SCHEME LAUNCH Preparing for a future after your own PLUS ‘I FIRST MET MY DAD WHEN I WAS 60!’ How Elim minister Dennis Niziol found his real father
STAYING PURE IN A SEX CHARGED WORLD
7 steps to bring your desires under control – by Colin Dye Facing up to the gangs crisis in our major cities
PRAYING 24/7 FOR A WHOLE DECADE
The church celebrating 10 years of prayer ministry
AMMANFORD GROWTH PLAN
The little Elim church with a big vision
da I w SA rk en LV lig ness t fr ATI ht to om ON
THE CHURCH IS ‘BEST PLACED TO HELP’
SU IC D IDE ay &
OCTOBER 2012 Issue 133 £1.70
EDITORIAL Avoid the fortress mentality, says John Glass
‘I THINK YOU MIGHT BE MY DAD!’ Elim minister Dennis Niziol waited 60 years to meet the father he’d thought was dead
10 NEWS from Elim and the wider church 12 OUT AND ABOUT WITH THE GS John Glass opens his diary 14 LOST SONG HELPED OUTREACH Michael Trotter forgot all about a song he wrote until he received a letter from the US
26 HOW WE CAN HELP GANGS CRISIS CEO of youth charity XLP, Patrick Regan, says the Church is best placed to help gangs 30 MAN WITH A PART IN ELIM’S HISTORY Maldwyn Jones looks at the life of Elim historian and long-serving minister Des Cartwright 32 PASSION WITH PURPOSE PAYS OFF Spotting a pretty girl dancing, Bill Chapman went on a mission, and he also learned a lot! 35 CHURCH’S OLYMPIC EFFORT How a new church worked with its community
16 LITTLE CHURCH WITH BIG PLANS Elim Ammanford may be small but it’s big in faith as it unveils plans for the future
36 24/7 PRAYER FOR A DECADE An Elim church has been praying non-stop for more than ten years and seen miracles
18 TOP WAYS TO STAY SEXUALLY PURE Sexual sin saps your spiritual strength, says Colin Dye, but you can stay free from it
38 I ALWAYS TAKE MY BIBLE WITH ME says top Aston Villa striker Darren Bent
20 MISSION TRIP BUILT OUR FAITH Howard Pearson talks about a trip to India 22 FROM SUICIDE TO SALVATION As his life was going downhill, Peter Gladwin had a chat that changed his life 25 ASPIRE4GOLD WEEKEND A BLESSING Marilyn Glass reports on a great success
42 LEGACY ELIM SCHEME LAUNCH Preparing for a future after your own 44 DIGGING FOR FIRM FOUNDATIONS Nigel Tween introduces a new resource 45 BOOK REVIEWS with Richard Dodge 49 ANSWERS with Phil Weaver 50 AND FINALLY with John Lancaster
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Direction Magazine is the official publication of the Elim Pentecostal Church @elimpentecostal www.elim.org.uk 0845 302 6750
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F I R S T WO R D S
Fortress mentality For many people the ‘Spooks’ television series was compelling viewing. Whether MI5 is really as portrayed few people outside the organisation would ever know because, by definition, this closed community comprises part of our secret services. Many, if not all, episodes featured the ‘safe house’ – the place that harbours the vulnerable witness in need of perpetual protection. It was an ordinary place with extraordinary security. In the Old Testament, ‘safe houses’ went beyond small residencies and consisted of entire towns termed ‘cities of refuge’. There were six of them, strategically placed so that anyone who accidentally killed someone could flee to one of them in order to be safe from any vengeful family members of the deceased. Two thousand years later in Medieval Britain, church buildings became places to which the anxious could run when fearing for their lives. The word ‘sanctuary’ meant a ‘holy site’ – a place in which you could feel secure. In a positive sense God has provided safe houses from the very earliest times. The Ark was a ‘safe house’ offered to those who might escape the judgment of the flood. Rahab’s home in the walls of Jericho was another symbol of sanctuary and marked with the scarlet cord that, like the scarlet thread of blood on the lintel of the Passover properties, would point to the safest place of all – abiding in Christ and trusting in his blood as the sole protection from the wrath of God and the deserved judgment of the sinner. It is when understanding the true principle of the spiritual ‘safe house’ that I have never been
entirely comfortable with the designation of the worship area of a church being referred to as ‘the sanctuary’. In the first place, from the New Testament onwards, there are no holy places, only a holy people. The life of a believer became the sacred place, not the buildings that they worshipped in to keep them warm and dry at the weekend. Secondly, as we have seen, the sanctuary was a place to run to in order to avoid those terrible people who were ‘out to get you’ and from whom you needed to escape. That’s hardly a pertinent parallel of what the Church should be in the 21st century. I have great sympathy with those who, having worked in a godless environment during the week, embrace with enthusiasm the thought of a Sunday in the fellowship of Christian friends. The problem, however, commences at the point where ‘church’ is a place where I escape to rather than a context from which I am propelled from with a sense of vision and purpose. Christians with a fortress mentality never advance the purposes of God. But people with a kingdom perspective do. Sanctuary syndrome embraces a need to retreat. ‘Salt and light’ believers see the world as a place to infiltrate, advance into and positively affect. When the local church becomes a safe house, the future of the local church is never safe. John Glass General Superintendent Elim Pentecostal Church
‘Hello. I think you might be my dad’ 6
It’s not everyone who has to wait until they’re 60 before they meet their dad, but that’s what happened to Elim minister Dennis Niziol
My heart pounded in my chest and my hand shook as I clung to the telephone receiver. “Hello,” came the voice at the other end. “I think I may be your son,” I managed. The awkward pause seemed to last forever and the rest of the conversation was muted to say the least. It seemed like the father I’d never known was quite relieved when I told him we could leave it if it was a difficult time. He told me that it was, so I put the phone down trying not to feel the sting in my heart. Growing up, I’d often wondered about my real father. Did I look like him? Were some of my mannerisms and personality traits his? But now, at the age of 60, I was finally going to meet him. I wasn’t sure quite how to feel. It wasn’t like I grew up lacking a father figure in my life, either. My stepfather, Eugene Niziol, was everything my three younger brothers and I could
Above Elim minister Dennis Niziiol
ever need. I’ll always remember the time that he took me to the dentist and warned them that I might be allergic to the anaesthetic – because he was. Such was his love and concern, he forgot that we weren’t blood related! That spoke volumes to me. Eugene showed me something of the God I believed in – a father to the fatherless – and I felt that I’d lost a dad when he passed away. I always thought my real dad was dead. From the little bits that my mum would tell me, I gleaned that Harold Miller and my mother were little more than teenagers when I was born. He was sent off to Korea in the army and both he and my mum married other people. In her later years, she assumed Harold had died. But three years ago the news came like a bolt out of the blue that not only was he still alive, but he lived less than 20 miles from my mother’s home in Ohio, USA.
I went through conflicting emotions, but eventually decided to pick up the phone. After that difficult first contact, spurred on by my wife, Anne, and my own curiosity, I decided to write to him. He gave one of his daughters permission to contact me and fill me in on our family history, which I found very interesting. Then in October 2011, I found myself on a plane to Ohio to visit my mother who was ill. It was at this point that the invite came to go and see the Miller family and finally meet my father. Mrs Miller was very gracious and we discovered we had some things in common as she was of Polish descent, as was my step father, Eugene. I also met three more sisters and two other brothers, all of whom were very welcoming and kind. My father was 81 years old and not very well. I can’t say that I related to him as my ‘dad’, but was impressed by his kind and
How the Lord turned around my life The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee came in the same year as I celebrated my 60th birthday. In late January my church (Elim Bicester) and family in the UK gave me a wonderful 60th birthday party with many gifts. I felt like I had my own Diamond Jubilee! The occasion led me to look back over my life. At 20, I felt excited about everything. At 25, I was mostly a bit exhausted as we had three children under the age of three. At 30, I began my ministry with a sense of new adventure, which gave way to midlife
contemplations in my 40s. At 50, I wondered where all the years had gone. When my own children were born, I told the Lord I would need his help. I remember praying, “God, don’t let me mess them up!” The Lord responded to this heart cry and made up for any lack that I had naturally. While I was training for the ministry, my wife became the main breadwinner and I looked after our three children at home. At that time, I also rounded up all the local village kids to take them to playgroup, later becoming a school governor and later still a
proprietor of a day nursery. Alongside our own little family, my wife and I also took a role in mentoring her younger sisters, more recently taking in our niece who required some stability during her school years. How amazing that God not only equipped me to be a father to my own children, but also to input fatherly care into the lives of many others. To this day, young men and women will recognise me and comment positively on the impact I had on their lives when they were children.
Michael Trotter forgot he’d posted his music video on YouTube. But then a call from America revealed just how far his song had travelled
My lost song helped Oklahoma outreach When Michael Trotter uploaded a music video of his worship track to YouTube, he had no idea what impact it would have. The father-of-three was shocked when he received a letter from a youth leader on the other side of the world saying that the song had spawned a community outreach in Oklahoma, USA. The track was used again in the American church’s Sunday morning service where a local newspaper owner picked up on it and devoted a half-page article to Michael and his song, The Body Of Christ. “I was amazed that it had reached people so far afield,” says Michael, 46. “The song is a challenge, so it’s great that it’s having such an effect. But now I’m hoping that it will go even further.” Michael, who attends Glasgow Elim, recorded a demo of the track in 2009 to raise funds for his debut album, Glory To Glory, which was released earlier this year. After creating some graphics, he uploaded the song to YouTube and forgot all about it – until he received a letter out of the blue from across the pond. “It was from a lady from America, Shirley Grellner, who is a member of a church in Cushing, Oklahoma,” Michael says. “She’d been scrolling through YouTube looking for a song to work as an evangelistic initiative for the youth in the
‘My prayer is that the refining fire of God will burn away every impurity within us and indeed transform us from glory to glory’
Above Michael Trotter’s debut album Glory to Glory Opposite page Michael in a publicity shot. Inset, Shirley Grellner and the young people from Oklahoma
church. In the letter, she wrote, ‘I came upon your song on YouTube and was so amazed and moved by the lyrics and your voice I thought it would work perfectly. “I showed the youth group your video. The kids sat almost motionless through it, which was amazing, and showed how much of an impact the video had on them.’ “Shirley then went on to say that they came up with a mission project after watching the video. They also did a sketch to the music in a Sunday service. “There was a guy there who owned one of the local papers and he was in the church on that Sunday. Cushing is a town of 8,000 people and he printed an article about the song and what the body of Christ means within Scripture.” Debut album Produced by film and TV composer Stu Kennedy, Michael’s Glory To Glory album has been well received since it was released in March. Michael adds, “The album contains a message about how God changes us when we meet with him and continues to change us and refine us with his great love. “He loves us so much that he doesn’t want to leave us as we are but he wants us to become more and more like him, who is perfect. The Bible goes on to say that one day when he appears we will be like him.
Like several of the songs on this album, my prayer is that the refining fire of God will burn away every impurity within us and indeed transform us from glory to glory.” Michael joined his wife Kim’s home church – Glasgow Elim – when they got married in 1994. What happened next had a profound effect on his music. “The church in Glasgow underwent a radical shift in direction at that time when many people began to have supernatural encounters with God – many were emotionally healed and came into a place of realising that God doesn’t just want to be a friend, but a father too. “The message not only impacted me as an individual but it affected my music as I found myself beginning to write at a more intimate level.” Within the church, Michael was invited to be involved in the worship team before becoming one of the leaders. He now travels throughout the UK leading worship at different venues. His pastor, James Glass, told Direction, “God sometimes amazes and surprises us by what he does when we step out in faith. “Michael stepped out when he set the wheels in motion to make a CD. It really is an amazing story and it encourages all of us to have faith and to use the gifts and talents that God has given us.”
Can the Church do anything about
Violent street gangs are increasingly threatening our major cities according to Patrick Regan, founder and CEO of youth charity XLP, who was recently awarded an OBE for his services to the community. Mark Pugh spoke with him MP: Patrick, are gangs real or are they a sensationalised or exaggerated fiction of the middle England press? PR: They are definitely real but we need to clarify exactly what we mean by the term ‘gang’. Many will imagine a gang to be a group of young people hanging out together on a street corner – but many young people do this, as I did when I was younger. When I was working for the government agency, The Centre For Social Justice, we defined a gang as a group that laid claim over territory, had an identifying structure such as a ‘name’ or use of certain colours, had an authority structure and were regularly in conflict with other gangs – so this is really the definition of what a ‘street gang’ is. In London, the police estimate that there are between 170 and 240 of these gangs and we’re finding that the issue is definitely spreading. Even within the gangs we’re finding that non-members are being drawn into some of the territorial battles, making the issues even bigger. This is a very real, dark and misunderstood issue in our nation. MP: Many people are aware of these gang problems in London, but do they extend beyond the capital? PR: Most definitely – most major cities have issues. I think there are three key things to think about. Firstly, gang members are getting younger – we’re seeing kids under the age of ten getting involved. They are often referred to as ‘tinys’ and they
The Mark Pugh interview
Above Patrick Regan, of XLP, says the Church is one of the best placed organisations to help people in gangs
run errands such as delivering items or hiding weapons. Then there are ‘youngers’ – these are the teenagers who often do most of the shootings and the really violent acts. Then you get ‘elders’, who are in their 20s or 30s and call most of the shots. A top gang leader in London can earn over £100k a year and the guys on the street around £20k, mainly from drugs activities. Secondly, there doesn’t seem to be any top level of violence that is unacceptable. We saw this evidenced graphically with the riots last summer. One of my youth workers was working in a school and they asked a group of girls, “What do you think makes a good relationship?” to which one girl replied, “Being with someone who isn’t violent towards you.” Thirdly, there is an increase in the use of girls in gangs. They are often used sexually, and are sometimes referred to as ‘links’ as they get ‘passed around’ the gang members. MP: Are there girl gangs? PR: Yes, but it’s a relatively new issue that we’ve observed in the last five to ten years. They are very much in the minority and not to the same level as male gangs. Most girls caught up in this issue would be connected to guys in a gang. MP: Why do young people get involved in a gang in the first place? PR: It’s a combination of issues so there isn’t one key thing that will make a young person join a gang. The process often begins when a young person
gets excluded from school. He then gets sent to a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) which the kids often call ‘centres’ – they’re designed to get the kids back into mainstream education but they often don’t work so the kids are walking around the streets, mum is working multiple jobs to make ends meet and there’s no dad at home so the guy begins to feel like he is the man of the house and needs to bring in some money. Then some guy, with a nice car, a few girls around him and ‘respect’ says, “If you can do some things for me I will pay you.” They begin to get this weird sense of belonging as the gang begins to feel more of a family to him – he’s now got people watching his back and making him feel a part of something. MP: You are often involved in advising government bodies and politicians on these issues. Is progress being made? PR: It’s slow, a really slow process. Whenever you look at this from a political perspective there are two arguments. One is that we need stronger enforcement, stiffer sentences, more police on the street etc, in order to make our communities safer again. The other argument says we need to understand the root causes of these issues in order to intervene. Enforcement is always good for getting the stats down at a quicker rate but it never solves the problem long term, so one of the key challenges is trying to persuade politicians to take a longer view.
An Elim Church has been praying non-stop for more than a decade, seeing many miracles along the way, writes Pastor Richard Buxton
Remarkable change after continuous prayer In June 2002, Ealing Christian Centre launched a 24/7 Prayer Centre with a vision to establish an unbroken communion between the Church and God for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, though a team of intercessors. It has gone from strength to strength, now reaching the milestone of ten years of continuous prayer. “When the vision was first shared in the church, 250 volunteers immediately signed up to be involved. Gifts totalling £20,000 enabled us to convert the redundant boiler room into the Prayer Centre and people gave up their time to come for shifts of four to eight hours to pray around the clock. Telephone lines were installed for anyone to seek prayer by phone. Calls came in from Christians, people of other faiths and none. They would phone at any time of day or night for all kinds of situations. Every month people gave their lives to Christ over the telephone. “There are t wice-daily prayer meetings – each weekday – and a monthly all-night prayer meeting. I write a month-
‘We have seen the spiritual temperature in the church rise. Now we expect to see miracles regularly’
Above Pastor Richard Buxton Top and opposite Intercessors pray in the street and in the Prayer Centre
ly Prayer Diary, based on Scripture with specific prayer points for each day. These are used in the daily meetings and by church members at home. This means we can all be praying as a church in unity, in a specifically targeted way. The emphasis is on revival of the individual, the church, the borough, the city and the nation. “The Prayer Centre aims to establish an unbroken communion between Ealing Christian Centre and God for revival, as demonstrated by the salvation of many, and for signs, wonders, miracles and healings to be commonplace in our church and amongst our members. “This is where the Prayer Centre works hand-in-hand with all the evangelism in the church. Our teams go out onto the streets to talk to people, give out literature and pray for the sick. I believe that the Bible teaches us that before we can see manifestations in the physical realm, we need first to win the battle in the spiritual realm. “Over the past decade there has been a significant change in the effectiveness of evangelism. Before, few people would stop
to talk but now not only are people from all backgrounds and religions very willing to talk, but we regularly see people praying to ask Christ into their lives as Saviour whenever the street team goes out. We’ve even had people queuing up to be prayed for – with lots of testimonies of healings. “The teams give out thousands of cards advertising the 24-hour Prayer Centre, with a phone line to ring, and the monthly healing, where many non-Christians come and healings happen regularly after preaching the gospel. Some people are healed after years – even decades – of suffering. These healings confirm the preaching of the gospel and so people are saved. “We have seen the spiritual temperature in the church rise. Now we expect to see miracles regularly, not only in church meetings but wherever our members pray for individuals. “When a baby fell out of a first floor window next to the church onto the pavement below just before a Sunday service, a number of our members gathered around to pray
How hard man Les Deane found faith
AUGUST 2012 Issue 131 £1.70
TAKE EVERY OPPORTUNITY
Learning to influence others for Christ
PLUS THE DAY GOD CALLED ME BY NAME How a Muslim drug dealer found freedom in Christ
WHY THE CHURCH MUST BLESS ISRAEL We have to find balance in the Bible, says Mervyn Tilley
REACHING OUT ON A ROUNDABOUT Newport Elim is making the most of its location
PUT FOOD IN ITS PROPER PLACE How to help people with eating disorders
Tips to recharge your spiritual batteries
RUNNING LIFE ON EMPTY?
EL SP Y GO A T W EA EA EA GR GIV ID PU
LIFE IN BRITAIN’S NEWEST CITY
How Chelmsford Elim is lifting its game
IES PA CK
‘I WANTED TO PUNCH PASTOR’
Nigel Tween on the importance of leaving a legacy
ARE MORMONS CHRISTIANS?
I ST OR
Amazing grace as Ilford’s new building comes down
How a young Sikh addict found freedom in Christ
PLANS LAID FOR YEAR OF PRAYER
Centenary hopes must be lifted up, says Alistair Cole
WHERE THERE’S A WILL THERE’S A WAY
John Cuthbert uncovers the shocking truth
LOOKING FORWARD AFTER COLLAPSE
PLUS ONCE A JUNKIE ALWAYS A JUNKIE?
B TIP E S LI TT FO FE ER R A
EBW 2012 ordination service for 27 new ministers
Agonising choice forced on Iranian mother
SEPTEMBER 2012 Issue 132 £1.70
THE UNSUNG HEROES WE CAN’T DO WITHOUT Volunteers are the backbone of the Church PLUS THE MINISTRY WITH 8,000 VOLUNTEERS We talk to Matthew Barnett of the LA Dream Centre
WHAT’S A NON-VOLUNTEER SUNDAY? How Coventry Elim learned to value its volunteers
CAPPUCCINO COMMUNICATION Exciting initiative to benefit all Elim members
CELEBRATING NEW ELIM ORDINANDS
DENY YOUR FAITH OR LOSE YOUR DAUGHTER!
SHORT TERM MISSIONS WORK Don’t just stay at home, argues Chris Jones
WHY CARE ABOUT THE LAW? Stand up for truth, says Lyndon Bowring
at n p Y S wo rea roje ERV rk lly cts IC
ELIM HISTORY IN THE MAKING
John Glass voted in for historic fourth term as GS
JULY 2012 Issue 130 £1.70
CO M Ch MU rist N th ia IT
New format proves a recipe for success
ALL CHANGE AT ELIM BIBLE WEEK 2012
TH T TO E B GA GA E BLO T TH W PA HE ER N A CE RS ING WAY !
B JUNE 2012 Issue 129 £1.70
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Preparing for a future after your own PLUS
‘I FIRST MET MY DAD WHEN I WAS 60!’ How Elim minister Dennis Niziol found his real father
STAYING PURE IN A SEX CHARGED WORLD
7 steps to bring your desires under control – by Colin Dye
ever y mon th
THE CHURCH IS ‘BEST PLACED TO HELP’ Facing up to the gangs crisis in our major cities
PRAYING 24/7 FOR A WHOLE DECADE
The church celebrating 10 years of prayer ministry
ON TI A LV om SA t fr to n
& e s DE w es CI ay I arkn ight I SU D d l
AMMANFORD GROWTH PLAN
The little Elim church with a big vision
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Published on Sep 18, 2012