, then moved to the Prodigal Son, and last Christmas’ utterly enthralling Nativity. Writer and director Matt Britton’s genius is in relocating the stories in compelling modern-day contexts, revealing each story’s tensions in powerful ways.

‘Malice started with a scene we’d been workshopping as part of a lesson about prejudice. But the first week I sat down to start writing the play was the week Drummer Lee Rigby was killed in the middle of the street. The reactions in the media helped write it.

‘When we introduce it, we say it’s not an original idea. It’s the story of the Good Samaritan but reimagined as if Jesus were to tell it in Manchester in 2013. How would he illustrate the three words, ‘love your neighbour’?’ The show is touching raw nerves in every school it’s played and Muslim teachers in particular have been singing its praises. In several schools, cases of bullying and abusive behaviour have been unearthed, allowing school staff to deal with it. ‘One was so obvious recently,’ explains team member Emily. ‘During a performance, a girl walked out in tears during the show. And by the end of the day, it had been resolved.’ ‘I describe us as the trojan horse of the missions department,’ says Matt. ‘There are so many things it’s deemed you can’t say in schools. But we can stick a wig on and say anything – and schools will applaud it. That’s the power of drama.’ >> Book In Yer Face for your school. Contact: schools@message.org.uk www.message.org.uk/flow

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Twelve24 aren’t the only missions team to emerge from our year-long training programme, Message Academy (formerly Genetik). They’ve been joined this year by Brightline, a four-piece with a truly international pedigree. Jacob (guitar, vocals) hails from Argentina; Daniel (beatbox) from Portugal; Katrine (vocals) from Sweden; and Joe (drums and percussion) from Preston. Please pray for the team as they develop songs and lessons while helping to deliver workshops for Genetik Sessions, a vibrant Youth Alpha launched off the back of a recent Twelve24 schools week, and serving as part of Ivy Sharston. >> Contact the team at: brightline@message.org.uk

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Introduced in the last issue of Flow, Emma and Georgia are working in schools delivering multimedia lessons on sex, relationships and self respect. >> Contact the team at: respectme@message.org.uk


TITLE COVER STORY Former Urban Hero Dave Moore teamed up with Nick Shahlavi (Reflex) to form new band Vital Signs this autumn. Both met Jesus and were saved from lives of drugs and gang violence. Their incredible testimonies have the power to get through to even the hardestto-reach young people. Tell us a little about your past… Dave: Drugs, man! From age 12, it was pot, then amphetamines, then anything going. I was selling to fund my habit but I was rubbish at it and I almost got sent down numerous times. God finally got through to me through the power of music. Is that why you started to rap? Dave: All through my drugs years I was deep into music. I was living the way the rappers were telling me to live. So when I came to Christ, I thought music was part of my past – and it was time to leave that behind. But someone got hold of a CD of mine and suggested I speak to Lindz (West, of LZ7) and it all started from there. I got gigs and got accepted onto Genetik. That was the turning point.

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Since we introduced them in the last issue of Flow, Sola and Jess have been joined by new team members Naomi and Danielle, both members of last year’s Message Academy intake. They are now taking bookings for lessons and workshops in schools.

Associate ministry MaLoKai fulfil schools weeks alongside a busy gigging schedule in clubs and festivals.

Dave: We’ve done a few gigs so far – one incredible date in a prison with Twelve24 where lots of lads got saved. The vision’s simple: get the music together and get in front of as many people as we can and preach the gospel.

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>>To book Vital Signs, Square One or MaLoKai for your event email schools@message.org.uk

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REDISCOVERING

Prisons outreach worker Hannah Bettany shares one aspect of her work in women's prisons ’ve been working in women’s prisons since 2009 and the thing which instantly broke my heart was the amount of selfharm I saw,’ remembers team member Hannah Bettany. ‘The women in prison often really dislike themselves – they have a real deep hatred of themselves. There is such a need to help them rebuild self-esteem.’ Earlier this year, Hannah developed a new four-week course she called ‘Glow’ which investigates true beauty through real-life stories, reflection activities and discussion times. ‘The underlying theme,’ says Hannah, ‘is whether they’re going to let prison make them or break them.’ The course, which is due to start again in January, includes an emotional makeover and photoshoot where women have the chance to try on wedding dresses and write messages that express what they learn during the course.

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On the last course, victims of horrific abuse were photographed holding up words like, ‘I am a valuable woman’. The changes in the groups Hannah has been working with are so evident, prison management have taken note and provided funding to ensure the course can continue. ‘For one of our sessions we had a guest speaker come in and talk about their own story of overcoming domestic violence and teenage pregnancy. Afterwards I set the girls some homework to think about who their stories could one day help. What they came back with was so powerful: “I could speak to someone who has started down a path with drugs…”, “I’m going to write to my children and talk about the mistakes I’ve made…”’


PRISONS

Glow – what the girls say ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ I loved the course because it reminded me who I am and I think that a place like this makes you sometimes forget. I think we all need reminding, it helped me a lot with my confidence.

I have realised that beauty is within all of us. When I first came to prison I felt worthless and was always negative and very shy. Since doing this course I have come out of myself and know beauty is within all.

This course helped me to feel empowered. I never knew a woman could be described as valuable, I have never felt valuable, but I have learned that I am a valuable woman.

I now understand what forgiveness is… the course has helped me to forgive my ex-boyfriend who hurt me so much – because forgiveness is for me to move forward.

The importance of prisons work Over the last few years, Reflex’s work in North West prisons has accelerated, with many new salvations and baptisms every month. But Chaplaincy teams in prisons are under enormous pressure as budget cuts continue to bite.

Tim, who himself made a commitment to Christ at a World Wide Message Tribe gig takes over leadership of the team early in the new year, his story traces right back to Message 2000: ‘God broke my heart for young offenders through a young lad called Stephen. He was a troubled young man, most would call him a lost cause. But I saw how God got through to him at Message 2000 and he gave his life to Christ. ’

But, says Tim Mycock, it seems to be in the times of the most opposition, the biggest breakthrough is just around the corner: ‘In October we planned an event with Twelve24 and Vital Signs and it just seemed like one roadblock after another. But we stepped up our prayer, and got all our supporters praying with us and that night, with 72 young men in the room, 51 made commitments.’

As a result of that encounter, Tim pursued youth work, trained on Xcelerate (now Message Academy) and joined the Reflex team ten years ago as an outreach and resettlement worker. ‘That young man will never know the impact he’s had on my life. I’d love to tell him.’

'We stepped up our prayer, and got all our supporters praying with us and that night, with 72 young men in the room, 51 made commitments' www.message.org.uk/flow

23


what are you looking for?

'HE 'S E' OVER THER

Who Jesus is to you affects who you are to others, says Paul Gibbs

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' NO THAT 'S H IM '


Paul is a great mate of The Message and we’ve been cheering him on over the last few years as he’s taken PAIS from the back streets of Manchester to a discipleship movement now active in many countries. Here’s what he had to say to us in Tuesday prayers recently… love the story of Bartimaeus. Here's a man who is blind but who can see who Jesus is, while other people who can see, can’t. There were all sorts of people in Jesus' day looking for the Messiah in different ways. You had the zealots, looking for a militaristic hero. One day they hear Jesus say to his disciples, hey, if a Roman soldier asks you to carry his backpack, carry it an extra mile and they think, obviously that is not the Messiah because we know what the Messiah is going to look like, and it's not him. Then you had the Pharisees, who believed that if they got rid of sin (meaning, if they got rid of sinners), God would send a rescuer to set them free from the Romans. Then suddenly they see Jesus hanging out with tax collectors and prostitutes, and they think, we know what the Messiah looks like, and it's not this guy. But as Bartimaeus’ story unfolds, it's obvious that he understands exactly who Jesus is. 'Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more: 'Son of David, have mercy on me! Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called to the blind man, "Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you." Throwing his cloak aside he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him. The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see." "Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road' (Mark 10:46-52). To see God, you have to realise you're blind and you need him to help you see. But here’s what I think: too often we ask God for the wrong kind of vision. The most important thing is not that we get a big vision from God but that we get a big vision of God.

AW Tozer said this: 'Whatever drops into your mind when you think about God is singly the most important thing about you… Whatever you think God is or whoever you think God is – eventually you will become to other people.' Think of it – it makes perfect sense. The zealots were looking for a militaristic god, so they attacked people. The Pharisees thought he was going to be a judge, so they judged people. For me, this is incredibly important. Because when we see God clearly, we get a clearer vision of what he’s calling us to do. I don't know how you see Jesus but I don't see him as somebody who primarily came to rescue us from our sins. I think that's part of the process. But I think he primarily came to recruit us for the purposes of his Kingdom. It's like me saying, Andy is a public speaker. There's much more to Andy than being a public speaker. There's something that drives him more than being a public speaker. He speaks publicly to get to where he's going. Yes, Jesus rescued us. But he didn't come as a rescuer, he came as a recruiter. That changes dramatically the way I see what I do. How about you?

Find out more about Paul and the stor y of the PAIS Project by visiting: www.thespiritofapioneer.com

Catch the whole of this message on the Message Podcast and lots more great content all for free. Download via iTunes (search ‘Message Podcast’) or listen at: www.message.org.uk/media

www.message.org.uk/flow

25


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www.message.org.uk/flow

27


Do it again, Lord!

When we put the gospel on a stand, we should expect amazing transformation,writes Andy Hawthorne 2 8 flow13 WINTER 2013


s I was preparing to speak to our staff one Tuesday morning recently, an email landed in my inbox. My eyes were instantly drawn to one of the opening phrases: 'The Gospel of Christ is not just private, personal opinion. The Gospel is public truth.' The timing was perfect. As we’ve been working through the book of Isaiah together, we’re hearing the voice of God again and again stirring us that the truth that the gospel is about more than me and my walk with Jesus. It's about whole nations that must know that Jesus is Lord. Yes, we are a movement devoted to giving him all the glory in our own personal lives. But we fully expect that glory to spill out into changed lives and transformed societies.

he said. "Why, I know them all. This one is from Newcastle; the other sitting near him is one of the worst roughs we have"; and so he went on… ‘Singing was followed by what is called “witnessing," various officers of the Salvation Army narrating their experience of "what the Lord had done for them." About half an hour was occupied in this wise; and, but for the ordinary interjections of enthusiasm, the time passed quietly enough. It would have been impossible to guess at what followed. ‘As may be seen from what I have written, until penitents "throw themselves at the feet of Jesus," as it is called, a meeting of the Salvation Army is a tolerably sane affair. The fat is at once in the fire, however, when penitents come forward…

‘It's about whole nations that must know that Jesus is Lord’ Somebody's got to love this gospel so much that they want to put it on a stand; that they're prepared to fight sin; they're prepared to pray like they've never prayed before; to do stuff they’ve never done before to reach more people than they’ve ever reached before. And we’ve decided that we’re going to be those people. I’ve written and spoken many times before about the example of William Booth and the cultureshifting, Kingdom movement that was the Salvation Army under his leadership. You don’t have to look hard into the historical record to read reports of the incredible revivals brought about because of that movement’s passion for souls. I found one recently from the Newcastle Daily Chronicle, written in May 1879 – a report of a Salvation Army meeting during a time of revival on Tyneside. I want there to be a day when this kind of thing is written about The Message Trust: ‘The people present, taken as a whole, were the roughest lot I have seen at any of these meetings. The crowd on the river banks at a boat race is comparatively good-looking and respectable. Here the close-cropped bullet-headed youth in the muffler was the rule and not the exception. Taking a policeman into my confidence, I asked him if he knew any of these young men. "Know any of them?"

‘Half-a-dozen crop-headed youths – boys they are, indeed – are praying vociferously, with their faces towards me. Did I say praying? I only suppose they were. It was vociferous shouting, with closed eyes. Their bodies sway to and fro; their hands are lifted, and brought down again with a thump on the form; they contort themselves as if they were in acute agony. The hymn resounds high above their prayers… ‘Meanwhile the “hallelujah lasses" [Booth’s female officers] are busy with the work of conversion. It proceeds by stages, with a separate hymn for each. The final stage is reached with the singing of "I do believe, I will believe, that Jesus died for me." The process being thus rendered complete, the converts retire to their seats with red faces. Let us follow one of them. He is a broad-faced, shockheaded youth, of about twenty. A few minutes since, he was foaming out of a well-developed mouth. Now he is dancing about the floor, shouting "hallelujah" and wringing the hands of all those who will yield their arm to him. He has in fact been converted.’ ‘“Is this a common sort of thing here?" I asked of the policeman outside. "Very," he said, "but it has reduced our charge-sheet, and I haven't had a case for two months.”’ Do it again, Lord! Do it again!

www.message.org.uk/flow

29


WHAT PRICE TO change a life? Stuart Chell fUndraising manager We hope you get as excited as we do by reading stories of hurt, lonely, broken young people being introduced to Jesus, connecting to a great local church and being transformed into happy individuals fully enjoying life as God intended it. What a refreshing change it makes to the constant flood of stories in the media about how our young people are more depressed then any period in history, how over-sexualised our teenagers are becoming, how family values are breaking down and how drug and alcohol abuse are at an all-time high.

3 0 flow13 DEC-JAN 2014


FUNDRAISING

'...the best bit is that it costs less than £50 for The Message to reach a young person, creatively share the gospel and connect them to a vibrant local church...' Our Government spends billions of pounds every year trying to re-engage our youth and tackle these kinds of issues. Yet none of these programmes get anywhere close to the sort of transformation that we have seen in people like Cheryl or Dave, or during one of our school weeks. Why? Because nothing transforms like the love of God. Quite simply, the gospel works. And the best bit is that it costs less than £50 for The Message to reach a young person, creatively share the gospel and connect them to a vibrant local church. That really is nothing when you consider how life-transforming coming to know Jesus is. How much would you be willing to give to see a young person from a broken family, who has never even had the joy of having Sunday lunch with their family, experience the wonderful love and community that comes from being part of the local church? What price would you put on seeing a teenager who has been self-harming throw away their blades because they are so overwhelmed by our Father’s love? We won’t stop until every single young person has had the chance to learn about Jesus. That is the only way we are going to see our city and the world changed.

The only thing that is stopping us is a lack of funds. At the moment we have the resources to reach around 100,000 young people every year. However, we want to do so much more. Can you help us by committing to make a regular monthly donation to The Message Trust? A gift of £15 per month, with Gift Aid, would allow us to take the gospel message to 5 more young people this year. It’s a small commitment that literally will save souls. Please consider setting up a regular donation today. Whatever amount you can manage will make a huge difference to the lives of young people in schools, in prisons and in tough neighbourhoods.

T hank you.

Use the giving form overleaf to become a regular giver to The Message today, and play your part in changing the lives of young people.

www.message.org.uk/flow

3 1


CONFERENCE2O14

Fri 9th - Sat 10th May THE Message campus SHARSTON, Manchester.

_______ £45 two-day _______ earlybird £55 two-day _______ standard

£27.50 student | £29 day tickets _______

www.message.org.uk/shop

Keynote speakerS:

Bill Hogg – Leadership Specialist CARL BEECH – Christian Vision for Men (CVM) Francis Chan – (via skype) Other contributors: Andy Hawthorne - The Message Worship led by: Jamie Hill & Andy Smith

enquiries: hello@eden-network.org

Flow Magazine – Issue 13  

In this issue Missions Team Special, Message South Africa, Paul Gibbs, Eden Bus

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