P3 P5 God speaks modern Jesus army: bringing spiritual and social help to all people
No. 71 FREE
P7 Debt Pickle
Texting - the way to build your network of friends
58 million texts a day in the UK TEXT US now! We’re Jesus People! And the 15s-30s among us are enthusiastic texters. It’s a wicked way to talk to people about our experiences of God, what prayer means to us, how we “lay hands” on people to receive spiritual life through the Holy Spirit. Jesus even tells us to “lay hands on the sick” and to “cast out demons in His name.” That can be a bit scary, but some of us have tried it. And texting is a great way to just share about ourselves – our fears, our loneliness and heartaches, our low times as well as our high times. And it’s good to talk to one another when we find God answers our prayers. We can even text our prayers to one another! Hi God.John is lonely.Show him hes got tru mates2 tlk2 who wont let him down.Help him meet U,feel Ur Spirit&trust his Jesus family.Amen If you want to text us, get your phone out and send a message to 07969 679 501. We’ll send you a reply and extend the network of Jesus friends in the UK.
Curd swaps mobile numbers as Jesus Army make friends in London
Texts charged at your normal rate. 0845 numbers local call rate for BT users: check with your service provider
modern JESUS army Streetpaper No. 71 Page 2
‘I WAS A PORN MODEL’
Can you hear us?
In the controversy that surrounds the pornography industry, who gives a thought to the models trapped in a world of vice?
We want to communicate Jesus to you - His love, His life, all of Him.
MY CHILDHOOD was good. I had loving parents. We were poor - but that didn’t matter. Then, when I was eleven, it started: my schoolfriend’s dad had a friend who began to abuse me. I never told anyone. I didn’t know how to. It was our sick secret. I was a child being used as a woman. He always used condoms and gave me lots of presents: clothes, records, booze, drugs. Soon I realised I could make him pay and demanded money and presents for my friends, too. He had taught me how to use my body as a commodity, a bargaining tool. So here I was at twelve, no self-respect and seeing my body as a way of getting what I wanted. I became badly behaved, stealing, not going to school, just doing my own thing. I had no morals and had sex with anyone, anywhere, anytime. I hated myself.
phone: 0845 123 5550 web: www.jesus.org.uk
It began as cheap thrills and ended in obsession A Jesus Fellowship member tells his story
email: firstname.lastname@example.org text: 07969 679501
FREE MAILING LIST Yes, absolutely free! No strings, no cost. Receive Jesus Army Streetpaper and Jesus Life magazine by filling in the response form on p6 - it’s FREEPOST too! JESUS Fellowship Church 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. To receive Jesus Fellowship literature regularly, free, send the response form on page 6 to Jesus Fellowship Central Offices, FREEPOST, Nether Heyford, Northampton NN7 3BR Tel. 0845 123 5550. modern JESUS army Streetpaper No.71 © 2004, published three times a year by Jesus Fellowship Church, Nether Heyford, Northampton NN7 3LB. Editor Peter Taylor. All photographs supplied and copyright by Jesus Army Photo Library unless stated otherwise. Printed by BGP Ltd., Bicester, Oxon. Reproduction of any part of this newspaper in any form requires written permission. All articles are contributed by members of the Jesus Fellowship Church, also known as the Jesus People. Many 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.
situation. But I turned the offer down - even though I was about to be evicted. What made the difference this time? Just before the offer came I’d found Jesus. I’d always been open to dark spiritual things. But I was also open to God - and He got me! I’d reluctantly gone to a Christian meeting to please my sister and I got knocked over by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus gave me back my selfworth. I wasn’t rubbish - I was the Father’s child! My past was gone, forgiven, my future safe within His hands. Now I am a woman renewed and beautiful, modest and moral and I thank God that I can be me. I’ve married again - a Christian who knows all about my past and really loves and respects me. I want to say to people - this is what happens. So please don’t judge.
‘I WAS SAVED FROM PORN ADDICTION’
For help/info, please contact:
When I was fifteen I got involved with a photographer. He used to take porno pictures and pay me for my time. I was a ‘model’. Not as glam as it sounds - that’s what I found out. When I was sixteen I worked for the studio at £15 an hour. My proper job was hairdressing and I got £14 a week so modelling paid well in comparison. But it made me feel sick. Outside, I looked happy, confident, attractive and was a fun-loving girl. But inside, I was unhappy, unloved, alone. After about a year I stopped modelling. I gave up everything, married and had children. But my husband was violent so it didn’t last. I drank a lot, ‘lived’ a lot, partied a lot and by the age of 32, I’d run up debts of thousands of pounds. When I was offered a guaranteed £70 an hour to model porn again, I was in a terrible
MY FIRST experience of pornography was when I found one of my father’s magazines. At 13 years old, I was beginning to discover my sexuality and the images helped to satisfy my desires. At this time of my life I didn’t know God’s closeness in any way and my conscience was in no way troubled. What started as an occasional cheap softporn thrill became a daily hardcore obsession and I started to buy videos as well as magazines and use the internet. Somewhere along the way, I made a conscious decision that
Debt THE BANK of England has warned that Britons are living at a level of debt which may cause future misery. The Bank’s figures show that the average household owes £3,516. The average low-income household with credit card debt owed £1,580.
Frozen FANCY BEING frozen? If you are rich enough, a company in Florida, USA, will fast-freeze you for future ‘reanimation’ when medicine eventually makes this possible. The company Suspended Animation offers different levels of service (on a scale of increasing prices), but, as no one has ever been revived yet, it’s impossible to tell whether the price makes any difference! Source: www.miami.com
porn was fulfilling my need for the opposite sex in a greater way than a partner ever could. Of course this was a lie. The more I saw, the more I wanted. As the years passed and the UK relaxed its laws on pornography, I needed to see more and more explicit material to be satisfied. I married but pornography was still an obsession to me. At one point, when my wife was away, I used the opportunity to soothe what had grown from my little private fantasy into an uncontrollable, burning addiction. In an insane act, I travelled all the way to Amsterdam for
the day, just to buy one video. My relationships with friends became adversely affected and my mind became twisted. I had become a pervert. Then Jesus came into my life. There was no miraculous healing, Jesus just offered me a great reason to question the direction my life was taking. He made me realise that I was no longer in control and that I had to find a will to change. I’ve been free from this addiction for several years, now, and I’m recovering those parts of my personality that used to be so badly marked by it.
MJA AROUND THE UK We have a group somewhere near you! And they are just a phone call away.
BELFAST ..................0845 123 5552 BIRMINGHAM ..........0845 166 8153 BOURNEMOUTH ......0845 123 5558 BRIGHTON ...............0845 166 8151 BRISTOL ..................0845 123 5339 COVENTRY ...............0845 166 8154 CHESTER/ NORTH WALES ........0845 123 5561 HASTINGS ...............0845 123 5551 HUNTINGDON .........0845 166 2697 IPSWICH ..................0845 166 8156 KETTERING .............0845 166 8157 LEEDS ......................0845 166 8167 LEICESTER ..............0845 166 8158 LIVERPOOL .............0845 166 8168
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OF ‘CARE’ Fear and confusion surrounded Patrick from birth and dogged his life into adulthood. He tells the story of how a pin changed the course of his life! Selfish
THE UK government has unveiled new standards for measuring child poverty. Once, poverty was about survival – the ability to afford food and shelter. Now it is a measure of whether families are able to ‘keep up with the Jones’s’. Martin Barnes of the Child Poverty Action Group said: “How we measure poverty has to be on a par with what we now expect for our children in the fourth richest country in the world.” How selfish has the heart of our society become?
Returning home, things went from bad to worse. Patrick became doubly incontinent at night and doctors classified him as ‘arrested development due to nervous disability’. He was sent to a childrens’ home, then a special needs boarding-school and, in 1947, to a ‘hospital for the mentally subnormal’ in St Albans. Patrick’s mother arranged for him to come home. What should have been a healing time went horribly wrong. “Mum’s friend came regularly into my bedroom and sexually molested me. I was powerless to stop it, but didn’t know how to get help. When Mum died of cancer, in 1956, officials from my old hospital came to fetch me and found me sitting naked on the bare floorboards. I was seventeen, but unable to look after myself.” Patrick stayed in the hospital for the next fifteen years. “Our huge dormitory held about 40 people. I was doubly incontinent until my late teens. I found it so humiliating. Nurses came every three hours to take us to the toilet but often it was too late for me. One nurse would beat me for causing him extra work, stick me in a hot bath and throw cold water over me. “One day an orderly said; ‘Patrick, you’re an intel-
Patrick found friendship and healing ligent young man, You shouldn’t really be in here you’re a victim of circumstances.’ Then a new medical supervisor arrived, with more forward-looking ideas of care. He told me I was free to leave. In spite of the bad times, the hospital was the only home I knew. I kicked up quite a rumpus!” Out in the world, aged 28, with few social or educational skills and no rehabilitation, Patrick discovered a streak of independence. Absconding from the car-cleaning job that the hospital had organised for him, he got a train to Folkestone and found work and accommodation. After three years, he returned to St Albans, where he and a group of friends would sit around, idly fantasising about places to go next. One day they all stuck pins in a map. Patrick’s pin hit Northampton and he decided to try the town out. “I didn’t know a soul but found myself lodgings, a storekeeper’s job and - best of all - a good church! “My earlier experiences of church had piled on extra anxiety and given me religious notions, rather than the peace I needed so badly. I had some kind of mental conversion that never touched my heart or put me in touch with a loving God who cared about me. Church was just another institution to me.” Then, in 1971, a work-mate invited Patrick to the Jesus Fellowship. “I’d lost all my years of childhood and young manhood. Slowly but surely, I found genuine friendship and the beginning of emotional healing. I learnt to express myself and make mature decisions. Looking back, I saw God’s grace had been with me, even when I wasn’t aware of it. “Every person is precious to Jesus. I want to spend my life helping people to realise that and to find their full potential in God.”
Jesus Centre opens doors in October Treasurer, Mike Farrant, makes fund-raising appeal
Building work to convert Northampton’s old Cannon cinema into a Jesus Centre is on target to be completed in October 2004.
“IF BEHAVIOUR doesn’t change, then 200 million people will be dead within the next 30 years.” These are the words of Dr Patrick Dixon, a leading authority on global trends, interviewed by the Oasis Trust on the topic of AIDS. A decade ago, AIDS was frontline news but now gets scant attention in the media. The World Health Organisation believes around 85 million people have the virus, but many who are infected probably do not yet know it. Dr Dixon quotes some shocking statistics: 20 million children have lost their mothers to AIDS: AIDS kills over 8,000 people every day: 43 million people (as many as the population of Spain) have already died through AIDS. Churches can play a vital role in education and prevention programmes across the world. www.oasistrust/drpatrickdixon
“I WAS illegitimate,” explains Patrick, “and Mum brought me up by herself. “My earliest memory - from 1943, when I was four - was traumatic. Dad must have allowed me to visit him in Ireland. I remember sailing on a ship but, when I arrived, Dad hid behind a door and made awful noises to scare me away.”
modern JESUS army Streetpaper No. 71 Page 3
THE JESUS Centre will be run, seven days a week, by Fellowship members in the town. Although the official opening is scheduled now for the end of October, a pilot project has already been in full swing for two years and has helped hundreds during that time. Funds for a UK network of Jesus Centres are coming in at the rate of about £1 million per year and the Trust which manages the Centres is looking to develop premises in London and Birmingham.
Northampton’s old Cannon Cinema: being converted
• See www.jesuscentres.org or write to the Jesus Army Charitable Trust, Nether Heyford, Northampton NN7 3LB.
FEEL LIKE the tide of your life has gone out? Everyone else is afloat, but you are left stranded with your hurt, your dented pride, your failed ambition, broken relationships. Or maybe your life looks a raging success, but inside you feel empty, lonely, living on a knife edge expecting it all to crumble at any moment. So many people fight their way through life, unable to acknowledge how they really feel. Jesus understands that. He, the Son of God, came and lived as a man on this earth. He knew all the temptations we know; He understands us! And when He had lived this life, but without sin, He was killed. Yes, the only perfect man was killed; He became the
sacrifice for the sin of the whole world. He paid the price for the hatred, sin, failure, immorality of all of us. Turn to Him. Ask Him to extend His forgiveness and new life to you – yes, even you. Pray like this: Jesus, though I find it hard to admit, I am at the end of my tether. I’m not sure if I can carry on. But I believe You love me. I believe You died for me. Jesus, I am turning toward You and away from all the undermining stuff in my life. Jesus, please cleanse me from my sin. I want to begin a new life in You. For further help/info, call 0845 123 5550 or email email@example.com
modern JESUS army Streetpaper No. 71 Page 4
dya luv 2 txt? MOBILE PHONES are here to stay. You can use your mobile now for personal banking, news, reviews, taking and exchanging photos, job hunting, booking tickets, even house buying.
Texting in particular has become an every- Mobiles are here to stay day feature of life for millions. Texting has been compared to the ‘gossip over the garden fence’. In our dislocated, fearful society, texting has become the way we ‘chat’, the way we get included in our friendship circles. Interviews with teenagers indicate that texting can help them to overcome feelings of awkwardness and develop their social and communication skills. Texting allows that bit of time to formulate your thoughts and express them clearly. And each text you send is like being in on an exclusive secret, an intimate chat with your friend, which may explain why preference for ‘texting’ was highest among the 16-24 age group, where 41 per cent normally use text rather than voice calls. 45 per cent of this age group use both voice and text, while older people were much more likely to use just voice calls.
• In September 2003 we sent 1.73 billion text messages in the UK
GOD IN THE
We hate war, but i many have found their lives during
LOOKING FOR EXCITEMENT WITH A mind full of exciting war stories and films, Pat decided to escape her boring office job and travel the world with the Women’s Royal Airforce.
“I was seventeen and a half years old when I joined in 1956 and very naive. Doing my ‘square-bashing’ at RAF Wilmslow was a complete cultureshock. I was put in charge of a billet of over twenty girls, probably because I had passed the most exams. But they’d seen much more of life than me and were street wise and hard-drinking. “Feeling the odd one out and stressed by the responsibility, I started going to ‘communion breakfasts’ organised by the churches on base. I’d always believed there was a God who cared for me and I turned to Him in my unhappiness. He answered my prayer in a rather painful but effective way when I was carted off to hospital for two weeks with a poisoned leg! This meant I was ‘back-flighted’ and no longer in charge of the billet.” Pat got on well with the new set of
• Our daily average is 58 million messages • In November 2003, at least 77% of teenagers owned a mobile phone.
mJa textline 07969 679 501 Pat in her WRAF uniform
Pat: joined up for adventure girls and managed to get through to clerical training at Hereford. “In my new barracks I was surprised when the girl next to me knelt by her bed every night and morning to pray. She had great courage because she was mocked by the others, but I started to go to church with her.” Pat missed her new friend when she was posted to a village in Scotland. She found the village church very austere, but the faith of her Catholic boyfriend helped keep her steady when she felt overwhelmed by other people’s expectations of her in the barracks office. “I applied to go overseas, hoping for the Far East, but my posting was to Cyprus. For six months we could not leave our base at Episkopi but it was a huge camp, HQ of Middle East Army, Navy and Airforce, with its own beaches, shops, cinemas and loads of sports facilities. “From the beginning, I was drawn into the church on the camp and soon began to make friends with people from all denominations and backgrounds. We started to do everything together in our spare time, even getting permission to draw rations and eat together. “When the political and security situation eased, we roamed over the island together, singing and rejoicing in the Lord and meeting Greek, Armenian and American Christians. Then, one evening, a young airman preached about Namaan the leper, who, at first, was too proud to obey Jesus and bathe in the River Jordan. He asked us if we were too proud to acknowledge our sin and receive Jesus as our Saviour. That night, I understood clearly who Jesus was and why He died.”
WHEN COLIN FACED D REAL, HE STARTED TO
Colin with his partner Lorraine
BADGES BIBLES BOOKS BRACELETS CD’S CASSETTES CROSSES FLEECES PENDANTS PATCHES SWEATSHIRTS STICKERS T-SHIRTS VIDEOS
w w w . jesuspeople.biz
VIDEOS Jesus Centres | Compassion in Action - inside the Jesus Army’s friendship and care project. 20 mins £5.99 Celibacy -why? why not? | Six men & women speak about what it means to them to be celibate. 30 mins £5.99 CHURCH - Steeple or People? | What happens when a group of Christians choose to live together? 26 mins £5.99 New Friends | A course in basic Christian belief. Seven sessions on one video. 70 mins £8.99 (Handbook £1.00) Multiply | Presenting the Multiply Christian Network - a varied and growing stream. 13 mins £5.99 Just Looking | A short introduction to the modern Jesus army. 15 mins £5.99
BOOKS When the Spirit comes | Accounts of spiritual awakening. 64 pages £3.99 Fire in our Hearts | The story of the Jesus Fellowship (Updated edition). 384 pages £5.99 Your Baptism | A clear, in depth teaching booklet on believer’s baptism. 36 pages £1.50 Revival Fires | Stirring accounts of Christian revival around the world. 40 pages £2.50 Seven Silver Rings | Seven celibates tell their stories. 80 pages £3.50 The Bestseller | An informative introduction to the books of the Bible. 64 pages £3.99
C RO S S E S Plastic cross | 50p Enamel cross | £1.50
• Visit Jesus People Shop ‘Live’ at Jesus Fellowship Events • Send for our full catalogue to : Jesus People Shop, FREEPOST, Nether Heyford, Northampton NN7 3BR Tel: 0845 166 8172 Fax: 0845 166 8178 • Go online at: www.jesuspeople.biz
MUSIC Qara | CD £10.99 The Poor | CD £10.99 Cassette £7.95 New Awakening | CD £10.99 Cassette £7.95 Atmosphere | CD £10.99 Dare To Be! | CD £10.99 Cassette £7.95 Stand Up! | CD £10.99 Cassette £7.95
REAL PEOPLE, REAL FAMILIES, REAL FRIE
In the Falklands war, Argentina l killed, Britain 255. Not huge numbers compared wit wars, but still people with real fami friends.
Not all pl
have you got your copy of DEEPER IN, HIGHER UP? price: £10.99 10 tracks
listen to sample tracks or order on www.jesuspeople.biz or write to Jesus People Shop Nether Heyford NORTHAMPTON NN7 3LB John: on an aircraft carrier
it is still true that Jesus at work in their forces years
DEATH FOR O PRAY
th other ilies and
WHEN COLIN got the news that a friend had been killed by a bomb in a booby-trapped car, he felt too heartbroken to go to the funeral. Instead, he stumbled back into his Army quarters to pray. “My friend had been an experienced sergeant, aged 35, half way through his stint in Northern Ireland. “Death suddenly was real to me. I was filled with grief and fear. You could be anywhere and death could suddenly come to you. I saw how little I really knew about the God I would face one day. But with the little bit I had, I prayed ‘Jesus, I want to live - please protect me!’ ” Colin had always had a respect for God. His mother died when he was nine, but, as a child his Christian step-mother made sure he attended Sunday school. “I found church hard and formal. I kept looking for something I couldn’t find inside it. A little voice in me kept saying ‘one day you will find what God really is and it’ll hit you like a ton of bricks!’. In 1986, at the outbreak of the Falklands
war, Colin enlisted as an engineer with the Royal Anglian at Colchester. “Right through my time in the army I attended church. We had a great padre, who came on manoeuvres with us to hold services in the field. I felt less restricted worshipping God outside in His creation - but I still couldn’t find what I was looking for. “Then, in Gibraltar, I had an experience which started to open my eyes to Jesus being a real person. “One of our men was killed in a fight. All we could think about was revenge, but at his funeral service, the padre gathered us together and brought calming peace to us. That day, I began to see Jesus!” Civilian life in 1995 was hard for Colin. He missed the challenge and comradeship of the Army. Together with his girlfriend Lorraine, he began to dabble in recreational drugs. This lead to them both becoming heroin addicts with criminal records. “Even in my worst days, me and Lorraine talked about God. I still had feelings for church and I wanted to get back the little bit of real Christian life I’d once had. “It was at this point that I wrote to the Jesus Army from prison and that was the start of finding God for real. “In 2003, I was baptised. Suddenly there it was - the deeper experience I’d been searching for. And - just like I’d once described it to myself - it really did hit me like a ton of bricks!”
JOHN CLARIDGE had wanted to be in the Navy since he was a child.
“I was put down a lot as a teenager, which left me feeling very low about myself,” says John. “When I joined the Navy at 16 years old, I found that everyone was equal and treated OK, just so long as they got on with the job.” John believed in God, but not in Jesus. Not till nine years later did he realize that he needed something more. He was out in the far East, away from his wife, and everything seemed to be going wrong. He felt he was not in charge of his life anymore. “There were some committed Christians on board, and I realized that they had something - a peace and strength - that I didn’t have. “In the navy, you have to either be all or nothing, so when I committed myself to Jesus, I had to be out and out for Him. You can’t hide your faith on board ship together, everyone quickly knows everything about you! “My time in the navy was a good preparation for ministry,” he says. “The skills I learned were part of God’s training for my later ministry in mission radio. My faith was strengthened, because I had to overcome opposition and learn to persevere through difficulties.”
modern JESUS army Streetpaper No. 71 Page 5
PEACE TIME KILLING
WAR IS TERRIBLE, no doubt about it. But many people are killed by state repression and by all kinds of brutality that happens in ‘peace’ time. It has been estimated that, during the twentieth century, nearly 120 million people were killed in some way by their own governments. This contrasts with 35 million who died fighting in a war. How extensive man’s barbarity can be!
JESUS PRINCE OF PEACE HOW HUMAN history has been ravaged by war. Century after century, all across the globe.
Whole countries have fought one another, small tribal groups or gangs fighting for their territory in their city. Are wars ‘justified’? We have lived through that debate again since the crisis in Iraq. And all too often, religion has been implicated in nations’ decision to fight nation. Religion has become part of the political system of this world. Look at Jesus, though. He had ‘nowhere to lay his head’; he was tortured; he was killed by crucifixion. And still He told His followers to spread a gospel of forgiveness and reconciliation across the globe. One of the great prophets who told of Jesus’ coming was called Isaiah. He wrote; “Unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9.6) In the face of a world which hurries to refine its methods of mass destruction, we must keep on announcing that Jesus IS the Prince of Peace.
Jesus Army peace banner held aloft during London anti-war demo
Who am I?
WANT TO know who you really are? Then have a go on the Gene Forecaster. Put in a strand of hair and out comes your full genetic code, with a forecast of what your genes indicate about YOU. Does your DNA match that of any famous people? Is the date of your death ‘predestined’? Do you have ‘special’ genes that might turn you into a great musician, or an artist? Actually, the whole thing was a spoof (visit www.spacedog.biz/ unknownpages/geneforecast), but the question is still real. Who are you? God loves you. You are precious to Him. He sent His Son to die for you, so that your sin could be forgiven. He offers you new, spiritual life. He is the ‘Alpha and Omega’, the Beginning and the End. He is God. He knows who YOU are.
modern JESUS army Streetpaper No. 71 Page 6
JAMIE HANDS HIMSELF IN
Why does the baby have a swear word for his name? THE BOY was twelve years old before anyone told him what the Christmas story about Jesus meant. Gobsmacked, he asked “why has no one ever
told me this before? And why did they give the baby a swear word for a name?”
This true story was told by the guest speaker at a recent Jesus Fellowship event in Sheffield. He added another true story: a husband popped down to a local church one Sunday, to pick up art materials left there after his wife’s painting class earlier in the week. He was puzzled to see a group of people coming out of the church.
“I didn’t know the church was open on a Sunday!” he remarked.
What do these two stories show? That we are living in a ‘twilight zone’, where the culture of the UK moves steadily away from its Christian basis. More and
I LEFT prison on parole in May 2002. I had been away for over two years and came out to live in a hostel in Stratford, east London. I was soon feeling isolated and under pressure and ended up relapsing back into drugs, which got me into prison in the first place! One Saturday I walked into Stratford and was confronted by a colourful coach! I thought at the time I was doing a good job of ignoring it. I was handed a paper which I took but refused to read. On my return journey, the coach was still there. I don’t know why I stopped but I hung around thinking “well come on then, Christians, help me if you can”. I must have looked angry but eventually a man came out. Now, I was expecting a “woolly” Christian, but Jesus saw that I got a guy called Bryan. “Are you okay?” he said, and as I tried to say “yes”, it came out as “no!!” The next thing I’m clear about is being on the coach in tears, telling these strangers what a sinner I’d been – and that things got a lot better after that. I started going to church meetings and made new friends I could confide in. I spent a weekend at a Jesus
The guest speaker was Stuart Murray Williams, who works as a trainer and consultant for the Anabaptist Network
Inside? Contact Phil
The Jesus Army operates a ‘Prisoner Release Scheme’ to help those released with restarting their lives. Contact Phil on (01327) 344533
‘God, I luv u. pls tk my sins away’
more people today have no understanding of the Christian gospel.
Sad fact? Certainly. But this should give Christians a spur to tell the story of God’s grace and salvation in a fresh way. Many say they are ‘put off by religion’. What a great opportunity to tell them the real story - that Jesus didn’t come to teach us dead doctrine but to offer us a living faith in a real Person!
Festival. I felt like there was a battle going on inside me, which of course there was! The first thing that happened when I went inside that marquee was that I was struck by the strongest emotion. I cried but it was of relief and joy. That evening I watched baptisms taking place and that’s when it happened. Right out of the blue I was on a high and my heart was racing – I had received the Holy Spirit. I came out of that tent not being able to walk properly! A few weeks ago, I found out that my parole licence had been revoked for moving house without getting proper permission – but before I went back inside I got baptised. I’m finding my feet and learning to walk with God. Things are still up and down but when I fall now I get up again. I’ve had to hand myself back into prison, which was not easy, but on the way up here on the train I opened by Bible and there was Psalm 107, v1-16, a personal message to me in a dark time. I don’t know exactly when I will be back out but good things are happening in here and there are a lot of open hearts. I’ve had the chance to share my testimony in here, and although I’m behind walls, I’ve never felt so free! Jamie HMP Norwich
THE STREETS were running with water and so were the Jesus Army team, as a torrential downpour sent passersby scuttling for cover. The team decided they were already soaked to the skin: they couldn’t get any wetter and might as well stay out on the street, talking to people. A group of Goths appeared, asking if the team could spare some red crosses and pray for them. The warm atmosphere, as they prayed together, more than made up for the soaking.
SINCE the mJa textline was launched three months ago, there has been a steady stream of people making use of the sms service. The number is 07969 679 501 (but if you want a voice-to-voice chat, use the mJa Helpline on 0845 123 5550). Most of the texts to the Helpline are serious, and some have meant an ongoing text-chat or have led to mJa members being able to give direct help. For example, some-
one had lost a close friend and was distraught over whether they could have done more for them. Some texts have been less serious! - Help! I’m a monk who lives in a convent – or an expression of deeply held nonreligious belief; I hope whoever gets this text realises that all religion is b******s! But texts like these show peoples’ interest and faith in Jesus today. § Thank you for all the good work you do. I am praying for you. § Keep on filling the air-
waves with Jesus. § I am thinking about being single for Jesus – can you advise me. § Pray for Nadina to be healed. § I love your Streetpaper; it’s very provoking. I am trying to discover faith. § God please free me from loneliness and fear. § Met some guys from mJa in South Wales – can you put me in touch? § I’d like to be in touch with Christians in Leeds. § Please pray for my dad to know Jesus. § Please pray 4 my mum’s arthritis.
IT WAS the early hours of the morning and a Jesus Army team was about to leave London. “Let’s say goodbye by dancing and singing”, suggested someone. Within minutes, the square was filled with music. Some drug dealers, who had been selling nearby all evening came over and joined in. As the team finished, one of the dealers took off his hat, pointed to the top of his head and asked to be prayed for. Others soon joined him and a sense of God’s presence moved round the square.
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THE JESUS army bus was parked in the centre of the city and there had been many visitors coming to talk and pray with the team. But the musical experiment which the team had tried was a flop. Feeling discouraged, the team leader announced they were packing up for the evening. Just as they were leaving, an old friend, who was now living on the streets, happened to pass by. He asked if someone would pray for him and was joyfully welcomed onto the coach.
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DEBT PICKLE modern JESUS army Streetpaper No. 71 Page 7
Threat of losing home makes Linda search for God - and she found Him!
THE SOLICITOR’S letter from the Building Society lay on Linda’s kitchen table. Just a few lines of print - but it might as well have been a handgrenade, blowing her life to pieces.
Phil and Linda have proved God’s faithfulness
Goodbye to The Old Wheeze Box
JILL WAS born into a happy Christian home in Northern Ireland, 53 years ago, and lived with her family surrounded by beautiful mountains and valleys. Just after starting school, her cosy world was turned upside down by the onset of bronchitis. Every winter meant time in bed with chest infections and she was diagnosed asthmatic - a condition that hampered her for the next 26 years. Her dad nicknamed her “The Old Wheeze Box.” “One day, in 1986, now married with a daughter, I decided to varnish our front door. It was silly, really, as varnish emits strong fumes which set off another chest infection. Normally, inhalers and antibiotics cleared it up, but this attack was so severe - nothing eased it and I was rushed to hospital.” In x-ray Jill stopped breathing altogether, causing a big panic. Seeing doctors and nurses charging about, Jill’s husband said to his friend that someone must be very ill - not knowing it was his wife being rushed to Intensive Care. “I was given only a two per cent chance of survival and my parents were summoned from Scotland. They spent the journey ringing from call boxes to see if I was still alive - no mobile phones then!” Jill’s pastor came to the hospital and announced to a surprised ward sister “We’re here to anoint Jill and pray for her.” She replied, “That will do no good. She’s dying.” Jill’s pastor said, “Well, God has told me otherwise.” They anointed Jill and went home. Next day, her church gathered to pray for her healing. “I have no recollection what happened round me for four days,” says Jill. “But while I was unconscious, I was aware of being in a beautiful place, with a wide street paved with gold. There was a throne at the end of the street and I knew that was where God was. I was having a conversation with Him - I wanted to stay, but God was telling me I had to go back, as He hadn’t finished the work He’d given me to do: and my
family needed me. I eventually agreed to return and at that point my body jerked in bed and I started breathing on my own, opened my eyes, tried to speak (but couldn’t because of the ventilator tube) and attempted to sit up - impossible with so many tubes.” Astonished hospital staff realised something remarkable had happened, removed Jill’s tubes and transferred her to the general ward, where she stayed for three weeks. “Eighteen years have passed, but the beautiful experience has never faded from my mind,” says Jill. “Since that day, ‘Old Wheeze Box’ has never reappeared. This healing was possible because my friends believed in God and trusted Him to answer prayer.”
Miracle healing means normal life for Jill; once even dusting was a problem
“After my marriage failed, in 1988, I got myself in a right pickle with debts. I’d got four children to bring up. My priority was always to keep them well-fed and clothed. People asked how I managed so well. Little did they suspect I only achieved this by letting the bills pile up. Now the solicitor’s letter was summoning me to appear in court for the repossession of my home.” The days before the court appearance were grim. The only person Linda could turn to was her mother - but she was ill. Linda didn’t want to burden her. “As a child, we lived in Northamptonshire. I went to Sunday school in the village chapel and gained a simple faith. When I was eight we moved to Coventry and in 1969 we heard that God had started to do amazing miracles in the chapel. By 1980, the congregation had grown into a national church - the Jesus Fellowship.
“My childhood faith was very basic. I’d no idea you could know God as a person, let alone as a friend. But the night before the court case I found myself talking to Him. I told Him I was ashamed about the pickle I was in. If He would help me I would search for more of Him until I found Him properly.” The next day, her stomach churning, Linda arrived in court. Her solicitor was called aside and told that the solicitor for the building society had failed to turn up. The clock ticked round to noon and the magistrate called Linda into his room. To her amazement he told her “I’m really sorry for the wait you’ve had. I’ll give you a new date for a fortnight hence. But I strongly recommend you raise the arrears in that time. If you can do that, they will have no case against you.” Going down the court steps, the April sun hit Linda like a blessing. At that moment she realised - God had answered her prayer! Soon came her second miracle - a friend called Phil - who at that time hardly knew her - heard of her need and felt inspired to lend her the arrears money. “I was amazed how quickly I got organised to return every penny and I learnt far more from my
‘right pickle’ than how to manage my money! I learnt God is a real person who is really there for you. I started to go to church and gradually my relationship with Jesus came alive. Ten years later, in 1992, friends took me to a marquee in Solihull, where Jesus Fellowship had a campaign. It was good to be with my childhood church again and I went up for prayer.” Linda was amazed when her body convulsed. ‘Have you ever been involved with the occult?’ she was asked. She explained she’d been trained by a ‘white’ witch to do ‘good’ spells ‘for health and happiness’. “As they prayed, it seemed many dark things left me, to be replaced by the glow of the Holy Spirit. All the empty spaces in my faith now felt filled! Linda joined the Jesus Fellowship congregation in Coventry and, a few months later, she and Phil were married. “We’ve faced many trials together since then - including the awful test of our faith when Phil lost his sight in 1999. But our trust in God is sure. Phil is working on a braille version of the Bible and we’re both always looking for new ways of telling people, “Hey! Our God is alive and does miracles!”
U N I QUE OVER SIX billion human beings live on earth today. The six billion barrier was passed in October 1999, according to United Nations statisticians. In little more than a generation, the population has doubled (it was three billion in 1960). That’s six billion people needing food, shelter and clothing. Six billion individuals waking and sleeping, working and playing. Six billion men, women and children searching for meaning and purpose to their life. Is it any wonder that we sometimes feel overwhelmed? Is there a place for ME? Do I matter to anyone? The answer is YES. God the Father, the creator of the universe, has plans for your life. Through Jeremiah the prophet the Bible tells us they are ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.’ Jesus Christ, God’s son, died on a cross 2,000 years ago so you could enjoy that future. Will you accept His offer? Pray this prayer: Jesus, I want to belong to you. Please forgive me for all the times that I have pushed you aside. I want to get to know you, and the Father, and the Holy Spirit. I want to enjoy the gift of life to the full. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me a fresh start. Help me, Jesus.
We want to help you find faith in Jesus. n Contact us using the number on page 2 n Fill in and return the response form on page 6 n For a free John’s Gospel, see page 6
CALENDAR ‘04 UK Jesus Celebration Saturday 31 July 2:00 & 6:00pm Giant Marquee, Cornhill Manor, Pattishall NORTHAMPTON London Jesus Day Saturday 14 August March to Trafalgar Sq Jesus Festival in Trafalgar Sq 12.30pm Jesus Celebration 6.15pm LONDON (venue tbc)
Winning Festival Weekend 27-30 August Giant Marquee, Cornhill Manor, Pattishall NORTHAMPTON
Jesus Celebration Saturday 11 September 6:30pm City Temple Holborn, LONDON Jesus Celebration Saturday 11 September 6:30pm mJa Marquee Cross Flatts Park, Beeston, LEEDS (venue tbc) UK Praise Day Saturday 16 October 2:00 & 6:00pm Ponds Forge, Sheffield Opening Celebration for Northampton Jesus Centre Saturday 30 October 2:00 and 6:00pm (date tbc)
info: Jesus Fellowship, FREEPOST, Nether Heyford, Northampton NN7 3BR t: 0845 123 5550 e: firstname.lastname@example.org www.jesus.org.uk
modern JESUS army Streetpaper No. 71 Page 8
But we haven’t launched the Jesus Navy!
PETER AND Michelle Watson came to the Jesus Army’s Power Festival in 2003 aboard their narrowboat, the Avocet. They were able to moor on the Grand Union canal in Northamptonshire, within walking distance of the Giant Marquee, where the Festival was held. Michelle said: “We had a jolly good time at the Marquee. We enjoyed the worship, the teaching and meeting up with old friends. Afterwards, we invited many of our land lubbing Jesus Army friends back to the boat. “We’re looking forward to the next Festival, but this time we’ll bring more tea bags!”
The Watsons look forward to Jesus Festivals 2004
Like to find out about Jesus Army Festivals in 2004? Use the response form on p6 and we’ll send you details and a Booking Form. We’ll send you directions, too, but if you’re planning on coming by balloon please ask for our special aerial map!
JESUS SAID: “ Come unto Me, all you who labour and are heavily laden,
WOWED THE YOUNG man proudly showed off the design of six hefty wolves on his tee-shirt. With a smile, one of the two girls from the Jesus Fellowship pointed to her own tee-shirt and said ‘There’s a cross on my teeshirt and it’s more powerful than all your wolves together!” He told them he’d once believed in God, but bad things had happened to him and now he wasn’t so sure. Later that day they met the ‘wolf man’ again and he asked “What did you mean when you said that the
cross is more powerful than the wolves?” Then they explained how the sacrifice Jesus made for all humanity, when He died on the cross two thousand years before, still carried power in the 21st century. When they told their own stories of how this power had affected their lives in a dramatic way, he asked them to pray for him. As he said goodbye he added “you two ladies have changed my life tonight!”
Double decker challenge
London’s night life is full of ups and downs
A JESUS Army member preached to the people on a service bus in London. “Everyone faces challenges in life, and mine is to tell you all about Jesus!” People listened attentively to his message about God’s love for humanity. When he had finished speaking, many asked for a copy of Streetpaper. Several of the listeners asked for prayer.
and I will give you rest ”
mJa coach in action in London’s West End
THE MAN looked uncared for and desperate. He poured out his life story. “I’ve been an alcoholic for years and my wife has finally chucked me out. “I’ve nowhere to go and I’ve given up hope that I can ever stop drinking. I’ve tried detox several times but I always go back to drink. I’ve just said to myself that nobody cares. I decided tonight I’ve had enough and I want out.” He was invited back to a Jesus Army house, where he had something to eat. He asked for some of the men in the house to pray for him and to support him Jake, centre, talks about Jesus in London’s West End in the future.
Matthew 11:28 Special UK number: 0845 123 5550 (local call rate) For further help/info, contact: Jesus Fellowship Central Offices, FREEPOST, Nether Heyford, Northampton NN7 3BR Tel: 0845 166 8171 / Fax: 0845 166 8178 e-mail: email@example.com Web: www.jesus.org.uk or contact:
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