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Page 1

Issue 51 £1.99

JB Gill

JLS / Presenter

Ad Adstra

Cassie Lokko YouTuber

Warren Furman Gladiator ACE

The Rise of Skywalker

Films Interviews Real Life Stories And more....


Other Thanks:

Credits:

(In alphabetical order) Twentieth Century Fox Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures UK

Editorial Team:

Peter Bell Sara Bell

Contact details:

Design:

JAM Magazine Contributors:

(In alphabetical order) Peter Bell Sara Bell Tom Elliott Warren Furman JB Gill Paul Holden & the group from Knowle Cassie Lokko Chris Screen & group from Morriston

Emails: peter@jammag.co.uk : sara@jammag.co.uk Tel: 0161 439 5175 website: www.jammag.co.uk twitter: @thejammag facebook: jammaguk Instagram: jammaguk

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© ABIGCO Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of JAM Magazine may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means, either wholly or in part, without the prior permission of JAM Magazine.

Back copies available...

02/01/2019

A n s w e r s

f or

page

4&5

issue 49.indd

1 :T I M E , TI R E , TO RE, PO RE

2:DI VE, DIME,DAME,NAME

4 : P O R T, P O U T, P O U R , H O U R 7 :F I N D , B I N D , BEND, BEAD

8; C O RK,CORE,CARE,MARE

6 : C A S T, C A S E , C A M E , FA M E 9 :T REE,F REE,F L EE,FL E D

11 :WORK,WORE,WOKE,WAKE,MAKE

1 2 :W O O D , WORD, WARD, WAND, SAND 17:

3 : B E LT, B E S T, B U S T, M U S T

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1 8 :QWERT Y

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CONTENTS: FIRST...

04. FIRST Steps

Taking one step at a time

06. JB Gill

FIRST the Worst, Second the Best!

11. The FIRST Commandment The Maker’s instructions?

12. FIRST Response Some jokes!

I am the Alpha & the Omega, the First & the Last, the Beginning & the End Revelation 22 v 13

14. FIRST and Last

16. FIRST Move?

Making good choices!

18. FIRST...?

Ad Astra Film

25. FIRST Person

26. FIRST Words

Who do you turn to?

The power of words!

29. FIRST Place

Who do you put FIRST?

36. FIRST Aid Quiz

20. FIRST Impressions

Quotes

Interview with ex Gladiator ACE

27. FIRST Thought...

A look at Spies in Disguise

30. FIRST Hand

Interview with Cassie Lokko

38. FIRST Choice

How do you choose?

28. FIRST in Line Wordsearch

34. FIRST Order v The Resistance! A look at the new Star Wars Film

39. The FIRST Time A trip to Moldova!

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First Steps...? If you have had any contact with babies you will know the great excitement and anticipation that occurs around their first step. It is a huge milestone but it doesn’t occur without lots of practise at standing up and then ‘cruising’ round the furniture or holding a hand. We don’t expect them to be good at it straight away, they need to develop the muscles and strength required before they can even attempt that first unaided step. They then become good at it and once they are off there is no stopping them! Being good at something is a great attribute and we are led to believe that this is especially true if you are so good that you are first. But what if we changed our thinking to realise that taking a first step and trying something new is also worth merit. The people who are ‘top of their field’, whatever that may be, didn’t arrive there without taking that first step. We need to be willing to take that first step if we are to get anywhere. We may not be the first to do something or the best at it but we can all start on a journey of improvement. The trick to success is often to take one step at a time rather than to expect the end destination or result without first going on a journey. The Bible tells us that God will help us on any journey if we ask him. Proverbs 3 v 6, In all your ways submit to God and He will make your paths straight. Psalm 25 v 4, Show me your ways Lord and teach me your paths. Take a look at the words and see if you can morph them into the word below by changing just one letter a time...?

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05


JB GILL

First the Worst - Second the Best When we were at school we had a rhyme that went first the worst, second the best, third the one with the hairy chest etc. – It was usually when someone beat you at something and you wanted to feel better about not coming first! In X Factor 2008 JLS were pipped to the top spot by Alexandra Burke but coming second certainly didn’t stop them going on and being very successful. We caught up with JB Gill to find out a bit more about his journey and how faith has been a big part of that...

How would you describe yourself?

That is a really difficult question! I guess

I would say I am ambitious, I hate to lose, am easy going but I work hard. I love being part of a team and family is very important as well as being a farmer, singer and presenter!

Have you always been called JB?

My real name is Jonathan Benjamin and growing up Mum called me by either and all

sorts of shortened variations. At school most of my friends called me Jon but when I was in my teens and thinking about a career in music Jonathan seemed quite a long name in terms of practising autographs, as you do, so it became JB. That is how I introduced myself to the boys and they didn’t question it. It is easy to say, sounds cool and adds a bit of intrigue... My wife often shortens it further to just J and so do the boys! But Dad always calls me Jonathan or Benjamin, no shortening!


What did you want to be when you were little?

I grew up in South London with my parents and my mum was a nurse working on Harley Street. She later went into nurse counselling and specialised in sickle cell and thalassemia. Some of my earliest memories are of getting in shell suits to go pick her up on cold winter evenings. I remember getting in the car and the excitement of seeing the lights, especially at Christmas. I was intrigued and interested in the whole medical world and wanted to be a paediatrician. It is an incredible and valuable profession and if my studies had gone slightly differently I might have ended up following a very different route.

Did you enjoy school? What did you want to do when you finished?

I really enjoyed school. I make friends easily and am easy going so for me it was a good time. I am happy to walk into a room of strangers and make conversation but am also happy to be on my own. I was part of the rugby team and I was good at languages, taking French & Japanese as well as English and theology so I had a varied friendship group in school. I chose to study theology at uni but I didn’t really have a game plan beyond that. I knew I wanted to have

a career in music in some form but I wanted to develop other areas too because I knew it wasn’t a question of just being able to walk into the industry. So uni gave me some time to develop and to have a back up plan. If music didn’t work out I would have other options to fall back on.

How did you get involved with JLS & X Factor?

I had always been interested in music and at university I took singing and writing classes. My vocal coach ran an academy programme with all sorts of workshops each week. She told me she had met a guy who had been looking at X Factor auditions for another member for his band and thought I might be interested. So I got in touch with Oritse and the rest is history! I had to balance uni and the band for two years before we went on X Factor! We hung out and rehearsed together, developing our own style. We were originally called UFO but had to change our name for the show because there was already a rock band with that name. We chose the name Jack-the-Lad Swing, JLS, because it had originally been the name of our own musical style we’d been aiming to develop prior to the show. I think it stuck because we could identify so closely with it.

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How did you deal with being propelled into a whole new world with X Factor fame?

For most people it is ‘zero to hero’ and a lot to deal with but we had been working towards it for two years. Being part of a group definitely helped and Marvin had some experience in the industry so had some idea what to expect. I’d been dreaming about it for so long that when the opportunity was there I grabbed it with both hands. Even though we didn’t come first we did really well out of the platform it gave us!

than reality. The media and those involved within the entertainment industry are, more often than not, dealing with promoting that perception. We are subsequently shown the bits people want you to see! It can also be difficult to ascertain who your real friends are and although it looks great, it can be very lonely and pressurised. You need to keep looking for the next hit or you might be dropped. I think it is so sad to see a lot of people who go off the rails through, for example, substance abuse because they don’t have a good support network. But we had our families and each other and survived better than most.

What are the negative things about being a personality...?

When and why did you become a Christian?

To start with there don’t appear to be any! But over time I began to realise that much of the industry is based on perception rather

I grew up going to a Pentecostal church in Dulwich with my mum. So I attended Sunday school, was in the choir, went to a church school and scouts. But none of that actually qualifies you to say you are a Christian. It is a personal journey, not purely a corporate one. Being born into a particular family doesn’t make you a Christian, you need to make your own decision and commitment, which I did aged about 9 when I was baptised. My family and I then moved to Croydon and because life was busy, we never really found a church home and I started to drift. My Christian principles stayed with me but I got a bit lost, doing my own thing whilst still going to church occasionally. Then a few things happened that made me rethink what I believed and what I stood for. One trigger was when some fans from Scotland gave me a Bible and letter that said they had felt led to give it to me and wanted to encourage me to reconnect with God. It blew me off my feet. I had lots of Bibles because of my upbringing and studying theology but the fact that they had given me one was a timely reminder. Then when I was married and we had our first baby, I started to think about how I wanted to bring my children up and what I wanted them to believe. I made a conscious decision to get back on track and continue my journey with Jesus. It is still a journey and it is still hard to get to church regularly, particularly because I travel so much with work but I try to keep my personal connection with Christ even when I can’t get along to church.


What things do you do now and how did they come about?

Well I have a farm. I bought a house with 13 acres with no clue really what I was going to do with it. In fact it was a bit of a headache because I found I was having to pay someone just to come and cut the grass and maintain it. I was making no real use of it and I decided that it didn’t make sense not to utilise it. I began to look into other stuff I could do and what would work. It started with a pig that dad rescued from the RSPCA and I got the bug. We now have quite a few animals including a flock of award winning KellyBronze turkeys! I am developing my expertise and learning a craft! I may never be as expert as those who have farmed for years and I haven’t got that much land in

comparison to many other farmers but I am still ambitious with the space I’ve got. I really enjoyed JLS but now I’m excited about this new direction. Coming from a Caribbean background where your food source is much closer to home and more obvious means I’m passionate about food and where it comes from and this has become my focus. Then CBeebies got in touch and asked me about doing ‘Down on the Farm’ which is about where our food comes from for little people! That has led to various other programmes such as ‘Countryfile’, shows for channel 5 like ‘Big week at the Zoo’, ‘Springtime on the Farm’ and fronting my own walking show for the BBC “Walks Of Life”. I’m loving the opportunities and chance to share my passions.

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What is your first response when life is tough? Normally I would say to talk to my wife

(as we discuss everything) and see what we can work out for ourselves but now I try to give things to God first and then discuss it with my wife. Now I will pray about stuff and then maybe seek advice from others, rather than the other way round. It can be difficult but I have gained a lot of clarity from doing that over the last year or two, so I find it is important to spend time with God. My wife also encourages me to do this when I forget to do it myself! Jesus tells us not to worry but to give our concerns to him.

Do you have a favourite Bible verse?

I have two – I love Psalm 23 and am teaching that to my son at the moment but I also regularly go back to Proverbs 3 v 5&6 –

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.

The way we see things isn’t always the way it is. In the music industry you have to remember that the industry is bigger than any individual artist and there are always people above you making decisions that affect you potentially good and bad. There are so many variables that you just need to do your best and leave the rest to God.

Do you have any advice for young people who are not sure about all this ‘God’ stuff...?

Keep an open mind – don’t write God off. I believe that God is looking for us and wants to meet us in our time of need. It is a journey that doesn’t depend on you having everything sorted before you start, you learn as you go. You give a baby milk to start, then move onto more solid food before they start feeding themselves and broadening their tastes; it’s exactly the same with faith, it is a progression. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect but he wants us come to Him so He can lead us and help us grow in our faith.

What would be your first choice for a meal you didn’t have to cook?

Something Caribbean based like spare ribs, my mum makes the best in the world or maybe rice and peas, plantain or curried goat!

Have you ever done something for the first time and thought never again?

I tasted Sea Urchin – don’t even go there! I usually advocate people trying stuff at least once but don’t bother – it was disgusting! It was the worst thing I have ever tried and I certainly won’t be trying it again.

Instagram - @JBGill Twitter - @JBGill


The First Commandment The Bible, especially the Old Testament, is full of commandments that made up Jewish law. Most people have heard of the Ten Commandments and could probably tell you some of them; Do not kill, do not commit adultery and do not lie. In the New Testament of the Bible Jesus condenses the ‘Law’ into just two commandments; Firstly

‘Love God with all your heart , mind and soul’ and secondly

‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ Matthew 22 v 37&38.

When we keep these commandments we live our best life as God intended. Many people don’t want to follow the Maker’s instructions because they think that God is just out to try and spoil their fun. They would rather follow their own set of life rules which generally boils down to ‘doing what makes me happy’ and ‘look out for number one!’ That is a bit like trying to build or use something that comes with an instruction manual and throwing out those instructions because we think we know better. The purpose of an instruction manual isn’t to make life harder or more difficult but to show us the best way to achieve the desired outcome.

In the same way the Bible isn’t meant to be left on the shelf, never to be looked at. It is the instruction manual for life! SO why not check out it out and see what God says about how to live the best life...?

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FIRST RESPONSE...? What is your first response when things go wrong? Are you likely to lose control? Is anger or frustration your 'go to' action? Do you find it hard to maintain a steady emotional state? We can all over-react at times but we can learn to manage those situations more effectively. There are all the usual suggestions such as identify what causes you to overreact and try to avoid it, be realistic about your expectations and don't allow frustrations to build but deal with them as they come up. Or when you are actually in a situation maybe count to ten, take a few deep breaths, remove yourself from the situation and realise that stressing won't change anything. My mum has dementia and has been living with us for nearly 3 years. Over that time there have been plenty of times when things have gone 'wrong'! It is like having a toddler again who has tantrums and who isn't fully in control of their bodily functions. There have been times when my first response has been to scream, despair or give up. Life can be difficult but as a family we have found that humour is a great way to maintain our sanity. In the moment it is not always easy but if you can laugh about something it helps with the stress and strain. Here are some childish jokes that will hopefully make you laugh... What do you call a stag with no eyes? No eye-deer.

What do you call a stag with no eyes and no legs? Still no eye-deer.

What happened when the owl lost her voice? She didn’t give a hoot.! What musical instrument is found in the bathroom? A tuba toothpaste.

What do you get if you cross a fish with an elephant? Swimming trunks.


What do you call a fly without wings? A walk.

What is worse than raining cats and dogs? Hailing taxis!

Where do cows go for entertainment? The mooooo-vies!

What do you call an exploding monkey? A Bab-boom.

What do cows read? CATTLE-logs. Did you hear about the kidnapping in the park? They woke him up!

How do bees brush their hair? They use honeycombs. What do you call a rich elf? Welfy.

What do you give a sick lemon? Lemon aid.

Why did the golfer wear two pairs of pants? In case he got a hole in one.

What animal is best at hitting a ball? A bat.

What is a cat’s favorite color? PURRRR-ple.

Why couldn’t the pony sing? Because she was a little hoarse

What’s faster, cold or hot? Hot, because you can catch a cold.

What do you call a fairy that doesn’t shower? Stinkerbell. What goes “tick, woof, tick woof”? A watch dog. What do you call a guy lying on your doorstep? Matt. What kind of cat likes water? An octo-PUSS.

What animal needs oil? A mouse because it squeaks. How does a scientist freshen her breath? With experi-mints! Why did the toilet paper roll down the hill? To get to the bottom. Why wouldn't the crab share his sweets? Because he was a little shellfish!

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First and Last...

Somethings we love and want to do over and over again, whilst other things we have tried for the first time and have made up our mind that it will be the last time we do it! It may be a particular activity or maybe a food that we thought looked great but changed our ideas when we actually tried it. Or maybe it is a place we’ve been or a style of clothing that disappointed us...? Unfortunately some choices we make to try something for the first time are because we feel under pressure. We want to fit in, be cool, be ‘loved’, or be accepted. These pressures can lead to us making the wrong choice because it is hard to be different, to be the one who says, ‘No’ or the one who doesn’t follow the crowd. Relationships, sex, alcohol, drugs and crime all fit into this category. We’d rather fit in than stand out so we can end up saying, ‘Yes’ when actually we should be saying, ‘No!’ It’s not easy but don’t make decisions based on what other people say, think or do; stick to what you think is right for you because the decisions you make about things like sex, alcohol, drugs and crime could literally be life changing! What have you tried and either loved and want to do again or have tried and hated it so won’t be attempting it again...? This is what the group from Morriston had to say...

Por t d n i d n e surf ved it a in. e v I ha nd I lo it aga on a e to do Eyn v ld lo wou

I’ve coas been on ter a a ro ll nd I ’ d lov er do it e agai to n.


I and in. l e m a ca o it aga e d d o Ir e to v o l ld wou

My dad reall made m y e coco nut weird G try a flavo reek and ur I nev er w ed yogu rt a it ev er a nt to tr gain y !

I’ve be I nev en on a er w b ant oat and t o one agai go on n.

I tasted the most delicious chips from Scoffs chips. They are cooked in batter and are amazing. I am looking forward to going to Paignton again to have some more.

he or t f g dI n mpi year an a c ed ing I tri ime last look n. m t a first it and ing agai o d love rd to g a forw

get o t e lov uld og. I wo other d an

I tri e Play d ice sk K ing a ating i enjo n yed it an nd I rea lly d to d o it would lo agai ve n.

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The First Move... Dr. Clifford McBride and his team set out on a mission to search for advanced extra terrestrial life but disappeared 16 years into the mission and was presumed dead. His son, Astronaut Major Roy McBride, has fond memories of watching old films with him and being tutored in maths. He sees him as a hero who gave his life for the pursuit of knowledge and is the reason he became an astronaut.

But with the world in turmoil Major McBride is told that his father may still be alive and is called upon to try and find him, traveling to the very edges of the solar system to find answers before disaster strikes. Dr. McBride had been experimenting with highly classified material that could threaten the entire solar system and see all life destroyed...They are counting on Major McBride to find out what is happening out there and if necessary shut down the mission!


So the film is about a rescue plan not only to find his father but to save humanity. Did you know that there is already a rescue plan that you can be part of...? We might look around and think that the world is in turmoil and feel helpless to do anything but God has a plan! He already sent Jesus as part of that plan to save us and help us build a better future. All we have to do is acknowledge that we have made a mess and ask him to forgive and help us. He has made the first move. Are you ready to be part of that plan...?

Photo credits: Twentieth Century Fox

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FIRST...?

It seems that from a young age we are led to believe that for us to be first we must stand on others, push them out of the way or at least put our needs ahead of anyone else. This can lead to situations where we need to put others down in some way if we are to feel good. I remember my eldest daughter’s first school disco, aged 5, and her best friend coming for tea beforehand. What her friend said has stuck with me over the years because when I said you both look lovely she said, ‘But I look the best’ as if it was a competition. Now I am all for competition in the right place but not when it comes to putting others down to make us feel better. We should try to be kind with our words and actions, as the Bible says in Mark 12 v 30,31 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” By loving our neighbour and treating others with kindness we actually feel better about ourselves than when we put ourselves first and trample on others. Take a look at the quotes below and see if you agree with them... Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves... self-discipline with all of them came first. Harry S Truman

He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying. Friedrich Nietzsche

The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But... the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’ Martin Luther King, Jr.

One of the most important actions, things a leader can do, is to lead by example. If you want everyone else to be passionate, committed, dedicated, and motivated, you go first! Marshall Goldsmith

But first and most importantly seek His kingdom and His way of doing and being right and all these things will be given to you also. The first step towards getting some- Matthew 6 v 33 where is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are. Chauncey Depew


Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind. Henry James The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg, and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities. James Allen

Make sure of your commitment to Jesus Christ, and seek to follow Him every day. Don’t be swayed by the false values and goals of this world, but put Christ and His will first in everything you do. Billy Graham

Jesus said, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. Matthew 22 v 37,38 Don’t get caught up in the ‘look’ thing. Sometimes we, as men and women, the first thing that attracts us to someone is their physical appearance, and that’s not always a good thing because what’s good on the outside is not always good on the inside. Keith Swea

The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you find yourself. Mark Caine

Winning doesn’t always mean being first. Winning means you’re doing better than you’ve ever done before. Bonnie Blair

If you give up at the first rejection or the first bad review, you will never make it in publishing. Jane Yolen

Girl power to me means being brave enough to take that first step and to speak out and be yourself. Katherine McNamara

Be slow to speak, and only after having first listened quietly, so that you may understand the meaning, leanings, and wishes of those who do speak. Thus you will better know when to speak and when to be silent. Saint Ignatius

Being the first to cross the finish line makes you a winner in only one phase of life. It’s what you do after you cross the line that really counts. Ralph Boston What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence. Samuel Johnson Any act often repeated soon forms a habit; and habit allowed, steadily gains in strength, At first it may be but as a spider’s web, easily broken through, but if not resisted it soon binds us with chains of steel. Tryon Edwards

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End Revelation 22 v 13

First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas & plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination. Napoleon Hill Standing as a witness in all things means being kind in all things, being the first to say hello, being the first to smile, being the first to make the stranger feel a part of things, being helpful, thinking of others’ feelings, being inclusive. Margaret D. Nadauld So the last will be first, and the first will be last. Matthew 20 v 16

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FIRST IMPRESSIONS... If you had met Warren aka ACE back in the late 90’s when he was taking part in one of the biggest shows of the time, Gladiators, your first impression would probably have been of someone who had everything. He had an enviable body, a great tan and got to flex his muscles and have fun whilst being paid! But first impressions aren’t always accurate. Warren found that being a celebrity doesn’t always deliver on those promises of happiness and freedom. In fact it can have quite the opposite effect. Read on to find out more about Warren and how hearing about Jesus changed his outlook... How would you describe yourself?

So how did you get involved with Gladiators?

A husband, father and gladiator for Jesus.

I followed my heart. I wanted to be on screen like my idols, after all they earned a lot of money and to be honest acting skills didn’t seem all that important! It looked like easy money compared to being on a roof all day. So I started to build a ‘suit of armour’, my muscles, to make me look like my heroes. As I started to grow and disform my body I found that people started to take notice of me and my confidence grew. The more disformed I became the more people admired me and said I looked great. I spent hours working on my tan and people would say I looked incredible. Once I had built an individual physique I wrote (not email or message) to Gladiators and was invited for a trial. I was up against 60 other applicants and they chose me.

What did you want to be when you were little? BIG! I mean that I wanted to be big and muscly. I idolised big, strong movie stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger and wanted to look like that. To be a super hero!

Was your family supportive of your dream? No, my dad didn’t want me to be a super hero! He thought I was just a dreamer and wanted me to follow in his footsteps and become a roofer. He had some great sayings like ‘skills pay the bills’, and ‘dirty hands, clean money.’ He wanted me to get a trade whereas I wanted to be a movie star. It caused a lot of tension between us. Roofing is a dangerous career and not that well paid but he was adamant because he was worried that I wouldn’t succeed and would end up with nothing.


Did you have a strict regime to get to that stage and was it difficult? Yes and no. Being disciplined can be tough but when you start to see results it is easier. I was passionate about becoming like my heroes and the more I worked the more admiration I got. It became my identity, at a time when friends were settling down and getting mortgages, I was living my dream! I wanted to live rich and get everything I could and I seemed to be winning. I felt that I was chosen and blessed, after all I was getting fan mail and being paid large amounts of money to basically flex my muscles and go to the gym. Celebrity culture was rewarding me so it didn’t feel like hard work. I became a ‘commercially important person’ so was given loads of free stuff like training gear and food. It felt like I had arrived.

How did you find being in the public eye? It started off as positive. I got a lot of pleasure from it and felt great. I couldn’t understand why so many celebs go off the rails. But ‘celebrity’ isn’t all that it seems and it wasn’t long before I began to see this. It was like social media now where you are a persona rather than the real you. It affects your whole life. People are looking for escapism and they buy into the media portrayals of ‘celebrities’. But although it looked healthy and great on the outside the reality was different. I had thought that money and fame would make me happy but happiness based on

adulation is fleeting and the more you experience it the more you crave. I got used to being given stuff and I began to expect it, I was out for what I could get and competing with others to stay in the public eye. Studies have shown that there is an increasing problem with social media now because it doesn’t depict reality and it was the same for me back then. I was supposedly at the top of the tree and if people asked I would say it was great but it wasn’t. Quite a few of the people around me were corrupted by the fame because the more you had the more you needed. The highs were fantastic but there were also the lows and I lost sight of the pleasure in simple things.

What was your favourite obstacle on Gladiators...? Hang Tough was my favourite, simply because it made you look great. It appeared harder than it was because it was really down to momentum. You had special grips for your hands and it was always an advantage to be chasing because the contestant would get nervous and panic. It wasn’t all easy though – you were under pressure too because you needed to win at least 70% of the time to keep your place! It was a great game and is a reminder to me that to do well and succeed you sometimes have to let go of the previous ring. In life you have to let go of the past and grab for the next ring or you can end up missing out on what God has for you.

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When and why did you become a Christian? When I realised that life is not about me! I had always thought that life was all about me and what I can do and get. We did have assemblies at school but I just thought Jesus was a bit of a wimp. As far as I could see anyone who followed Jesus was weak, weedy and had to give everything up but I wanted to be macho and rich. Jesus rode a donkey and I wanted a Ferrari! Then I began to realise that money and possessions don’t bring happiness. You think you own them but they own you. The more I ‘moved up’ the more competitive I became because I was driven by fear. I wanted to be liked but actually fame brought loneliness and paranoia. It made me wonder what life was really all about. If money doesn’t bring you freedom and happiness then what is it about?

So I began a spiritual search, looking everywhere but the Bible. I looked at lots of stuff including atheists but found it took just as much faith to believe we came from nothing. Lots of good teachings stemmed from Jesus so I thought I’d better take a look. I was invited on an Alpha course and I was confronted by Jesus and who he is. At school I had learnt that BC was ‘before Christ’ and AD was ‘after death’ so I assumed Jesus was dead. No one explained that AD is Anno Domini – the year of our Lord and that he is still alive! It began to dawn on me that it made sense and I found there was evidence for his life and how he changed history. Being a

Gladiator I was fascinated by Roman times and the fact that Jesus came to earth to show us who God is. They killed him but he rose again and people are still following him. I couldn’t believe that I didn’t know anything about this. I’d been to church but never really understood it or saw the relevance. On the Alpha course I was told that God loved me and wanted me to invite him into my life. I thought it was bit ‘out there’ and then they talked about the Holy Spirit and how he lives in us and gives us the power we need to live life. I found it hard to get my head round but I said a prayer and everything changed.

What do you mean? I stopped building my own empire and started building God’s. It is the most exciting adventure I’ve

ever been on. It looked like I was successful in the ‘rat race’ but knowing God is so much better.

What do you do now? My ‘skills that pay the bills’ is being a site manager for a house building company but my passion is talking about Jesus. I feel this is what God wants me to be doing so I do as much as I can. Jesus set me free and he can do the same for other people. They are looking for hope, restoration and the power to change. Jesus offers something that the world can’t but people need to hear about him.


Do you still do body building? That's a good question. When I first started going into schools and telling kids about Jesus I would talk about how when we are weak it allows God to be strong in our lives. I realised they were thinking, 'it's OK for you to say when you are built like a barn door! You say you are trusting God but looks like you are trusting in your own strength!' So I felt God was telling me to lay down the body building. There was nothing wrong in it but I had used it as an armour to protect myself and build my identity around. I was 'Ace the gladiator', the leader of the pack, but that is not who I am now. I no longer need to punish myself with daft diets and excessive gym stuff. But I do look after my body and try to be healthy - after all you wouldn't pour sugar into a car engine.

mountain tops and valleys. So I try to remember this in whatever circumstances I find myself.

Do you have a favourite Bible verse? Yes, Nehemiah 8 v 10 tells us that, ‘The joy of the Lord is our strength.' It is good to remember that especially when things are tough. Compared to having Jesus in our lives nothing else matters.

Do you have any advice for young people who are not sure about all this 'God' stuff...? Examine the evidence of the person of Jesus Christ! It is really important, a matter of life and death. You might miss your whole purpose here on earth if you reject God. You are created for a unique purpose so take a look at Jesus, not religion!

It is good to be disciplined in life and with our bodies. I don't need a big body to be loved by God but I am responsible for looking after it.

What is your first response when life is tough? As a body builder I was very aware of the phrase, 'no pain, no gain'. It can be the same in our Christian lives. Whatever we go through God can use for good if we allow him. He can use pain to bring about good even if the pain is a result of our bad decisions or mistakes. There will always be battles and blessings,

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What was your first impression when you met your wife? I liked the look of her but thought she was ‘out of my league’ so I was chuffed when she was interested in me.

Who would be the first person you would call or message with good or bad news? My wife. We share everything, our trials and triumphs. If we are confused and don’t know what to do we pray and read the Bible. We have a prayer room in our house which we set up when I realised that I was going to other people to help me when I had problems, rather than God. We pray, read and give God time to speak to us – he is the best person to give us advice.

What would be your first choice for a meal you didn’t have to cook? Seafood! I love lobster! Amazing how things have changed because years ago it was seen as the poor man’s chicken whereas today it is the other way

round!

Have you ever done something for the first time and thought never again...? Yes! I remember being on holiday and going on one of those big rubber ring rides pulled by a speed boat. They look fun but as we went over the first wave and came down my mouth clamped together and knocked half my front tooth out! As I felt my front tooth going down my throat I knew immediately that I would never do it again. I looked like Jim Carrey from Dumb and Dumber. I used to take big risks on Gladiators but I was paid well and we had nets etc. to protect us but I don’t really like to take risks now. You can find out more about Warren at

www.aceactive.org Instagram: aceactiveministry Twitter: @York_Aceactive


First Person ? Who is the first person you think of chatting to/ calling/ messaging/ texting when something good happens? Is it the same person when things go wrong or you are upset? Did you know that God wants to be involved with your life? That he wants us to chat to him about everything in our lives, good, bad or just ‘normal’...?

What an amazing thought that God is interested in our lives and how we feel!

We aren’t just a number to him or an unknown person, he knows everything about us and yet he still loves us.

Praying doesn’t have to be specific words and phrases, said in

hushed tones with our eyes closed – in it’s simplest form it is a conversation with God as we would talk to a friend or parent,

sharing the good, bad and everyday stuff that is important to us. How different would our lives be if we involved God in our thoughts and decisions...?

Why not give it a go...?

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First words... A baby's first words are really exciting and cute. Whether it is a babbled mama, dada or something similar it is a milestone. Usually once they have started talking there is no stopping them, with new words added all the time. They pick up words that they hear the most often and that they can understand. So first words are generally associated with people, things or repeated actions. My friends little girl learnt the word 'hot' first because my friend nearly always had a cup of tea in her hand and would say, 'HOT' if Becky went near it! Becky would say 'HOT,' even if the cup was empty because she associated the word with it. Have you ever played that game where one person says a word and the next person has to think of a word that is associated with it..? For example I might start with CARROT and the next person might say POTATO, followed by ROAST, DINNER, TEA, COFFEE, BISCUITS and so on until someone takes too long to reply or repeats an answer. What words do you associate with yourself..? If you had to play the game and follow the word associated with your name what would you say...?

Lots of these words just trip of our tongues when talking about ourselves or others without us even realising the lasting effect they can have. Once they have been spoken we can't take them back and sometimes no amount of apologising can undo the damage the negative words can do! Equally we can use our words to very positive effect and encouraging ourselves or someone else can also have a long lasting effect. So let's be careful what we say and remember words can build or destroy. Ephesians 4 v 29, Do not use harmful words, only helpful ones, that build up and provide what is needed. James 3 v 4-5 A word from your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything or destroy it! It only takes a spark to start a forest fire and a careless or wrongly placed word from your mouth can do as much damage.


First Thought...

Lance’s first thought is that this is a disaster & he demands Walter remedies the situation immediately. Unfortunately Walter can’t and Lance is forced to re-evaluate how he does things. As it turns out being a bird isn’t all bad but not necessarily something you’d want to try. I assume that by the end of the film Lance is back to his normal self but you will have to watch it to find out... Like Lance our first thought when something doesn’t go to plan is often DISASTER! And admittedly sometimes that is the case, not everything works out perfectly all the time. But sometimes our attitude to our circumstances can make all the difference. Lance and Walter had to work with what they had and sometimes we have to realign our attitude to look for the positives and continue rather than give up and despair.

Photo credits: Twentieth Century Fox

Will Smith voices Super spy Lance Sterling whilst Tom Holland is scientist Walter Beckett. They are very different but work well together. Lance brings the smooth sophistication of a spy and Walter is the brains behind the gadgets that help Lance fulfil his role. Walter is very excited about his new invention but when Lance accidentally drinks the concoction things take an unusual turn. Lance is no longer tall, dark and handsome, he is short, round and feathery! Lance is used to being the one in control but now he has to trust Walter. Can they work together to save the world or is this the end for the dream team...?

Next time something goes wrong, or at least not as you hoped, take the opportunity to learn from it and keep moving. A setback doesn’t have to mean the end of a journey or failure. As Mary Pickford said, ‘ Failure is not falling down, it is not getting up again.’ Another of her quotes is, ‘The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.’ We can all choose how we respond to others and to the situations we face. We can let them derail us or we can try to get back on track. When things go wrong I remind myself that God has a plan for me and that when I trust him he will work things out, maybe not as I originally thought or planned and often in a far better way!

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First in Line...

In the Royal family there is a line of succession. Prince Charles is first in line, followed by Prince William and his children, before Prince Harry even gets a look in! And he is way before Princess Anne who, although she is the second child of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as a female was behind Andrew and Edward and then further forfeited her place as soon as Prince William was born.

Sometimes it can feel that we are way down the pecking order with God. We might feel that we aren’t good enough, that we have messed up or that God is just too busy for us. We can feel that other people are more loved or are at least more deserving of God’s love than us. Maybe we would call ourselves a Christian but don’t feel part of the family because of our background or status. Or maybe we haven’t made the decision to become a Christian and be part of God’s family. Whatever we think doesn’t change the fact that God loves us as we are and just as much as the next person. He doesn’t have favourites or a line of succession for only the best. If you are a Christian your position in his family isn’t dependent on you but on his love. And if you aren’t a Christian there is nothing to stop you joining the family – all you need to do is acknowledge that you have messed up and ask his forgiveness. Can you find the ‘first’ phrases in the grid below....

e s s a l c t s r i f f k h l l b f

m c n l f l n f i r s t k i s s j i

f v n f i r s t n a m e d j w v c r

p i v e l i m t s r i f p g z x t s

n a r l f l a h t s r i f b j l g t

n o i s s e r p m i t s r i f p f r

f n s h t e d f m y v s i f i i f e

m i p r x r i f d z e h i z r y i s

y w r j e r e n o c l r d s s n r p

b d p s s p a a i e s t t e t a s o

Sheet1

u p a t t h t o c t n b j v s m t n

r u a l t d h s l t i i t o t f o s

p i f s t c a i r r i o l l e o f e

d d r x t s g t t i b o q t p t a q

h i b s g h r h e v f p n s s s l s

f i r s t e d i t i o n k r g r l e

a i n o a a x u f w m h p i u i i b

f m f n y e m i t t s r i f c f v f

first aid EMFPNNFMY first birthday SCVIAONIWD first class SNNVRISPRP first choice first date ALFELSHRJS first kiss LFILFSTXEST first edition CLRILEERRP first hand first impression TNSMARDIEA first light SFTTHPFFNA first love RINSTMMDOI first lady IRA SIYZCE first line ofRdefence first mile FSMIRTVELS first step FTEFISSHRT first name KKDPFRIIDT first of all H many IJGBIFZSEV first of first person LSWZJFIRST first half LSVXLPIYNA first response BJCTGFFIRS first reaction FIRSTRESPO first time


First Place...

In the Bible, in Matthew 20, we read of a landowner who hires some workers. Some of the workers he takes on are experienced and established workers but this landowner also takes on those who nobody else has hired. Perhaps those who nobody really wanted working for them. To conclude the story, Jesus says to his disciples, ‘The

last will be first, and the first will be last’.

We can often fall into the trap of thinking we are above others, often subconsciously or without any mean intention. But in the parable we are reminded that God is, out in the marketplace, looking out for those who everyone has sought to ignore and welcoming them into his kingdom. Let’s take the same attitude today towards those who are last, those who are ignored and avoided. Let’s turn things around and put them first - showing them value, worth and welcome.

This basically means that I’m now one of those who posts sweaty selfie’s on social media to discreetly brag that I am a runner. Now, to put this in context, I’ve never been one for sports - I failed my cycling proficiency and took up magic. That sums up my relationship with any athletic exercise. Of course, now I can proudly run 5k in 30 minutes. I was getting all ambitious until my wife suggested I took part in a little race, whilst on holiday. The words that came out of my mouth were full of brag and confidence but in the back of my mind I feared being like the child who, mid activity on sports day, ends up in tears and runs to his mum.

PS. I’m fine - I’ll take my 5k race, nice and slowly.

Tom Elliott - www.tom-elliott.org Instagram: tomelliott_uk Twitter: tomelliott_uk

I’ve just completed the ‘Couch to 5K’ app,

I have no expectations that I’d ever come first in a race of any kind. In fact I quite like the encouraging voice on the app who softly tells me that it’s all about consistency rather than speed.

...ecalP tsriF

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I must admit that I am not a Star Wars fanatic. I have seen snippets from a few of the films that make up the three trilogies but unlike some of my friends have never seen the whole saga or even a full film. But they must be doing something right to be on the 9th and final film. This film is the last in the epic conflict between Jedi and Sith as the remaining Resistance take on the First Order in ‘The Rise of Skywalker’. The film sees the return of familiar faces as well as some surprise encounters. Daisy Ridley stars as Rey, an orphaned member of the resistance, last known Jedi and apprentice of Luke Skywalker, whilst Adam Driver is Kylo Ren, leader of the First Order and son of Leia and Han Solo. Who will triumph? You will have to watch it!

FIRST O v THE RES


As in many films and stories there are two sides, one good and one bad, and the story revolves around the battle to gain supremacy. You are expected to pick a side and join in. In the film Rey is told, ‘We have passed on all we know but now this is your fight.’ The same is true in life – there is a battle between good and evil and we have a choice which side we pick. We can’t rely on what others are doing or what they believe. We have to make our own choice. Sitting on the fence isn’t an option.

Have you chosen to be on God’s side...?

ORDER v SISTANCE

Photo credits: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures UK

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First Aid is a skill that we should all have some knowledge of because we never know when we might need to use it. It is good to know what to do should you be faced with an emergency or be involved in an accident. It is also important that we know what we are doing rather than making the situation worse. One thing we should all know is how to be kind and to give aid to someone in need. The trouble is that often this involves putting someone else before our own needs and we aren’t always keen to do that. We’d rather ignore the situation and pretend we haven’t seen rather than put ourselves out to be kind. But the Bible says that we should love our neighbours and even those who aren’t loving towards us. This is not an easy task but kindness is one of those things that you can practise and get better at. You can set yourself aims and actually improve your response to situations. It takes a bit of thought and perserverance but if we all worked on being kind the world would be a better place! Are you the sort of person who is first to offer help and come to someone’s aid or are you more likely to be too engrossed in your stuff that you don’t even notice that someone could do with a hand? Why not take the quiz and see what you are like? Your friend had a party and the place needs tidying up, do you……

A) Put some stuff in the bins but try to get away before any serious tidying occurs? B) Pretend you didn’t see? C) Start to tidy up without being asked and without complaining?

A teacher asks for help with stacking chairs, do you……

A) Put yours away and head for the door before you are asked to do more? B) Pretend you didn’t hear? C) Help put them away till the job is finished?

Someone is sitting on their own at school and looks sad, do you…… A) Say, ‘Hi’ but keep walking? B) Pretend you didn’t see? C) Stop, chat to them and make them feel included?

A local charity is looking for volunteers for an event, do you…… A) Volunteer if your friends are going to do it too? B) Pretend you didn’t hear? C) Offer whatever help you can and try to get your friends involved too?

Your gran needs some shopping, do you……

A) Pull faces but offer to get some of it? B) Pretend you didn’t hear? C) Ask what she needs, get it and then help her unpack and put it away?


A heavily pregnant lady gets on the bus, do you…...

A) Hope someone gives up their seat but if they don’t reluctantly give yours up? B) Pretend you didn’t see? C) Get up immediately and offer her your seat?

You see an older person struggling with their shopping do you..…. A) Smile and say hello but hope they don’t ask you to help? B) Pretend you didn’t see? C) Stop and offer to help them carry it?

Someone drops their change on the floor in front of you, do you…... A) Roll your eyes and wait impatiently for them to pick it up? B) Pretend you didn’t see? C) Pick it all up and hand it back to them with a smile?

Your boss asks for someone to cover an extra shift, do you…... A) Wait to see if someone else offers? B) Pretend you didn’t hear? C) Offer to do it even though it means changing your plans?

A friend asks for help with their homework, do you……

A) Show them quickly but you have other things to do? B) Pretend you didn’t hear? C) Show them how to do it and take time to explain parts they don’t understand?

Your parent asks for help with tidying up, do you….. A) Moan and groan but do a bit? B) Pretend you didn’t hear? C) Help willingly and cheerfully?

If you answered mostly A – You can be kind but sometimes it is somewhat

begrudgingly. You are happy to help if it doesn’t take too much time or effort. Next time you notice someone why not help with a smile and don’t think about what you could be doing instead. Giving your time and effort to something doesn’t need to be difficult it can be something you enjoy. If you answered mostly B – You are only interested in what suits you and whether you are ok. You make it a habit to avoid helping others and getting away with doing as little as you can to help. You even probably feel sorry for those weak people who can’t say no when asked to help. But what will happen when you need help, will all those people that you have chosen to ignore do the same to you...? Maybe it is time you thought about others for a change – you might find you actually enjoy it! If you answered mostly C – You are always looking out for others and are aware of their needs not just your own. Being kind is something you do naturally rather than something you need to think about. You are a pleasure to be around because people know you are considerate and kind not just when it suits you but even when it means putting yourself out – well done!

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First Choice Sometimes it is good to go with our gut reaction or our first choice but at other times our first choice isn’t the best! Have you ever been disappointed by your choice when you see what someone else chose...? Have you ever thought that you should have taken more time to think it through...?

I’m sure we can all relate to at least one of those – after all making a choice can be difficult. Life is often about choices and we tend to be programmed to think that we need to get our first choice of something or we have somehow failed. But I’m sure many adults would tell you that not getting their first choice in something hasn’t been the end of the world, in fact it has turned out to be an opportunity they would have otherwise missed. We have just done uni applications for the fourth time and our youngest daughter swapped her subject choice with just a week to go till the deadline. We didn’t have much time to look at options and went for some without much research as they offered lower grades and so they weren’t going to be her first choice. Having taken a bit more time and visited the universities though her last choice actually became her first as we all loved the place/ course and accommodation. Her ‘first’ choice was relegated because on further inspection it didn’t make the grade! There is an account in the Bible of the prophet Samuel anointing the future King

and how his idea of who would make a good king was very different to God’s. He looked at the outside and saw tall, dark and handsome whilst God looked at the heart and chose David, the youngest brother, who everyone else had written off as insignificant. You can read the story in 1 Samuel 16 v 1-13. David wasn’t the obvious choice because he was young and inexperienced but God saw what he could become – a king who trusted in and followed God.

God looks at character and heart rather than outward appearance. This is something we should be doing when we are in new situations or groups. Just because someone or something doesn’t fit our idea of ‘normal’ doesn’t mean they or it won’t be great. Going for the best looking, trendiest or most popular people or places (in our opinion) isn’t always the best approach. Outward appearances and impressions could lead to us missing out on friendships with some great people or opportunities just because they weren’t our first choice!

Your first choice will sometimes be right but other times it will be a mistake. So take your time with making decisions and allow yourself to learn from experience. One good way to approach decisions is to ask God to help you with them – he is interested in every aspect of our lives so why not ask him...?

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The First Time....

The first time you do something can be scary as you have no real idea what to expect and how things are going to turn out. Paul Holden and some of his youth group from Knowle set out for Moldova in the summer to help with some building work and social action projects. I am sure some, if not all of them, were nervous and uncertain. What will it be like? Will I cope? What if I don’t like the food? And so on... When we are thinking of doing something for the first time we have two options; we can either give in to our fears and questions and not go through with it or we can face the fear and do it anyway. You can read how they got on over the next few pages! Brandon, Will and Rosalie answered some questions for us... Can you tell us a bit about yourself? My name is Brandon and I am 17 years old. I adore animals, baking, acting and working with young people. I am a Christian and attending my youth group really helps boost my faith and helps me become a stronger Christian. My name is Will and I am 16 years old. I live in Knowle near Solihull with my mum Alison, dad Ian and younger brother Tomas. My main hobby is playing hockey and I support the

Blues (Birmingham City Football club). My name is Rosalie, I’m 16 years old and I love acting, singing and dancing. Was this your first mission trip? B - Yes, I wanted to go so I could explore the world God has given us. I also wanted to go to help less fortunate people and so that my faith could grow. W - Moldova was my first mission trip. I wanted to experience life and culture outside the UK and help improve the lives of young people that are less fortunate than myself.

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The countryside was beautiful. The food was delicious, much better than I expected (the cucumbers were still the best). The people we met were lovely and grateful for the help. R - Arriving in Moldova I was shocked by how different the culture is but it wasn’t until we drove into the rural areas of the country that I understood why there is a real need for mission there. It was my first experience of poverty and the first time I’ve really been challenged to put my whole trust in God.

R - In July this year I travelled to Moldova with 8 other young people from my church to embark on my first mission trip and what turned out to be a life-changing experience. Growing up in church I had heard countless people talking about mission and its importance but it wasn’t until this opportunity came up that I actually considered going myself. I saw the trip as an opportunity to share God’s love with others and bless those with so little, but I also wanted to receive a new sense of gratitude for all that I have. What was your first impression of Moldova & did these change by the end? B - My first impression was that is was really unusual and shocking and I could not wait to get home. By the end of the trip I loved it and wanted to stay, I know God is asking me to return. W - My first impression of Moldova was that it looked a poor country but then you had the contrast with the rich areas.

What sort of things did you do on the trip? B - On the trip we built a fence and helped clean up the work site for a care home to be constructed, we worked with elderly people and sang worship whilst working with handicapped adults and children.

W - The main goal for our trip was to construct a metal fence around the compound for the disabled summer camp house. Along with fence building, we cleared the rubble, tree roots and old washing line from the grounds. We also visited a park to play games with the disabled children, visited an elderly peoples nursing home and visited some people in their houses. R - Whilst we were in Moldova we stayed at Camp ‘Viafani’, a christian camp for children aged 8-12 near Balti.


The camp runs 9 one-week camps throughout the summer and during the week we were privileged enough to be able to join in with and lead worship with the children as well as playing games with them. Each morning we worked on a building site next to the camp and in the afternoons we went on visits to help with social projects in the area. Has going on the trip changed the way you view life & faith? B - Going on this trip has really opened my eyes to what we have and has made me appreciate everything more, it has also made me a stronger Christian as I have seen the amazing things that God can do. W - Going on the trip has made me more thankful for the things that I have and made my faith stronger. I am also grateful that I got to share this experience with a group of young adults, most of them I didnt know that well, but I can now call my friends. R - Coming back to the UK, I now have a new perspective on what is really important in my life and what are the things to focus on. I am

more grateful for all I have and am so thankful for this opportunity.. What did you enjoy the most? B - I enjoyed working with and meeting amazing people and the family atmosphere. W - I enjoyed working on the building site, as I knew that next year there would be somewhere for disabled children and their families to stay and take part in the summer camp. R - The most impactful visit for me was when I spoke to a lady called Sophia in the elderly people’s home and heard her story of how she had come to faith despite suffering tragedies in her life, including the loss of her son. Sophia’s story was really inspiring and I will certainly use it as a daily reminder of God’s power and grace.

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the camp challenged us to a game of football, and of course we were up for it. It was really nice to see that everybody in the camp was able to bond over a simple game of football.

Some of the others took part in writing a trip blog – here are some snippets:

Saul Before I came to Moldova, I was quite anxious because I really didn’t know what it would be like. I was worried about the food as I am a fussy eater but all the food has been great - even things I usually hate! I was also concerned about the language barrier and whether communication would be difficult. This wasn’t a problem at all because everyone here is so friendly, kind and caring; the language difference doesn’t matter at all.

Katherine To begin with the site needed to be cleared of numerous pieces of glass and rubbish to make it accessible for wheelchairs and walking aids. We removed tree stumps that protruded from the ground, including a large stubborn root that took the whole team effort using various tools. We also removed rubble and stones and raked the area to begin to make it level. Ollie Before Moldova I was quite nervous about it as I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. However my nerves didn’t last long because everybody, especially the people in the camp are incredibly welcoming. I was quite worried about what type of food would be served as I have a massive appetite, however the food has filled me up and been absolutely incredible. Yesterday evening the people in

Ben We took an hours drive to a small village. It was great to see that there were 15 children at the first service. We were all impressed with the length of the passages read off by heart by the children. We delivered food parcels to the villagers, who were all very grateful. After that we went to a newly built church in the middle of the village and it was amazing to hear that the church only took one year to build. On Monday we spent the whole day on the building site getting as much done as possible. It was great to see that we beat the expectations that we set for our selves. Getting all the painting done and seeing half of the fence panels up.


Rosalie On Wednesday afternoon we headed to “Tabita”, an elderly people’s home. We entertained them by performing a Bible story (Jesus & the 10 lepers), translated into Russian and then we sang worship songs. We delivered food packages to each resident and it was lovely to see their faces light up as we greeted them with “Doberii deni” (good day) and a smile. We were given the opportunity to talk further with some of the residents. Along with Karen, Lily and our translator Anna, we visited Sophia, who has an incredible story of how Jesus has worked in her life... Sophia was born in Russia under Soviet rule and was discouraged from having any religious beliefs. But from the age of seven she began to have visions which she now believes were from God. When Sophia told her sister of these dreams she discarded them as nonsense and was told not to tell anyone. Years later, Sophia found herself living in an unsafe apartment in St. Petersburg. She had a fourteen year old son and she found herself thinking about God when he asked about

faith. She tried to provide him with answers but talking about religion was forbidden. That night her son decided to try and fix the electricity, which was constantly being cut off. Despite her warnings that he could seriously injure or paralyse himself he set off. Sophia still blames herself for his death which occurred as he climbed onto the electricity cables. She told us how she hoped that he had stayed at her sister’s home but she knew in her heart that she wouldn’t see him again. Eventually Sophia moved from Russia to Moldova and whilst in hospital here she met a woman who talked about Jesus in a way she had never heard. She decided to go to church and find out more about this God. She found Jesus here in Moldova and after years of hurt and pain was finally freed by God’s healing power. Sophia continues to show Jesus’ love to the other residents. She inspired me to pray and hold strong in my faith even when times are tough. She asked us to pray that she can continue to spread God’s love and his word to others. She would be smiling from ear to ear to know that we are praying for her!

43


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JAM Mag Issue 51 - Full Mag Low Resolution  

JAM Issue 51 - Full Mag Theme : First Printed : Sep '19

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JAM Issue 51 - Full Mag Theme : First Printed : Sep '19

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