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Raising the educational achievements and aspirations of youth

Coping with and managing diabetes HOW TO COMBAT






I built my marriage on the wrong foundation


BROWN talks music, faith and education


ISRAEL AND NEW BREED release first live album in five years

This month’s Keep The Faith features articles which we hope will inspire you, make you think, and encourage you to draw closer to God. We profile three Christians making the most of their God-given talents: BEN TV presenter, Rhoda Wilson, shares the secret to her success; female saxophonist, YolanDa Brown, talks about her well-received debut jazz album, and we report on leading 21st century psalmists, Israel and New Breed, who have just released their first live recording for five years. Other gems to be found in this month’s magazine include a feature on the first ever National Day of Prayer for the UK, which has united Christians across the denominational and cultural spectrum. Patrick Regan OBE writes on how the Church can help improve the educational achievements of disadvantaged young people, and Rev David Shosanya explores the key challenges that Britain’s African Christian community are likely to face in the future. Ruth Dickson shares her experience of getting married for all the wrong reasons; Pauline Byers provides health-enhancing tips for diabetes sufferers, and Esther Williams reminds us that Christian battles are fought and won in the mind. I hope this month’s Keep The Faith encourages you to be the best Christian you can be; inspires you to achieve God’s best for your life, and gives you strength and courage to overcome life’s struggles. Happy reading.

Editor Marcia Dixon


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WELCOME 04 Food 4 Thought by Marcia Dixon 06 Readers’ Letters

NEWS 07 News pages 10 Keep The Faith about town



The challenges of being African and Christian in Britain by Rev David Shosanya 13 Promoting Black intellectuals by Rev Stephen Brooks 14 The call for more Black adopters by Rev Wale Hudson-Roberts

INTERVIEW 16 Rhoda Wilson: TV presenter by Marcia Dixon 18 C O V E R S T O R Y YolanDa Brown: A saxophone sensation by Rachel John



Israel Houghton and New Breed: their first live CD and DVD for five years 22 Reality TV culture v Gospel culture by Dionne Gravesande Keep The Faith R Postal Address: PO Box 574 Bury St Edmunds IP33 9BW Tel: 0845 193 4431 Mob: 07743 846 300


What a summer! Weren’t the London 2012 Olympics glorious, when we all watched as athletes from across the world competed for the prize of a medal, and witnessed first-hand the link between hard work, determination and sacrifice that’s involved in achieving one’s goals?






Building on the wrong foundation by Ruth Dickson 25


Positive relationships bring positive change by Patrick Regan OBE 26 Special feature on Bible Colleges

GOSPEL 30 Gospel News by Marcia Dixon 32 C O V E R S T O R Y Gospel music is not just for the young by Juliet Fletcher

INSPIRATION 34 What’s on your mind? by Esther Williams 37 Being still before God by Gladys Famoriyo

LIFESTYLE 38 Cyber Corner by Keno Ogbo 39 C O V E R S T O R Y Coping with diabetes by Pauline Byers 43 Business Matters by Denise Roberts 44 Charity Affairs by Lara Rufus 45 Heart to Heart by Esther Fenty

MISSION 46 Gospel King gets his hands dirty by Kate Sharma

Publisher: Shirley McGreal Editor: Marcia Dixon Design: Becky Crump Advertising: Marcus Miller 0845 193 4434 Admin and Subscriptions: Skype: keepthefaithmag

Many thanks from Keep The Faith to: Rev David Shosanya, Rev Stephen Brooks, Rev Wale Hudson-Roberts, Marcia Dixon, Shirin Aguiar-Holloway, Rachel John, Dionne Gravesande, Ruth Dickson, Patrick Regan OBE, Juliet Fletcher, Esther Williams, Gladys Famoriyo, Pauline Byers, Keno Ogbo, Denise Roberts, Lara Rufus, Esther Fenty, Kate Sharma, the Association of Bible College Principals, Daniel Jones, Stewardship, Jackie Raymond, our advertisers and all our supporters The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Publisher. 03

WELCOME ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. .





Whatever happened to caring for the poor?


fter reading media reports that the world’s wealthiest people have squirreled away up to $20 trillion pounds in tax havens, I couldn’t help but think that there is a great need for Christian leaders - in the mould of Old Testament prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah or Amos who would draw attention to this travesty; demand justice for the world’s poor, and put forward a case for the rich paying their taxes.

According to, there are 1.4 billion people across the world who live in extreme poverty, and have to exist on just $1.25 a day, and 50% of the world’s population live on just $2.50 a day. This is in a world where just 20% of the world’s richest people account for 75% of the world’s income.

In the clamour by church leaders and Christians alike to jump on the personal development bandwagon to achieve their dreams and utilise their God-given talents to experience success, some have forgotten the biblical imperative to be advocates for those who are poor, disadvantaged and treated unfairly - whether it is due to their race, class or gender. Isaiah 58 states that God sometimes ignores an individual’s prayers because they are too selfabsorbed; exploit their employees; argue and bicker too much and, in the process, ignore the hungry, the homeless and the naked. In other words: those who are poor. It is a disgrace that the world’s rich minority not only own most of the world’s resources and fail to pay their taxes, but that they also hear too few reminders from the Church that it is downright wrong, immoral and displeases God. There are countries in this world that would be able to feed the hungry; provide care for the sick; educate the masses, and build homes for their citizens, if their wealthy citizens paid their taxes. To be wealthy is a privilege, and rich people should constantly be admonished to use their riches for the benefit of society as opposed to just for the few. Or, to coin the words of the Apostle Paul, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good; to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share” (1 Timothy 6:16-17).


More quality than quantity, please!


oo much of the Black Christian experience is centred on attending events - whether it’s a concert, conference, convention, workshop or seminar. There’s nothing wrong with events per se - they provide believers with opportunities to learn, be encouraged, to network and to partake in communal worship. However, couldn’t churches be utilising members’ time and skills more effectively, by providing a better quality of events for them to attend? Christians are part of an army, whose task is to build the Kingdom of God; share the Gospel message to all; do good works, and defend the faith against detractors. Since this is the case, shouldn’t church events be more focused on training, equipping and empowering Christians to be more effective in these areas, and teaching them how to counter unchristian cultural trends and how to deal with key concerns affecting communities? Surely this would be preferred to sitting through hours of events that add little or no value to their lives at all, except maybe to provide entertainment. Is it any wonder, then, that so many believers are suffering from ‘church events burn out’? Events are a powerful tool, but let’s provide better quality events that help produce more effective Christians.

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I’ve been greatly inspired by the 2012 Olympics. It’s been a pleasure watching the sports, and reading about athletes’ personal journeys to Olympic glory. Stand out moments for me include: • Usain Bolt, becoming Olympic Champion for the second time in the Men’s 100m and 200m • Nicola Adams, the first woman (period) to win a boxing medal at the Olympics (and for winning gold!) • Gabby Douglas, who was the first African-American to be crowned the all-round Gymnastics champion • Kirani James, who became the first Grenadian to receive an Olympic medal after winning the Men’s 400m • Felix Sanchez, who bawled tears of joy and relief as he collected his Olympic medal for winning the Men’s 400m Hurdles There were lots of other stories of athletes who overcame bereavement, serious injury, loss of form or who, after years of coming second, finally won the gold they’d always dreamed of. Sporting endeavour is a metaphor for life. We all have goals that we set ourselves and for which we equip ourselves with the skills, strength and stamina required to reach those goals. We also recognise that, on the way to accomplishing our ambitions, we’ll encounter a range of obstacles that can and have to be overcome. The Bible compares life to a race - and the great thing about the race of life is that everyone can run it at their own pace, and win a prize. If they keep their eyes on God, He’ll help them complete it - no matter what life obstacles they face. I’m so grateful to those Olympians who have provided me, along with the whole world, with great sporting memories, and for reminding us all that no goal that we can conceive in our minds is impossible to achieve. You’ve done it. So can we.

LETTERS ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. .

Readers’ Letters We’d love to hear your views on Keep The Faith and the featured articles. Send your letters to Keep The Faith Letters, PO Box 574, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 9BW or better still, email

Discipline must demonstrate love and care


Parental LETTER discipline shouldn’t be undermined I found Melvyn Davis’ article, ‘An acceptable level of discipline’, enlightening. It brought back many painful memories for me, as I was regularly beaten by my mother, often with a belt, and when my mum thought I was really in need of a beating, she did so with a wire hanger or a stick. I felt my parents’ approach to discipline was excessive, but I would never have dreamt of calling the police, as Creflo Dollar’s daughter did. And, whilst I do not subscribe with Rev Dollar’s approach to parental discipline in the instance cited in Melvyn’s piece, surely a father has a right to tell his child “No”, and to stop her from attending a party. Oftentimes, parents do know best - and can ascertain the consequences if they acquiesce to their child’s request. I remember as a teenager, I asked my mum to attend a party. She said “No”, I threw a strop, but the following morning I found out she was right to deny my wish. A major brawl broke out at the party, and a number of people ended up in hospital. We mustn’t undermine parental authority, but Black parents must find new ways to discipline their children. Samantha Fuller, London

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Melvyn Davis’ article about parental discipline of teenagers was very interesting. I can’t agree with him that using physical force to discipline one’s child is wrong. I do agree that the use of excessive force is not necessary, but am of the opinion that too many Black parents have thrown out the baby with the bathwater, and now fail to discipline their children properly because they don’t want to follow the ’Windrush Generation’s approach to parenting’. I do believe that parents must be able to exert authority and discipline over their children, but it must be administered and undergirded by love. Physical force should be just one in a range of tools that parents use to discipline their children, and one that is used the most sparingly. Children must be able to look back on their childhood and state that they were loved, cared for, and that when their parents administered discipline, it was done so fairly. Peter Brown, Luton

Issue 74

Jamaica is the best I have to commend Keep The Faith on their last edition (issue 74), which had a focus on Jamaica, the Olympics and young people. It was great to read about Jamaican heroes and heroines, who have contributed to religious life in Britain. I particularly enjoyed the article about Sam Sharpe, the Jamaican who led a slave rebellion in the 19th century, which played a part in bringing slavery to an end. As a woman of Jamaican heritage, I am proud of the cultural impact that Jamaicans have made around the world - in all walks of life. Long may our influence continue. Hyacinth Thomas, Birmingham


Let’s kick racism out of the Church Rev David Shosanya’s article about racism was a very timely one. It’s a subject that the Church seems to have pushed under the carpet, but it’s a very real one that is deeply impacting ministers of African and Caribbean descent. I have a number of ministerial friends who left their respective Black Pentecostal churches to work in traditional denominations, and all of them have complained about the racist attitudes they have encountered from their fellow White ministers, as well as from the congregants. Rev Shosanya is right in saying that pressure must be brought to bear on denominational church leaders to rid themselves of any racism that might exist within their ranks, because not to do something means they are complicit in accepting it as a fact of life, and are in agreement with those who choose to discriminate against a member of God’s creation solely on the basis of their colour. Name and address supplied

I loved reading about Guvna B and the other young people in issue 74 of Keep The Faith. We hear so much negativity about young people in the media and in general conversations. It is easy to forget that there are young people doing some great things in the Church and in the wider community, and who, fuelled by their faith, are keen to make a difference. Thank you, Keep The Faith, for reminding us of this fact, and for bringing some inspirational young people to the fore. Alistair Malcolm, Gloucester

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Poll puts Sentamu as front runner to become head of CofE

Churches pledge to encourage Christians to get involved in politics An ambitious new initiative to harness the dormant political power within Britain’s Black Christian community before the next general election has been launched. Leaders of some of the largest Black church denominations are collaborating to mobilise their congregations to engage in the political process, by producing a Black Church political manifesto within six months, and increasing the numbers of church voters.

Dr Sentamu

Most Christians in Britain would prefer John Sentamu to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury. According to a ComRes poll for Premier Christian Radio, 45% of Pentecostals identify Dr Sentamu, who is currently Archbishop of York, as their favourite for the post, along with 35% of Roman Catholics and 43% of Anglicans. The results of the poll seem to echo the wishes of the leaders of the wider Anglican Church overseas, numbering 80 million. A letter, signed by 17 archbishops and bishops from four continents in July, was sent to the selection committee, urging them to choose someone prepared to take a stand against liberal values on issues such as homosexuality. Their intervention boosts Dr Sentamu’s chances of being selected, as he is well-regarded in Africa and elsewhere. Ugandan-born Dr Sentamu has been a critic of Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe, and in 2008 called for Mugabe to be removed from power. Dr Sentamu also criticised the BBC in 2006 for being too timid to be critical of Islam, while taking liberties with Christians. He said, “They can do to us what they dare not do to the Muslims. We are fair game because they can get away with it. We don't go down there and say, ‘We are going to bomb your place.’ That is not in our nature.” Dr Sentamu is unusual in that he writes regularly for The Sun, a tabloid newspaper. Earlier this year, after announcing his standing, he faced an internal Anglican smear campaign against him as the only Black bishop in the Church of England. Shirin Aguiar-Holloway

Christians and the wider community will also be urged to stand against injustice, as well as to join political parties and become local councillors, MPs, JPs, school governors and chaplains. The initiative is the brainchild of Bishop Dr Joe Aldred, of the National Church Leaders’ Forum’s (NCLF) steering group. He told Keep The Faith that the move was borne out of a sense that, traditionally, the Black Church has not punched its weight politically over the past 10 years. He said: “That has never gone away. Part of the problem is the fragmentation of these churches. There isn’t a single Black Church in Britain but a multiplicity of churches, and therefore our corporate voice has become weaker because we’ve never found a vehicle through which to channel that voice.” Dr Aldred, who is also Secretary of Churches Together in England’s Minority Ethnic Christian Affairs (MECA), added: “The core of the problem is this apathy towards politics in the Black Church, which is historic and rooted in colonial

Bishop Dr Joe Aldred

malevolence which, through Black people engaging with colonial powers from slavery onwards, has used Christianity as a means of quietening the political aspirations of Black people. So we are very good at praying, but we are not very good at rising up and taking action, because we feel God will sort it out.” Churches represented at the London meeting of MECA included the Church of God of Prophecy; New Testament Church of God; Redeemed Christian Church of God, and Seventh Day Adventist, along with the Black sections of the historic churches. Dr Robert Beckford,who will work out the manifesto through a consultation and a series of conferences, spoke on the theological context for church political mobilisation. Operation Black Vote will help with voter registration. Shirin Aguiar-Holloway

New Patois Devotional published Pheonia Bailey, aka the Poetic Patois Princess, has just released the first ever Jamaican Patois Devotional (JPD). This popular poet hopes that her unique devotional will strengthen the faith of believers, as well as help raise the profile of Jamaican patois as a language. She was inspired to write the JPD after she compiled a booklet about Jamaica for her fellow church members, who were going on a mission trip to the island. The feedback she received about it was so complimentary that she decided to write her devotional, which is also eliciting positive feedback. Pheonia shared, “People of Jamaican descent have commented that the terminologies and photos have taken them back to pleasurable childhood days. English readers have said they appreciate the way that patois is mixed in to give a greater experience of the culture and language without it being too overpowering.” Pheonia, a member of ACTS Christian Church in Thornton Heath, Surrey, is hopeful that the JPD will strengthen people’s faith. She said, “I want the JPD to do more than just pique an interest. It is my prayer that it will fan a flame in mind and soul as people read, and that they will hunger and thirst for the righteousness of God. I want people to laugh, cry, think and be encouraged!” Visit to get your copy. 07


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Leading Preacher confesses to lesbian past Leading female preacher, Dr Juanita Bynum, recently set the church world alight with her radio confession that she has had lesbian relationships in the past, and used to take drugs. Dr Bynum made the revelation whilst being interviewed on Atlanta-based radio show, Frank & Wanda in the Morning on V-103 Radio, about her theatre production, ‘Get Your Life Back’. She told her interviewers, “I’ve been there and I’ve done it all. I did the drugs; I’ve been with men; I’ve been with women. All of it.” She also stated, “You can have sex with 50,000 people; you can do drugs until the cows come home. But the void that you’re trying to fill is a void that’s been put there by the Creator, and it’s called purpose and destiny, and until you accept that, you’re going to walk around the living dead.” Dr Bynum came to fame in 1990s with her sermon, No More Sheets, where she revealed details of her promiscuous lifestyle and how God delivered her from it. Her sermon won her many celebrity fans, including Mary J Blige. Dr Bynum, who is due in the UK later this month, was also the victim of domestic violence during her marriage to Bishop Thomas Weeks III, which ended in divorce in 2007.

From homelessness to Royal Opera House survivor of domestic violence has thanked the Salvation Army for helping her rebuild her life and fulfil her dream of singing at the Royal Opera House. Adele Armstrong, 40, featured in ‘With One Voice,’ an international concert organised to coincide with the Olympic Games to showcase talent amongst those who have been affected by homelessness.


anything like this. The Salvation Army is helping me get back on my feet, and I’m really thankful to them.”

Adele recently debuted at the famous Covent Garden venue as part of Kabin Krew, the music/poetry/ drama group she joined while living at Ann Fowler Lifehouse, a Salvation Army residential centre in Liverpool. Adele explained, “It was absolutely brilliant. I was really looking forward to the concert and I wasn’t disappointed. We’ve had a great response in Liverpool, and it was great to get an opportunity to play at such a great place as the Royal Opera House. When I first came to Liverpool, I don’t think I would have had the strength to try

When a vacancy opened up at Ann Fowler Lifehouse, Adele was welcomed to stay at the 38-bed centre. More than a hostel or shelter for the night, all Salvation Army lifehouses work to help residents get their lives back on track. The offer of short-term accommodation for the homeless comes with the provision of training and activities.

Adele, a qualified carer, chef and foster parent, added, “I found myself having to escape domestic violence. I left my partner and stayed with friends, moving from home to home for about 18 months. Eventually I was sleeping rough in parks, bus stops, doorways, anywhere I could find to get some sleep.”

“My life is on its way up, and I am ready to be rehoused and move on with my life. The Salvation Army has put me on the right track.”

Networking men and women for marriage Churches in South London are being encouraged to join a new network that will encourage more men to become Christians; explore singleness and marriage, and help single Christians to find marriage partners. The Promise Christian Network will launch on September 1 at the New Testament Church of God, Bawtree Road, Deptford, London SE8. Carole Litchmore, who attends Feed My Lambs Ministries in East Dulwich, London, is the brainchild behind this initiative. She shared, “In most churches, there are many single women who want to be married but see little prospect of marrying a Christian husband, and feel a sense of hopelessness as a result. Part of the reason for this is the imbalance of men and women in our churches, and because some people don’t have the necessary skills to build strong relationships.” She added, “The Promise Christian Network aims to redress this state of affairs, by working with a number of churches in South London to increase opportunities for men and women to socialise. We will also organise outreaches to men, as well as provide guidance and training.” Ms Litchmore hopes that at least 70% of those who go through the Promise Programme will be married or engaged within three years, and that it will also contribute to a 70% rise in the number of men attending the churches that are a part of the Network.

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including Guvna B, Tim Hughes, Matt Redman, the RCCG choir, Lara Martin, Graham Kendrick and Noel Richards.

ll roads lead to Wembley Stadium on September 29th, as Christians from all denominations are uniting towards the National Day of Prayer and Worship (NDOP). Wembley 2012 is likely to be the single biggest mobilisation of Christians for prayer for a generation, and will engage and involve one of the widest known collaborations of denominations, prayer networks, local Christian groups and media organisations in years. The anticipation for this historic event has been clearly evident, as more than 30,000 tickets had already been sold by early August. Churches throughout the nation have been booking by the coach loads, with a firm belief that this is a significant gathering that can’t be missed. “We’re doing everything we can to ensure that members from our denomination will be well represented at NDOP Wembley. It will be an instrument for positive change in this nation, and we want to be a part of it,” said Eric Brown, New Testament Church of God’s (NTCG) Administrative Bishop for England and Wales. As well as NTCG, churches from all denominations are uniting together towards NDOP Wembley, including the Methodist Church, Elim, New Covenant, URC, RCCG, Church of England and the Baptist Union. Bishop Brown believes the unity of the Church is key towards a national revival: “It’s important that we all come together, because we are working for one Lord and His heart is that the Church should be one. Therefore, NDOP Wembley is one of the best ways we can come together around a common purpose. My hope is this unity won’t just be for a one-off event.” The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) is another of many Black-majority church networks to unite behind NDOP Wembley. Dr Sola Oludoyi, RCCG National Prayer Coordinator and Representative for Wembley 2012, said: “Scripture talks Pastor Jonathan Oloyede

“The worship leaders we’ve called together have a sense of a nation bowing before a true and living God, and I’m so excited to see what will happen in this iconic place of Wembley Stadium,” said Noel Robinson, founder of the Kingdom Worship Movement.

Christians Unite towards NDOP Wembley Peter Wooding reports on the first ever, inter-denominational Christian prayer event to be held at Wembley Stadium taking place on September 29, and the involvement of Britain’s Black Pentecostal denominations

NDOP Wembley 2012 will also be the fulfilment of Pastor Jonathan’s vision to see the next generation bring about revival. 10,000 young people are expected to be commissioned on the day to carry on the baton of prayer for the nation. “The vision I saw of many young people, marching as an army, is about to be fulfilled at Wembley. This nation is about to witness an explosion of dynamic youth on fire for God and the Kingdom,” said Jonathan. Soul Survivor’s Mike Pilavachi said: “We believe very strongly in the power of young Christians uniting in prayer. We stand united with other youth movements to encourage this generation to gather at Wembley to pray and worship together, and then go back to their homes to do the stuff!”

about how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity, for there God commands a blessing. So wherever or whoever you are, it doesn’t matter your stream, your denomination, as long as you believe in Jesus Christ, you’ve got to be at the National Day of Prayer and Worship.” The inspiration for NDOP Wembley came about several years ago, when Global Day of Prayer London Convener, Pastor Jonathan Oloyede, a convert from Islam, had several vivid visions of renewal, revival and transformation coming to the UK. These included graphic pictures of Wembley Stadium filled to capacity with worshipping and praying Christians. What sparked him into action was a vision of people all over the UK praying the Lord’s Prayer at the same time: in pubs, churches, schools, offices, homes and on the streets. As the Christians prayed in one accord, light and healing spread across the British Isles. Global Day of Prayer (GDOP) London has been a focus of prayer and Christian action since 2006, with prayer networks now in every London borough. West Ham Stadium 2007, Millwall Football Stadium in 2008, and West Ham Stadium in 2010 saw a combined attendance of 40,000 Christians attending. Well known gospel artist, Noel Robinson, has brought together a dynamic line up of artists for NDOP Wembley,

NDOP Wembley organisers say the event will be an historic opportunity for the church of the British Isles from every denomination, stream and tradition to unite at Wembley Stadium to pray for our nation. The programme, which will run from 2.00pm to 6.30pm on Saturday September 29th, will be full of praise, intercessory prayer for our nation, teaching and spiritual impartation. To book your tickets, call 0800 756 5451 weekdays 8.30am - 5.00pm, or visit Connect on Facebook:, or follow on Twitter: @ndopwembley NEW WEBSITE 09

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KEEP THE FAITH ABOUT TOWN ORDINATION SERVICE OF JACQUELINE PEART A packed church witnessed the moving ordination service of Jacqueline Peart, who was ordained as a reverend at Salvation for the Nations Church in Welwyn Garden City, by the senior pastor, Dr Brad Norman. Special guests at Rev Peart’s ordination included her family and Pastor Lurline Miller, founder of Woman2Woman Ministries. Over the years, Rev Peart has become a popular name in the Christian community, due to her itinerary of speaking engagements, inspirational writings, poetry and books. She is also the founder of Deep Calleth Unto Deep, a ministry that encourages people to live purposeful lives, and of the Wholeness Academy, which provides training for those in leadership. Rev Peart’s ordination is welcomed by the Christian community, and further consolidates her role as a gifted preacher, teacher and servant to the Church.


The Judges - L-R Ayo Odinerin, Stephanie Odinerin, Andrea Encinas, Mark De Lisser

University gospel choirs from across the UK gathered at the Peacock Theatre in Holborn, Central London, for the second annual University Gospel Choir of the Year competition, an initiative founded by Lorraine White, a former member of Brunel University Gospel Choir. Hosted by singer Rachel Kerr, and former X Factor finalist, Ashley Baptiste, the packed audience enjoyed performances from 10 University choirs, including last year’s winners, the Royal Holloway University Gospel Choir.

Lorraine King with the choir

It was left to the judges, comprising Andrea Encinas, Vocal Tutor and Arts Director of British Gospel Arts; Mark De-Lisser, Director of ACM Gospel Choir; musician Ayo Oyerinde, and singer Stephanie, to decide who should be awarded the title of ‘University Gospel Choir of the Year’. After much deliberation, the judges chose Harmony Gospel Choir, from the University of Manchester, as the winners. All I can say is, roll on UCGY 2013!

AFRICAN GOSPEL MUSIC AWARDS, NORTH LONDON Over 1000 gospel music lovers turned out for the recent African Gospel Music Awards, held at the Hippodrome in Golders Green, North West London. Female groups performing Emma Kosgei

The audience were treated to live performances from various artists, including gospel jazz guitarist Lekan Shobiyi, Atta Boafo, Tayme Tee, Iyobo, Faith Child, Guvna B, Four Kornerz and BNG. Awards were presented in a total of 25 categories, and winners included Nigerian saxophonist Mike Aremu, Rebecca, Sonnie Badu and Muyiwa.

Michael ‘Lyrical Solider’ Agyei

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Four Kornerz

Charles Korentang, one of the organisers, was very pleased with this year’s awards. He said, “This year’s event was transmitted live to audiences in the US and in Africa, and our prayer is that the event continues to grow and reflect the great gospel music produced by the African community.” 11

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The challenges of being African and Christian in Britian Rev David Shosanya examines the spiritual, social, political and cultural challenges that African Christians are likely to encounter as they share the Gospel in British society the grass roots communities and the professional class of immigrants who arrived in Britain in the 1980s, raises serious questions with respect to how the latter can authentically represent the former in political, social and other forums, when their experiences are similar but not identical. It must be pointed out, though, that some African ministers have managed to negotiate that chasm with admirable skill.

REV DAVID SHOSANYA is a Regional Minister & Director with the London Baptist Association



n 1992 I attended a lecture, entitled ‘CRY JESUS!’, delivered by the internationally renowned theologian, Dr Kwame Bediako. Through a series of stories, rooted in Ghanaian folk tradition, Dr Bediako masterfully drew on the unique cultural insights that indigenous Ghanaian storytelling had to offer theologians interested in discovering African perspectives on Christology (the study of the doctrine of Christ) and pneumatology (the study of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit). Dr Bediako's lecture was, for me, a provocative introduction to research exploring the arrival, emergence and proliferation of Christianity across the continent of Africa and the UK.

Even the most inattentive or casual observer would have become cognisant of the increased numbers of African Christians and churches in the UK since the 1980s, a result of the influx of aspirational students and professionals from the continent. Some commentators have noted that the presence of African Christians has redefined the UK’s church landscape. In fact, Dr Brierley, former Chief Executive of the Christian Research Agency (CRA) once commented that, had it not been for the presence of African Christians in the UK, his book, Pulling Out of the Nose Dive, may well have been entitled Towards a Catastrophic Fall to Extinction. There is, however, a danger that we are so transfixed by the phenomena that has widely become known as ‘reverse mission’- or the ‘Africanisation of Christianity’- that we either refuse (or fail to discerningly offer) analytical perspectives on what factors might hinder or abort rather than facilitate its further progression. In other words, the need remains for ‘critical’ perspectives that attempt to discern what the Spirit is saying, and how to negotiate the rapidly changing terrain. There are at least three challenges that I think African Christians will face in the UK, which they will need to be proactive in addressing if the forward trajectory of rapid growth is going to continue.

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The first challenge relates to issues of representation, visibility and connectivity to grass roots Black communities. Earlier, I noted that the explosion of African Christianity and churches coincided with the arrival of aspirational students and professionals. That is significant! Why? Principally because much of the social unrest between Black and White communities (the Notting Hill and Brixton Riots, etc) was rooted in and erupted out of a deep sense of disquiet about overt and sometimes extreme acts of racism by members of the public and the police.

‘Some commentators have noted that the presence of African Christians has redefined the UK’s church landscape.’ However, the new influx of migrants from Africa had not encountered the social violence of being defined by the experience of having one’s humanity systematically and consistently questioned and undermined, by virtue of a pseudo-scientific race discourse that found its origins in the 17th and 18th century, and which expressed itself in unconscious cultural conditionings by the masses with society. At the same time, the Black church constituency, particularly African Christians, represent the largest and most coherent organisation or institution within the UK’s Black communities. They are often asked to play a representative role. However, the ‘gap’ in social experience and lived historical perspective, which exists between

The second challenge centres on inter-generational worldviews. The African American writer, W.E.B Du Bois, spoke of African Americans having a double consciousness, living with the daily tension of having to negotiate conflicting worldviews. It would not be an exaggeration to suggest that many young people, with parents born and raised in Africa but now living in the UK, also wrestle with this conflict of identity. For many, in seeking to free themselves from the clutches of certain aspects of their culture which they decide to jettison once in the UK, they inadvertently reject the Christian faith itself, as the two are so inextricably linked. However, many African church leaders are aware of this, and are proactively drawing on the necessary resources - human and otherwise - to address and resolve this challenge. This will be a hard nut to crack! The last challenge revolves around realising the vision of being a ‘reverse mission movement’. Most African Christians self-identify as being part of a ‘reverse mission movement’ to the UK. In other words, they view their presence here as comparable to that of the missionaries who left the shores of the UK for Africa. The most successful missionaries, ie. those who sought to preach Christ - without the other two Cs, culture and commerce as a primary motivator - had to be willing to ‘lose’ themselves in order to reach the indigenous communities with the Gospel. African Christians face a similar challenge today. However, the challenge is further complicated by deeply entrenched attitudes of discrimination and suspicion about the style of Christianity espoused and propagated by African Christians. Therefore, if the ‘reverse mission movement’ is going to be effective in reaching indigenous communities here in the UK, it will be at considerable personal cost, and will require that cultural preferences, which inform and shape the practices of churches populated with Christians of African descent, will need to be reviewed. I am confident that it can happen. I am also convinced that it will be a tall order!


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PROMOTING BLACK INTELLECTUALS Rev Stephen Brooks laments the lack of intellectualism within the Black community, and calls for the creation of forums and strategies to encourage greater intellectual and theological endeavour

REV STEPHEN BROOKS is National Development Manager for Excell 3 (National Black Boys Can Association) .................................................................


n the UK, most Black people identify themselves as Christian but, for a variety of reasons, it is rare to find Black intellectuals who see themselves primarily as Christian. Historically, Black Majority Churches in the UK with the exception of the Seventh Day Adventist Church - have had a distrust of intellectuals. Scriptures like 2 Corinthians 3:6, “Who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the Spirit: for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life”, and 2 Timothy 3:7, “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” are often quoted to reinforce this distrust. For Black communities, the lack of economic resources and general lack of equal access to education have made devaluing the intellectual rather easy. The ‘helping’ professions - like law or medicine - are still valued in our community, but a pure pursuit of the academic mind is not, as it is theoretical and not expected to produce an immediate or practical result. Intellectual activities arise in the process of solving problems; they observe study and analyse, in order to advance society. Black intellectuals are necessary to advance social and economic democracy for the Black community. Black intellectuals are alienated both from the mainstream Black communities which produced them, and from the mainstream White intellectual communities which continue to reject them. Figures show there are just 50 Black British professors out of more than 14,000, and the number has barely changed in eight years, according to data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency. Harry Goulbourne, Professor of Sociology at London South Bank University, says universities are still riddled with ‘passive racism’. One of the beauties and seeming contradictions of the Black Church is the intellectual oratory

of the Black Christian preacher in the pulpit. Here is one of the only places intellectuals can express themselves. In the pulpit, abstract thinking and artistic flair are accepted in a way that is unmatched by other forms of intellectualism. We need to provide more intellectual spaces for Black Academics. A good example of where this occurs is the monthly Black Theology Forum at Queens College in Birmingham, facilitated by Dr Anthony Reddie (pictured). Some would oppose the idea of a Christian institution that focuses on the needs of a specific ethnic or racial group, but we need this sort of theological outlet within the Black Christian community, so that the needs of our community can be served. White Western intellectuals continue to promote imperialist views about the Black community without challenge. For example, Africa has been defined today as a charity case. Newspapers, movies, music, sports, movie stars and various personalities are involved in charity activities all over Africa. Sir Bob Geldof and Bono (pictured) tour the world to raise money for Africa. For years, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair promoted themselves as leaders trying to help out Africa. Wherever you go, there are images that appeal for donations to help out Africa and African people, promoted by various charities including Oxfam, USAID, Save the Children, Red Cross, etc. This concept of the continent’s need for charity undermines African people’s awareness to the reality that Europe and America are living off African resources. It covers up all the looting and brutality inflicted on the people in the process of stealing their resources over the centuries to the current day. Untold and massive amounts of gold, oil, cobalt, platinum, uranium, diamond, cocoa and other resources leave the land of Africa every year; hundreds of billions paid to the IMF and the World Bank - disguised as debt - are not signs of poverty. African mines generally are owned

by foreign powers, who also fix the prices of what comes from African soil and labour. Most of the resources Africa produce ends up in factories, supermarkets, homes and museums in Europe and North America.

“We need to provide more intellectual spaces for Black Academics…Black intellectuals are necessary to advance social and economic democracy for the Black community.” In recent history, many intellectuals and activists of all races have mobilised against ideas, politics and policies that have served to keep the Black community in second-class citizenship. We have the opportunity to be the master of our own story, and to promote the voice of Black intellectuals to move from the periphery to the centre of knowledge production by carrying out the following: • Creating an enabling environment to stimulate intellectual output by providing research grants • Establishing a responsive publishing company that is supportive of Black academics • Having more Black people in leadership positions, who make decisions in academic institutions • Encouraging intellectuals to become co-authors of academic articles and research • Workshops by publishers on what they are looking for from authors • Creating more intellectual events, like the annual Black Symposium organised by Rev David Shosanya When one is working in the field of the proclamation of the Gospel within Black Majority/ Black-Led churches, one’s theology needs to be adapted to this situation. Every human person has their life purpose and personal theology, and the right to discover this gradually. In my mind, there is a huge resource of fresh intellectual theological thinking to be discovered in the way we creatively deal with life’s challenges. .................................................................. For more information on the National Black Boys Can Association visit

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The call for more Black adopters As someone with first hand experience of Britain’s care system, Rev Wale Hudson-Roberts asks: Why do so few African and Caribbean people adopt, when there are so many Black children in need of a loving home?

REV WALE HUDSONROBERTS is the Racial Justice Co-ordinator for the Baptist Union of Great Britain ............................................................


he majority of children who are awaiting adoption in the United Kingdom are from ethnic minority backgrounds, and more than 60% of those are either Black, Mixed Race or multi heritage, while most adopters are White. For many children, being in care might be their only chance of survival. Yet even this fact does not sufficiently pull at the heartstrings of our Black community, which is notorious for its unwillingness to adopt children from the British care system. In Africa and the Caribbean, however, the converse is the case. Whenever parents die, their children are taken care of by appropriate family members. This could be grandparents, siblings, even long lost cousins. It is generally presumed that a family member will take orphaned children into their home, and treat them as they would their own. This is a good thing, and shows that the Black community is heavily involved in informal adoption. Yet the Diaspora community is often reluctant to adopt children who are disassociated from families known to us, and who feature in the British care system. Why? Perhaps the Government’s decision to make it standard practice to place babies with prospective adopters, rather than in foster care, is not just a victory for all those who have campaigned for many years for this, but might also encourage those from within the African and Caribbean communities to consider adopting. Many children are placed into care when they are less than a year old and, under the current system, it takes an average of 15 months for babies to find a permanent and loving home. It is not surprising that the Government is legislating to make fostering by potential adopters another option that local authorities are obligated to consider. Because the numbers of African and Caribbean families who foster are greater than those who adopt, let’s hope that this welcome policy might encourage families to extend foster care into adoption.

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This policy change might have an effect in terms of a surge in African and Caribbean applicants. Personally though, I doubt it, which means we need to consider at least one of the possible root causes behind the dearth of Black adopters. Could it be that the African and Caribbean Diasporas have got so entangled in the politics of survival that they don’t want to adopt, with parents being more focused on putting bread on the table for their own children; ensuring that they are not unduly affected by racism, and giving their children the strength of character to resist the lure of the gangs? Have such external pressures forced many Black people to interpret Jesus’ mission to do good to others through a narrow lens, vis-à-vis doing justice for one’s immediate family? As far as adoption is concerned, a struggling Black parent feeding another child has further economic implications, and nurturing yet another soul, social implications. This leaves adoption as something for the few - those who have money in the bank; a very healthy family network, and who live in a nice area not far from a progressive school. Back in Africa and the Caribbean, the pressures are different, and can be absorbed by the entire village or a large network of friends and relatives. Adoption from within or out of the family is less strenuous; something that isn’t just for the privileged few, because the adopted child belongs not just to a single family but to many.

This might explain why the Caribbean and African informal adoption process sometimes works a treat, and why the informal community adoption is dynamic and intrinsic to the culture.

“If we say we are followers of Jesus - people who put others before ourselves why is it that even the relatively comfortable Black Christians refuse to even consider adoption?”

There is, of course, another side to this. Many Black people are now financially blessed, and have the privileges to go with it. Our churches are replete with them. They are Black, successful, and donate money to their churches. If finance, emotional stability and strong family networks are plentiful among the burgeoning Black middle classes, what excuse do they have for not adopting one of the many young Black kids languishing in the British care system? I, like many others, am a product of that system. My teenage years were unbearable. Whilst my life carries on, the scars will always remain. Many years on, there are plenty more Black kids in care - each with masses of potential - but for many, their potential will go unrealised. Instead, they might be plagued by dysfunctional attachments; low self esteem; frequent bouts of depression; suicidal thoughts, and the inability to form healthy friendships, even to hold down a job for any length of time. Theirs is a difficult path, not knowing who to trust or distrust, viewing most people - even those who seek to give them unconditional love - as suspicious. My concern is this: Care homes should not be bulging with African and Caribbean children. There are enough resources within our communities to address this institutional malaise. If we say we are followers of Jesus - people who put others before ourselves why is it that even the relatively comfortable Black Christians refuse to even consider adoption?


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RHODA WILSON Rhoda Wilson is one of the most popular presenters on satellite station BEN TV. Her weekly programme features interviews with people and celebrities from all walks of life. She spoke to Keep the Faith about her life, her work, and plans for the future. farm, feeding the chickens or goats, etc. I look back at my childhood and thank God that I had such a privileged life.

KEEP THE FAITH (KTF): The Rhoda Wilson Show is a very popular in the UK and Africa. What inspired you to produce and present your own show? Rhoda Wilson (RW): The desire to change the perception of people in the UK of the Black community, from negative to positive.

KTF: Your mother died when you were young. How has your mother’s death impacted your approach to life? RW: I was very close to my mother, and even to this day my siblings still tease me that I was a “mummy’s girl”, so losing her affected me severely. However, I am always grateful to God that she was part of my early life, and I owe my success to her because her death spurred me to make something of myself.

KTF: Who have been some of the most memorable guests who have appeared on the show and why, in your view, are they memorable? RW: All my guests have been memorable. I am not saying that for any reason other than it’s the truth. I enjoy interviewing guests even more so when I am enlightened by their journey. KTF: What are the key things you want to convey to viewers via your show, and what kind of feedback do they give you? RW: I want my viewers to feel they have a ‘can do’ attitude with my show, and that success comes with working towards it. Also that challenges in life do not choose you because of colour, but with the right mindset you will overcome any difficulties. As for feedback; viewers love the inspirational theme, the guests and me (phew!). KTF: You’ve had quite a journey to get your programme on air, which included funding the production of the programme yourself. What inspired you to go to such lengths to get your show broadcast? RW: I believe I can make a difference because there is a need in the market, and I have incredible passion and am committed to making this happen. KTF: What are the major challenges you face as a Black TV presenter, and how does your faith help you meet these challenges? RW: The UK television executives or television commissioners I have met do not believe in talk shows and, if they do, they want big names like the Piers Morgans or Graham Nortons. It is also difficult for them to pitch a Black TV presenter to advertising agencies or sponsors, who might not want to back such a market. All the same, “God always makes a way when there seems to be no way”. I always hold on to that thought.

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KTF: You didn’t originally set out to be a TV presenter. Can you share a bit about your early work history? RW: I have worked in insurance, commodities (oil, gas, and metal), as well as in the music industry. My last role was a music promoter, which was hard work! KTF: Do you feel that being a TV presenter was something you were born to do? RW: I wanted to make a real difference in life, and if being a television presenter gets me there then perhaps this is what I was born to do. KTF: Can you tell me a little bit about your background, ie. where you were born, how many siblings you had, and what your childhood was like? RW: I was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and I have in total eighteen siblings, including my stepbrothers and sisters. We all lived together and they were my best friends, hence you rarely saw any of us with friends. My father was a strict and religious man. We had our own chapel in our compound. We were all expected to be in the chapel at 7.00pm every day for worship, and at 7.00am when we were not at school. Our compound was very big back in Lagos, so I was always riding my bicycles or, as we had a

KTF: When and why did you become a Christian, and how has faith in God affected your outlook? RW: I don’t think I had a choice! My parents were Christian, and played big roles in the church community when I was growing up in Lagos, and I was brought up that way. I talk to God throughout the day from morning to night, and even when I am waiting to go into a business meeting. So my faith in God is constant in everything I do.

‘Put God in all areas of your life - from business, relationships, to career and family, so that you can start experiencing His grace and above all, His love.’ KTF: Aside from your presenting career, you also run a charity. What have been its major achievements to date? RW: There have been a few, however I would say the ACWAL (my foundation) event at the School of Oriental and Studies (SOAS), when Wesley M Johnson, ambassador to the UK for Liberia delivered a keynote speech from the president of Liberia, Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The event was to raise the profile of African and Caribbean women in leadership.


KTF: In most people’s minds, you are a successful, professional Christian woman. What other goals do you want to achieve? RW: To do more of The Rhoda Wilson Shows; speak more at youth and women’s events; be on the board of an Advertising Agency so as to educate them about the Black community, and to transfer that education into success of monetary value and improve lives. KTF: What should we expect from you for the rest of 2012? RW: The Rhoda Wilson Show is sponsoring 5-minute online clips of SMEs this year, exclusive interviews, and more series of The Rhoda Wilson Show. KTF: What advice do you have for anyone who has a dream or goal which seems difficult to achieve due to seemingly insurmountable obstacles? RW: Your life is shaped by your thoughts, hence you must be careful what you allow into your mind. I remembered going to a number of the terrestrial TV stations many years ago when I started my show, and I was told there was no market for such show. Six years later, my show is still going and growing. Therefore, you must have self-belief and talk to someone you respect. In any situation, remain prayerful and ask for guidance and support because I assure you, it will come. KTF: And what message of hope would you like to leave with Keep The Faith readers? RW: Put God in all areas of your life - from business, relationships, to career and family, so that you can start experiencing His grace and above all, His love. For more information, visit; connect at and follow on Twitter @rhodawilsonshow


YolanDa Brown is currently one of Britain’s most famous female saxophonists. She talked to Rachel John about her debut album, education, and the role that faith plays in her life

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YolanDa Brown:

A saxophone sensation Y

olanDa Brown is most probably one of the UK’s most well-known female jazz artists. The double MOBO Award winner has performed all over the world; worked with a number of leading artists, including The Temptations, Mica Paris and Jools Holland, and is viewed by many as a saxophone sensation. Since making the decision to teach herself the saxophone at 13, YolanDa has experienced undoubted success. Whilst still a teenager, she was spotted by the Jamaican High Commissioner, performing for the Elders Association in London, and was subsequently invited to perform for the Jamaican Prime Minister. She recalled, “I was flown first class to Jamaica to do just that, and it was an amazing experience. I was only 18 at the time, but it gave me the vibe of what it is to be an artist.” Fast forward 11 years later, and the 29 year old released her long-awaited debut album, April Showers, May Flowers, on her own label in February this year. It proved to be an instant hit, rising to the top of the iTunes jazz charts, and garnered much media coverage.

tours and music began to take over my education, and I couldn’t manage both at the same time.” Three months after putting her PhD on hold, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from the University of East London. “I saw it as a sign from God that I had made the right decision.”

April Showers, May Flowers sees YolanDa exploring various musical genres, including reggae, soul, classical and gospel. She shared, “It’s a combination of all the music I enjoy. It’s risky and unusual for a debut album, but I wanted the album to be an introduction of who I am and of what's to come.”

She hasn’t given up her studies altogether, however. She said, “I definitely will go back to my studies. I don’t want my research going to waste.” Having been named one of the UK’s top 30 Black students - according to the Evening Standard YolanDa joked that she hopes her topic is still unique when she goes back to her studies.

YolanDa also shared that she found the creative process challenging at times. “Writing the songs was the hardest part, because all the material is original. The ‘April showers’ represents the hard times I experienced making the album. During that time, my motivation was to keep my faith. I knew there would be a light at the end of the tunnel, which was the beautiful outcome of having a completed album - the ‘May flowers’.”

When asked about the pressures young people may face when it comes to choosing between ‘professional’ and ‘creative’ careers, YolanDa replied, “Things have changed a lot, considering you can now get a degree in Music and other creative subjects, but they are still seen more as a hobby rather than a profession. With more students opting for creative subjects and careers, the prospect of making it in the creative industries is getting easier.” When asked how this issue could be faced, Brown replied with an answer that seems so simple, yet overlooked. “They need to communicate the potential of a creative career to parents. If careers advice in schools and colleges were more stable, this could be achieved.”

One of Yolanda’s favourite tracks on the album is ‘Dear John’, and revealed the inspiration behind it. “John was my PhD supervisor when I was at the University of Kent. He was really understanding and supportive while I was combining my studies with music. John was there for me all the way. When I decided to put the PhD on hold, and focus on making the album, John was understanding in my decision and supported it.” YolanDa dropped out of her PhD in Management Science studies to pursue her music career in 2010. She recalled, “It was a difficult decision, as I had put four years of research into it. The

YolanDa’s faith in God plays a major part of her life. She grew up in a Christian home, and made the decision to follow Christ at the age of 15 after watching a play about the parables of Jesus. She currently attends Liberty Church in Tottenham, North London, and has found it to be a congregation that is very supportive of her unique and demanding career.

She also likes to help others when she can, and is currently involved in the Yahama Class Band, a project that seeks to teach children in deprived areas how to play a musical instrument. She has witnessed how being able to play an instrument improves a child’s confidence. Life’s experiences, challenges and successes have all served to strengthen YolanDa’s faith. “This may sound strange, but everything that has happened has made my faith stronger. Every day is different. As an independent artist, there is lots to do, so I have different ‘hats’ to suit whatever I’m doing at the time.”

Having achieved a combination of academic and music success, YolanDa’s proudest achievements so far have been creating an independent record label and completing the album. “My faith is my motivation, and I try to keep God at the centre of all I do.”

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ISRAEL & NEW Leading psalmists, Israel & New Breed, have produced their first live 2CD and DVD for five years. Keep The Faith


here’s no doubt that Israel & New Breed are one of the world’s most popular praise and worship outfits. Their numerous fans across the world must be rejoicing since the group released their first live 2CD & DVD recording in five years. ‘Jesus At The Centre’ features this award-winning worship collective, performing a range of memorable praise and worship numbers, which help to usher listeners into God’s presence. The double CD and DVD were recorded in front of thousands at Lakewood Church, in Houston, Texas one of America’s largest congregations. The church is led by popular TV preacher, Joel Osteen. Israel serves as Lakewood’s worship leader. There are a total of 17 songs on ‘Jesus At The Centre’, along with three additional studio singles. It is classic Israel & New Breed material, and sees them returning to their roots, delivering new worship anthems for the modern-day church. Guest vocalists featured on the live recordings include T-Bone, Bishop Michael Pitts, Jeremiah Woods, and Israel’s 15-year-old daughter, Mariah Houghton. It’s Israel’s aim that this new release inspires Christians to re-focus on Jesus and make Him the centre of their lives. He explained, “The overarching story of the album is that sometimes we can be so ‘churched’ that we can lose sight of the ‘who, what, why’ of worship. This project simply places Jesus where He is supposed to be. We intentionally removed the metaphors and simply focused on His Name.”

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Expounding on the reason why he chose ‘Jesus At The Centre’ as the album title, Israel stated, “It felt like the right time and the right statement to make. The simplicity of being all about Jesus, and not using ‘pronoun-ed’ gospel; going back to a place where it’s not about us; where we’re decreasing, because Jesus is increasing and drawing all men to Him. This requires finding the balance between being a worship leader and being an artist. The purpose of a worship leader is being looked through, not looked at.” Many of the songs on ‘Jesus At The Centre’ had been tried and tested on the Lakewood congregation. “It felt more like a home-court advantage than a homecoming,” says Houghton, who had recorded at Lakewood before, with the likes of Michael W Smith, Martha Munizzi and the church itself, but never for one of his own albums. “There were a lot of these songs that were ‘in the house’ so to speak, so it made it easy for the crowd to worship along.” Houghton says that about 70 percent of ‘Jesus At The Centre’ had been sung at Lakewood before making it onto the recording, which is palpable in the way the audience responds to the music, beginning with the album’s centre piece, the worship ballad, ‘Jesus at the Centre’, originally introduced in the Israel & New Breed anthology, ‘Decade’. In addition to the ‘Jesus At The Centre’ 2CD, there’s a companion DVD featuring all 17 songs, along with behind-the-scenes footage; the story behind the song vignettes, and other bonus material. Israel & New Breed have also released an

exclusive iTunes LP following on from Houghton’s ‘Love God, Love People’ LP, which became the first-ever iTunes LP and first LP - mainstream or Christian - to include various interactive capabilities. The ‘Jesus At The Centre’ LP will not only include the new music, but also video work tapes, a photo montage and the ‘Jesus At The Centre’ video tutorial. Just because ‘Jesus At The Centre’ is Israel and New Breed’s first live recording in five years, it does not mean he has not been busy. In the intervening five years, Israel has recorded two studio projects: Grammy-award winning albums, ‘The Power of One’ and ‘Love God, Love People’. And along with New Breed, Israel has performed at over 700 concerts across America, Europe and Africa. He was in the UK earlier this year as a special guest psalmist and teacher at Noel Robinson’s Renewal event, held at the Dominion Centre in Wood Green, London. His success as a popular psalmist, penning and performing songs such as ‘Friend of God’, ‘You Are Good’, ‘Again, I Say Rejoice’ and ‘Alpha and Omega’ during the past decade, means that Israel has remained very much in demand. He is also one of gospel’s most high profile artists, so much so, that he is one of the four leading male gospel artists selected to be part of The Kings Tour the first US tour undertaken by leading event company, Live Nation. Israel shared about the Tour and his other plans for the year, “I’m going out on tour with Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp and Donnie McClurkin.



The 2CD and DVD can be purchased separately from iTunes, and your local Christian bookstore.

gives the low down on this exciting new release We wanted to do something big in the gospel industry. I am very honoured to be selected with these awesome men. I’ll tour throughout the rest of the year, host the annual worship conference, “Deeper 2012”, and then prepare for some international touring next year.” The great thing about Israel’s music is that it is a fusion of a wide range of music styles that tap into the psyche and musical tastes of the modern worshipper. Israel can do rock, pop, gospel, latin, soul, r’n’b and, with ‘Jesus At The Centre’, he even toys with the electronic sound, so popular with modern pop artists and audience. It’s hardly surprising that Israel’s music has a host of different flavours and touches hearts. He is of mixed French and African-American heritage, raised in a Mexican American neighbourhood. He was almost not born, as his mother was encouraged by her parents to have an abortion, because of his mixed parentage. Mrs Houghton defied her parent’s wishes and had her child, despite her doubts. During the pregnancy, Israel’s mother split up with his biological father late in the pregnancy, and a chance encounter with a Christian woman, who told her she’d made the right decision to keep her child and that Jesus loved her, inspired her to make the decision to become a Christian.

Following Israel’s birth, she went on to have her child, get married, and raised Israel and his three younger siblings in Arizona and New Mexico. Israel showed musical talent from a young age, and recorded two solo albums for Warner Brothers. His recording career moved into another gear when he released ‘Real’ in 2002. It was his debut CD on Integrity Records. It pinpointed Israel as an artist whose music touches a major chord with listeners. Israel has been on an upward trajectory ever since, with his subsequent albums, which include ‘Live From Another Level’, ‘Again I Say Rejoice’ and ‘Alive in South Africa’, garnering him thousands of album sales, and numerous Grammys, Stellars and Dove Awards. ‘Jesus At The Centre’ gives audiences a new opportunity to once again experience the spiritual potency and relevancy of Israel & New Breed’s worship ministry, as well as be encouraged.



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Reality TV culture vs Gospel culture Dionne Gravesande explores how Reality TV celebrities are influencing young churchgoers, and says it can be countered by promoting Gospel values, and by highlighting those who achieve success through faith, determination and hard work the news. However, life is sacred because the human person is the most central and clearest reflection of God among us. As created beings, we have unmatched worth and value that come from God. This dignity is not based on any human quality, legal mandate, or individual merit or accomplishment. Human beings are different from any other living being in the world, because we are capable of knowing and loving God. Belief in the dignity of the human person is the foundation of morality; it is this morality that guides our behaviour.

DIONNE GRAVESANDE is Head of Church and Young People’s Relationships at Christian Aid



magine Wembley Stadium filled over 166 times. The number would represent around 15 million people cheering. Well, this happens to be the same number of Twitter followers Kim Kardashian reached on 15th June 2012. Kim’s response on the achievement was “Wow!!! This is unbelievable! I can’t believe I just passed 15 million followers on Twitter. This is crazy!” There is no doubt that Kim has an enormous following. She is successful, and many young people want what she has, but let’s pause a moment… Who exactly is she? ‘Kimberly Noel “Kim” Kardashian, born October 21, 1980, is an American socialite, television personality, model and actress. She stars in ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ - the E! reality series - along with her family. Prior to becoming a reality TV star, Kim gained notoriety as the subject of a sex tape that subsequently resulted in a court awarding her $5 million. She has also been involved in the production of several lines of clothing and fragrances. In 2010, she was the highest earning reality star, with estimated earnings of $6 million, and she is one of the most highly documented and followed celebrities in the world in popular media.’ (source Wikipedia) While I might expect the Media to endorse and celebrate celebrities like Kim, I am worried that many young girls and women in churches also look to Kim as a role model in lifestyle and fashion. All around, I witness a ‘Me, Myself and I’ mindset even in our churches. The culture of ‘I want’ and ‘I need’ is countercultural to those who wish to follow Christ. The Gospel of Jesus is not about getting rich by yourself or, as Rev Joel Edwards (pictured) recently said, “Keeping the upper room Pentecostal experience to just a few”. The Gospel message

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Kim Kardashian

is about reconciliation and restoration; it’s also about affirmation and identity of who you are and where you are called to be. The inclusive culture of the Gospel is located in a ‘We, Us and Our’ paradigm. Individuals, who shoot to celebrity fame without working or earning fame as a reward of skill or expertise, send dangerous messages to the young and impressionable, setting them up to become selfish and self-fulfilling adults. Without wisdom, our desires can lead hearts and minds astray.

In my view, the agenda of a prosperity gospel, which promotes an individualist lifestyle, is in conflict with the teachings of Christ. To gain individually while the wider community is experiencing hardship does not witness the Good News of God’s Kingdom. As the apostles journeyed across the Middle East, speaking and doing and living right, they brought a message of hope and their actions followed their words. We seek to do the same. Ask yourself the question: Who am I, if not my sister’s and brother’s keeper? We must resist the world mentality of ‘getting rich or die trying’.

‘Individuals, who shoot to celebrity fame without working, or earning fame as a reward of skill or expertise, send dangerous messages to the young and impressionable.’

Today’s young people (both in church and society) are not just focused on being prosperous: it's also about being seen with the right people; moving in the right circles; dressing fashionably and sexily, and having the right man or woman by their side. Thought is rarely given to how this impacts on their Christian witness. Too often, these attitudes find a legitimate home in our churches, and the same attitude manifests itself as God being a ‘super mac daddy’, with people presenting their drop down menu of demands for God to wave a magic wand at. The problem with this approach is that it is based on human wants and not on human needs - our needs are wrapped up with our dignity and worth to God and to each other.

Instead of young men and women following the Kim Kardashians of this world, let’s highlight those young people seeking to excel through their talents, such as Olympian sprint champion, Allyson Felix who, at 26, has a gold and two silver medals. Allyson is not afraid to stand up for her faith, which she says is the most important aspect of her life; through her hard work and determination she is a great role model for young people today.

Human dignity originates from God; it’s about being able to look anyone in the eye and see the God in them (Genesis1:26-27). Human dignity is respected as much now as it’s ever been, although sometimes it’s difficult to remember that when we see so much war and conflict in

As for the whole celebrity thing, for me the jury is out, but if I were to nominate someone, it would be Jesus, the Christ; He is still in the global top ten of greatest leaders. He does not need a Twitter account - just knock, and the door is always open.

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need of mercy, or have this same Rock grind you to pieces. Building on lies and deception is like creating a rod for your own back, and opening the door for the enemy to tamper with your generation.


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The moral behind this story is that we should be extremely careful how we build our lives (1 Corinthians 3:10). We cannot attempt to build on any foundation except that which has been laid already (1 Corinthians 3:11).


he foundation of a building is what determines how high that building will be. The architect would have determined the depth of its foundation from the master plan, even before any work had begun. The foundation is the first thing to be built when constructing a building, and its depth will have been determined by the chief architect, and directed by the master builder. As Christians, we have a Chief Architect who understands the capacity each person will need to adequately build his or her life. We have a Master Builder, Jesus Christ, who helps us build our lives according to the plan of the Chief Architect. Christ has laid the foundation upon which every Christian must build, and we are admonished to build upon this foundation correctly (1 Corinthians 3:10). With this in mind, how many of us consult with the Master Builder in major decisions, especially when it comes to marriage? It is only in Christ that we can see clearly to build properly. I’d like to use myself as a living example of one who built one’s marriage on a defective foundation.

MY STORY There were so many unanswered questions - and too many unknowns about the man I wanted to marry. I eventually found out that he was still legally married to another woman, and this was a terrible blow. I decided to call the wedding off, but he was not prepared to cancel his plans. I conceded in going along with it, without revealing the fact to my family and friends that my husband-to-be was still legally married. He filed for divorce from the woman he was still married to, and as soon as the divorce was granted, we got married. I have been asked the question: “Why did you decide to go ahead with the marriage with all that you knew?” I can truthfully put up my hand and say it was sheer

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Building on the wrong foundation In her book, ‘Lifting the Lid on Deception in Marriage’, Ruth Dickson writes about the perils of getting married on shaky foundations. Here, she shares her experience of getting married for the wrong reasons as a warning to others. foolishness. I never knew the full implications of what it meant to be in a covenant relationship.

Foundational issues After seven years of marriage, my husband got up one sweet day and said he was going on a business trip - and never returned. The intricate details and the consequences surrounding this are laid bare in my book, ‘Lifting the Lid on Deception in Marriage’. Unbeknown to me at the time, a similar pattern of events had occurred in his previous marriage. The number seven was very significant in this case, as it turned out that he had been married to his previous wife for exactly seven years. He left her when her son turned three, and it wasn’t a coincidence that our son had turned three when he also mysteriously left... I had gotten into something that was far bigger than me, and which had deeper implications than I initially understood.

Generational implications “If the foundations be removed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3) Many, who have built on faulty foundations and apparently ‘in Christ’, will either have to surrender to Christ, or turn away in disobedience. You can either fall upon the Rock, in

The very Word of God will be used to judge us in righteousness. There will be no exceptions to the rule, however great or small. God wants us to build our lives on His throne of righteousness.

Love and mercy We must never underestimate the depth of love, mercy and grace in the heart of our Lord Jesus Christ. We live in a time where grace, forgiveness and mercy are available to us. Knowing that God forgives gave me a brand new lease of life, and changed me completely. I started to walk in the liberty of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. I began to walk in my destiny. The minute I let go and let God, His plans and visions for my life and destiny became clearer and fuller. God was calling me to a higher level, and to a higher life in Him. I have shared testimony upon testimony about His goodness towards me.

‘I have been asked the question: “Why did you decide to go ahead with the marriage with all that you knew?” I can truthfully put up my hand and say it was sheer foolishness.’ Anyone who builds with Christ builds upon a Rock that can never be moved. Anyone who has built their marriage on a faulty foundation should not seek divorce, but rather seek forgiveness. Each case is individual, and seeking godly counsel from ‘tried and tested’ men and women of God is of utmost importance. I say, ‘tried and tested’ here, because not everyone with a title is a godly man or woman of God. You may do yourself more harm and injury if you pass on sensitive information or seek counsel from the wrong person. ......................................................... ‘Lifting the Lid on Deception in Marriage - Building on a Firm Foundation’ is available on Amazon.


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Positive relationships bring positive change Patrick Regan OBE, founder of XLP, shares how the Christian community can help improve the educational outcomes of young people, and raise their aspirations and ambitions

PATRICK REGAN OBE is founder of London youth charity, XLP, and was recently awarded an OBE for services to young people ..................................................................


ducational failure - faced by some of Britain’s most vulnerable pupils - is a real tragedy. Too many young people from disadvantaged communities leave school without a solid educational foundation. Four out of 10 young people don't attain five good GCSEs including English and Maths, according to 2011 figures from the Department for Education (DfE). The latest available figures show that some 5,740 pupils were permanently expelled from state schools in England in 2009/10, and 331,380 suspensions were made. In primary schools alone, some 620 children were expelled, including 220 under-sevens (source: DfE). If we want to tackle these trends and see change in our communities, we need first to understand the drivers behind educational failure. The Centre for Social Justice 2011 Exclusion report, No Excuses, highlighted the ways in which “many pupils are being profoundly misunderstood within some mainstream schools.” Young people often need emotional support to enable them to take hold of the opportunities; they need people to come alongside them. Very often, family breakdown can contribute to a poor educational record, and it is prevalent. Nearly half of all children born today will experience family breakdown by the age of 16, and 15% of children are born into homes without a resident biological father (source: CSJ). Through challenging home situations, young people can often act out to all those in authority - often their parents and teachers - as well as disengaging from education. Very often, the needs of young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN) are also overlooked. Pupils with SEN account for 74% of permanent exclusions (CSJ). They have particular requirements that are not being addressed in busy school environments. Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, who qualify for free school meals, are approximately four times more likely to be permanently excluded than children who are not eligible for them (CSJ).

In our inner cities, the prevalence of gangs and violence can be a major influence on pupils, preventing them from fulfilling their potential. I’ve met young people wearing bulletproof vests to school as they feared for their lives; young women carrying a knife into school for protection, and another pregnant young woman being assaulted by her gang-member boyfriend on school premises. We can’t be naive about these challenges, but we must refuse to be disheartened by them. As Christians, hope is an amazing part of our heritage and our inheritance. It can set us apart, and make us stand out in a society that is increasingly cynical and worn down by the pain it sees in the world. We worship the God of all hope (Romans 15:13), the God who clearly demonstrates to us through the Bible that there is always reason to have hope - no matter how bad things seem.

‘Relationship can restore a young person’s trust in people; it nurtures the belief that things can change and that an alternative future is possible.’ From my 18 years of working with young people in inner cities, the key to bringing about sustainable change in the lives of young people is ‘relationship’. Relationship can restore a young person’s trust in people; it nurtures the belief that things can change and that an alternative future is possible, and it acts as a reference point for determining right and wrong. I have witnessed courageous life decisions made by young people emerging from tragic and hopeless situations, because of a strong and trusted relationship. Through such a relationship, a young person realises that change is possible and, in order to see that change happen, they begin to work hard and alter their behaviour and attitudes. It takes time and, for the other party in the relationship, it can be tough; young people can change, but they don’t always change quickly or easily! At XLP, we started XL-Mentoring, which links volunteers from local communities and churches to young people who are struggling in school some on the verge of exclusion. Our mentors are dedicated and persistent, even though it’s not always easy. We are committed to the long

haul, to see change happen in the lives of young people - no matter how long it takes. And it works! I’ve seen some amazing life-changing stories over the last twelve months. A young man, who suffered from anger issues and struggled in school, is now avoiding fights and working hard to improve his grades. A girl, who was on the verge of expulsion, is now well on the way to achieving six GCSEs, and has an apprenticeship starting this summer. A young man, who was involved in gang crime, is now doing well at school and ran for Young Mayor of Lewisham. All three young people now have hope for the future, and if the Church is about anything, it’s about hope. ................................................................... Patrick’s new book, No Ceiling to Hope (published by Monarch) is out now. If you/your church would like to get involved in XL-Mentoring in Lewisham, Southwark or Tower Hamlets, please email

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So you’re finishing school…

Have you thought about Bible College? It’s that time of year, when you may be finishing school and looking to do a degree at a Christian college. Perhaps you are going into vocational ministry or cross-cultural work at home or overseas. Maybe you just want to study theology and be better equipped for your current situation. You may be surprised to know that there are many evangelical Colleges offering a variety of courses. As well as the traditional full-time format, many Bible colleges offer courses part-time, by correspondence, or in evening classes.

I want to go to Bible College, but where do I find them? Well, a great place to start is by visiting, which is an online directory of UK Bible Colleges produced by the Association of Bible College Principals, and consists of most of the leading providers of evangelical theological training in the UK and Ireland. Some of the colleges have been in existence for more than a century, while others have developed more recently. Some of the colleges are linked with particular Christian denominations or groups of churches, while others have no denominational affiliations. The majority of colleges offer academic programmes in theology and related areas, validated by a public university. Membership of the Association is an indication to prospective students and the wider world of a college’s evangelical commitment; its good standing in the Christian community, and of the integrity of its academic and administrative processes. All of the colleges are committed to theological training that prepares people for Christian service in a variety of contexts, including church-based ministry, international mission, community and charitable work, academic careers and other professions.

So which college is right for you? The first and constant thing to do, of course, is bring it to the Lord in prayer. Chat with your church leaders, and ask advice from friends and family. But how can you get a feel for a college? There are a number of ways:

Check out the college website Have a look at the profile on the UK Bible Colleges website, and follow the links through

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to the college’s own website. Consider: What courses do they offer? Are there news stories that give you an insight into life there? Are there links to blogs by students, alumni or staff? Do they use social networks like Twitter or Facebook that will give you a flavour of the college community? Is there a promotional video?

Arrange a visit Most colleges will have at least one open day during the year for prospective students to look around. Sometimes these days are big events involving the whole college. Sometimes they are more low-key, offering you the chance to sample the college on a more ‘ordinary’ day. As well as these organised open days, most colleges will be happy for you to visit informally, but do ask them in advance, rather than just turning up!

Talk to former students Do you know people who have been to the college? Chat with them about their experiences. Remember, a college can change over time, but colleges often find that their alumni are their best adverts!

Which course should I choose? As you will see from the UK Bible Colleges website, there are numerous courses to choose from. But which is the most suitable for you? Here are some factors to consider:

Your Christian tradition You may have strong convictions (for example, Reformed, Pentecostal, Wesleyan, Holiness, Charismatic, etc.), which might affect your choice. Would you prefer a college which is sympathetic to your views, or would you prefer to study with others holding a wider variety of beliefs? Many colleges are interdenominational, while some, directly linked with a confessional


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group, are mainly denominational, although they welcome students from a wider spectrum.

Your educational background Most colleges welcome people with a wide range of abilities, recognising that some have not previously had opportunities for study. Highly motivated Christians who come later to study often do very well. Even colleges with the highest academic standards usually have Diploma and Certificate courses open to all, because they are committed to train at all kinds of levels. However, most Degree courses require some A-levels for school leavers, just as at University.



Don’t be discouraged into thinking that you can’t afford to go to Bible College before you’ve explored the options available to you.

Your future ministry This will certainly affect the length of the course you will take. Many denominational churches have particular requirements, and most mission agencies recommend at least some formal cross-cultural training for prospective workers. Do you want a practical element in your study programme (eg. a ministry placement) or would you prefer to have an exclusively academic focus? The key thing is to ask questions. Most colleges will have someone who you can talk to about these and other issues, so drop them a line and talk it through. NEW WEBSITE 27

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Funding your studies So you’ve decided to go to Bible College? Great news! Now you just need to think about how to pay for it... Everyone knows that education isn’t cheap, but there are some great tools at your disposal to help you raise the funds and budget effectively. Before you start to plan, take a look at someone who’s done it before.

Before you go... Ready to get started? Before you go to Bible College, take an honest look at your finances. Whether you’ve got a year or just a few months to save, it’s worth taking the time to work out your income and expenditure, so that you have a realistic picture of your finances. Identifying a sensible goal from the start will help you to stay on track. Check out this great Budget Builder tool - visit It’s free, comprehensive and easy to use. It has been built with the Christian lifestyle in mind, and takes into account all kinds of expenses: from tithing to utility bills, entertainment to childcare costs.  Once you’ve worked out your budget, you can begin to think about short and long term ideas for raising support - have a look below for some ideas. It’s important to think about updating and maintaining your budget once you’re at Bible College, too.

Two-Step Process In the short term, before you start Bible College, it’s worth thinking about the different grants, loans, gifts and fundraising activities available to you. Here are some ideas to get you started: • Check out the Directory of Grant-Making Trusts at your local library, and look for potential trusts that might be willing to support you. • Ask your church if they would be willing to fund part of your studies, or if they could consider letting you give a short presentation on a Sunday morning to help raise funds. • Do fundraising activities: a sponsored walk, run, sky-dive or climb. Or, for those less willing to jump out of planes, why not bake cakes, wash cars or hold a computer gaming marathon? There are thousands of fundraising ideas on the Internet, so there will be something to suit you. Advertise your event on your Facebook profile or via Twitter; you never know who may be willing to help you out. • Apply to your Local Education Authority (LEA) for a financial assessment - you may be eligible for support or a student loan. Have a look at the Student Finance website, and be sure to ask them about any extra allowances you might be eligible for.

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Once you’ve raised some initial funds, unless you’re blessed with a rich uncle who will sponsor you through college, you’ll need to think about maintaining your support. Your long term plan should include setting up a dedicated account, so that people who want to support you regularly can do so easily. Stewardship offer a fantastic online account for Bible College students, which means that your friends and church family (but not your close relatives) can give tax-efficiently and regularly (or just a lump sum at the start of term if they like!) to help support you in your studies. There is no charge to open an account, and because Stewardship can reclaim tax on your supporters’ gifts, you could potentially receive even more support. Another long term consideration is part-time employment, or full-time work during school holidays. Perhaps look at job boards at your college, or look online for local vacancies, but be realistic about the amount of time you can spend working while studying. It’s worth bearing in mind that some colleges discourage working alongside your studies, so check with your college before you pursue this. Using social media, you can keep people updated on your progress at Bible College. Perhaps you could consider starting a blog, where you can keep a public journal, and provide information about how people can support your studies. You can also use Facebook to organise events, start a group or discuss fundraising ideas.  Ultimately, remember that God equips those who He calls. Don’t be discouraged into thinking that you can’t afford to go to Bible College before you’ve

explored the options available to you. Instead, pray, plan and be pro-active in your approach to fundraising, and you’ll be sure to see results. For more information, tools and help, look at the resources below. Stewardship - For more information, visit or give them a call on 0208 502 8566 to find out if a Stewardship account might be right for you. Funding the Family Business - Myles Wilson distils his extensive experience of training people to raise their own ministry support in this comprehensive manual, including a section on Bible Colleges. For more information, visit Credit Action Student Manual - a must-read guide for all students, covering everything from budgets to benefits. To download the manual, visit Student Finance Website - a Government website with the latest up-to-date information about loans and grants. For more information, visit earning/UniversityAndHigherEducation/Stud entFinance/index.htm

Keep The Faith would like to thank the Association of Bible College Principals and Stewardship for this article. 29

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The debut album Edge Street from Divine Divine, winners of the 2011 Time2Shine Gospel Talent search is now out. They talk to Keep The Faith about working together, their music and the importance of faith.

New stage play tackles singleness The subject of being single, and the issues that surround it - celibacy, finding a partner and wanting children - is a perennial subject within Britain’s Black Christian communities. Playwright Silvano Griffith-Francis has decided to explore this issue in her new play, ‘Life Begins’, which is being staged at The Lost Theatre, 208 Wandsworth Road, London SW8 2JU from 18 to 23 September, 2012.

‘Life Begins’ tackles singleness from the point of view of four Christian friends, who all have their own unique struggles with the issue. It features Rob, a divorcee seeking to reconcile with his wife; Julie, a singleton, desperately wanting to be married; Steven, a fussy singleton who seems destined to be single, and Amanda who, though not married, is determined to fulfil her dream of having a child. Silvano, who has staged other productions, including ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘Far From Grace’, hopes that Life Begins will shed new light on a much-discussed topic, as well as provide an enjoyable evening of entertainment for audiences. To book your tickets, visit or phone 0844 847 1680.

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What are Divine Divine’s feelings about being the first ever winners of the Time2Shine Gospel Talent Search? David: It feels great to be the first ever winners, because we have the opportunity to set the bar and lay a good foundation for the winners to come. It is also a nice title and has a ring to it. Nadine: It was a bit scary. However, it was also quite a privilege to be the forerunners of a powerful vision. How easy/difficult has it been to bond together as a group, and what are the benefits of being in a group? Nadine: From the start, we bonded surprisingly well and quickly, and it just seemed to fit! Being in a group feels like being part of a musical family and trusted team to keep you in check and level-headed. Not to mention more ideas to create good music. David: I thought it would be quite difficult because we are all four different individuals with strong personalities, but I was pleasantly surprised that we actually get along… It’s rather inexplicable…! Lawrence: The connection is just Divine! Neresa: It’s been great singing with this group. Each one of us is a strong soloist in our own right, so making changes or trying new things is a breeze. We really get on well together, too. You’ve recorded songs for Divine Divine’s first ever album. What did you enjoy most about the recording process? Lawrence: The writing process. We all have many different influences that we

were able to bring together to produce our debut album. Neresa: Each song is a reflection of our life experience, or something we want to express to the Lord. The style of the music also reflects our differences. Although it’s difficult to predict, which songs do you think are going to be a big hit with the people who buy your album? Lawrence: ‘Till we meet again’, as it’s got that African Caribbean vibe which makes everyone wanna dance. David: Everyone loves a bit of African vibes. Nadine: If I had to choose one, I would say either ‘Conqueror’ or ‘Don’t worry about me’… Neresa: Ooh… I think it’s a toss up between ‘I Just Wanna Say’ or ‘You Are! What impact are you hoping your music will have on the young people who will no doubt hear it? David: I hope the music helps young people get through hard times. I hope our songs are the ones that come to mind in the darkest times of their lives, because they find the songs useful, meaningful and relevant to them. Neresa: I hope we help young people to love their own individuality. We are all very different, and yet we are able to come together as one. Praise God!!! Describe Divine Divine in five words Unique, Eclectic, Relevant, One, Divine!

For more details, visit

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Leading gospel couple divorced

ARTIST WATCH Fans of a former golden couple of the US gospel scene, Deitrick and Damita Haddon, will be saddened to hear that the formerly married pair are now divorced. Although no full details have been revealed as to when and why the divorce took place, Deitrick, a popular contemporary gospel artist, revealed on Twitter that the couple are no longer together. On August 14 he tweeted, “If I was that powerful a man of God, I would still be married 2 Damita. I’m learning to have balance. You can win & lose @ the same time!” “It is possible to work so hard and be so driven that you lose everything! I pray that in the future I find the balance of ministry and family!” “I don't believe in sharing my personal, but I think it's important for people to know that in your pursuit of ministry, don’t lose family!” The gospel community have been very supportive of the couple, and although they are not together, Deitrick was still concerned enough about his ex-wife to tell his 95,386 followers to buy her latest CD.

When people see Remi Odumesi in action, he’s usually identified as ‘that former singer with popular gospel outfit, Muyiwa and Riversongz’. Few people are aware that he is an accomplished gospel artist in his own right, who serves as worship leader at his church, House on the Rock in North London, and that he has two recordings under his belt, Jesus Reigns (an EP released in 2010) and Living Waters, a single released earlier this year. Remi Odumesi is also an in-demand worship leader and event host, who sings at churches and conferences across the globe with his worship team, Spring of Life. He is also a man of many talents. Aside from working with numerous gospel artists, he has a degree in Media Studies and presents a popular podcast, ‘Enter Into His Gates’ on People who love Remi’s energetic approach to his singing ministry will be pleased to know that he is working on an album. Although no release date has been set, be assured that it will be multi-faceted, inspirational and will contain music to uplift, enlighten and, more importantly, provide a soundtrack which will inspire listeners to worship God. For more details, visit

GOSPEL NEWS BITES UK gospel music artists have been involved in the making of the charity single, Everybody Dreams, sung by pupils of Gladesmore Community School. Nicky Brown, Minister of Music at Ruach Ministries, worked alongside 100 pupils at the school to help them write the song, and produced the track. Christian rapper, Guvna B, worked with pupils to create the rap that featured on the single; Priscilla Jones-Campbell provided vocal training, and Sam Lynch of gospel soul outfit, V9 Collective, also gave a helping hand. Visit for more details.

Are you a talented gospel artist seeking a platform for your talent? If your answer is Yes, why not enter Gospel Heroes? This new gospel talent search is on the look-out for soloists and groups to audition this September. The Grand Final winner receives a share in £50,000 worth of prizes, including a recording contract, concert tour and the ‘Gospel Heroes Best New Talent’ award. Visit for more details.

If members of your church worship team or choir would like to sing alongside Christians from other denominations, why not encourage them to be part of the mass choir that will sing at the first ever National Day of Prayer at Wembley Stadium on September 29th? This event will bring together Christians across the racial, cultural and denominational spectrum for worship and prayer. Singers interested in being part of this choir should visit to register.



GOSPEL MUSIC IS NOT JUST FOR THE YOUNG Juliet Fletcher explores why churches won’t fully utilise mature gospel artists, and suggests how congregations can embrace the talents of all - no matter what their age

JULIET FLETCHER runs Greentree, a gospel music development company


When was last time you bought an album with a front cover featuring the face of someone over the age of 45? Some of our great vocalists from the 70s, 80s and 90s have not been able to carry their music forward into their later years, when their voices would probably be at their best.

I remember someone saying to me that Raymond and Co were passé! That was three years ago! Can you imagine if we treated Muyiwa, Guvna B, Four Kornerz and Lurine Cato as we have done others; they wouldn’t have a lot of time left to their careers!


e’ve got a serious problem in our industry; I’ve noticed this problem for some time. It’s a problem of ageism. It’s a problem of a neglected generation of music makers and music lovers. For too long in our churches, music has been seen to be ‘a young people’s thing’. As a result, four key things have happened. We’ve missed out mature vocal voices leading on the scene. We’ve missed out on a generation of senior choirs. We've neglected a generation of creative writers and composers, whose rich wealth of experience and knowledge should be speaking to this and the next generation. We’ve neglected a whole audience of over 40s, taking from them the opportunity to see the artists who inspired them from their youth; buy their music, and be blessed by their ministry. Why has music in our churches been relegated as a ‘young people’s thing’? I believe it’s a backlash from the 1980s, when some behaviour changed among concertgoers, and the activity was viewed as frivolous. Eventually, it was taken that concerts were something to keep the young preoccupied, until the serious attitude to life - worship and the Word of God - set in to indicate Christian maturity.

was glorious. They’d lost none of their power and brilliance over the 20 plus years since I’d first heard them. The audience - including many young people - responded with excitement. In their younger days, artists like Divine would have found it extremely difficult to continue because they would have received little support.

Speaking with Lurine on the matter, she said, “Personally, I have not had that problem. But yes, it’s sad that there is this trend. Gospel music is timeless and limitless. It’s not just a genre; it's a subject that can fit into any style - reggae, country, r’n’b. Therefore it suits anyone of any age. We should not let that (age) get in the way.” And she is absolutely right. Lurine Cato

The opposite exists in the US, with named greats like Andrae Crouch, Fred Hammond, Marvin Sapp, Vanessa Bell-Armstrong and Karen Clarke having had their careers nurtured and prolonged through their engagement with ‘the Church’ that invests in people, creating robust music departments, and which pushes the boundaries of artistic excellence. Churches utilise choir competitions for all ages, strategic events, and activities that provide academic and informal training for singers, musicians and composers. It goes across denominational and organisational boundaries, and it’s firmly connected to the commercial enterprise that undergirds the US gospel music industry.

We desperately need a transformation of our mindset and practical approach to make our music what it should be, and we can all be all be involved so that it can truly bless our world and us. I’d like to encourage pastors, church bookers, promoters and event organisers to support mature gospel singers by including them in more events as featured guests; to look at new ways to increase the number of joined-up training and education programmes across local branches or even local church networks. Developing a long-term approach will bring dividends.

The outcome is that US gospel artists are known and respected, both for their longevity and for their art. They are not relegated to the sidelines; they stay in the centre of the gospel music arena, and are able to pass on the very best of who they are to the next generation. Earlier this year, I heard the original line-up of West Midlands female group, Divine, singing at the late Frank Stewart’s funeral service. It Fred Hammond

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Marvin Sapp

Guvna B

Vanessa B Armstrong


It is for freedom that Christ has set us free

AIM takes the GMIA on board The Gospel Music Industry Alliance (GMIA) recently announced that they have been made an Affiliate Member of the Association of Independent Music (AIM). It’s the first time that gospel music has been recognised within the music industry in this way, and represents a landmark move for the many professionals and organisations. James Farrelly, Membership Manager for AIM, commented, “The independent music community continues to be the side of the music industry which dares to innovate, create and work together to develop an environment in which great music will thrive. As such, it is vital that AIM aligns itself with organisations, which are working with genre-specific labels and artists, such as GMIA. Rarely has the gospel music scene been given a representative voice and, in GMIA, the UK gospel community will finally have a centralised and unified voice. AIM is proud to welcome GMIA as an affiliate member - a relationship we’re certain will allow the gospel community to develop and grow.”

If you’d like help in thinking through the issues, contact the Gospel Music Industry Alliance by emailing, or call 020 8123 8014.

Do you sometimes wonder: “Will I ever be free from the things in this life that weigh me down? Is it really possible to change?” The answer is yes! And the London Women’s Convention 2012 on Saturday October 6 is shaping up to be life changing! The Convention this year focuses particularly on the transforming power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Rebecca Manley Pippert, international speaker on evangelism, spiritual renewal and Christian character formation, and author of the bestselling book Out of the Saltshaker, will be teaching us about the freedom to be found through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Rebecca has been described as one of the “liveliest and most effective communicators of the gospel in the world today” and she will be sharing the Good News of Jesus in a clear, engaging way. It‘s a day to retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and be refreshed, renewed and restored - more effective and with much longer lasting results than a Spa Day... This year’s Convention, with its core commitment to quality Bible-teaching, heart-warming fellowship and rousing praises, will take place at Central Hall Westminster. The same event runs twice on the same day (Daylight: 9.30am - 2.30pm; Twilight: 3.15pm - 8.00pm). You choose which time suits you best! Tickets cost £25. There are a limited number of £15 concessionary tickets available (full-time students or those in receipt of state benefits) at the Twilight Convention only. For further information, including booking details, please go to or telephone 0845 225 0899. NEW WEBSITE 33


WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND? The key to living a fruitful Christian life starts in the mind. Esther Williams encourages Christians to maintain a positive mental attitude through prayer, studying God’s Word, and building their faith

ESTHER WILLIAMS is an international Development Journalist



’ve lost count of the amount of times I heard during the Olympics that an athlete’s state of mind is key to their winning performance. There were multiple comments about a competitor’s ability to stay focused as being crucial to their success; the difference between a gold and bronze medal defined by an individual’s solid preparation and relentless positivity. So, in day-to-day life, how important is it to keep a positive mental attitude? Well, I believe that there’s a huge amount of victory that can be achieved by simply changing the way we think. Most of the time, our fears are all in the mind and will never materialise. Fear is connected to being afraid of failure - and I have to say, at some point in our lives, we have to get used to the reality that failure or disappointment is just a part of life. In fact, if we think about failure with the mind of Christ, it can be used as a catalyst for future success, and end up being the best thing that ever happened to us. It’s crucial that we control our thought lives, particularly if we want to stay sane. Stop thinking everybody is talking about you they’re not. And, even if they are talking behind your back, they’re behind you. You are in front. Selah. Don’t be suspicious; suspicion is the product of an unrenewed mind. Discernment comes out of a renewed spirit. Thinking about what everyone else is thinking will leave you exhausted and paranoid. I know - I’ve been there. Just keep your mind stayed on Him; God will work everything out for your good. It’s been said many times before that the mind is a battlefield. This is where the

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enemy constantly tries to keep us defeated through fear, doubt and unbelief. He does this, because these are emotions that keep us focused on ourselves; it's his strategy to keep us preoccupied on a place where there is only limited power available. But when we fix our mind on the Saviour of the world, we become invincible; confidence fills our hearts, and we recognise that all things are possible through God’s limitless power.

“When we fix our mind on the Saviour of the world, we become invincible; confidence fills our hearts, and we recognise that all things are possible through God’s limitless power.”

The Bible says, in Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” In this verse, we see a clear correlation between what we focus our minds on and how we feel: a mind stayed on Christ equals perfect peace. Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your mind on things above not on things on earth.” Finally, Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and let’s run with endurance the race that’s set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and the Finisher of our faith who, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Staying focused and looking unto Jesus is a daily process. I love talking about having the mind of Christ, because it’s an area of constant development for me. I’ve said here before that I am quite capable of worrying

about anything and everything, but with every victory I grow stronger in this area. Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to feel inadequate about lots of things; life’s challenges take their toll, and I’ve really struggled with not growing weary in welldoing. A friend of mine called me, and we were on the phone talking through some of the things we were facing and the genuine feeling of being overwhelmed - both of our minds cluttered with the affairs of life. But by the end of that conversation, we both agreed that God is able; we love Him and, as we look to Jesus, our change will come. We took our mind off the problems and decided to focus on the solutions in God’s Word. The Bible says God is faithful to complete that which He has started in our lives. In this attempt to encourage all of us to put on the mind of Christ, I hear myself throwing down the gauntlet to myself and to everyone reading this: run after God, seek His face, pray more, stop being so busy, and be shrewd about who and what you lend your time and energy to. De-clutter your life and get back to basics; weigh every situation with God’s Word, and trust Him. Negative thoughts are not of God. The Bible says that every good and perfect gift comes from Him. Negative thinking is not good it’s bad. As we move into the final quarter of this year, let’s re-commit to raising up the standard of the Word in our lives, and not allow attributes that are not fruits of the Spirit to prevent us from living an abundant life and walking in perfect peace. ...........................................................

You can follow Esther Williams on Twitter @mew36

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of its owner. So what does Brodie do? Instead of wandering around blindly (literally), Brodie sits down and waits to be found by its owner. I guess Brodie figured it would be easier that way, yet Brodie was a dog!

GLADYS FAMORIYO is a speaker and author of ‘Quit Hiding, Start Living!’, ‘Healing A Discouraged Heart’ and ‘Overcoming Emotional Baggage’. .........................................................

‘Being still can be a challenge for many of us. Yet it is a strategy God has urged His people to do throughout time, despite it seeming ridiculous in the moment.’


t’s amazing that when we don’t know which way to go, many of us still choose to blindly forge ahead on full throttle perhaps even calling it ‘taking steps of faith’. It seems we replace God’s words and wisdom with what seemingly appears to be ‘God ideas’, which can take the form of what we see others do; what others encourage us to do (eg. well-meaning friends, family, mentors, leaders, media, etc) - all which are a recipe for disaster when God’s own voice is missing from the equation. Couple this with our own impatience, ambitions, personality types, and it becomes a hodgepodge that renders us ineffective, and moving us further from God’s plans for our lives. So, have you found yourself running around like a headless chicken, trying to make things happen with man’s wisdom and in your own strength? Perhaps you are exasperated, stressed out and have since lost your peace looking here, there and everywhere for an answer to a situation. If this is you, I have a suggestion: Be still and simply be for a moment. Press Pause Have you noticed that your efforts have probably not produced the outcome you strived for? You have pounded Heaven with your prayers and fasting; you have had hands laid on you and prophecies galore in your prayer journal - yet nothing. The answer? Strangely, it is not in doing more but less. Be still, take a respite and consult your heavenly Father. I know for sure that He has a word or two for you. Quit The Christian Rat Race Being still can be a challenge for many of us. Yet it is a strategy God has urged His people to do throughout time, despite it seeming ridiculous in the moment. Pondering on why God would ask us to be still, I am fully persuaded that it is a call to a deeper relationship with Him; greater levels of trust, and a complete and utter reliance on His grace. When we comply, our journey becomes easier. By this, I don’t mean there will be an absence of challenges. Instead, we forge

After reading this book, the penny finally dropped. More importantly, it opened my own eyes to the nature of my relationship with God. Did I trust Him enough to sit still and let Him find me, or was I going to forge ahead even if it meant I stumbled blindly into the path of an oncoming car? I tell you, Brodie taught me a lesson or two.

Being still before God Are you striving to fulfil God’s purpose for your life but experiencing difficulty doing so? If so, Gladys Famoriyo writes that maybe it’s time to be still before God to get guidance on with a different attitude, outlook and a deeper reliance on God. We get specific strategies from the One who knows the detailed plan of our lives. If I try to emulate someone else who has a similar calling, I will fall flat on my face. Why? Because God has a plan of action for each of us and for a specified time. Have you not noticed the victories David accomplished when he not only ‘inquired of the Lord’ but obeyed, too? They were astounding! I am also convinced that the times Jesus set aside for prayer were times when He got instructions and all He needed for the day ahead. Yet somehow, we lose sight of this - especially in a world full of noise and distraction every waking moment. Help, Lord, I’m Lost! In her book, The Gospel According to Brodie: Lessons from a Blind Labrador, Jennifer Rees Larcombe shares an unforgettable lesson about dealing with what I fondly refer to as life’s ‘Which way now?’ moments. She talks of blind Brodie’s experience in a park one day. On this occasion, Brodie somehow got separated from its owner. With all the background noises going on, such as children playing; cars passing by a nearby road; fellow park users, Brodie could no longer hear the voice

Wait For God Like blind Brodie, we need to wait for God especially in those fearful or disappointing moments, when we seem to lose our heavenly connection. It’s about being still and seeking Him. And trust me, when we wait, it will be worth it because He has plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11), and it’s His delight to share them with us when we call on Him (Jeremiah 33:3). Trying to do anything outside of God becomes futile. Jesus tells us that, apart from Him we can do nothing. So why strive? I don’t know about you, but I’m opting for the unforced-rhythms-of-grace kind of life that Jesus refers to in Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG). Here is the full Scripture… “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” I pray you receive the wisdom to navigate through life with God, and the boldness to sit still, say ‘No’, or even change direction when necessary. Scriptures to meditate on: Psalm 46:10, Isaiah 40:28-31, Isaiah 50:10-11, John 15. ......................................................... Fore more details of her ministry visit or call 0870 750 1969

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CyberCorner Web consultant Keno Ogbo brings you the latest information on web trends, social media and digital technologies to enrich the online activities of your church, charity or business

the amount of games and information available can waste time and decrease effectiveness. The ease of virtual communication can reduce the need for face-to-face relationships, however, which is a vital component of our Christian faith.

KENO OGBO runs a web design and consultancy company

Choosing technology that suits Various terms are bandied around when it comes to choosing the technology: HTC, Android, iPad, iOS4, iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy, the list can go on and on, and this is before you even begin to choose the software applications required.




nformation technology is vital to time management and efficiency in the way we work in the twenty-first century. Even our worship services benefit from vast amounts of technology - from projecting the worship songs to pre-recorded notices, website and e-newsletters. Churches and church leaders everywhere are embracing technology in a way that is helpful to the congregation and to their personal lives. One piece of technology which is accessible to everyone is the smart phone. Most of us use a smart phone in one way or the other. Another piece of popular technology with huge commercial success is the computer tablet. What is a smart phone? Simply put, it is a mobile phone, which is built on a platform - similar to that of a computer - so you get all the benefits of a phone, and access to computer software typically found on a desktop or laptop. The software applications you can use are dependent on their compatibility with the computing platform selected. Similarly, a tablet is an evolution of the mobile computer, smaller than a laptop, and built along the same lines as a touch screen smart phone. Again, you get all the benefits of the smart phone on a wider screen, but without the traditional mobile phone features, such as calls and texts (although you can do quite a bit of calling and messaging over the Internet).

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Why is this technology important? The evolution of the smart phone and computer tablet as a commercial product is mainly due to their convenience and connectivity features. Rather than wait until you get to a desktop computer, you can get full access to the Internet from the palm of your hands. From reading emails to updating social media, using satellite navigation, reading books, browsing daily papers to stock market figures… everything is accessible to the smart phone or tablet user. As you would expect, the Bible is also available to users - not just in one version, but also with loads of features. For example, the YouVersion Bible app has over 100 versions in many different languages, with commentaries, search and browsing capabilities. In addition, all platforms are open to developers who are able to write third party software applications, to be compatible with these platforms, to further extend what you can do. The Apple App Store contains over half a million apps, with the Android Marketplace (led by the Google brand) not far behind with 450,000 apps. Both marketplaces are growing daily. The Blackberry App World features fewer apps, but has the popular BB Messenger (messaging system), which is all the rage with the younger generation and with Blackberry users in Africa. So what can you do with this technology? The uses of smart phones and computer tablets are endless. They can increase productivity, distribute information to large networks, enhance effectiveness and save time. On the downside,

As with everything in life, your selection depends on price, functionality and features. With smart phones and tablets, the best way to select a device is to firstly look at the operating system. The two biggest market players are Apple with its iO4, iO5, and Google with its Android platform. Either one is a good choice, as they give access to a wide range of useful applications. The Apple operating system is limited to the Apple products, such as the various releases of the iPad and iPhone, whilst you can compare a wider range of devices for the Google Android platform, such as the HTC, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and LG - to mention a few.

So, what do you do if you are wondering about the value of a tablet or a smart phone to your personal life and your ministry? Here is my personal tuppenceworth: Get a smart phone NOW. Most mobile phones will be replaced by smart phones, and the amount of things you can do with a smart phone is set to increase: you will be able to shop, compare prices, pay bills and much more, so maybe it is time to upgrade your old handset and embrace new technology. Then you’ll only have one question left: “When do I get a tablet?” ................................................................... To contact Keno, phone 07958 004739 or visit for details. Follow her at


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Coping with diabetes Millions of people suffer from diabetes. Pauline Byers gives an insight into the causes of the disease, and shares some tips on what sufferers can do to manage the symptoms

PAULINE BYERS is the author of Managing Diabetes - A Wholefood Approach.


WHAT IS DIABETES? Diabetes is a serious chronic health condition affecting millions of people in the UK. There are currently some 2.9m suffering from the condition, with the figure expected to reach 5million by 2025. People of African Caribbean heritage are three times more likely to contract the disease than their White counterparts, and it can have serious impact on all systems of the body, and can lead to blindness, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure and amputations, which lead to disability and reduced life expectancy. TYPE 1 DIABETES There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes develops if the body is unable to produce any insulin, and usually appears before the age of 40. It is treated by insulin injections, diet and regular exercise. TYPE 2 DIABETES Type 2 diabetes - also known as diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high because the body is unable to make sufficient insulin. Type 2 diabetes normally appears in people over the age of 40; however, increasingly, children as young as four years old are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Insulin is vital for life. It is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps glucose enter the cells where it is used as fuel by the body. People who have diabetes will experience some of the following symptoms which include thirst, passing a lot of urine, tiredness, weight loss, genital itching, episodes of thrush, blurred vision, itching and numbness in fingers and or toes. WHAT CAUSES TYPE 2 DIABETES? The rising numbers of people with diabetes can be linked to obesity; increased intake of processed foods, and a sedentary lifestyle. African Caribbeans and Asians appear to be at increased risk of developing the condition, and there is a tendency for diabetes to run in families. In essence, type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease.

Lack of exercise and too much to eat are the major factors in bringing on this disease. Although some people have inherited a genetic predisposition to develop diabetes, genetics is like a loaded gun; it doesn’t hurt anyone until you pull the trigger. It is a sedentary lifestyle together with a high fat diet that pulls the trigger, bringing on the disease. UNDERSTANDING DIABETES We all need carbohydrate food like yams, potatoes, bread, as well as chocolate bars. These foods are converted into blood glucose (blood sugar), which circulates in the blood stream. Glucose will be taken into the cells and burned to supply energy. To get into the cell, glucose must pass through a special ‘sugar door’ in the cell’s wall. These doors are how a cell tells the body it is hungry. A hungry cell will have thousands of these doors all over its surface. Glucose by itself has no way of opening the doors to get into the cell. This is where insulin comes in.

Diabetes is a serious chronic health condition affecting millions of people in the UK. There are currently some 2.9m suffering from the condition, with the figure expected to reach 5m by 2025 Insulin in produced by special cells in the pancreas called beta cells. These beta cells constantly ‘taste’ the blood to see just how sweet it is. When they ‘taste’ that the glucose levels are rising after a meal, these cells release more insulin into the blood stream. Insulin can then open more doors and let the extra glucose into the cell. This has the effect of reducing the amount of glucose circulating in the blood, and the blood glucose levels are kept within normal ranges. This is how the body normally controls its blood glucose level. This function is impaired in individuals with type 2 diabetes, that is why they need to take oral medication and insulin, as prescribed by their practitioner. In addition, their diet needs to be monitored and they need to increase their physical activity, so that they can experience improved health.

HOW PEOPLE CAN AVOID DIABETES Type 2 diabetes can be best avoided by eating a balanced diet that is low in fat and rich in plant-based products, such as fruit and vegetables, as well as regular physical activity. There is increasing evidence that a diet rich in plant-based food can have a significant impact in the management of type 2 diabetes. Most of the published literature comes out of the USA. Plant-based foods are high in fibre and low in fats, for example all pulses/legumes, eg. red beans, gunga and black-eyed peas. The use of processed foods should be avoided, for example white rice should be replaced by wholegrain brown rice, cassava, yams, sweet potatoes, whole-wheat flour, quinoa, bulgur wheat and whole wheat cous cous. White bread should be replaced with a whole grain substitute. Vegetables should be eaten, and fruits limited to three times a day.

Sufferers should avoid drinking concentrated fruit juices; it is best to eat the whole fruit. And they should undertake exercise. Daily walks of around 30 minutes to an hour will assist in weight loss and strengthen the body. ................................................................... Pauline Byers is available to give talks at churches and community groups. For more details, email or phone 07403099077

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JobfileVacancies Welcome to our recruitment page, brought to you in partnership with Christian Vocations - ‘releasing God’s people into God’s work’

Part Time Pastor with New Barn Christian Fellowship, Dartford, Kent New Barn Christian Fellowship is seeking an experienced pastor to lead the small fellowship of 25 people. The role requires a leader with vision, a pastoral heart and a burden for evangelism. The church share a venue with the scouts and is situated in New Barn, Kent. Salary to be decided according to age and experience. To apply, please submit a CV to Alan Murphy at New Barn Christian Fellowship, Dartford, Kent.

Assistant Web Developer with Barnabas Fund, Pewsey, Wiltshire We are seeking a full-time Assistant Web Developer to be based at our UK HQ in Wiltshire. The successful candidate will join a growing web development team working on many varied bespoke projects. Main duties include: • New site designs: mini-site, blogs, shops to fit within our in-house CMS or 3rd party systems (Joomla, WordPress etc) • Developing the in-house CMS whilst seamlessly integrating and tailoring 3rd party software to work with it • Identifying and writing applications for different office teams in order to provide solutions and increase efficiency Candidates must have some proven experience (and examples of work) in PHP/MYSQL. Applicants should also have good knowledge of XHTML and CSS and an eye for detail. Additional experience in either JavaScript (specifically jQuery), AJAX, SEO, social networks, Photoshop/ Fireworks, .NET framework and accessibility would be an advantage. This is a great opportunity for a creative, problem-solving individual with the role allowing great freedom in how problems get solved. Please apply by letter with a CV to the Personnel Manager, Barnabas Fund, The Old Rectory, River Street, Pewsey, Wiltshire SN9 5DB. Tel: 01672 564938 Email: Website:

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For more jobs, visit Advertise your vacancies in Keep The Faith Magazine. Call 0845 193 4434 or email

Chef with Caring for Life, Leeds

General Director with Isubilo, Zambia

The general responsibility embraced within this post is to create dishes of outstanding quality for the customers of ‘The Granary’, sharing the love of Jesus with customers, volunteers and beneficiaries under the line management of the Manager and Head Chef of ‘The Granary’.

‘Isubilo’ is a project based in Ndola, Zambia which is bringing hope to communities living with HIV & AIDS. The organisation is seeking to appoint a General Director who will give overall leadership to the project.

The principle aim of this post, as with all CFL posts, is to share the love of Jesus on a daily and very practical basis with many people who have generally known nothing of His love, in order that, through loving care and example, they might come to personal faith in Christ Jesus and become a part of His church. This is a very exciting time to join the Granary team as they prepare for a massive expansion of this project once the new facility is completed, towards the end of this year. The successful applicant must be an experienced chef who has creative skills to bring to the post. Please request an application form from Flo Hendriksz, Caring for Life, Crag House Farm, Otley Old Road, Cookridge, Leeds LS16 7NH. Email: Website:

Fundraising Intern (P/T) with the Canaan Project, Tower Hamlets, East London Canaan Project is a small, grassroots youth service located on a very deprived estate in Tower Hamlets, East London, and works with young people aged 11 - 19, many of whom experience extremely challenging circumstances. We are looking for a keen, energetic graduate-level individual who wishes to gain work experience of fundraising. The post will include extensive opportunities to train and develop in all areas of community fundraising including preparing applications for funding, and maintain existing relationships with government departments, trusts, companies and individuals. Closing date: 14 September 2012. For further information and application details, please contact James Fawcett, Canaan Project on

The successful applicant will work alongside a team of Zambian staff who manage a number of departments within the project. Proven leadership ability is essential. Some business knowledge desirable. Please apply by sending a letter with a CV to Mark Jowett, 1 Deers Way, Birmingham, B16 0QQ. Tel: 07771 614674 Email: Website:

Children/Youth & Family Worker (P/T) with Christ Church, Leeds Christ Church - Leeds, with oversight of St Stephen’s, Middlesbrough Independent, Reformed, Evangelical Churches with potential for growth seek a young man with references confirming he has a heart for youth and children’s work. He would help us run the mid week youth activities and holiday events, develop our involvement in schools, train leaders and assist with pastoring families. A giftedness in worship leading/ music would be great but not essential. This is a part time position. Remuneration negotiable. Email with a CV to Rev Grahame Wray, Christ Church, c/o 35 Rathmell Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS15 0NS. Email: Website:

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Business Matters Providing interviews with Christian business owners, details of events, and information that will help you to develop and grow your company


Isaac Odeniran

is founder of Christian Women in Business UK and Loud Voice Communications .......................................................

Zoe Records: Taking Gospel Mainstream Denise Roberts talks to the founder of UK gospel label, Zoe Records


saac Odeniran describes his advent into business as unconventional. It happened shortly after July 1990. He explains, “The Lord appeared to me and said ‘Go and do this.’” Isaac obeyed and set up Zoe Records in 1999. In the 13 years since its launch, and despite digital changes that have seen more losers than winners in the music industry, Zoe Records has emerged as an awardwinning name in the field. It has 10 full- and parttime employees, and is the first UK gospel music label to receive a Dove Award, a groundbreaking achievement both for a UK company and a gospel music label holding its own in the mainstream. The company has an active involvement in community life, encouraging new talent with Zoe Nights, a monthly event that brings together different flavours of gospel artists - from hip-hop to reggae - in a bar. Isaac also puts on the Commercial Sense Project, an annual conference of the same title as a book he authored. It teaches on the history and business of Black gospel music from beginning to today. Last summer, a grant from the Olympic Lottery Distributor funded a vocal singing and songwriting project, where street artists showcased their work at the University of East London (UEL), the 02 and other venues. Isaac is no business novice; he was already running a successful property portfolio at the launch of Zoe Records, and has a background in accounting, business administration and marketing. By his own admission, he doesn’t have a musical bone in his body, although he did sing in the church choir years ago. What he does have, however, is plenty of conviction that what he is doing is the will of God. He also has an attitude uncommon in the industry today: investment first, returns second.

“One of the problems [with the gospel music industry] is there is no record label in the UK willing to put investment behind the artist, and until we can do that to the point of sowing, there will be little growth - the Bible says whatever a man sows, he reaps.” He believes, “We need to come to that place where gospel artists can make a living making music” - a vision that helps him see past UK borders and into African, American and Asian markets to “expose [artists] to different territories.” However, if we are to boost supply and demand, investment is also necessary on the part of the church community, to the level that “when you call someone to minister at your church, or when they create a musical project, you put value on it”. That said, Zoe Records produces music for “gospel music lovers - not just the church”, hence the events beyond its walls. Although there is an evangelical touch behind that, Isaac is astute: “Some of the places we go are not pro gospel, so we’re not forcing it down their throats, but saying that gospel music is an art form which can help young people through issues like gun crime and gangs; they can see positive role models as artists; they can learn at their feet. The message in the music will speak for itself.” Despite its divine origins, it would be naïve to believe that the success of Zoe Records hasn’t been without challenges, but Isaac says, “If God calls you to business He will back you up, so when there is trouble on the left and on the right, and you’re facing business challenges then He is there to support you and to give you the Word to go through; to say, ‘Rise up and drink: just another corner to turn’. “However, it is one thing to be called by God but another to be ready through knowledge, business acumen and financial skills; if you don’t have them, then get people who do.”

Without a vision, the business perishes If your business voice or image is saying something contrary to the vision you have for your business, you could be slowly peddling it to death. And without a clear vision for the business, its demise could come more quickly. If you are a Christian woman with a vision for business or ministry that complements your spiritual life, then why not attend ‘A 360° Look at the Businesswoman in You’. This one-day programme, comprising of talks and workshops, aims to help women to simplify, build and strengthen the synergy between business growth and success. The event takes place in Stratford City, East London, on Friday 5 October, from 10.30am to 4.00pm. Bookings and further information can be found at

Utilising Twitter for business success 1. Be clear on how the information you tweet fits your overall business aim. 2. Be transparent: do your own tweeting rather than giving it over to a third party. 3. Use TweetDeck to help manage your tweets and decide who to follow. 4. Share content with a value, such as free trials, promotions, helpful links and educational resources. 5. Create friends: they will help you promote your services and products. 6. Do not ask people to do business with you as soon as they follow you. 7. Invest in good tit for tat: when given the opportunity to support a follower, do so. 8. Don’t be the silent type. Respond to other tweets and re-tweet other useful messages.

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Charity Affairs Lara Rufus keeps us informed of developments within the charity world; details of funding available, and events that will broaden our knowledge


since 1996 remittances have been worth more than all overseas development aid.

BA, MSc, Fundraising Consultant and Chair of the Black Fundraisers’ Network ...............................................................

Remittances are not just big but continue to grow. Thanks to organisations like Western Union and MoneyGram, it is a lot easier to report the level of giving.

REMITTANCES vs PHILANTHROPY - The competition for surplus BME finances

So what does this mean for the Church? It strikes me that there is a real synergy between remittances and mission work. Statistics already prove that BME communities are good at giving overseas and at sacrificial giving. Perhaps it is time to take it one step further, and give beyond our families and friends into the wider community, through structured and organised giving.


iversity in philanthropy seems to be the new hot topic. Having been approached by various publications no end, I feel it is time to set the record straight. I am always bemused as to why there is no apparent mainstream interest in researching how to harness the growing wealth of BME communities in the UK. There seems to be either a lack of interest or over-cautiousness by mainstream philanthropic organisations. However, if we look at remittances from BME communities during the past year, according to findings in Understanding Society (a study of UK households), one in five migrants sent money out of the UK in the form of remittances. It also reported that 88% of those making such a payment sent funds to family members or to friends, whilst a mere 12% sent money to support a local community. They also found that sending money overseas is seen as a key feature of immigrant behaviour; the key findings on remittances show that these are more common among migrants, more so among second-generation than third generation. Black Africans were most likely to remit money more than 1 in 3 doing so. Many low-income people remit a significant portion of their income, with the poorest remitting more than 30% of their income.

Conversely, the same Report (Understanding Society: Findings 2012) also indicated that very few White British respondents remitted money, even among migrants to the UK, with just 1 in 5 doing so. Such is the importance of remittances that respected publication, The Economist, recently dedicated a whole section of its publication to the subject. The value of remittances to poor countries has been so significant that

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The Shai Foundation is one such group to have done so. Jenny Lapompe set up this charitable organisation in 2010 to encourage Christians in response to Christ’s Commission to His followers to spread the Gospel. The Foundation primarily focuses on promoting and supporting missions across the world. However, albeit inadvertently, the Shai Foundation also promotes philanthropy via its “Give God 5” concept, which basically sees donations in multiples of 5 - from £5 to £50,000. Potential donors are invited to register with the Foundation and donate a minimum of £5 regularly. They then encourage others to do the same. International donors can give the equivalent of £5 upwards. Aside from regular donations, individuals and organisations are encouraged to make a significant ‘one off’ donation to overseas mission work. The Shai Foundation, along with Hope Force International, will undertake a mission trip in October later this year to build homes in Haiti. The trip has already seen renowned Christian artists, such as Lyrical Healer, come on board as part of the mission trip. See for further information, or to support the Project. .................................................................. To contact Lara email or visit

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Date for your Diaries Event: A half day training course for charities and voluntary organisations considering borrowing money to provide a more secure financial future. Date: 27th September 2012 Time: 2 - 5pm Venue: NCVO, National Council for Voluntary Organisations, Society Wharf, 8 All Saints Street, London N1 9RL Cost: £75 During this masterclass social finance experts Unity Trust will speak about the uses and risks of loan finance, and share details of the different types of social finance available to voluntary organisations. A representative from independent charity Basics Plus will also talk about how their organisation grew as a result of taking out a commercial mortgage to purchase and renovate a failing visitor centre, which now provides training and employment for disabled adults and has become a valuable asset to the Yorkshire Coast tourism industry. For more details phone 020 7520 2519 or email

Funding Focus for your Ministry Help the Homeless (UK) Help the Homeless, a national Charity which aims to help homeless people through the United Kingdom to resume a normal life is currently accepting applications from small and medium sized charities and voluntary organisations. Grants of up to £5,000 are available towards capital costs to support projects that assist disadvantaged individuals in their return to mainstream society, through residential or training facilities. Grants to larger charities may be considered if the project is suitably innovative and only possible for a larger organisation to develop it. Previous projects supported include the Lamp Community who received A grant of £2,845 to towards the cost of computers for re-integration work at their drop-in centres and a grant of £2,000 to Spires, a South London Homeless charity towards the cost of providing daily services to clients, including the provision of food and clothing. Visit more details.

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Heart to Heart Esther Fenty provides godly and practical advice on a wide range of issues. Email

ESTHER FENTY is a qualified psychologist and pastor’s wife


I feel disrespected by my wife and feel she might be having an affair When I married my wife five years ago, I recognised that she had a teaching and preaching ministry. I did not mind, because I felt I could offer her love and support, which I have done over the years. Five years on, I feel my wife has started to look down on me, since she has started getting invitations to preach abroad in the US and the Caribbean. She has started talking to me in a disrespectful manner in public something she’s never done before - and constantly asks me why I don’t preach. Her badgering is making me suspicious that she’s having an affair. I don’t know why my wife would behave like this. I love her, I support her. I’m an accountant who can provide for my wife and our two children. I also serve as a church treasurer, and mentor some of the young men, but I don’t feel called to be in a preaching or teaching ministry. My wife is making me feel very unsettled, and I am wondering what is the best way to handle this situation. I love my wife and family, but don’t want the new demands on her God-given gifting to drive a wedge in our marriage and cause its demise. Charles, Cambridge

Esther replies... That’s a pretty big jump from badgering you to an assumption of having an affair! I appreciate that you are ‘feeling unsettled’, as you describe it, by your wife’s comments and behaviour, but try to put things into perspective. Perhaps your wife is unaware of the extent of her behaviour and the impact that it is having on you. However, your suspicions of unfaithfulness on her part could also drive a wedge between you. You may need to consider that your wife is experiencing some additional pressures which go hand-in-hand with a public ministry. It is

possible that, underneath the visible veneer, she is facing some inner or even physical challenges which need to be addressed. She may need to visit her GP for a health check, or she could be feeling the effects of fatigue and stress from all those public engagements, resulting in impatience, abruptness and possibly unintentionally disrespecting you in public. Understanding this does not excuse your wife’s behaviour, but it will help you to support her in solving the problems together. Your wife may be surprised that you describe her attempts to persuade you to preach as ‘badgering’. She may be thinking that she is encouraging you to strive to a higher level of ministry. Like some others, she may not recognise the gifts as being on equal footing, and may see the public ministry of preaching and teaching as ‘higher order’ gifts. You might need a discussion about your differing perspectives on ministry gifts and how you use them, not only for the edifying of the church but also to complement each other. It is also possible that she is feeling that if you were able to preach, then you could be a potential travelling companion on her trips abroad. This may be her cry for help. In any case, it is important that you communicate your feelings to your wife about the way she treats you in public, and about your different ministry gifts. Be careful that you do not accuse; you may need to start by asking for her views about how she feels her ministry is going. People like preachers and teachers, who are constantly giving out, also need time for refreshing. You could also support her in looking at her travel engagements. She may need to take more rest between preaching trips. You could also help by arranging a relaxation break together.

Why are all the men I meet players? I grew up in a home where my father verbally and physically abused my mother. When we went to church, however, people thought he was the perfect husband and father because he made us put on a public show of togetherness. Thankfully, my mother finally divorced him when I was 15, after he had an affair with a church member, and he left the family home. That was seven years ago. Now that I’m an adult, I have to confess I have major trust issues concerning men. I’d rather be on my own than go through what my mother went through, but my mother keeps on telling me that I mustn’t let my experience put me off men, as there are some good guys around. How can I do that, particularly as so many of the Christian men I seem to meet are players? Ade, London

Esther replies... This really is a sad state of affairs as, unfortunately, your experience has confirmed that some Christian men are players. However, as your mother has rightly pointed out, there are some genuine ones. I am intrigued that you only seem to meet the ‘players’. Where are you meeting them, and do you need to widen your social network to meet people of both genders initially as friends and not as potential partners? In the meantime, while you continue to have major trust issues about men, you will not be ready for a serious relationship. I am not sure from the tone of your letter whether you have forgiven your father, and this may be something that you need to consider. Interestingly, are you unwittingly attracting the same sort of men as your father because you have not addressed these issues? You may need to explore these issues with a Christian counsellor. After exploring these issues and looking at your social groups, you may still conclude that singleness is your preferred way of life. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as your decision is based on sound reasons and not just on your past experience.

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Follow Keep The Faith magazine on Facebook or on Twitter @keepthefaithmag

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GOSPEL KING GETS HIS HANDS DIRTY LCGC founder, Bazil Meade, speaks with Kate Sharma about his visit to Tanzania to see firsthand the impact Christian charity Compassion International is having on children’s lives


uther Vandross, Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross are just a few of the incredible artists with whom Bazil Meade, director of the world famous London Community Gospel Choir, has performed. Following a recent trip to Tanzania, Bazil can now add the children from the Mennonite Student Centre to this extensive list of performers. They may not be international superstars with platinum-selling albums, but Bazil nevertheless describes the experience of singing with this bunch of kids - from one of Tanzania’s poorest communities - as “a great encouragement.” The trip shows a side of Bazil and the London Community Gospel Choir that is not always seen, but which is an integral part of their identity. Christ at the heart The London Community Gospel Choir (LCGC) has put UK gospel music firmly on the map, with their personal brand of funky, soulful gospel. Whilst the make-up of the Choir has changed over the course of their 30-year history, and their music has continually sought to break barriers, one thing has been constant: the committed faith of the Choir. Under Bazil’s leadership, LCGC has shunned the temptation to deviate from their Christian heritage, clinging firmly to Jesus whilst seeking to take their audiences on a spiritual journey through music. Bazil asserts: “The unity of the message is essential. I need to ensure that the lyrics come from the heart, and that the members connect with the message.” The Choir has been built around Ephesians 2:10: "We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Faith is the rock on which the Choir is built, and the fabric that weaves it together. This foundation naturally entwines everything they do, and the Choir has always sought to make a real and tangible difference in both local and global communities. And Bazil has often been the first to get his hands dirty. Face to face with poverty Back in 2007, Bazil visited Uganda, where he saw some of Compassion’s child development programmes first hand, and helped to build a kitchen. “I hear too many stories of those who collect funds, and actually very little gets to those who need it,” says Bazil. “But I was so impressed by Compassion, and the way local people are the ones who are carrying out the work, listening

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carefully for the best ways to meet the needs of the communities.” After this initial trip, Bazil travelled to India and then to Tanzania earlier this year, where he had the opportunity to meet the little girl he sponsors through the Organisation. “It was very emotional for me to meet Witness,” remembers Bazil. “When she saw me, I could see her little face light up and she didn’t leave my side.” Bazil had the opportunity to worship with the children at the church-based Mennonite Student Centre, where loving staff ensure that Witness is healthy, well-fed and clothed, and has an opportunity to go to school. “I also had the privilege to meet her mother,” Bazil continues. “She was very sick and has since passed away. But the Project is there to give her a place of refuge and support through her loss. It was great for me to witness how the resources are being used, and to see the results not just in the children but in the whole family. That’s practical Christian love in action, and that’s very powerful. That was an awakening for me.” Faith in action Bazil is known for stirring emotions through his inspiring musical arrangements, but he has returned from Tanzania with a renewed desire to move hearts to respond to the needs of the poor. “We can spend many hours in prayer meetings and having our church meetings, singing about the love of God and how we want to spread His love,” Bazil stresses. “But all of that is just talk. I don’t want to sound disrespectful, but it’s just theatrical unless there’s action to support it.”

“What gives life is when we break out of the churches, out of the bricks and mortar, and connect with our communities. I think it’s particularly important for Black communities to do more, and not just for Africa.” Bazil has a big vision to see many lives transformed in Jesus’ Name, but his challenge starts with a single child. “I’m new to sponsoring, but I would encourage others to get on board because it’s so fulfilling. When you give to a child, you can bring big change to a child’s life: health, clothing and education. You’ll set the child up for life, and that’s a remarkable achievement.”

For more information about Compassion’s work, visit or call 01932 836490

Keep The Faith magazine issue 75  

Keep The Faith magazine - Britain's leading Black community-focused publication, promoting and supporting Faith and Family Values. Distribut...

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