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The Untold Story of Frances Whitehead
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transform Autumn 2014
Langham Partnership News
by Julia Cameron
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rances Whitehead was working for the BBC when Stott asked her to become his secretary. For 55 years she was his right hand: gatekeeper, administrator, typist, encourager and enabler. In his Will, Stott named her as his ‘friend and Executor’. Their partnership - unique, effective, and not without humour - has been
described as ‘one of the greatest Christian partnerships of the 20th century’. But what lay behind the dogged determination, fiercely protective streak, occasional imperious tone, and ready, warm laughter Frances brought to her role? This book tracks her life and glimpses her ancestry to find the answer.
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About the author: Julia Cameron has served on the boards of three of John Stott’s initiatives. She is Director of Publishing for the Lausanne Movement, and lives in Oxford. “John Stott was preaching the night I was converted and he has been my teacher ever since, not only by word but by example. He has obviously been the greatest influence in my life. Those who have influenced me most have always borne the hallmark of authenticity, that is of Christlikeness ... So much of Christian truth is summed up in the amazing condescension of John 14:21.” Frances Whitehead, January 2014
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Unity in a World of Conflict Langham speaks to Nola Leach of CARE
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7 Being Christlike in a desperate world Nola Leach speaks to Langham
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i ‘I have more confidence in God and in myself to face what the future holds’
In 2010, the Tam family moved from Hong Kong to Edinburgh on an adventure of faith. Josaphat was in church leadership and teaching at Evangel Seminary when the opportunity presented to pursue doctoral studies at New College, assisted by a Langham scholarship. His wife, Cookie, and their two boys, Jopiel and Cophiel, accompanied him.
Today Cookie is confident in English. She also learned to cook, not just Chinese food but also western favourites. She began to use her cooking as a way to minister to others, reaching out to international postgraduate students and their families in the same apartment block, and to others in the Chinese community and church fellowship: Cookie says
Now, four years later, Josaphat has completed his thesis entitled ‘Grasping the Divine: Apprehension of Jesus in the Gospel of John’.
‘I am going to miss these friends very, very much. A few years ago I would never have believed that I would feel this way about relationships in Edinburgh. I am a more mature, independent and stronger woman. I have more confidence in God and in myself to face tomorrow and what the future holds. I have renewed my ability to lead worship and plan to continue to do this when I return to my home church in Hong Kong’
As Liz met with Cookie over lunch, they reflected on God’s faithfulness during this time. They listed the ways in which Cookie has grown as a person, in her faith, in courage, in ability to minister to others, and in her use of English! Cookie led a busy life in Hong Kong with many responsibilities. It was not easy to live as a stranger in Edinburgh; it was not easy to communicate in English. There were many quiet evenings, when Josaphat studied and the children were asleep. ‘ I thought about a lot of things and my past inside my heart. It was so good for me.’ She spent time with the Lord. As a result, she became more aware of herself; she sensed she was somewhat timid in using the gifts that God had given her. With courage and determination she decided to attend the University Wives Club and twice-weekly English classes.
Throughout, Cookie’s top priority remained to love and support Josaphat, create an environment that made it possible for him to fulfil his intense study programme, and care for her sons: ‘For Josaphat I gave all my effort to support, care and protect him and my family. Now (as he works on final corrections) many friends pray for him, for me and my family. I didn’t lose anything but gain very, very much. Thank you’ The Tams look forward to celebrate Josaphat’s graduation before returning to Hong Kong. With ‘double reward’, God has equipped them both for their next phase of ministry. n Liz McGregor, Langham Scholars
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When the foundation stone for All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi, Kenya, was laid in 1917—a document inscribed with these words was buried underneath: “God grant that this church of All Saints may now and always be a house to promote the greater glory of God . . . and that from it may the waters of life flow for ages for the salvation of the faithful of Nairobi and the whole nation.” Today, the faithful of Nairobi are gathering in a meeting room at the church to study God’s Word, practice and critique sermons, and encourage one another as ministers of the Gospel in their community. Many in this preaching club have been trained by Langham, but all are passionate about seeing God’s Word, the water of life, flowing through their nation.
Langham Changed my Total Understanding of the Bible
Over the past four years, more than 155 preachers and lay leaders have learned to study, understand and share God’s Word through the Langham preaching club gathering at All Saints Cathedral, and pastor Sylvia Opando is among those who’ve learned how to build a bridge to the Gospel for many in her community, where she serves as a counselor. “Langham changed my total understanding of the Bible. Before, I would just open any part of the Bible, read it, and then go and preach,” she says. “But when I learned through Langham, I understood that preaching is a serious matter. These days, I take time to prepare. It has changed my life and understanding of God’s Word.” As she grew deeper in her own understanding of the Bible, Sylvia was able to guide some of the women she was counseling to biblically address the issues they were facing. “They started to understand the Word of God in a different way,” she shares. “I saw the fruit that came with some of the preaching and application. As they applied it, I saw tremendous
transformation in their life. People who were in the slums, people who were hopeless, people who had turned to begging—I saw them starting to use the Word of God to change their lives. When I left them, they were more economically empowered and doing meaningful activities.” As her passion for God’s Word grows, so does her desire to share it faithfully with others. In Nairobi, and many countries around the world, God’s Word comes to His people primarily through preaching. This leaves millions vulnerable to false teaching through untrained pastors with good intentions, as well as the proliferation of prosperity teaching they hear from televangelists in the West. “Expository preaching can impact and transform peoples’ minds,” she says. “Sometimes I am bothered when televangelists don’t preach the truth. It is a burden in my heart. One day I hopefully will have an opportunity to also preach on TV so that people can understand the Word of God in a different way. To change society … we have to give them the right materials.”
L a n g h a m Pa rt n e r s h i p
Unity in a World of
t c i fl n o C
Advancing the Church
Article written by Jesse Strong
Dr. Riad Kassis is no stranger to conflict. He and his family fled to Syria from their home country of Lebanon in 1977 to escape the atrocities of a brutal civil war. Lebanon— already embroiled in internal conflict—became swallowed up in further violence as Syrian and Israeli troops invaded the area over external conflicts.
It was while he was living in Syria that Kassis committed his life to Christ. As a student at Damascus University, Kassis was introduced to InterVarsity Fellowship and began understanding and studying the Bible in a new way. “That was like cold water on a hot day in the midst of a desert! To study the Bible in small groups was a real joy.”
After working in ministry and earning his PhD in Old Testament, Kassis now serves as international director for two major evangelical organizations— Langham Scholars’ ministry and the International Council for Evangelical Theological Education (ICETE). In stark contrast to the division that so often permeates politics, religion and culture in his home country, Kassis uses his positions to foster unity and build up the Church.
Unity in the Church Kassis believes cooperation between believers is essential for the advancement of the gospel. “This was the wish of Jesus Christ in John 17 when He prays for the unity of believers. I see this need in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa— all over. Non-Christians are expecting to see that we are really one body—not just in what we say, but by our actions.” Kassis sees ICETE as one avenue for building up the Church. ICETE is a global organization that works with seminaries and Bible colleges in all parts of the world to evaluate and improve the offered curriculum. “Our main concern is
that seminaries take into consideration a deep understanding of the Scriptures as well as the religious, political and social context where the people are living—and then present the gospel message and teach Scripture in a way that can be understood and applied in that context.” “ICETE has organizations that work in formal, academic settings, but they also work to train people informally to be effective witnesses for Christ. All God’s people should be equipped for ministry in one way or another.”
Unity, Not Conformity Kassis emphasizes that while ICETE seeks to unify curriculum and theological standards for Bible colleges, they are careful not to impose extrabiblical Western cultural standards. This means that they partner with diverse organizations throughout the world. “In the past, when missionaries came to countries outside of America and Europe, they thought that the gospel message should have one form, one format and one expression. But we believe that while the core of the gospel is the same, the message should be presented in different ways to different audiences. Our main concern is to see theological training that takes the Scriptures seriously and at the same time considers the context where it functions.” As someone who started out in ministry before he had formal theological training, Kassis is wary of the kind of elitism that can fester in educational institutions. “One of the most important principles of the gospel formation is the priesthood of believers. All believers are called to ministry and for ministry; we have a call that we should be
witnesses to Jesus Christ to the end of the earth. We should not waste time arguing that ministry is specific to certain ordained people or leaders. We need to return to the message of the priesthood of all believers—especially in terms of energizing and empowering the youth and women in the Church.” He doesn’t discount the need for rigorous academic standards, but he urges caution when academia becomes the end goal. “We should be careful to produce scholars with high academic standards, but we should not stop there. Our main focus should be on character and spiritual formation of those believers, whether they are pursuing PhDs or preparing for ministry elsewhere.” As the international director for Langham Scholars’ ministry, Kassis works to enable scholars and teachers all over the world to receive the education they need to further their ministry. “As we talk and guide Langham scholars, we would like to see them working as servants of the gospel—truly humble and serving for the benefit of the Church. The vision of John Stott [founder of Langham Scholars] was not simply to provide scholarships for people to get their PhDs. His vision was to see good preaching done in the Church— preaching that is dynamic and transformative—that would motivate the church members to go out and transform society. We want to see churches being equipped for mission and growing to maturity through the ministry of Christian leaders and pastors who sincerely believe, diligently study, faithfully expound, and relevantly apply the Word of God.”
Living the Gospel in a World of Conflict Today, Kassis lives once again in his home country of Lebanon, where he continues working to transform society. “I am very interested to know what the Bible is saying to us here in the Middle East. This is a country of a long-standing Christian tradition, from the cedars of Lebanon to the Phoenician alphabet. Lebanon has a good Christian presence, and freedom and democracy allow Christian organizations and churches to function.” He notes that while Lebanon’s Christian roots go back to the first century AD,
Christianity is still a minority religion in the country. “The majority of the Lebanese are Muslims, and Christians may be about 39 percent of the population. Most Lebanese Christians are Maronite—an indigenous Christian Lebanese church that is very strong in its witness and mission in Lebanon and sometimes beyond. And, of course, there are many evangelical groups: Presbyterians, Baptist, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Pentecostals and others.” The civil war that drove Kassis and his family to Syria in the 1970s ousted a minority Christian government, which opponents felt did not fairly represent the Muslim majority population. Muslims and Christians in the region have struggled to live peacefully together for centuries. However, Kassis warns against painting any one group with broad strokes. “One needs to be careful when you talk about Muslims. There are various groups. Some people are very open-minded and moderate, and we work together. They are our neighbors, and we go and have dinner together. But there are those who are extremists, as you can see in Syria, our neighbor country. More attention is often given to those fanatic and fundamentalist groups within Islam.” Rather than exacerbate differences between the two religious groups, Kassis is busy building bridges. His writing is published in both English and
Muslims. They can appreciate and understand it. It can act as a bridge for them to know the Scriptures and to be aware of the Christian faith—and the salvation that God provides for everyone.” Kassis is not alone in reaching out to Lebanese people of other faiths. He points to a Baptist seminary in Beirut that “has an emphasis on understanding Islam and how to have a genuine dialog with Muslims for the purpose of communicating the message of the gospel in a way that is respectful and non-threatening.”
Christianity Advancing In addition to finding effective ways to communicate the gospel to people of other faiths around him, Kassis also works to promote a better understanding of Scripture among Christians. He expresses hope for the future of Christianity in his home country, where he sees the Church taking a more active role in society. “I know of a seminary that is focusing on the needs of counseling, especially for women who have been abused. This is a big issue in countries where women do not even have political rights to approach authorities or complain about abuse and violence.” Kassis predicts a revival among many of the traditional Christian churches, including Maronite and Orthodox branches. “Interest in Scripture is increasing among these groups. For
“One of the most important principles of the gospel formations is the priesthood of believers.” Arabic, and one of his Old Testament areas of expertise is the book of Proverbs. “If you ask a Muslim person who has read the Bible which books make sense to him, the response is probably the book of Genesis and the book of Proverbs. A Muslim reader feels affinity to these two books. In developing world countries, proverbs and wisdom sayings are used every day in different contexts. I use the book of Proverbs to reach out to Arab
instance, the Syrian Orthodox church has active youth meetings where they focus on studying the Bible. I can see progress and development in the desire to study and apply Scripture.” He thinks this growing appreciation of the Word—combined with greater engagement of the Church in society— may be the key to true transformation in Lebanon. “I am convinced that the Bible, when expounded and applied, brings salvation and joy.”
L a n g h a m Pa rt n e r s h i p
Riad’s story Langham interviews our own Riad Kassis, International Scholars Director.
Do you agree that Christlikeness or the process of transformation is an essential characteristic of the normal Christian life? The Christian life is to be characterized by loving obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not a life of fulfilling certain ceremonies or believing in specific doctrines. It is a commitment to God who loved human beings to enter with them in a covenantal relationship. Christians respond to this love with love to Christ and by obeying him. Christ has called us “friends” (in Arabic it is “beloved”) and not “servants” (in Arabic it is “slaves”) yet we chose to be his “servants” as we live for him and serve him. This kind of life is not confined to some Christians. We are all called for a life that exhibits the fruit of the Spirit.
And how should Christlikeness reshape God’s people into a community that looks more like Christ? The Christian life is a life to be shared not only in the community of faith but also in our societies where we study, live, and in work. We are called to live as a family in our faith community. Family members are to live in peace and harmony, respecting one another, and working for the good of the whole family. In our Middle Eastern culture, this concept is understood well in the model of “extended family” where even financial resources and day-to-day activities are shared with one another for the good of all family. However, the community of faith needs to reflect Christ’s love thorough their love to one another to the societies it lives in. The Christian life is never to be locked in a certain community. It is meant to be salt and light!
Tell us about yourself and your ministry. I was born in Lebanon and raised in a Presbyterian family. My ancestors come from the Syrian and Lebanese
Orthodox churches; from communities that kept the Christian faith since the church was established in Antioch. During the civil war in Lebanon, we had to flee for Syria. It was while I was living in Syria that I committed my life to Christ.
How important is becoming Christlike in the growth of a Christian and how does this happen? The Christian life is a relationship with a living God. One should not neglect the “means of grace” that helps us to grow in maturity in Christ. One of these means that influenced my life is the awareness that God can be seen in everything we see and do. For example, the experience of his marvellous created order is one way to experience his majesty and to feel humble in his presence. Another means is the Eucharist where Christ comes to us as a welcoming host to his table to refresh our minds and hearts in our faith journey. It is a time to realize that as a community we come together as “redeemed sinners” who seek reconciliation with God as well as with one another.
Where does the Bible fit into the transformative process? As a student at Damascus University, I was introduced to InterVarsity Fellowship and began understanding and studying the Bible in a new way. “That was like cold water on a hot day in the midst of a desert! To study the Bible in small groups was a real joy.” The study of the Bible and the obedience of its teachings still have the most important influence on me to be transformed to the likeness of Christ.
What is the purpose of growing up and becoming like Christ? The purpose is two-fold. First, God intended such growth for our own good. We have an inner desire to have an encounter with God and as we grow up in Christ this encounter
in a desperate world
Nola Leach, Executive Director of CARE (Christian, Action, Research and Education) talks to Langham Partnership about the importance of Christlikeness.
becomes more meaningful and we fulfil our deep need and longing for God. This brings genuine satisfaction to us. Second, we are called to be witnesses to the redemption and salvation of Christ Jesus. Witnesses are simply those who tell what they have seen and heard. It is not possible to tell others who Christ is and what he has done for us if we ourselves have not experienced maturity in him.
Some people are concerned that churches do not take this postconversion process seriously, as they are more focussed on evangelism. How would you respond to that concern? This is a legitimate and serious concern. It is because of this concern we need to help the leaders of such churches to be well qualified and equipped to help their members grow in maturity. This is a major goal of theological education. My team and I at the Langham Scholars Ministry seek to see Langham Scholars achieving this very goal as they train others for ministry.
Is there an area of your life where you can see that the Spirit of God has transformed you into a more godly way of being human? The Spirit of God is leading me to see the importance of partnership and collaboration in ministry. This is a plea for evangelical unity that Uncle John (John Stott) has emphasized in his life and writings. I am more and more aware that evangelicals need to heed the prayer of Jesus Christ in John 17. The Spirit of God has been putting on my heart this evident fact in recent years. To borrow the words of another saint: “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” – Mother Teresa.
Tell us about yourself and your ministry. I have had the great privilege of being adopted into a Christian family where from my earliest years I was taught about the Christian life. Incidentally being adopted for me gave me a deeper understanding of the wonder of God’s adoption of us into His family. After studying Theology at the then London Bible College I began a career in teaching which led me from teaching RE, a great experience, to becoming a Year Head. I also worked in the Health Service for a number of years before beginning to work for CARE as a volunteer. I think God must have a great sense of humour taking me from a situation where I thought I had finished paid work to being CARE’s Chief Executive. For me this has been such a privilege. Looking back, my experiences of leadership began as a teenager. I was privileged to have older people who invested in me and gave me opportunities to speak and lead in youth groups. At school I was elected Head Girl leading a team of prefects and having the opportunity to contribute to school decision making. When I began working with CARE I headed up all the caring initiatives in the UK in which CARE was involved before being asked to become Chief Executive. I have the honour of leading a great team to fulfill what we believe is CARE’s calling. I have a passion for supporting and equipping God’s people to fulfil their calling to be salt and light in their communities, national and international life. I believe that it is our right and duty to work for the good of our nation and to speak out for God’s truth and justice. For me, I with my team have the great privilege of building relationships with those at the highest level of government to do this.
How important is becoming Christlike in the growth of a Christian? The Christian life is a journey; we either grow in our knowledge of God and His call on our lives, standstill or go backwards. Standing still is in fact moving backwards as growth is not happening. We are reminded in 1John 2:4 that we are called to walk in Jesus’ footsteps; to be imitators of God, to love as He himself loved. John goes on “Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did”. Paul calls us to be “imitators of God” How does Christlikeness happen? Christlikeness does not happen overnight. In my experience it is little by little as we consciously submit our thoughts, actions and motives to Him. As a Christian involved in Christian ministry it is very easy to become “a professional Christian”. We do and say the right things, outwardly we may appear very spiritual , but if we are to be Christlike in all we do we must cultivate our relationship with Him to get to know Him and His will better. This means as well as the constant walk with Him and the occasional “arrow prayers” setting aside regular time to pray and learn from Him. This requires discipline. There will be times when we overflow with praise and thanksgiving, but there are the drier times too and it is then we must persevere. Where does the Bible fit into the transformative process? Of course a vital part of this is studying God’s word. This is where we see Him so that we can “imitate Him”. I have recently been reflecting on the character of Jesus and what this means for me. I know my Bible, after all I studied theology and taught RE, but this can be a head knowledge. Is my heart and will being touched? So I have gone back to reading Mark’s gospel again. It has been stimulating to meet Jesus afresh in His word and
be challenged by Him and warmed by His selfless love and understanding of those He met. What is the purpose of growing up and becoming like Christ Why should we grow up in Christ? Obviously because that is what we are called to do, but what a privilege! God has so many riches in store for those who love Him. He made us with talents, we are unique and as the parable of Jesus reminds us if we do not develop these talents for His glory the alternative is chilling. As we grow becoming more like Christ the richness of that relationship overwhelms us. We become who we were meant to be - secure in our relationship with Him. Trust grows so that we can face the large and small challenges in our lives and we are transformed. We are the fragrance of Christ to those around us and in a desperate world surely we want to bring that fragrance to the best of our ability? Is there an area of your life where you can see that the Spirit of God has transformed you into a more godly way of being human? As I look at my life it is humbling to see that God does not just call us to be imitators of Christ but by His spirit He gives us the power to do this. The power of the risen Christ is ours; we have His authority. Of course we are still human and fail often, but I pray that I will strive towards the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. As I look back at my life with Christ I can see how He has helped me to be forgiving of others and myself, times when He has helped me to trust in Him alone. However, for me at this time I am asking Him to make me more patient and kind. When one is busy leading an organisation, being part of a family and church it is so easy to become self-centred and preoccupied, but little by little God is helping me to see situations and people through His eyes so that I do make time for them and value them.
L a n g h a m Pa rt n e r s h i p
fruit. The fruit is the evidence. Where there is fruit, there is life. How do you know if a believer, or a church, is alive? Look for the love. Where there is love, there is life. When we see and exercise love among Christians, it is evidence, assurance, that the life of God is present. But when we don’t… what does it say about us?
2. Love for one another is the evidence of faith ‘And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us’ (1 Jn. 3:23). Here is another of John’s doubled-up sayings. Yes, we have to have faith in Jesus, the Son of God. The whole New Testament tells us that. Without faith in Jesus you haven’t even begun the Christian life.
Not surprising, really. Paul has already made the point that what really matters is ‘faith expressing itself through love’ and that we should be ‘serving one another in love’, and that the whole Old Testament law is summed up in the commandment ‘love your neighbour as yourself’. In putting love first, Paul is echoing Jesus who said that the ‘first and greatest commandment in the law’ is to love the Lord God with all your heart and soul and strength – and the second is to love your neighbour as yourself. Almost certainly, it is that second kind of love that Paul means by the fruit of the Spirit here. That is, he means not so much our love for God but our love for one another as Christians – across all our differences and barriers. And not just sentimental feelings of being nice, but real practical proof that we love and accept one another, in down to earth caring, providing, helping, encouraging and supporting one another, even when it costs or hurts a lot to do so. Love in action, in other words. Love that dissolves divisions. Love that brings together people who would otherwise hate, hurt and even kill one another.
But John says, ‘This is his command (singular - it’s one single command)’, and then goes on to state two things! not only that we believe in the name of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, but also that we love one another.
Just how important is loving one another in that way? Let’s turn to John who answers that question very emphatically. n Three times in his Gospel, John records Jesus telling his disciples that he commanded them to love one another (Jn. 13:34; 15:12; 15:17). n Five times in his First Letter, John reminds us that this is God’s command, and goes into a lot of detail about how we should love one another not just in words but with actions and in truth (1 Jn. 3:11, 23; 4:7, 11, 12). So if anything can be said to be primary, central and essential to being a Christian and becoming more like Jesus, it must be this. When Christians love one another, says John, it is evidence of some pretty important realities. Of course, when they don’t…it calls those same things into question altogether.
1. Love for one another is the evidence of life. ‘We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death’ (1 Jn. 3:14). John wanted his readers to be sure that they had eternal life. How can you know you’ve got the life of God within you? John says, by seeing the evidence of the love of God within you. That verse is very similar to something Jesus said, ‘whoever hears my word and believes on the one who sent me, has passed from death to life’ (Jn. 5:24). So faith in Jesus is how we receive eternal life. But love for one another is the evidence of that life. That’s what John means in 1 Jn. 3:14. Faith in God through Jesus, and love for one another as Christians together these things are evidence that there is eternal life within us. How do you know if a tree is alive? You see the buds, the leaves and then the
People can claim to have faith, but if there is no evidence in their lives of love toward others, then their claim is pretty hollow. James said much the same thing about faith that is not proved by practical evidence: ‘faith without deeds is dead’ (James 2:1426). John would add, faith without love is dead too – in fact it’s simple disobedience to the Jesus we say we believe in.
3. Love for one another is evidence for God ‘No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us’ (1 Jn. 4:12). ‘No-one has ever seen God’. John said exactly those words before – in Jn 1:18. There he went on, ‘but the one and only Son … has made him known.’ Jesus Christ, the Word who became flesh, has made God visible. So God, who is invisible in himself, can be seen in the earthly life of Jesus of Nazareth. ‘Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father’ (Jn. 14:9). But here, amazingly John makes this second statement, starting the same way. No-one has ever seen God, but if
we love one another - God becomes visible, because God lives in us and his love is seen in us. When Christians love each other, in practical ways, then the love of God (or rather, the God who is love), can be seen. The world should be able to look at Christians and how they live together, and see something of the reality of God being demonstrated. Remember those atheist adverts on the big red London buses: ‘There probably is no God, so stop worrying and enjoy life’? Somebody reading that should be able to say: ‘That just can’t be true, because I know Sarah and Nirmala and Sam and Ajith and, and they are Christians, and God is obviously real and living in them.’ We are to be the living proof of the living God. Well, that all comes from the first letter of John, but we can go back to Jesus himself for one final thought.
4. Love for one another is evidence for Jesus ‘A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another’ (Jn. 13:34-35). When Christians love each other, it shows who they belong to. It points people to Jesus. Christian love is so transforming, and in many contexts so surprising and counter-cultural, that it can only be the work of Christ, the power of the gospel, the fruit of the Spirit. What a vital fruit this kind of love is! - absolutely first and foremost. When Christians love one another, l it proves they have eternal life l it proves they have saving faith l it proves the reality of God l it proves that they are true followers of Jesus. But when they don’t…. well, what does that prove? n Chris Wright is International Ministries Director, Langham Partnership
L a n g h a m Pa rt n e r s h i p
Faith that Crosses Borders Moisés Arriaga’s passion for teaching pastors in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, took him all the way to South American Theological Seminary. Founded by Langham Scholar Antonio Barro, SATS has biblically equipped more than 1,500 graduates who are currently serving in Latin America and around the world. Graduates like Moisés, who is starting a movement of biblical preaching in Guinea-Bissau by building a program that brings pastors from his home country, one or two at a time, to Brazil to receive theological training.
My plan is to cooperate with my colleagues in Guinea-Bissau so that we can reach the boundaries of our country and go beyond them, and send missionaries to the region of Africa, which is very much in need of the Gospel.
The son of evangelical pastors, Moisés placed his faith in Christ at an early age and says he always trusted that God had a plan for his life. After attending a missions camp, he committed his life to being part of advancing God’s Kingdom. He entered a Bible institute in Guinea-Bissau and eventually found himself teaching there. It was then that
God stirred his heart to help strengthen and equip biblical leaders in GuineaBissau. Connections with a friend in Brazil led him to study at SATS. Today, in addition to being ordained as a pastor in Londrina and running the pastor training program in GuineaBissau, he’s helped plant two churches in the cities of Grandes Rios and in Cambará. Just last month he was ordained as a pastor of a struggling Baptist church in Cabo Frilo, Brazil. “Under the help of the lead pastor, I will be working to help revitalize this church that was about to close,” Moisés says. Moisés is just one example of the fruit that comes from investing in training and equipping theological leaders like Antonio Barro. Today, there are more than 300 Langham Scholars serving around the world, multiplying themselves many times over into the lives of their students.
Langham speaks to Nola Leech of CARE, passion for God’s word in Nairobi, Kenya, and unity in a world of conflict.