CROSSLINKS M A G A Z I N E J U LY
WITH CONTRIBUTIONS FROM Tim Chapman Jirka Kralovi Tancy MacDonald Wankeyki Mahaiani Justin Mote
‘I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH‘
IN THIS ISSUE
THE SUFFERING CHURCH 1 PETER 4.14
GOD’S WORD TO GOD’S WORLD
J U LY 2 0 1 4
COMMENT Mission Director Andy Lines firstname.lastname@example.org Operations Director Giles Rawlinson email@example.com GB & overseas circulation firstname.lastname@example.org Ireland circulation email@example.com Designed by Greyjones Studio www.greyjonestudio.co.uk Printed by Yeomans www.yeomansmarketing.co.uk Published by Crosslinks 251 Lewisham Way, London SE4 1XF Tel 020 8691 6111 Fax 020 8694 8023 Prayerline 020 8692 5321 www.crosslinks.org Crosslinks works with over a thousand churches in Britain and Ireland. Founded in 1922 as BCMS (The Bible Churchmen’s Missionary Society), Crosslinks is an evangelical mission agency facilitating partnerships largely within the Anglican Communion. In fellowship with churches in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, Canada and Australia, it provides personnel, sponsorship for theological students and support for local mission wherever it happens. Crosslinks policy is to use all funds received for the purpose to which they are designated. Crosslinks retains the right to use any surplus funds at the end of deployment or at the end of a project, at its discretion for gospel purposes. Registered Charity number 24 99 86. cover image Rayner media
Suffering is not only an emotive subject to write about, but also a highly subjective one. Very early on in my work with mission societies I encountered a young Christian couple quite put out that they couldn’t ship their dishwasher overseas with them. I met a lady who was wealthy (even by western standards) who had determined to live as one of the nationals in a very poor community in Kenya. To use her own phrase, she was prepared for “A little suffering for my Lord.” This issue of the Crosslinks Magazine focuses on places and situations where it is not easy to preach the gospel. This doesn’t necessarily mean difficult physical conditions, but places where to preach Christ openly brings conflict with the government, contemporary culture, or even family. The focus will not be “Poor me!” – although it cannot be denied that some people do make costly personal sacrifices to serve the Lord Jesus. You are invited to learn more about the complexities of some of these situations and , following the example of Paul: “Pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison.” (Colossians 4:3). Mark Gillespie Communications Manager
CONTENTS I will build my church: The suffering church Alan Purser Suffering leads to glory The threat of the new Jirka Kralovi Opposition ot local church plants Tim Chapman After GAFCON Justin Mote Going back to the church in Kenya Wanyeki Mahiaini How to pray for the suffering church Tancy MacDonald Obituaries The last word Andy Lines Crosslinks diary and prayer meetings
3 6 7 8 10 12 13 14 15 16
I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH ‘ THE SUFFERING CHURCH
A L A N P U R S E R
IF YOU ARE INSULTED FOR THE NAME OF CHRIST YOU ARE BLESSED... 1 PETER 4.14 The Apostle Peter wrote these words to Christian believers facing severe trials and various kinds of suffering. Rather than being surprised or overwhelmed as trouble engulfed them Peter urges them to regard their experience as normal for those who follow Christ. Instead of resenting it they are to rejoice at the prospect of the eternal glory that it presages. 1 Peter 4:14 is a brilliantly succinct example of Apostolic teaching that conveys to believers of every age a transforming perspective on suffering. But that it should come from the pen of this particular Apostle is highly significant because of his track record in the Gospels. It is Mark’s Gospel that frequently provides us with detailed background for grasping the significance of what Peter writes in his epistles, and nowhere is this more striking than in the light cast on 1 Peter 4:14 by Peter’s exchange with Jesus at Caesarea Philippi. Mark portrays the incident at the turning point of his Gospel, as Jesus posed two questions to the disciples: “Who do people say that I am? and “Who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:27-29). In his response Peter says, “You are the Christ”, only to be told not to broadcast it (Mark 8:30). Immediately we read that Jesus began to teach his disciples that suffering and rejection lay ahead for him (see Mark 8:34-38) and that this is to be the lot of all who “come after me”. Then Mark relates a public clash between Peter and Jesus, expressed in the starkest of terms.
I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH
THE SUFFERING CHURCH ...continued
It seems that Peter was so appalled at the prospect of the Messiah saying that he must be rejected and suffer at the hands of his enemies, that he at once took Jesus to one side and began to rebuke him (presumably on the grounds that this simply was not the kind of thing appropriate for a Messiah King) - only to find himself publicly humiliated. Jesus retorted by denouncing Peter for representing the great deceiver “Satan”, and attributing Peter’s attempt to deflect him away from suffering as “setting his mind on the things of men”, rather than the things of God. We can only guess at the effect this rebuke would have had at the time on the former fisherman, but the emphasis in 1 Peter on the centrality of suffering in the mission of Jesus and instruction on how to embrace it as God’s blessing speaks volumes for the longer term impact it had on his thinking. For, as Peter writes his letter, he not only points out that the suffering of Jesus was salvivic (see 1 Peter 2:24) but he also holds out Jesus’ example as the pattern for every believer to follow (1 Peter 2:21 and 4:1-19). The Apostle Peter insists that suffering lies at the very heart of Jesus’ mission, highlighting it by the quotation from the prophet Isaiah concerning God’s anointed servant. Suffering is likewise to be expected by the disciple of Jesus and dealt with by following Jesus’ example and adopting his attitude. That is, in the language of Mark 8:33, to “set your mind on the things of God”. The Bible makes it overwhelmingly clear that God’s mind is set on bringing salvation to the ends of the earth – that is his big agenda, and the essential job description of his anointed servant (see Isaiah 49:6). The price for that salvation is to be paid as his servant suffers and “bears our sins in his body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). Peter now has that firmly and clearly in his mind, and urges those to whom he writes as fellow believers to arm themselves with the same thought, and so to understand that if they suffer for his sake they are blessed. Tradition tells us that the Apostle Peter ended his days in martyrdom, and that he was crucified upside down, a fate hinted at perhaps by the words of risen Lord Jesus recorded at the end of John’s Gospel (see John 21:18-19). 4
I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH
THE SUFFERING CHURCH ...continued
J.B. Lightfoot translates Clement of Rome, writing in his Letter to the Corinthians at the end of the first century, as he speaks of Christians suffering: “But, to pass from the examples of ancient days, let us come to those champions who lived nearest to our time. Let us set before us the noble examples which belong to our generation. By reason of jealousy and envy the greatest and most righteous pillars of the Church were persecuted, and contended even unto death. Let us set before our eyes the good Apostles. There was Peter who by reason of unrighteous jealousy endured not one but many labours, and thus having borne his testimony went to his appointed place of glory. By reason of jealousy and strife Paul by his example pointed out the prize of patient endurance. After that he had been seven times in bonds, had been driven into exile, had been stoned, had preached in the East and in the West, he won the noble renown which was the reward of his faith, having taught righteousness unto the whole world and having reached the farthest bounds of the West; and when he had borne his testimony before the rulers, so he departed from the world and went unto the holy place, having been found a notable pattern of patient endurance. Unto these men of holy lives was gathered a vast multitude of the elect, who through many indignities and tortures, being the victim of jealousy, set a brave example among ourselves. By reason of jealousy women being persecuted, after that they had suffered cruel and unholy insults as Danaids and Dircae, safely reached the goal in the race of faith, and received a noble reward, feeble though they were in body.” Peter’s words stand as instruction and command to Christians of every generation, wherever we find ourselves and whatever the nature of the trials we have to face. Such trials may consist of crude physical abuse and violence, or the more subtle persecution of exclusion, discrimination or peer pressure. Our lives may be lived out under a politically totalitarian regime (such as first century Rome) or a contemporary western liberal democracy. Wherever our tent is pitched, and whatever we face from time to time, this perspective can equip us to face suffering, and not to quit. This edition of the Crosslinks magazine focuses on this theme as an essential element in the way in which Christ is building his Church, so that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”. Alan Purser is Crosslinks Church and Members’ Team Leader
After ten years in a country where worshipping openly can bring conflict with the authorities, a Crosslinks Mission Partner reflects on religious restrictions. For many believers in this East Asian country, their first experience of trouble is a shock. They have often become believers because the love, kindness, and honesty of Jesus’ people stand out from the rest of society. Why would the government be worried about that? Their city has very public temples and church buildings – so what’s the problem with renting a hotel for a Christmas party? In fact, a lot of the problems that churches encounter are just routine rough handling in a country without the rule of law. But occasionally churches step over an invisible line and the local government decides that a particular church must go. And these situations play out in some surprising ways. Usually the pressure is just annoying, not exhilarating. Did your church have an evangelistic event for ‘Passion for Life’ this year? Imagine trying to organise it without being able to advertise the venue or speaker and quite possibly having to change location at short notice. Perhaps, after many invitations, your sceptical colleague has finally come to a talk. Then the police turn up demanding everyone’s name and ID numbers... ‘Lord, how is this helping my friend to meet Jesus?’ And when you get home, your parents will criticize you for bringing shame on the family; they’ve raised you but you’re rejecting their advice in ways that cost them. ‘Why won’t you work on Sundays like everyone else?’ Working out what it means to obey Jesus is just so messy; the decisions people have to take are rarely clear-cut. Cancer, divorces, miscarriages... all the normal messiness of family life carries on and the government gives you grief on top. A few years ago, a toddler from a Christian family fell out of the window of their high-rise. But their church and its pastoral care were in total disarray because many church members had just been put under house arrest. People rallied round, but it was harder when they couldn’t gather to pray and cry together. Nothing in my training had prepared me for the day when a sister sat in my living room and explained her dilemma: support her church leaders and be detained, or stay at home to care for her frail Dad. A few weeks later, the same sister said that her church’s troubles had only brought them closer together and closer to Jesus. He is worth all the trouble! One lady I knew had police in her workplace demanding the names of church leaders. She’s a single mum who had only believed three weeks before. She had to choose that day whom she would serve: she put her job on the line and trusted Jesus. A S P E O P L E S U F F E R F O R H I M , J E S U S G E T S G L O R Y. 6
THE THREAT OF THE NEW The Czech Church has suffered physical persecution through most of its history. Every year on 6 July (Jirka’s birthday) the Czech Republic has a national holiday celebrating ‘Jan Hus’ day. Jan Hus called for reform in the Church and for people to have a bible in their own language. He was burned at the stake in 1415. Physical persecution continued at the hands of the Catholics and then more recently under the Communists. Since the fall of Communism in 1989 there has been freedom to preach the gospel.
Where does this leave those who earnestly seek to follow Christ? Anxious to do what is right, so more discerning of the influences they subject themselves to. This can make them unpopular: seen as judgemental and divisive and they may even be told that they don’t have the Holy Spirit. Protestant Christianity is practically unknown here and this can also be difficult for young believers when their families don’t know what they’re getting into. A neighbour asked us if Protestant Christians were based in the town where we went to church - she thought we were part of a sect. When we told her that Protestant believers were all over the world our neighbour (in her 60s) was surprised. She attends a local Catholic church and hadn’t even heard of the Reformation.... In the past the persecution of Christians by Catholics and Communists in the Czech Republic was quite straightforward and Christians died. Now there is no persecution per se, but other pressures reflect the spiritual battle which is as fierce as it always was. It could even be argued that it is now harder than ever before to maintain faithfulness to the authority of Scripture as the pressure comes from within the Church itself. Please pray for us...
C CH RIST IA OU M
You can read more about Jirka and Keira Kralovi at www.crosslinks.org/mission-partners/jirka-and-keira-kralovi
A A ND KE RK IR JI
Pressure on churches to accept this material is heightened as the Czech Republic has adopted western values and lifestyles. Churches want to be relevant and accessible but in doing so they often neglect the authority of scripture, getting tied up in new and novel things rather than preaching the gospel.
However there is now a more subtle danger for the Czech church. A wave of prosperity teaching, purporting to be Christian, has come from the West and is being passed off as the gospel. Many have been taken in by its deception. Young Christians here, eager to learn English, have easy access to many new ‘Christian’ videos and materials in a language they want to know.
Similarly, many students and young people attend ‘worship meetings’ and unhelpful conferences to get an emotional highs. They lose the desire and the patience to work at long-term bible study.
Jirka Kralovi reports that the Church in the Czech Republic is facing a new and modern threat.
TO LOCA L CHU RC H P L AN T S A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AT CHRIST CHURCH SOUTH CAMBS T I M C H A P MA N Christ Church South Cambs was established in May 2006 under the leadership of Crosslinks Associate Mission Partner Tim Chapman. 12 families from one church came together to grow the gospel in South Cambridgeshire by setting up a new congregation in another parish. In June 2013, what little support they had enjoyed ended with the non-renewal of Tim’s license from the Bishop of Ely. Tim takes up the story... Right from the start, as we prayed and planned Christ Church South Cambs we knew we wanted denominational recognition and encouragement for what we were doing. Building a new congregation from scratch isn’t easy. The former Bishop of Ely did give his agreement to the idea after being assured that there had been consultation with the minister into whose parish we were planting. He sent us a warm letter encouraging us to proceed. My Bishop’s License as a curate to the sending pastor was issued for a year at a time and then for a limited five- year period. We would also have liked the financial backing of the diocese: without it we had to set up a charitable company and a Gospel Trust to give us a sound foundation. Now, wonderfully, all the costs are being met by the congregation after the initial five years of tapered support ended from our sending church.
Every congregation wants to be known by and to know its bishop: ideally this relationship would be deep enough that should a course of action be planned by the church or a theological position be taken that would hurt the gospel or hinder Christ’s reputation, the bishop would have the authority to take
action and steer the church towards a wiser route. But when we sought to make use of the system designed specifically for the authorisation of new expressions of church into existing parishes (the Bishop’s Mission Order) we were told that only two courses of action were open to us: to become an independent congregation surrendering all claim to be Anglican, or to disband and encourage the members to go to existing churches. Neither option seemed honouring to God, or to the hard work and joyful partnership in the gospel the congregation had worked for. ’Do you not want to aspire to a more senior role in the denomination?’ I was asked. That would mean moving on to be an incumbent in a small church, then after a time a bigger church and perhaps then a diocesan role before aspiring to an appointment as a bishop. Not to move on would jeopardise my future, I was warned. Astonished that such a career path was being set before me almost as an enticement NOT to continue with the planting efforts, I explained that I considered no job more attractive than being at the cutting edge of ministry in the local church setting. I considered the diocesan centre’s role to be resourcing and equipping the local churches for evangelistic and teaching ministries. My view of the shape of a diocese did not seem to align well with that of the diocesan senior staff. After seven years of plugging away at establishing a new congregation from scratch, at no financial cost to the diocese (and even managing to contribute £1,000 to the deanery’s outreach fund) we had the last vestige of support pulled from under us when my license was not renewed.
Has this affected the life of Christ Church South Cambs? In no significant way beyond, perhaps, blotting my copybook. We continued with ministry without a glitch. I am no longer invited to Deanery Synods, Chapters and other diocesan meetings which has freed up some time. The blessings of fellowship with other ministers has been maintained by attending a preaching group and by close partnership with our sending parish church, All Saints Little Shelford, and several supportive churches in Cambridge itself. We consider the incumbents of St Andrew the Great in Cambridge and All Saints Little Shelford to be the two men with real spiritual and pastoral oversight over us. They care enough about the gospel to take an interest in and pray for the ministry at Christ Church. They listen to my sermons and they come to preach for us. They know the leadership team and they take an interest in our theological convictions. We are wonderfully linked through the East Anglia Gospel Partnership to other churches outside of Anglicanism but it is to our Anglican and Evangelical heritage that we remain most closely and confessionally tied. What about our relationship with the existing local parish church? I pray through Morning Prayer with the minister at St Marys every Monday. We pray for each other and our ministries. He would rather there not be the confusion he imagines exists by there being two Anglican churches in Sawston; I would rather we worked more closely together on making and maturing disciples of Christ in the village. In the mean time we both trust that God will build his church and are seeking to be faithful despite the constraints.
E CH A PMANS TH
You can find out more about Tim Chapman and Christchurch, South Cambs at www.crosslinks.org/mission-partners/tim-and-lucy-chapman
Justin Mote was at the Nairobi GAFCON conference in 2013. He writes here as Chairman of the newly-formed AMiE (Anglican Mission in England) Executive Committee about the need for this initiative. I was thrilled to be at GAFCON – the Global Anglican Future Conference. Around 1,400 delegates, including 331 bishops, from Anglican provinces across the world gathered together in a clear and wonderful demonstration of Christian unity. The GAFCON movement is, I believe, the most significant development in the Anglican Communion in recent times. There are a number of reasons for this. First, the movement is unashamedly biblical and doctrinally orthodox. It recommitted itself to the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration made at the first GAFCON in 2008. This commitment was evident in all that took place. It was a joy to hear the book of Ephesians taught from the front, by men from different continents, with a passion to let God’s word speak. It was refreshing to hear other talks during the week where it was clear that when words like ‘mission’ and ‘evangelism’ and ‘gospel’ were used there was an agreed understanding of their meaning! So often I find in the Church of England that we use the same lexicon but with different dictionaries; the same words spoken, but with totally different meanings.
Secondly the leaders of the movement, the GAFCON primates, have a clear concern to keep the Anglican Communion true to its historical theological roots. I sensed a growing understanding that leadership within the Anglican Communion will come from these men. Thirdly I was grateful for the concern of GAFCON for us in England. There was a sadness that the Church which took the gospel to so many parts of the world is in so many ways no longer faithful to Scripture. It led GAFCON to declare the following in its final Communique and Commitment (all of which is heart-warming): “We commit ourselves to the support and defence of those who in standing for apostolic truth are marginalized or excluded from formal communion with other Anglicans in their dioceses. We have therefore recognized the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) as an expression of authentic Anglicanism both for those within and outside the Church of England, and welcomed their intention to appoint a General Secretary of AMiE.” AMiE is in its early days. I think there is clearly a need for it and I suspect that will become increasingly the case. First AMiE will be able to support and help churches that are in difficulties with their diocesan bishop. Although the impact of the Pilling Report is not yet apparent, and we rejoice at Bishop Keith Sinclair’s dissenting report, there seems little doubt about
J U S T I N M O T E
THE GLOBAL ANGLICAN FUTURE CONFERENCE the trajectory of Church of England in regards to same-sex relationships. Over this issue and others, churches may find it difficult to come under the oversight of a bishop who will not stand clearly , teach publicly and discipline appropriately in line with orthodox biblical teaching.
gospel need. I think AMiE can be a real help in doing this. We can provide advice for those planning and starting a plant. We can help with the selection of ‘planters’. Through the Panel of Bishops we are already providing episcopal oversight for a number of such plants and plan to be able to help more plants.
AMiE will seek to provide support, encouragement and oversight to churches that have to ‘distance’ themselves from formal Church of England structures. Such churches will be ‘connected’ to the global Anglican communion through AMiE and GAFCON.
To be able to provide support for existing churches and for new ones to be planted will require many churches that have no difficulties presently within the Church of England to be part of AMiE.
Secondly I hope that there will vigorous planting of new Anglican churches in our country. In some places this is being welcomed by bishops and diocesan authorities; however in other situations there is a refusal to allow such plants or an unwillingness to recognise them as Anglican. At the RenEw conference (organised by Reform, AMiE and with help from the Church Society) last November we looked at a map of where delegates had come from. Accepting that the map was not a comprehensive survey of all Anglican evangelicals, it nonetheless showed that there are huge areas of our country that are under-represented with gospel ministry. As Anglican evangelicals I don’t think we can allow the Church of England to stop us being urgent in planting churches where there is
I am so pleased that the Crosslinks General Council have agreed to allow Andy Lines to give a day a week to being the AMiE General Secretary. It is such a natural fit. First, because Andy’s heart is for mission; secondly, Crosslinks has been involved in Anglican church plants in England. And thirdly Andy already has so many links with Anglicanism across the world. I came away from GAFCON with renewed hope for the gospel in England. It was clear that there is a large body of Anglicans around the world willing to stand with faithful Anglicans here. Although the trajectory of our denomination may not be right, the greater bulk of Anglicans around the world are with us theologically and want to stand with us as we do our part to see Christ’s church built in this country.
GOING BACK TO THE CHURCH IN KENYA W A N Y E K I M A H I A I N I Since 2009, Kenyan Wanyeki Mahiaini has been Associate Minister for Training (Discipleship) at All Souls Church, Langham Place, London. This summer he and his wife, Mary, are returning as Crosslinks Mission Partners to a rapidly-changing Kenya to train ministers and develop materials for bible handling at St Julian’s Anglican Centre north of Nairobi. What do they expect to find on their return?
We Kenyans are an extraordinarily pragmatic people. Pragmatism is admirable, especially where no principle is at stake. Take our convivial, jovial nature as an example; or our seemingly endless patience with inefficiency and bad government. These national character traits have been shaped by decades of finding that those in authority rarely listen and produced sayings such as Hakuna Matata (‘worrying gets you nowhere’). Unfortunately we sometimes tend to respond pragmatically even when vital principles are at stake. I have been reminded of this as I have thought about the growing entrenchment of prosperity gospel teaching in many Kenyan churches. This is the idea that ‘the man of God’ can manipulate God’s timing and decision. Clearly God does often bless his people with plenty (and often the prosperity preacher points to himself as proof of his claims). However it is a perversion of scripture to claim that God has promised to bless his people with wealth and health all the time here on earth. So how does prosperity preaching gain traction? The answer lies in our nature as the ultimate pragmatists: we will try anything that promises personal financial
success. After all, Kenyans see plenty of examples around of people (usually preachers) who were desperately poor only to strike it rich by following the promise of prosperity and health here and now. It is very easy for us to choose ‘what works’ instead of costly biblical principles. Also, we Kenyans generally value image more than character. It has long been said that ‘the image is the message’ and sadly many in the Kenyan church seem to have adopted this adage. You see this played out in various elections for both public and church institutions; people who carry ‘pomp and ceremony’ around them seem more attractive to the electorate than people of humbler means and proven character. This is in spite of the fact that both national and church constitutions set a high threshold of integrity in elective and other high offices. However, Kenya is blessed with many men and women who have integrity. Sadly they often get pushed out of leadership and left to suffer abuse and neglect. They suffer because they are bible-believing Christians. Please pray that they would see that the fiery ordeals come to test them. Pray that they would rejoice as they participate in the sufferings of Christ.
Please pray also for Wankeki and Mary as they return to Kenya. You can find out more about them at www.crosslinks.org/mission-partners/wanyeki-and-mary-mahiaini
HOW TO PRAY FOR THE SUFFERING CHURCH Tancy MacDonald has been a close friend of Crosslinks for many years. Here, he outlines some of the challenges that the church in Myanmar has faced – and continues to face and asks us to pray for the issues facing the global Church. “During the last world war, all the English clergy leading churches in Myanmar (known then as Burma) were evacuated to the relative safety of India. Some of the local clergy were also evacuated away from city centres and back to their rural homes. Our churches in the towns and cities were abandoned .There was no bishop or any central authority, but some mature Christians did hold on to the faith and pastored others in and around their areas. Some even remained in the cities and kept watch over the believers in Yangon and Mandalay.” Often hardship leads to sudden changes and a need to rethink the way things are done. Pray for flexibility and creative thinking while remaining faithful to the word of God. “During this time two of our churches were used as salt warehouses and the cathedral was used as a brewery for sake (liquor) by the Japanese. Some of our people were martyred. Even so, services were held in the homes of our members, and after the war our churches were cleaned and reconsecrated.” Pray for believers in extreme hardship and facing real danger. Pray for perseverance in the certain knowledge that God’s kingdom will come. “Also, at the same time the military government decreed that only the Buddhists could put up religious buildings - pagodas and monasteries. The other faiths were not permitted to build new places to worship. That law remains today. However, the Christian Church is growing gradually and where there are no churches services are held in people’s homes. Pray that in places where other faiths and false teaching are prevalent, believers will be able to preach boldly the unique saving grace of Christ. “Today more men and women are coming to attend theological colleges.”
Thank God for those who are eager to serve and teach the truth in the face of opposition. TAN CY M “At the moment the Church here does not permit same-sex marriages and is against the practice of homosexuality.” ALD ON CD
Pray that the Church will remain faithful to God’s word and not be swayed by popular culture and ideas. “The word is still being preached and the Church will grow.” Give thanks and pray that God will keep his people faithful, encouraged, and seeking biblical unity with brothers and sisters across the globe. Pray for those who daily take up their cross for the sake of the gospel in all parts of the world. 13
OBITUARIES E RIC CULBER TSON
AN N RA YN E R
Eric joined BCMS as Northern Area Secretary in 1989. In this position he dealt with mission enquiries in the North, and cared for missionaries on leave in that area. He arranged deputation engagements, worked with area committees, local churches, regional committees and welcomed new parishes joining the BCMS family. Eric left Crosslinks in May 1994 to pursue his passion for teaching and evangelism as Rector to the Parishes of Tullenisken and Clonoe, in Co. Tyrone. He died in November 2013.
Ann and her husband Kenelm served in the Diocese of Morogoro, Tanzania, between 1970 and 1975. Kenelm began an agricultural outreach around their home in Gairo and after working with families on the field, Ann and Kenelm made opportunities to visit them in their homes and open up the Scriptures with them. Following Kenelm’s sudden death, Ann moved back to England in 1975 and later worked on the home staff of SAMS and continued to serve BCMS as co-ordinator for the Former Missionaries Fellowship. Ann struggled with her health and was called home to be with her Lord in February 2014.
ED W A RD MALCOLM Edward and his wife, Olive, served in Morroco between 1962 and 1976. They met in Morocco, and realised the Lord was bringing them together to serve him there. They married and moved to Demnate, where Edward helped to develop the boys’ work with John Wilson and helped lead the small Moroccan church congregation there. Later, Edward and Olive worked in Casablanca. Edward died in November 2013 following a stroke.
A N DY STI R R UP Andy and his wife, Kathy, were deployed with Crosslinks in Tanzania from 1994 to 2000, where Andy tutored at St Philip’s Theological College, Kongwa. Following their departure, Andy took up a position with the Sydney Anglican youth arm, Youthworks College, which trains young men and women for youth work. Andy died in January 2014 at the age of 51.
G W E N W I LLI AMS Gwen served in Kenya between 1949 and 1979 – an impressive 30 years. She began as part of the team at the Marsabit mission station, then moved on to Nasokol, working with women and girls of the Suk. On returning to Ireland, she married Cecil A.B. Williams, minister of Crinken Church, Co. Wicklow, who had also served in Kenya. Gwen was called home in April 2014, aged 97.
B IS HO P M DIM I M H OG OG L O Bishop Mdimi became the fifth Bishop of Central Tanganyika in 1989; he had studied Theology at Kongwa in Tanzania and Ridley College, Melbourne. He was Principal of St. Philip’s College, Kongwa in the 1980s. We praise the Lord for 25 years of courageous leadership in his home area of Central Tanganyika, where many BCMS / Crosslinks Mission Partners have served. Bishop Mdimi died in March 2014.
V IC T O R AN D M AR G AR E T SH E E N Vic and his wife Margaret served with BCMS in Uganda from 1949 until 1955. Vic was involved in church work while his wife was assisting in the medical dispensary, although while in Uganda Margaret gave birth to two sons, Paul and Andrew. The family returned to the UK in 1955 where Vic took up a parish ministry. Both Vic and Margaret died within weeks of one another early in 2014. THEREFORE SINCE WE ARE SURROUNDED BY SO GREAT A CLOUD OF WITNESSES, LET US ALSO LAY ASIDE EVERY WEIGHT, AND SIN WHICH CLINGS SO CLOSELY, AND LET US RUN WITH ENDURANCE THE RACE THAT IS SET BEFORE US, LOOKING TO JESUS, THE FOUNDER AND PERFECTER OF OUR FAITH. HEBREWS 12 1-2A
DO NOT BE SURPRISED AT THE TRIAL WHEN IT COMES UPON YOU TO TEST YOU....BUT REJOICE INSOFAR AS YOU SHARE CHRIST’S SUFFERINGS
A N D Y L I N E S
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” (1 Peter 4:12-13) Suffering is clearly part of normal Christian experience as Peter pointed out to the insignificant, small and persecuted groups of ‘exiles’ in the outer reaches of the Roman Empire. As has often been said, in recent years Christians in the West have lived an abnormal Christian experience. That may be changing. As I write this ‘a major violation of God’s holy creation ordinance is being enacted, accompanied by celebration, and a chorus of calls for the Church to follow suit’1 as same-sex marriage legislation comes into force. How shall we, so conditioned to abnormal Christian experience, face the normal experience that is coming upon us? Peter’s answer to that is that we should ‘not be surprised’ as it comes to ‘test’ or prove us; on the contrary we are to ‘rejoice insofar’ as we ‘share Christ’s sufferings’, with the goal of rejoicing and being glad when Christ’s ‘glory is revealed’, ‘knowing that the end of all things is at hand.’ (4:7). Wonderfully, we have a great cloud of witnesses who have gone before in addition to the apostolic example. Adoniram Judson lived out Peter’s injunction as he pioneered gospel work in early 19th Century Burma through many trials: “In spite of sorrow, loss, and pain / Our course be onward still / We sow on Burmah’s barren plain / We reap on Zion’s hill”. Before he had even left for service in Burma he asked his future father-in-law’s permission to marry with the promise of pain and suffering, and he concluded: ‘Can you consent to all this, for the sake of perishing immortal souls; for the sake of Zion and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with a crown of righteousness brightened by the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Saviour from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?’. In the 20th Century Jim Elliott, the martyred missionary to the Auca Indians had said: ‘He is no fool to give what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose’. Many BCMS/Crosslinks examples could be added to this. The question remains: will our wonderful Lord be served in the 21st century by people prepared to share in Christ’s sufferings now ‘for the sake of the name’ that we may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed? Andy Lines is Crosslinks Mission Director
Andrew Symes, former Crosslinks mission partner, and currently Executive Secretary of Anglican Mainstream.
E V E N T S ANNUAL MEETING—ST. BOTOLPH’S LONDON 5pm, 8 July 2014 Fearless Evangelism, Bold Partnership. Archbishop Emmanuel Egbunu. This event is a must for all those in partnership with mission work overseas and those who are interested in becoming so. This meeting includes the Annual Meeting of Members. See www.crosslinks.org/ events for more details or call 020 8691 6111. ANNUAL MEETING—ST. JOHN’S KNUTSFORD 3pm, 13 July 2014 Fearless Evangelism, Bold Partnership. A chance to watch a recording of Emmanuel speaking on Fearless Evangelism and hear from Andy Lines. It will not include the Members’ Meeting. See www.crosslinks.org/ events for details or call 020 8691 6111. GOSPEL FOR GALWAY 24-27 July Join us to be involved in gospel outreach in Ireland! Contact Phil Cairns firstname.lastname@example.org. SUMMER CAMPS IN IRELAND 9-13/16 August Castlewellan Castle, Co. Down. Junior Camp (8-11 year olds) 9-13 August. Senior Camp (12-17 year olds) 9-16 August. www.crosslinks.org/camps or call + 44 (0) 28 9079 6028.
P R A Y E R M E E T I N G S BELFAST 4 August, 3 November All Ireland Crosslinks Office, 32 Montgomery Rd, Belfast. Contact Val Ellis on + 44 (0) 28 9079 6028. BOURNEMOUTH Second Tuesday of each month at 10.30am St Paul’s Church, Throop, Bournemouth. Contact Douglas Newport on 01202 397342. CHORLEY St Paul’s Church, Bury Lane, Withnell PR6 8SD Contact cmt @crosslinks.org or 020 8691 6111. DUBLIN Second Monday of each month at 8pm. Contact Val Ellis on + 44 (0) 28 9079 6028. FRINTON-ON-SEA First Thursday of each month at 3pm 6 Holmbrook Way, Frinton-on-Sea. Contact Mr C Clift on 01255 674937.
RE:SET YOUNG ADULTS CONFERENCE 25 – 29 August 2014 Dunluce Parish Centre, Bushmills, Co Antrim. Age 18 – 30 year olds. Speaker Dr Lee Gatiss. For more details see www.crosslinks.org/camps or call + 44 (0) 28 9079 6028. CELEBRATION OF CROSSLINKS SUMMER MINISTRY 7.30pm, 13 September 2014 Willowfield Parish Church, Belfast. All welcome. MISSION DAY CONFERENCE 8 November 2014 Whitemoor Lakes Conference Centre, Lichfield We want to help you engage afresh in God’s global agenda to pray, give and go in mission. The day conference is designed to excite us all about God’s mission in the world. See www.crosslinks.org/events or call 020 8691 6111. AUTUMN PRAYER CONFERENCE 6-10 November 2014 Whitemoor Lakes Conference Centre, Lichfield The Crosslinks Autumn Prayer Conference is a wonderful time to pray for global mission, as well as bible teaching, meeting current Mission Partners and time with old and new friends.See www.crosslinks.org/events for details or call 020 8691 6111.
OXFORD St Ebbe’s Church, Oxford Contact Contact cmt @crosslinks.org or 020 8691 6111. RIPON First Saturday of each month at 1.30pm 2 All Saints Square, Ripon. Contact William and Ruth Deeth on 01765 690366. WARINGSTOWN 8 September, 10 November at 8pm 78 Murray Wood, Waringstown Contact Val Ellis on + 44 (0) 28 9079 6028 WEYMOUTH Second Monday of each month 7.30-9pm. Contact Derek Saunders on 01305 779510 ARCTIC FELLOWSHIP – OADBY Contact John Tonkin on 0116 281 2517. If you can start a prayer meeting in your region, contact cmt @crosslinks.org or 020 86916111 search for bcmsCrosslinks