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Jesus Army No. 96 FREE
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THE HUNGER PAINS PAGE 2
London’s streets: it’s dog eat dog PAGE 4
Richard’s recovery from a conflict zone PAGE 3
STUDENTS Why more people than ever are going to university
LONDON 2012 LEGACY HAS RAISED BRITISH SIGHTS AND ASPIRATIONS
We wanna win! Photo: Team CH CH Cycling, flic kr.com
com Tharp, flickr. Photo: Nate ectica, flickr.com Photo: lululemon athl Photo: The U.S. Army, flickr.com
WINNING TEAM Jesus Army party on London’s streets
THE OLYMPIC and Paralympic Games have changed the UK. People now speak of their “legacy” – not just in sport, but in wider aspiration, too.
Photo: Philo Nordlund, flickr.com
Speaking of the Games, London Assembly member Jenny Jones spoke for many when she said “They were tremendous fun and at times spiritually uplifting.” The Paralympic Games in particular inspired UK people to rise above what holds them back and to achieve their potential. British wheelchair rugby player and Paralympian, Justin Frishberg,
said “People write themselves off. We have to tell people they can. If you put in the effort you can achieve incredible things.” We all have dreams and hopes. We also all have difficulties and problems that hamper us fulfilling our dreams. The Christians who tell their stories in this Streetpaper have found that through God and through joining with others in God’s loving family, the Church, we can achieve something amazing together. We can all be winners. For more information or to get involved text: 0774 0774 200
2 Jesus Army Streetpaper No. 96
THE HUNGER PAINS SAFE On the bus
cry laugh speak need thank reach seek shout talk share write poke rant find help wow mean nag praise rave sing scream
0774 0774 200
by JAMES STACEY
Jesus Army team takes double-decker bus to London to give out food and drinks, and pray with people.
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ALEKSANDAR IS 19 and from Bulgaria. He has been living on the streets of London for just over a week. I meet him outside the Jesus Army bus and we drink coffee from polystyrene cups and chat. Aleksandar came to the UK after nursing his mother “pretty much single-handed” before she died four months ago. A so-called friend of his family offered him work in the UK. But when Aleksandar arrived he found the “friend” wanted him to work without pay. “Slave labour, basically” says Aleksandar. “He said to me ‘You’ve got no papers, no permit – so no choice.’ I said ‘No thanks.’ So I left.” Now Aleksandar hopes to get help from some of London’s homeless charities, including the Jesus Army’s “Jesus Centre” near Oxford Circus. Zeb is only 15. He and his mates hopped on the bus for some food and a Snickers bar (or two). They’re pretty respectful – though Zeb’s zonked on booze and who knows what else. He’s been a heavy drinker since he was 11 and in and out of care. At the moment, Zeb is homeless: sometimes “sofa surfing”, sometimes sleeping on the streets. His mate “Tripz” has made some rap
videos and posted them on YouTube via producer “Pacman TV”. Zeb is in one or two of them, wearing his baseball cap and posturing in the background. The videos are a moving mix of youthful hope and old-before-their-time despair. Delia is anywhere between 35 and 65. Her mental health problems and homelessness make it difficult to tell. She’s worried because the doctor’s said she shouldn’t eat meat. But she’s very appreciative of the vegetable curry we give her from the Jesus Army bus. She chats away, reminding me, curiously, of both Eastenders character, Dot Cotton, and a female Frank Spencer. We make other friends that night. Iranian Ali, joker George, gay Phil, arthritic Sue. It’s a sea of humanity, each person with a story, often heartrending. Round the corner is Leicester Square. Another sea surges through it, this time mainly dressed in
designer jeans and sequined miniskirts. Stopping to talk with those who want to, I find they can be as hungry as the homeless. “I want to make my life mean something” says Ahmed. “I’m a youth coach” says Musa “and I tell them to make their life count”. “I’ll have a cross” says Sam in the queue in McDonald’s. I give her a trademark Jesus Army flurored cross. “I believe, but it’s hard, innit?” It is hard. Hard not to be overwhelmed by all the people, all the need. London’s streets, at night, are dog eat dog. Not quite Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, but not far off. But I want the Jesus Army to play their part. To add some love. If we’re going to be a drop in the ocean, I’d rather we were a drop of love than anything else. or more on Jesus Army charitable F work and the work of the Jesus Centres visit: jesuscentres.org.uk
MEET THE SUPERHUMAN!
UP TO 70,000 UK Christians made their way to Wembley for a historic day of prayer on 29 September this year. The Bishop of Barking, the Right Reverend David Hawkins said the event was “timed to be a culmination of the Christian response to the Olympic and Paralympic Games through More Than Gold.” More Than Gold (morethangold.org.uk)is an organisation which aims “to enable UK churches to engage with the 2012 Games”. Leaders from several Christian organisations led prayers for the UK and the world. Special prayers were led by Tearfund for the one in seven people going to bed hungry each night.
OI! Adam and Eve it?
Eastenders bible based ONE OF BBC soap opera Eastenders top producers claimed recently that a main inspiration for its gritty storylines is the Bible. Speaking at the BBC’s “Re:Think” conference, Jennifer Robins said Eastenders could be compared with the parables of Jesus or stories such as David and Goliath. She claimed the soap’s main theme was the “age old struggle between good and evil”, and that longsuffering characters like chain smoking Dot Cotton resembles biblical sufferer, Job. “Despite the plot’s twists and turns” she said “all our conclusions are essentially moral: good triumphs, evil is punished, the value of human life asserted.”
Photo: Ian is here, flickr.com
HASTINGS................................................. 0845 123 5551 KETTERING............................................... 0845 166 8157 LEICESTER............................................... 0845 644 9705 YOUTH Not religious
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Religion ‘not priority’
LONDON.................................................... 0845 166 8152 MILTON KEYNES...................................... 0845 166 8159 NORTHAMPTON....................................... 0845 166 8161 NORWICH.................................................. 0845 166 8162 OXFORD.................................................... 0845 166 8164 SHEFFIELD................................................ 0845 166 8183 SWANSEA................................................. 0845 123 5556 JESUS Fellowship Church, also known as the Jesus Army, is an evangelical Christian Church with a charismatic emphasis. It upholds the full historical, Christian faith, in particular it upholds the doctrine of the Trinity and the full divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Fellowship Church is a part of the Multiply Christian Network and a member of the Evangelical Alliance. Jesus Army Streetpaper No.96 © 2012, published three times a year by Jesus Fellowship Church, Nether Heyford, Northampton NN7 3LB. Editor James Stacey. Photographs in this newspaper are copyright Jesus Fellowship Church or royalty free stock photos from sxc.hu unless otherwise indicated. Printed by BGP Ltd., Bicester, Oxon. Reproduction of any part of this newspaper in any form requires written permission. All Bible quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189, U.S.A. All rights reserved. All articles are contributed by members of the Jesus Fellowship Church. Some members live as part of the New Creation Christian Community. Readers wishing to contact authors may do so by writing to the Jesus Fellowship Central Office.
SUPER Rising Stars
“MEET THE Superhumans!” So ran the advertising headline introducing the stars of the London 2012 Paralympic games. And what stars they were! On track, on field, in pool and on horseback the Paralympians wowed the crowds, inspiring able bodied and disabled spectators alike with their epic and emotionally stirring performances. After British 17-yearold Ellie Simmonds nailed her second swimming gold medal, one commentator
remarked: “It shows what disabled people can do, rather than what they can’t. It shows it is not worse to be different”. “It’s not worse to be different”. That’s a powerful statement. But is it true? Often people – and not only disabled people – can feel excluded because they are different. Not wealthy enough. Not good looking enough. Not well enough or trendy enough. Many of us often feel looked down at, marginalised, excluded because we aren’t as “successful” as others like the role models we see in the media. Good news: Jesus Christ knows the
feeling. He was “different”, too. Born on the street, into a poor, migrant family, in a backwoods region of an oppressed country, Jesus felt great need and suffered much. He identifies perfectly with outcasts – with all of us when we feel excluded or on the outside. As God’s son Jesus was superior to every created thing, but He humbled Himself to the max, came down to the bottom of the pile. And now He can lift us up, include us in His great, loving, winning family. Meet the Superhuman! He’ll change your life and help you become who you were always meant to be.
A RECENT poll shows UK young people believe that morality means looking after your family and has little to do with religion. The poll commissioned by BBC Religion and Ethics asked 16- to 24-yearolds which moral issues from a list of eight were most important to them. Almost 60 per cent said looking after the family came top. Religious faith trailed at just 4 per cent. “This shows that loving relationships are very important to young people” commented Jesus Army leader, Aidan Ashby, “but the challenge for Christians is to show that faith can help them have better, deeper relationships.”
Jesus Army Streetpaper No. 96 3
peace Richard’s shocking story led to a journey of recovery from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
IRAQ Not holiday snaps
AT PEACE Richard Rock
“I JOLT AWAKE with what feels like electricity spiking into my heart, muscles tensing rapidly. As I wake, I hear a shout. It’s my shout. I’m screaming. “I remember the pure dread, blackness, death. Bullets whizz past my head, grenades fly towards me, exploding a few feet away. I can smell cordite, feel sweat on my hands; see the sky, strangely blue. We’re outnumbered!” “I’m covered in cold sweat and can’t breathe. I sip some water and try to go back to sleep. But it happens again and again through the night.” Richard Rock has suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) since he experienced lifethreatening situations in the Iraq conflict. PTSD is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to traumas like those experienced in war. Symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, anger and crippling anxiety. Richard, 40, was in Iraq working in VIP protection when he experienced several ambushes and other lifethreatening situations. “We were driving a client somewhere when we were ambushed by insurgents with machineguns and RPGs (Rocket Propelled Grenades)” remembers Richard. “Our vehicle was hit multiple times.
We raced toward the safety of a check point, only to find it manned by insurgents. They’d killed those who had been manning it and put on their uniforms. As we drove in, a bomb exploded and destroyed the rear of our vehicle. “We jumped out and were attacked on all sides. One of our vehicles raced
off, but we couldn’t. I and another lad were left, fighting back to back, totally outnumbered” says Richard. “We should be dead. Somehow, a vehicle came back, in the nick of time. We jumped into the back of it. I’m very lucky to be alive.” Ironically, Richard was born to the sound of gunfire. It was the early 1970s in Northern Ireland. “My mother tells me she could hear shooting as I was being born” says Richard. As a young man Richard’s desire to travel was strong. By his mid-
twenties, he’d seen a short stint in the army, a spell at sea, a season working in a French vineyard, and even spent time in the French Foreign Legion. Then, after intensive training overseas, he began working in security and VIP protection. “Worldwide travel, posh hotels, private planes, great money – I thought I’d arrived!” says Richard. But sitting on a private plane at the age of 33, Richard was suddenly disturbed by an unexpected thought: “I’ve reached the top – and there’s nothing there!” It wasn’t Richard’s first “spiritual moment”. At 10, he’d had an experience of God that had never entirely left him. At 14, he’d again experienced God powerfully at a Christian group at his school. And in the middle of the ambush, bullets whizzing past him, Richard had prayed – and lived. But despite his epiphany on the plane, Richard was not quite ready to change his life. It took some more ups and downs to bring him to that point. A failed marriage and the first outbreak of PTSD – leading at one time to an arrest for disorderly behaviour – brought Richard down to earth. But fighter Richard fought his way back up and 2010 saw him living a comfortable life in an Egyptian
penthouse complete with private swimming pool. It was sitting there, with the sea breeze wafting over him, that Richard once again felt the emptiness of it all. “I turned the TV off” says Richard “and said to God ‘What do You want me to do?’ I felt Him saying ‘Return to community’.” Richard’s chequered past had included a spell in a Jesus Army Christian community house. Now he felt sure he had to return – this time for good. Weeks after he left Egypt, revolution took hold of the country. For the past two years, Richard has been finding peace and healing in a Jesus Army house in rural Northamptonshire. He still experiences the horror of PTSD and is receiving medication and counselling. Yet the love he gives and receives as a member of a loving community brings a muchneeded peace. “I know we all have our differences, but the bond of genuine love irons out most of the problems faced in community” says Richard, adding “I’ve travelled all over the world and I’ve learnt this: you can’t leave your problems behind. And I learnt something about people: they’re all basically the same, wherever you go, all searching for one thing: a meaning to life. “And that’s what I’ve found” says Richard. “I’m home.”
PTSD SOME FACTS People react to traumatic experiences in different ways. Here are some common symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: • Feeling isolated • Frequent periods of withdrawal into oneself • Nightmares and/or insomnia • Flashbacks • Anger and/or aggressive behaviour • Feeling distrustful and suspicious • Addiction problems • Seeking out high-risk, dangerous pursuits • Work-related or relationship problems • Numbness and emotional withdrawal • Suicidal feelings • Self harm • Mood swings and/or tearfulness • Avoidance of people and places • Panic attacks • Anxiety and/or depression Read Richard Rock’s personal blog at: richardwrock.blogspot.co.uk Combat Stress is a charity that gives treatment and support to ex-Service men and women with conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Their website is: combatstress.org.uk Watch a powerful Combat Stress YouTube video at: jez.uz/combatstress.
4 Jesus Army Streetpaper No. 96
Booze and bet
Why are more British young people than eve
Upcoming events you don’t want to miss...
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UK JESUS CELEBRATION SATURDAY 13 OCT 2012 2.00pm & 6.00pm Ponds Forge, Sheaf Street SHEFFIELD S1 2BP
NEW YEAR CELEBRATION SATURDAY 29 DEC 2012 2.00pm & 6.00pm Jesus Centre, Abington Square NORTHAMPTON NN1 4AE
HATS OFF Student numbers continue to rise
JOBS FOR THE BOYS
SATURDAY 26 JAN 2013 11.30am, 2.00pm & 6.00pm Jesus Centre, Abington Square NORTHAMPTON NN1 4AE
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INFO: www.jesus.org.uk/dates Tel: 0845 123 5550 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Write: Jesus Fellowship, FREEPOST, Nether Heyford, Northampton NN7 3BR
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SATURDAY 16 FEB 2013 2.00pm & 6.00pm THE NEW BINGLEY HALL 1 HOCKLEY CIRCUS BIRMINGHAM B18 5BE
Looking for a
Photo: newskin0, flickr.com
IT’S NOT nice to be a NEET. One in six 16 to 24-year-olds in England were “mot in education, employment or training” at the end of June this year, recent figures show. Many teenagers drop out of school and then don’t have anything productive or constructive to do with their lives. It’s sad and dispiriting for them, a waste of their energies,
creativity and dreams. But sometimes the media stories we read can make out that the vast majority of youth in Britain are uninterested, disconnected and uneducated. It’s far from the case. We should recognise and celebrate the positive contributions that young people make in our communities. God certainly doesn’t see young people as wasters. Jesus called young men and women to follow Him. Some of them were working in dead end jobs; others were unhappy and frustrated
before they met Him. Some of the young people Jesus had as close companions were the first century equivalent of today’s ASBOs and gang leaders – professional trouble makers. Jesus turned them into a force for love that turned the world on its head, a force for justice and a new way of living. The same Jesus calls the youth of our nation today. Are you a NEET? Unhappy and troubled? Jesus will end your boredom, give you a mission. Come and be trained by the Master.
JOIN THE Jesus Army for a year! The Jesus Army training year is an intensive, actionpacked year, full of challenges to help you grow in faith. It’s particularly suitable for school leavers or those on a gap year.
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Jesus Army Streetpaper No. 96 5
ever clamouring to go to university? IN 2011, the total number of enrolments in UK universities stood at two and a half million. It’s clear that despite government cuts and fees rising, many young people still grab the chance of university. Why is university so popular? Is it all just “booze and betterment” as one cynical commentator recently suggested? Or is there anything left of that 1960s-style idealism that once marked the student population? The student protests of last year would seem to indicate that many young people do indeed care about more than the quickest route to a fat bank balance. That they are willing to
rise up, take some risks, take a stand, for a better future. In many students there is a hunger for something more. Universities and colleges are full of those at a time in their life where nothing is certain, but big questions are asked: Who am I? What do I want out of life? What can I do that makes a mark? But this is not an idealism that easily connects to Christianity. According to Fusion, a Christian organisation designed to “connect students to church, and church to students”, less than two per cent of this current generation of students have any church commitment. Not only this, but 73 per cent of Christian students don’t connect to a church at university. Away from everything they knew at home, feeling under pressure to “try new things” and relishing the “freedom” of living on their own, church quickly drops out of their lives. And all too often the only image of “church” they have is
something boring, irrelevant – or worse, bigoted and blameworthy. The Jesus Army is convinced that Jesus calls men and women to the most risky yet radical, positive yet deeply challenging life it is possible to imagine. And that the church of Jesus, at its best, is about people joining together to make a hugely positive difference. So we’re calling students: come and live for something that’s worth it. Come and be students of the greatest teacher ever: Jesus Christ.
Feast f it for a student! A few student-friendly recipes: quick, easy and cheap! Cake in a cup Ingredients: One large tea cup of your choice. 4 tablespoons of flour. 4 tablespoons of sugar. 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder (optional) 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder. 1 egg. 3 tablespoons of milk. 3 tablespoons of oil. Small splash of vanilla extract. Method: Add dry ingredients into the cup and mix well. Add egg, and mix thoroughly. Pour in oil, vanilla and milk and mix well. Set your cup in the microwave for 2 ½ - 3 minutes. Watch carefully! Remove cup from microwave. Serve with chocolate syrup or whipped cream and enjoy!
Curried beans on toast
Ingredients: 1 can of baked beans 1 teaspoon medium curry powder 2 slices of bread Method: Empty can of beans in pan. Heat gently on a medium heat. Add curry powder and stir. Meanwhile, place bread in toaster/grill to toast. When bubbling, arrange beans on plate with toast. Enjoy!
Pizza made easy-peasy Orange Smoothie
Ingredients: 1 cup of orange juice 1 scoop of vanilla ice-cre 1 teaspoon vanilla ext am rac 2 tablespoon granulate t d sugar 60ml milk Half cup of crushed ice Method: Put all the ingredients in a blender (including the ice). Pour it into a glass and enjoy!
Ingredients: 1 slice of bread e 1 generous squir t of tomato puré 2 or 3 slices of cheese 2 or 3 slices of thin ham 1 pinch of mixed herbs Method: Toast one side of the bread in a grill the Spread the tomato purée on untoasted side Add the cheese, ham and herbs as Add other ingredients (such pineapple) according to taste d Grill until cheese is thoroughly melte a it’s Enjoy! It’s not Pizza Express, but . lot cheaper and easier and still tasty
Second year student at the University of Eas t Anglia, studying biological sciences: “I try to
PROTEST Rights & wrongs
Beth Williams 19
be a listening ear for my frien the one who people look to for advic ds and I’ve found I’m sometimes e. They can see there’s something different about me. I’m secure in who God has made me and I’m not bowing to the pressures of unive rsity life (a culture centred around sex and alcohol).”
Photo: Igal Koshevoy, flickr.com Photo: Nottingham Trent university, flickr.com
STUDENT BY SURPRISE Jake Ball thought he’d given up all thoughts of going to university. God had other ideas. JAKE, 22, gave up all ideas of going to university during his second year of college.
VISIONARY Jake’s at uni for God
At RAW (Real and Wild), a youth event run by the Jesus Army, Jake had a powerful experience of God and decided to leave his future in God’s hands. “While my friends at college were crying over personal statements and running around to open days, I wasn’t fussed,” says Jake “I felt at peace about it all and finished college without really knowing what I would do next.” But less than a month after finishing college, Jake was offered a job as an architectural technician; and to his surprise, he was asked to study for an architectural technology degree part-time. “On enrolment day, I turned up at the University of Northampton,” recalls Jake, “And just told them about the course I wanted to do. About five minutes later, I
was registered on the course. After my friends had spent a whole year sorting it out, it took me five minutes!” At first, Jake found it difficult to combine his Christian faith and the university lifestyle: “Some days I’d walk around the university and wonder what I was doing. But nowadays, it’s a lot easier. God’s given me more confidence.” It was perhaps this new found confidence that caused Jake to get in contact with other Christians at the university and get involved with student activities on campus. “Before last year, I was just going through university and not even thinking about what a good opportunity it is,” admits Jake. “It’s a massive place with about ten thousand young people! I’m looking forward to being a part of what God’s doing here.” “I haven’t planned it, but this is where I’ve ended up. I’m in the right place at the right time. While I’m here I want to be used by God.”
Medical student at the University of East Anglia:
Ian Hunt 22
challenge. You are “Living as a Christian student is both a blessing and a lives when they surrounded by young people who are at a time in their nity to show are exploring what life is all about so it’s a perfect opportu challenge.” is a them God. But there are also a lot of temptations, which
Studying Event Management at Warwickshire College:
Mim Beresford 22
“I’ve found being a Christian and a student is about getting involved and getting to know people - but still being able to show you are different. I don’t want other students to think Christians are religious or boring and I want them to realise God loves them just as much as He loves me.”
Third year student at Liverpool Hope University studying Community Performing Arts:
Joy Hubbard 20
get serious about “Living as a student for Jesus is great as you have to seem daunting what you really believe and what you stand for. It can to Jesus.” closer me made it’s but s student other most to t living differen
Third year student at University of Birmingham, studying Medical Biochemistry:
Aysha Ali 20
“Being at university for Jesus and living differently is crazy, lonely, fun, scary and quite fulfilling. Going on this journey without God would have been pretty much impossible!”
Second year student at the University of Nort studying primary education:
s me on my toes as I always find “Being a Christian at university keep choices.” make to have I e myself in situations wher
6 Jesus Army Streetpaper No. 96
SEX SELLS, LOVE WINS
Drugs shame cop jailed
STREET Stirred up
Flash mobbed in Coventry NEARLY 100 Jesus Army members ventured out onto the streets of Coventry recently for a “flash mob”. “The aim of the flash mob was to surprise the people of Coventry and show them that Jesus is alive today” said Jesus Army member, Samantha Hayward, 16, who was at the flash mob. “It was fun, and left Coventry City Centre abuzz with talk about what had just happened – the exact effect we wanted to achieve. Flash mobs have been around for some time. For us, they’re another way to share the life and love of Jesus – and bring a smile to some faces while we’re at it.” To watch a Jesus Army flash mob in Northampton visit: jez.uz/flashmob
“DRUGS SHAME cop jailed” shouted the headline of a UK local paper. The story was about a young police sergeant who’d been caught trying to give illegal drugs to “as he tried to seduce a young man” in a gay bar.
RADICAL Photo: The Rocketeer, flickr.com
FIFTY SHADES of Grey is a story of erotic obsession so racy that fans call it “mummy porn”. The trilogy has sold 31 million copies worldwide, overtaking Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and The Da Vinci Code in Britain. Visit the online JESUS
Yet author, E L James, has claimed that the extraordinary success of her Fifty Shades of Grey novels is down to old-fashioned romance rather than sex. Asked if female readers were attracted by the steamy and unusual bedroom scenes or the fantasy of dating a ludicrously rich man, James replied: “No, it’s the love story. Women like to read a passionate love story”. Not everyone loves this story,
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world’s pain and evil. That was love – and it was appallingly agonizing, not orgasmic. Jesus’ love is not a love of pleasure or a love of convenience; it’s a magnificent, heart-wrenching, sacrificial love. This love is not in a novel, love for a made-up character, but love for you and me. No-one who has experienced the love of Jesus Christ will ever be quite the same again.
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however, with authors and newspapers alike slamming it as well as praising it. “Boring and silly” said one writer. Like it or loathe it, most can agree that there’s more to love than sex (especially the edgy, troubled sex in Fifty Shades, even if it does make for a page-turner). God loved us all so much that He allowed His beloved Son, Jesus, to die on a cross bearing the weight of the
We won’t know the backstory (can we ever, really?) But it’s not difficult to see the unhappiness of this young police officer’s situation. Yes, he’s done wrong, broken the law, and that’s particularly serious for a policeman. But can you sense a sad struggle in the background? Rainbows, the bar he was in, is well-known as a friendly, open, accepting place, one of the most chilled out, peaceful venues in the city. Gay and straight people flock to it for that reason. Imagine this young officer there. Is he desperate for some acceptance? Looking for some relief? Has he struggled with his sexual identity? Wrestled with what others may think of him? Felt the conflict between his public position and his private world? What drove him to the crazy risk of using drugs to try to buy love? Then imagine that police sergeant’s face, pictured on the front of the paper. A photo taken as his guilty verdict was announced. Grief. Broken. Hopeless. Finished. Does your heart go out to him? If we’re Christians, it has to. Again and again in the Bible, we read that Jesus was “moved with compassion” towards those who’d made a mess of their life. Christian churches, of all places, must be where all can come, no matter what “guilty” verdicts hang over them, no matter what struggles they have and try to hide. They need to be communities like Rainbows, but even better. Communities where all are accepted, welcomed, loved – as they are. Then we can walk on together, all broken, all heading for a better future. Because God accepts us all – as we are.
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MULTIPLY Partner, David Moses, and his church, Almore Shalom in Uttarakhand, India, are reaching new heights. Not only is their work among the poorest of the poor radical – at 5,000 miles above sea level in the Himalayan hills, it is literally very high indeed! The church works with leprosy colonies, caring and praying for them. It’s David Moses’ vision to create “Jesus Centres” in India, after the model of those run by the Jesus Army in the UK. “People can come to find home and peace” he says. He wants to create “a place where Jesus is at the very centre”. For more on the Multiply International Christian Network visit: multiply.org.uk
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Winning Weekend love
AT THE Jesus Army’s Winning festival last August, leader Mick Haines issued a challenge to be “an overcomer through Jesus”. Drawing on the theme of the recent Olympic and Paralympic Games, festival goers were dared to “go for gold” and achieve all that they can for Jesus and His cause. “There are many things in life that we may have to overcome” said Mick Haines “from bad exam results to bereavement, or divorce or depression. Jesus can help you overcome, and be all that you are meant to be.” The message was followed with powerful times of prayer. For more on coming Jesus Army events visit: jez.uz/events
Jesus Army Streetpaper No. 96 7
Living for others in Liverpool This family loves people. So they’ve moved to Liverpool, moved in with ten other people, and plan to love their neighbours. IAN AND Kerry Oakey are part of a new Jesus Army team in Liverpool. They, their children, and a team of ten others share life in a large house in Allerton, just south of the city centre. “We want to ‘bring family and be family’ to people who’ve never had it” says Kerry, 32, “to include people in our family.” “We came up to Liverpool with a vision to build Christian community there” adds Kerry. “We’d been to Liverpool quite a few times, and met the people and saw the need.” “I believe God’s going to do something special in Liverpool” says Ian, 30, and Kerry nods, adding “I really like it here and the people are very friendly.” Kerry was brought up by Christian parents but it was not until she was 14 that she was jolted into making a lifechanging decision “to live for God” herself, after reading a challenging Christian book called “Why Jesus?” Ian was brought up by Christian parents, too. His parents were members of the Jesus Army. Ian grew up in a Christian community house like the one he and Kerry have now moved
into, but in Northamptonshire. “I had faith from a very young age” he explained. “I remember praying for my friends at school when I was six. Sometimes other kids asked questions like ‘What’s it like being a Christian?’ “I always loved living in
Christian community” says Ian. “Mum and Dad are very generous and bighearted people. I saw it work. I saw faith work. I saw people change. “I really enjoyed my upbringing; I wouldn’t ever want to change it.” But Ian was often bullied at school because of his faith and as a young teenager went through a phase of feeling very lonely. In his later teens, Ian was in conflict. Regularly clubbing, drinking and smoking weed, he was also “weighing up life”. “I had all sorts of ideas”
he says, “but I knew in the end I would come to God. I knew God was real. A key turning point for me was when someone I looked up to said to me ‘Ian, you’re all or nothing.’ I knew I wanted to be ‘all’ for God; I couldn’t tread a middle line. So I left all the other things behind and took God seriously.” When they got married five years ago Kerry joined Ian at a Jesus Army community house on a housing estate in Northampton. Now they have been married for five years and have two children. And in June 2012 they moved to the house in Liverpool, where their oldest child has just started going to a local school. Speaking of life in Christian community, Kerry says “I like bringing up my two kids in this environment; there’s lots of variety in terms of people; the kids grow up with wide horizons, and it’s so good for them to see God working in people’s lives.” Ian adds “I think this kind of shared lifestyle is the best way you can live. I want my children to have the best, and to be surrounded by faith. I’m excited about the future.
Once God gets involved, you don’t know what can happen. One of the bits of the Bible I find most inspiring says “God is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” “With that kind of God on our side, anything might happen!” More on Christian community: newcreation.org.uk
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8 Jesus Army Streetpaper No. 96
Prayer for healing is happening on Trafalgar Square, in the street, at a festival – anywhere!
GET UP AND GO Receiving prayer at Trafalgar Square
WORLD WIDE “WE”
INVENTOR Sir Tim
IN 1991, a famous newspaper ran a headline: WORLD WIDE WHAT? The paper’s front page article mocked the inventor of the internet, Tim (now Sir Tim) BernersLee. It poured scorn on the notion that the so-called “web” could change the world.
Photo: Knight Foundation, flickr.com
It turned out the front page article was a hoax. But it does reflect some of the disbelief that greeted the advent of the internet age. Nowadays, we shop online, chat online, watch TV online. For many, it’s difficult to even recall the pre-internet age. Along with the wheel and the steam engine, the internet is a technological game-changer. It unites minds across the world. What
was previously impossible is no longer so. This year, a 15 year old American boy invented a new test for cancer through looking at academic papers on the internet as his hobby. When we unite and connect we can unlock our true potential. God wants us all to release our potential. That’s why the Bible says “Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves
together with peace”. The “Spirit” mentioned here is God’s Spirit. When we know Jesus He joins us together to others who know Him through this Spirit. God’s Spirit connects people powerfully in a “world wide web” of a different kind – across barriers of age, race and gender. Enemies become family. Warring camps get reconciled. We can achieve great things – together.
“A SCEPTICAL medical student was bemused when the pain in his lower back disappeared.” Jesus Army member Fred, 43, was part of a team praying for people at some UK festivals this summer. They experienced some remarkable things. “A guy called Lee was watching” continues Fred. “He said he suffered from depression and asked us to pray for him there and then. We prayed and he said he felt very dizzy (and that it was “f***ing weird”). But then he couldn’t remember why he felt depressed and felt detached from what had troubled him.” Whether it’s that arthritic knee, or those migraines, or his emotional hurts, or her worrying diagnosis, many of us need healing. “We prayed for a young
guy called Max” says Fred. “He had pain in his knee which clicked while we prayed. Later, he came back to say the knee was completely fine – he was really blown away. We explained that it was a sign of God’s great love for him.” Many people find it hard to believe in God’s love: illness and suffering are two big reasons for that difficulty. Yet Christians believe that Jesus Christ shows us the love of God in a human life. He lived, loved, healed and forgave many before enemies conspired to have Him killed. Was His death just another bloody tragedy? Christians believe Jesus willingly shouldered the weight of evil when He died. Why? Because three days later Jesus rose from death, undoing even that ultimate evil. Because a month later His followers were filled with God’s
JESUS SAID... Be encouraged! Your faith has made you well. Matthew 9:22, The Bible
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power. They strode fearlessly around the dangerous Roman empire risking their lives to tell others. And Christians believe Jesus has beaten evil because they see His power at work in the lives of people today – people like those at the festivals this summer, touched by God’s healing power and love. Following the festivals, someone called Sadie tweeted “Chaz tried to heal Rachel’s jaw ‘like the Jesus Army’ last night. Oh life.” So the Jesus Army tweeted back “How’d it go? Did Rachel’s jaw get better?” – to which Sadie replied “It did!” Follow the Jesus Army on Twitter @jesus_army and feel free to tweet questions or prayer requests. Or text 0774 0774 200
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