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NEW LIFE AUGUST 2009 • Issue 186

FATHER AND DAUGHTER ARE ALL AT SEA TO SAVE LIVES

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GOOD NEWS STORIES

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FINALIST BEV’S DEBUT ALBUM SET FOR RELEASE

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STREET PASTORS DRIVE OUT CRIME TOP COP PRAISES SCHEME AS ROBBERIES ARE HALTED

Michael Jackson in March this year announcing his planned comeback gigs

A FAMOUS British seaside town by Hugh Southon has seen a major fall in crime since Christians took to the fallen by a quarter, in fact during that six month period when Street Pastors had been streets. operating, no robberies at all had taken place

A top cop with the Devon and Cornwall force has revealed that since the Street Pastors joined them on the beat in Torquay, their job has become easier. Street Pastors are an army of church volunteers who offer help and care throughout the UK’s towns and cities – usually to night-time revellers. The Torquay scheme has been so successful that it could be extended across Devon. Torquay’s scheme was launched in February last year – and their presence has had a remarkable effect.

CHALLENGE Deputy Chief Constable Tony Melville of the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary said: “Torquay is a busy environment, it’s a busy town and, of course, it has a vibrant, busy nighttime economy, particularly by the harbour. “We want people to enjoy the facilities there, but the challenge we have been experiencing is high levels of crime. “I researched crime statistics during a six month period, and do you know what I found? “What I found was that violent crime had

in Torquay centre. “We had one fifth less burglaries from homes, vehicle crime had fallen by a quarter. And that was all in that very focussed area where Street Pastors had been out on the streets working. “Now these are impressive reductions in crime by anybody’s standard, and that’s one of the reasons we are so supportive of Street Pastors. “I compared the figures with the year before, over the same six months of the very busy summer period.” Inspector Roger Bartlett, of Devon and Cornwall Police Association, said: “Street Pastors help the lonely, the vulnerable, the intoxicated, the intimidated, the frightened and troubled and, in doing so, can prevent people becoming victims of crime... it’s about showing compassion.” And Ros Ede from the local branch of Street Pastors added: “The public is really supportive. “We have been told by everyone from taxi drivers to police inspectors that the atmosphere in the town is totally different whenever the Street Pastors are out.”

BRITISH ARMY BOSS HOPES TO SPREAD GOSPEL FULL STORY – PAGE 5

KING OF POP’S PLEA FOR PRAYER IN LAST DAYS

FULL STORY – PAGE 3


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people praying to end economic woe

• Issue 186

Retired vicar set to battle for MP seat A RETIRED vicar has thrown his hat into the ring in a bid to become an MP. The Rev Kev in Logan said he was standing as the ‘integrity and reform’ candidate for Hyndburn, Lancs, at the next general election. Just days after Hyndburn MP Greg Pope announced his intention to step down, the 66-year-old declared his interest in standing for the Christian Peoples Alliance. “I’m one of the many frustrated, disenchanted voters who feel robbed of honest democracy,” Mr. Logan explained. “Either I sit back and forget about voting after losing faith in the existing party set-up, with all the built-in scandals and sleaze, or I rise up and do something about it.” Mr Logan, a former town before becom i ng a Chu rch of E ngla nd minister 34 years ago, added: “I have backing from a national Christian democracy party and I now want to set up a local constituency group; a set of caring people who will work for the betterment of Hyndburn and our country. “It is no wonder that we have arrived at the place where people have lost faith in leaders who seem to make up their own rights and wrongs, often at our expense.”

Specs appeal! International development charity Sightsavers is asking churches to hold a special Sunday service to mark World Sight Day in October. Sightsavers Sunday will focus on the plight of women and girls living with blindness and visual impairment in the developing world. More than 20 m illion women worldwide are needlessly blind.

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Brits are responding to the nation’s political and economic crisis by turning to God in prayer.

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High ambition... one of the BMX riders who took part in the Highland Festival, which was aimed at spreading the gospel

Christians across London flooded the city with prayers during a series of events that they hope will help turn the tide of a country in crisis. At one event, Christians gathered outside Westminster Abbey for a prayer service organised by the Evangelical Alliance. As the service concluded those attending set off on a prayer walk stopping at strategic London landmarks to pray specifically into local, national and international politics. On the same night, Christian broadcaster Premier Radio hosted a Faith in Parliament evening at Westminster Central Methodist Hall. Labour MP Stephen Timms, left, said: “I believe we need to see people coming into parliament with a strong belief in Jesus, and that could make a key contribution to renewing our whole political culture in the UK.” Meanwhile, events in all of London’s boroughs took place to mark the Global Day of Prayer (GDOP). Organiser Jonathan Oloyede explained: “This year God told us to go all over the city and hold an event in all the 33 boroughs of London. “That’s never been done before and we feel the grace of God is going to help us saturate the whole city with prayer. The GDOP London event for Westminster took place at the Emmanuel Christian Centre. With dozens of flags draped along the walls of the multi-cultural church, believers from across Africa, Asia and the UK gathered together in unity, but the focus of prayer was very much on a local level. “We’ve encouraged the churches in the Westminster borough to come together where we’re going to pray for issues pertaining to this community,” explained Emmanuel Christian Centre church leader Colin Williams.

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Saddle do nicely... ALMOST 20,000 people were told about the Christian faith during a two-week evangelistic initiative in Scotland. The Highland Festival saw 750 people make a decision to become Christians. More than 100 churches organised 63 events, 39 of which took place in schools.

Bands such as Delirious? and Hillsong London were part of the event’s climax, which was a festival that attracted 8,000 people. It also featured professional skateboarders and BMX riders who proved popular among the younger attendees. Evangelist Luis Palau addressed the crowd.

Gospel for thousands Poverty fight wins praise from minister More than 4,000 homes in London were given leaflets about the Christian faith, while many people prayed as they walked the city’s streets. A team from City Chapel Church targeted the Beckton region after the Global Day of Prayer. Pastor Jonathan Oloyede said: “Our mission is to go on to the streets and preach the gospel. Jesus told us to go. He didn’t tell them to come. So we are taking the gospel to where the people are.” He hopes other churches will be inspired to take up doorto-door evangelism and reach even more of the Capital’s seven-and-a-half million people.

Move to target young AROUND 80 Christian men were encouraged to talk to younger people about their faith at a recent conference. The Engage a Generation North West conference revealed 59 per cent of UK churches don’t attract 15–19-year-olds. Guest speaker Andy Hawthorne, of The Message Trust, spoke about the need to work with young people. He said: “Historians have found that the disciples would have been young men aged 14–22. Jesus wanted something doing and gathered a group of young people together.”

Foreign office minister Ivan Lewis has praised the role Christian organisations play in tackling poverty around the world. Speaking at the open ing of a Progressio photo exhibition in the House of Commons, Mr Lewis said it was “incredibly important” to recognise the positive contribution that faith plays in solving some of the world’s worst problems. He paid tribute to Christian aid agency Progressio’s campaign, East Timor: Who Cares? Mr Lewis said: “We politicians must always remember, with our heads and our hearts the countries in need, and the volunteers and groups who deliver aid in those countries.”


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JAckSon ASked chriSTiAn friendS To prAy for hiM KING of Pop Michael Jackson asked Ch ristia n friends for prayer a nd spiritual guidance just days before his death. The troubled star, who died aged 50, joi ned Gospel si nger A nd rae Crouch and his sister Sandra in prayer, and they talked about Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Andrae said: “He did not reject

Vicar offers to pay cost of wedding A CuMBRIAN vicar is offering to help cash-strapped couples pay for a wedding in church. The Rev Ben Phillips, from St Michael’s Church in Stanwix,and St Mark’s in Belah, wants to help cou-ples who are genuinely struggling to meet the costs. The Church of England vicar said he will personally cover the £250 statutory cost. He said he wanted to support couples and was worried they were putting off their weddings because of the cost.

fees Mr Phillips said: “I am offering this to any couple in Stanwix who would like to have a Christian marriage and who genuinely cannot afford it. I will personally pay your statutory fees.” Mr Phillips, who earns £21,000 a year, said he would be quite happy to be overwhelmed by approaches although he is not expecting to be. He said he hoped it would encourage people to choose simple weddings. He said: “If we want to be the Church of England for England we should be doing things for free, offering ministry for free, so that we are giving things to people.”

Corrie stars join charity relief effort

FORMER Coronation Street stars Suranne Jones and Sally Lindsay are back from the Democtratic Republic of Congo, where they visited to support Christian work. The close friends v isited two Ch ristian A id partner organ isations, Foundation Femme Plus and AMO Congo, in the capital city of Kinshasa. During their trip Suranne and Sally met survivors of the country’s

Sally Lindsay

Suranne Jones

brutal conflict, including a 45-yearold who contracted HIV after being raped by soldiers. They also visited a clinic supporting thousands of children orphaned by HIV and met HIV positive women and children. Suranne said: “What encourages me is seeing women and children empowered to take control of their lives, often in dire circumstances.” Sally added: “The projects which Christian Aid supports are a lifeline for those who often have nowhere else to turn.”

Jesus or the prayer when we prayed, and gladly joined in prayer.” A spokesman for Andrae added: “He usually doesn’t touch anybody, but he touched them, and held their hands in a circle as they sang and prayed. “There was no act ua l ‘si n ners prayer’, but they did talk and pray about Jesus and the anointing of the

Holy Spirit.” The spokesman revealed that Andrae and Sandra met with Jackson twice in the final two months of his life, the latter meeting being just three weeks before his death. The spokesman added: “Andrae and Sandra explained to him about the anointing and about Jesus. “He wanted to know what makes your hands go up, and makes you

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‘come out of yourself,’ and what gives ‘spirituality’ to the music? “He then requested to hear his favorite song that he loves and wanted them to sing to him, so they joined hands and sang together, and he said, it was beautiful.” Some reports say Jacko may have become a Christian in his last weeks. l Comment – Page 9 Troubled... Michael Jackson

STAr’S debUT ALbUM of worShip SonGS STA

power behind voice of hope The voice... Beverley Trotman on the final of The X-Factor 2007

David and Barbara Taylor with one of the free dresses available to brides-to-be. Inset, Alan and Donna Davison tie the knot

THE X-Factor 2007 finalist Beverley Trotman, once dubbed ‘the voice of the competition’, is set to release her debut album. Voice of Hope is an uplifting album of worship songs, which Beverley hopes will be inspirational to her fans, giving comfort in uncertain times. In a recent BBC Radio 2 interview with fellow Gospel singer Beverley Knight, Trotman, 39, said: ‘This album is who I am. I love to worship God. “This is an opportunity to put my worship songs on to an album and help other people to go down that road. If one person feels blessed by it, then my work is done. “The songs on the album are songs that allow people to just be free, to be calm, to think about who they are, to know that actually there is somebody out there, looking out for them, and then through that – hopefully – you can get to the higher place.” Mum-of-two Beverley, a member of Kingdom Gospel Choir, was a primary school teacher before she found fame through the popular TV

talent show.Education is still a topic very close to her heart – not only does she want her music to be a source of inspiration, but she also describes herself as a role model to children and young people. She explained: “This is the day now when we need to be talking to our young people. My background is education, and I’ve worked with kids who are troubled and kids who are fine. But the kids who are troubled just need someone to say: ‘Hey, represent, stand up and be somebody.’ That’s all they need sometimes.

grateful “I think that nowadays we do lack simple role models; we’re always looking for the big Obamas in order for us to say ‘Yes, there he is’, but in our everyday life we need somebody who’s right there – and that’s what I feel I am. “I have no problem going back into my primary school and saying to one of the boys messing about in the classroom, ‘Behave yourself!’” Now enjoying her well-deserved success, life wasn’t always so easy for Beverley. She said: “I’m just grateful, God rest their souls, that my grandparents brought me up in

the church. My mother was really, really young when she had me, and I didn’t really know my dad, so I was given to my grandparents and they brought me up in the church every Sunday. “I’ve always had that in my life. I’ve always wondered how come I’ve stayed and not done something out there and gone [astray], but I just now know for sure that God has got me covered. “It’s not been easy, let me tell you, but I know and I stand in the fact that God’s grace is sufficient.” Beverley, who has recently completed a highly successful run as Miss Sherman in the touring production of Fame – The Musical, is grounded by her Christian faith. She said: “God is the anchor of my soul. He is my voice of hope. In times when you’re thinking, ‘Goodness me, why today?’ you do hear God saying to you, ‘Come on, you can actually come through it. You’re going to be all right. It’s tough right now but it’s going to be all right.’” Beverley continues to sing and worships at Luton Christian Fellowship Church. Her album will be released by Integrity Music next month.


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WORLD NEWS ROUND-UP

Geared up for row over faith

DRIVEN TO HELP THOSE IN POVERTY

GERMANY – Christians in Germany challenged an atheist bus campaign with a project of their own. An atheist team toured 25 cities with a red double-decker posing the question, ‘There is – with a probability bordering on certainty – no God’. At the same time, a Christian group visited the same cities and parked alongside the red bus in a white coach posing the question, ‘And if he really does exist…’ The Christian initiative under the auspices of Campus Crusade for Christ made it clear from the start that hostile confrontation was not their intention as they talked to the organisers of the atheist campaign before the tour began. Despite the opposing messages atheists and Christians often helped one another. Christians took pizza and cake to the atheists. And when their bus was covered in dirt, Christians helped wash the vehicle.

Prayers ‘save lives in raid’

USA – An American pastor, robbed at gunpoint at his Indiana home, says the power of prayer saved several lives. Pastor Willie Davis says that after going through about 20 minutes of mental torture, the men realised they had the wrong home. As soon as the two men pulled out guns, Pastor Willie and wife Renee prayed out loud to God. Incredibly, the couple received a telephone call from the robbers hours later. Willie believes it was his clergy license in his wallet that saved his life. “I’m pretty sure, with no doubt, they’re th in k ing right now that there truly is a God,” Pastor Willie added.

God can stop country crisis

ZIMBABWE – The Prime Minister of Zimbabwe says the decade-long political and economic crisis can only be stopped by God’s intervention. Mr Morgan Tsvangiral, speaking at a memorial service for his late wife Susan, urged Zimbabweans to pray for God’s deliverance to guarantee the success of the country’s economic recovery programmes and the new inclusive Government. “The only way we can rescue this country is when Zimbabweans start praying hard. We have to pray hard and ask God to save this country; we have to pray for the leadership… and God will help us. Without prayers, we will not go anywhere. “We have to pray for the success of the unity government and also ask for a God fearing leadership.”

Church aid bid MOLDOVA – Members of Hitchin Ch r ist ia n Cent re have forged a partnership with the villagers of Risipeni, Moldova, to provide the basics for life. The Hertfordshire church has financed a support worker, who is turning a derelict hotel into a centre for the elderly. Villages in Moldova suffer from severe poverty because most foreign aid only reaches towns and cities.

A CH u RCH has sent a m i n ibus full of medical equipment, clothes, toys and building equipment to Burkina Faso. The project – wh ich cost

£2,000 – began 18 months ago with members at Bentley Pentecostal Church, near Doncaster, buying a minibus and filling it with various items before send-

ing it out to the Africa nation. The bus was prayed over during a family service, and it began its journey in June James Seager, of the church,

said: “It was a large project that required the input of over 30 different people.” Among items sent were hearing aids, blankets and clothing.

Saving souls of girls who sell themselves FORMER prostitute Annie Lobert has revealed her mission is to help save the souls of women who sell their bodies. Annie, 41, who recently married Oz Fox of Christian band Stryper, said she worked as a Las Vegas call girl for 11 years, earning up to £300-an-hour. But she ditched the sleazy lifest yle a fter “ever y t h i ng t u r ned black” when she overdosed on cocaine. A n n ie (right) then t u rned to Christ and prayed for help to end her seedy career in Sin City, she said.

REBELLED She added: “I didn’t wake up one day and say, ‘I want to be a prostitute’. I got really hurt by a boyfriend I was engaged to at 18 and that’s when I rebelled. “I grew up in a church background but still didn’t feel loved. But as a hooker I was being told how much I was loved and when you get told you are beautiful you get caught up in it.” She te a r f u l l y r e ve a le d how she became so desperate she was

Ex-prostitute helps women of Sin City’s sex industry hooked on drugs until one night, six years ago, she overdosed. “Everything went black and my life flashed before me. I saw the name ‘Jesus’. I was told if I reached out and said that name God would come and get me,” Annie explained. Doctors said she was so full of narcotics she shouldn’t be alive. But she added: “I know the reason I am alive: it’s because of God. God chose to save me and I promised him I would change my life.” Hookers for Jesus was set up as a not-for-profit organisation by Annie to help others stuck in the trap of the sex industry. She explained: “It’s an organisation that reaches out to

prostitutes, strippers, porn stars. “We give them a new destiny and hope by inviting them to church. We want them to know they are loved; they are loved by the eternal God.” Since setting up Hookers for Jesus, Annie has gone from strength to strength and married Stryper star Oz earlier this summer. She wrote on her MySpace blog: “I am getting married. It’s about time.” Oz, 47, is a longtime member of Stryper – which stands for Salvation Through Redemption, Yielding Peace, Encouragement and Righteousness. The band’s albums include Reborn and In God We Trust.

Bible that’s wired for sound in seven languages A CHR ISTI A N orga n isation has released Audio Bibles in seven different languages. Faith Comes By Hearing Ministries has produced

Bibles in the languages, which include Arabic Standard and several African tribal tongues. The seve n new aud io Bibles

represent more than 530 million speakers on five continents. Some, are major world languages, while others are regional languages.

Praying to help world refugees REFuGEES and asylum-seekers prayed for help at organised rallies throughout Wales to mark Refugee Week. Around 150 people, including British Christians, refugees and asylu m-seekers attended the prayer meetings. Jim Stewart, National Assembly liaison officer for the Evangelical Alliance Wales, organised the events with local church leaders in the South Wales Churches’ Refugee Network. “A lot of the asylum-seekers coming into the uK are people of faith, and this is hugely valuable for them to cling onto in a strange country,” he said. “It was great to bring a spiritual dimension to Refugee Week. Some stories of the refugees and asylum-seekers were heartbreaking. A number of them were traumatised because friends and relatives are in jail in their home countries because of their faith. “We wanted to show solidarity and to pray for their situations.”


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Issue 186 •

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Bid to help addicts turn lives around

Saving lives is a family affair A father and daughter have spoken about how they helped save the lives of some of the world’s poorest people in Africa. Paul Herbert, 49, and 20-year-old daughter Rebekah volunteered to help on the world’s largest hospital ship, the Africa Mercy. The pair, from Gloucester, spent Father’s Day in Africa, taking in an unforgettable life-changing trip on the floating hospital, which is owned by Christian charity Mercy Ships. Paul said: “My wife, Ali, has been

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volunteering with Mercy Ships for six months as a theatre nurse on the Africa Mercy. “Both Rebekah and I were so moved by the stories that Ali would tell us that we wanted to share the experience with her and help the people of Benin.” Rebekah added: “Volunteering with dad and seeing mum, who has been on the ship since January this year, was an amazing experience and I am so thankful that I have been able to share it with them.”

A church c o n g r e g a t i o n h a s launched a bid to help addicts. Members at Elim Church on Ryburn Street, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorks, want to help tackle problems caused by drinking and drugs in the town. Inspired by Christian outreach charity Teen Challenge UK, they have already helped three people get into rehabilitation.

hotspots

Paul and Rebekah Herbert back at home after working on Africa Mercy, left

Duncan Curry, minister at the church, said ideas so far include taking the church minibus out to known drug hotspots. “When you see a life changed it’s so startling,” he said. “We want to tell people this is not how it has to be for them. “We could go to where we know there are drug problems, park up and offer help.”

Archbishop CHIEF TALKS ABOUT SPREADING PEACE heads poll on respect The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has been nominated as “the most respected living Christian” in a national poll of churchgoers. The poll, conducted by ComRes for Premier Christian Radio, asked, “Which living Christian, currently in the public eye, do you respect the most?” with the majority of respondents suggesting the Archbishop of York, right. The founder of Christian Charity Oasis Steve Chalke secured joint second place in the poll alongside American Evangelist Billy Graham. US President, Barack Obama and Christian rock star Bono also appeared in the poll. Responding to the poll results, the Archbishop of York’s spokesman said: “Dr. Sentamu believes that he is an unworthy servant of a most worthy Lord. He often quotes the old African proverb that ‘those who stand out, only do so because they are being carried on the shoulders of others’.” Chief Executive of Premier Christian Radio, Peter Kerridge said: “The Archbishop of York is a nationally respected figure by Christians and non-Christians alike. He is a role model for many Christians as one who lives by what he preaches.”

Vicars have a Tweet in store Two vicars are using Twitter to spread the word of God and keep in touch with their parishioners. The Rev Mark Lawson-Jones and the Rev Will Ingle-Gillis, both based in Wales, give quirky insights into their personal and professional lives on the social networking website. Mr Lawson-Jones, 40, has 74 Twitter followers – people who regularly receive updates – including a 75-yearold vicar from New York.

army boss HOPES to spread gospel The head of the British Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, says he wants to use his influence to spread the message of Jesus Christ.

Sir Richard, speaking to a TV crew, was asked about his hope for peace. He said: “I think one has to look at two levels. Speaking from the perspective of being a Christian, we live in a world inhabited by evil and that manifests itself in many ways leading to conflict between state and state and people and people. “I think that’s an enduring characteristic of the world. It’s imperfect. “In whatever position of leadership one is in, one does one’s best to try and improve circumstances; you’ll have periodic successes and you’ll have periodic failures. “That’s at one level. I think at the other level is the level of real utility.” He went on to highlight the work of Jesus’ disciples and said that bringRichard Dannatt ing people to Christ could help make for successful for that individual. If that peace. is also bringing them to a knowledge of the Christian INFLUENCE faith and the person, and “I think it’s the influence promises of Jesus Christ, that you or I can perhaps then that’s really a worthhave on other people. while contribution to make. “Christ set about changI think that’s where lasting ing the world through resuccess comes from.” cruiting 12 individuals – his Sir Richard has frequentdisciples. ly being vocal about his “They lived with him, Christian faith. they learned from him. He He once told the Daily sent them out. Mail: “It is said that we live “The disciples made othin a post Christian society. er disciples, but their world “I think that is a great was one-to-one and, thereshame. The broader Judeofore, I think the significant Christian tradition has uncontribution that one can derpinned British society. make in life is doing someIt underpins the British thing for this individual or Army.”

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Issue 186 •

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NEW LIFE EXCLUSIVE: EX-GANGSTER’S AMAZING STORY OF FAITH BEHIND BARS www.newlife.co.uk

WORKING TOGeTheR TO BRING you The GOOd NeWS

tune in In 2009, New Life will be working with Christian

media organisation United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) to spread the Word. UCB broadcast to virtually all major UK cities on dAB digital radio and you can also listen via digital satellite and online. UCB radio is perfect for anyone who has an interest in news, features, music and interviews from a faith perspective.

explore ChristiAnity We’re also working with Alpha, the course that allows people to explore the Christian faith in a relaxed setting over ten thoughtprovoking weekly sessions. The courses are free and are usually run in the evening, and include a meal or refreshments. To find a course near you, see www.alpha.org

Find A ChurCh We’re also working with Find a Church, who run a brilliant website listing the details of more than 42,000 UK Christian churches. Simply tap in your postcode for help to find a great church in your area.

the BiBle MAtters The Gideons are well known for their work distributing Bibles to schools, hospitals, hotels etc. If you want Jesus to make himself real in your life, and don’t have a Bible, The Gideons will be happy to provide you with a Testament completely free of charge.

The ABC of how you can become a Christian...

A Admit that you have done wrong that Jesus died so that you can B Believe be forgiven, and ask God to forgive you The Bible says, ‘All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23).

‘God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’ (John 3:16); ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us’ (1 John 1:9).

C Commit yourself to living God’s way

Jesus said, ‘Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’ (John 8:12). Log on to www.lookingforgod.com for more help.

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FOR EVERY READER DAILY INSPIRATIONAL BOOK call 0845 6040401 or log on to www.ucb.co.uk

A

S the OAPs shuffled into the room, Peter’s heart sank. How were these pensioners on Zimmer frames going to help a convicted murderer deal with the problems he was having on his prison unit?

in Florida,” remembered Peter. “She was visiting them over here one day, when I rang and she answered the phone. “We got chatting and she started to write to me. I told her about Marjorie’s letters and I didn’t know it then but Danielle had been a Christian but had fallen away. “She met up with Marjorie and came back to God and started to share with me about her faith. I didn’t take it seriously at first.” But Danielle continued to share her faith and the couple married in 1997 when Peter was in Long Lartin prison. Danielle was granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK. Five years into his sentence, while at Garth prison in Preston, Peter enrolled on an Alpha course. He said: “I knew it was about Christ and how he lived his life, but that was about it. I wanted to change but I had a lot of baggage.” Peter was one of the first prisoners in the country to take part in the Alpha course. “I went on the course with a group of gangsters. Some of them weren’t taking it seriously,” remembered Peter. “Nicky Gumble sent his team from Holy Trin ity Church in Brompton. I liked it and I started realising I wanted to change my life. I could relate to the people who came because they were normal people with normal problems; some had had drug problems.” But then something happened that challenged Peter. The team told the group that they could ask God to come into their lives and change them, and that God does this by his Holy Spirit who comes and lives in you.

NEW MAN... Peter Wynn, enjoying his freedom. Inset, on the day of his wedding to Danielle and, below, the couple with their first son Jude

But they were all he had, and little did he know it they had someone far more powerful than he knew on their side… the God of creation. Those elderly people were to change his life forever – through the power of prayer. Peter Wynn, 47, now a landscape gardener, grew up in Liverpool and was just ten when he first got in trouble with the police. The married dad-of-three had a troubled early life growing up in care. He said: “I joined a gang aged ten in Toxteth. I had no dad. None of us did, so it was like family.” And it wasn’t long before the gang lifestyle led to his first stint in prison. “When I was 21, I first went to prison for robbery,” he remembered. Peter had developed a heroin and cocaine habit which led him to his first encounter with Christians. He said: “I got involved with drugs and went to a Christian rehabilitation centre. Christians had visited me in prison when I was there on remand and recommended it to me.” But Peter wasn’t impressed. “I didn’t want anything to do with these Christians,’ he remembered. “I thought that they were a joke – naive and vulnerable. It seemed too easy to pull the wool over their eyes.” But the encounter had awoken something inside Peter. He said: “It made me curious though, how nice they were to people.”

drugs Peter was released from prison and moved to Eastbourne at the age of 26 to help his brother, who was a bouncer in the seaside resort. “I started working on the doors and had stopped taking the drugs completely. But then I started to drink heavily,” remembered Peter. “I was on the doors with a gang of lads. We were doing protection rackets – having organised gangsters coming down from Liverpool and we were helping them to rob things for a price.” But this wasn’t going down well with Eastbourne’s own gangs. Peter said: “It started to cause problems with other doormen in the area.” He was jailed again for nine months after a run in with another gang ended when a gun was brandished. He said: “When I got out, there was a contract on my head. So I went up to the person who had put the contract out on me and knocked him out in front of all his mates.” The man’s friends turned on Peter, and he was then beaten and left for dead. His face still bears the scars of that beating.

H

e turned to drink as a way of coping as his life was falling down around him. But something was to happen that would plunge Peter even further into the depths of misery. “In March 1995, my sister and her boyfriend had come for the weekend to make sure I was OK,” remembered Peter. “They went out one day for a drink in town and I heard that they’d gone to this particular pub where I knew they could be in danger. “I went and got a knife and went around the clubs trying to find my sister. I was scared that once people knew that they were my family they could be in trouble.” And Peter’s worst fears were confirmed when he rounded the corner to see his sister and her boyfriend being beaten by a group of bouncers. “I just saw red and jumped in,’ said Peter. “I remember being hit with knuckle dusters then this guy came to knock me

How God saved life of murderer a brawl 14 years ago. The 47-year-old Peter Wynn was convicted of murder after stabbing a bouncer in view, the one-time gangster tells was released from prison just four months ago. In this exclusive inter to visit him in jail Becky Barlow how his hear t was softened when Christians went

out and I stabbed him in the side. Another bouncer was holding my sister’s boyfriend so I stabbed him in the backside. “It was the first time I’d ever used a weapon. I was in such a traumatic state after using the knife. I knew I was in big trouble. “I was arrested and I remember the Police saying to me in the station later that night. I was told, ‘You realise you’ve just killed someone?’ I collapsed. I was so upset.” At

this point Peter thought both the men he had stabbed had died. “In the morning they told me that one of the men, Anthony Rogers, had died,” said Peter.

TrAuMATIsEd “It was terrible because I actually knew him and his wife. I was just completely out of it and traumatised by what I had done.’ Peter was charged with murder and put

on remand as a “Category A” prisoner. On July 15, 1996, Peter was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 14 years. “I was in my early 30s facing life imprisonment,” remembered Peter. “It was devastating.” But God had plans for Peter. He said: “This woman, Marjorie, started to write to me through the Prison Fellowship. One of the letters said, ‘I don’t believe that you’re a

murderer, but that you’re a man of God.’ “I didn’t really know what to think, so I just ignored the letters, but they kept coming. She told me that prayer changes things and that I should find an Alpha course to go on.”

wIfE At around this time, Peter also came into contact with his future wife, Danielle. “Danielle used to work for my cousins

H

e explained: “The ninth week is about the Holy Spirit. They said that they were going to pray for people to receive the Holy Spirit. So I sat in a chair and prayed, ‘Please God come into my life. I want my life to be changed. Take away the criminal element. I want you in my life.’ “I felt the ground begin to tremble under my feet and my mouth went dry. I got really scared and asked them to stop.” The course finished and although Peter now believed in God he still felt he had baggage that hadn’t been dealt with. A n opportunity came up for him to be moved to a therapeutic prison in Buckinghamshire, but first Peter had to persuade a panel that he was suitable to go. He said: “I had to go in front of a panel to get there and one of them was a probation officer. By this time I’d been in prison seven years. He asked me why I wanted to go. “I answered, ‘I’ve got a lot of baggage which I need to deal with. I’ve been on this course and I believe I’ve accepted God into my life, but I’m a bit scared of it.’” To his surprise, the probation officer told Peter: “I’m a born-again Christian and I believe in the Holy Spirit and I believe in you. I’m going to send you to this place.” For the next two-and-a-half years, Peter was placed in a prison with paedophiles, murderers and arsonists who were there to deal with their problems. “It was the worst and best time of my life,” said Peter. “I told them about my faith and was always getting my Bible out, but they said it was psychological. We had some great debates but my faith was strengthened through going there.” But Peter’s faith was given a tough test. “One time I was accused of something I hadn’t done. I could have lost it and hit out at these lads, who I knew were lying, but I decided to pray,” said Peter. “Not long afterwards they came and apologised and admitted they’d been lying. A Bible passage (1 Peter 2:23) came to mind:

‘He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.’ “I took my Bible to therapy the next day and read those verses with tears streaming down my face. I certainly had an effect on that prison.” Peter left there and was placed in Rye Hill Prison, Birmingham, where he enrolled on another Alpha course. He said: “This time when the ninth week came, I went ready to go for the Holy Spirit. So again I sat in the chair, and again they prayed for me. This time I felt it come up through my feet to my waist and again I jumped up. ‘I can’t do this!’ I said. ‘I’m too scared!’ “Although I believed in God I was still sceptical about the Holy Spirit.” But a Priest there encouraged Peter. “He told me that he saw me as an evangelist. I didn’t know what to think,” said Peter. He was then moved to HMP Wolds in Yorkshire, where he continued attending church. But Peter was struggling with his faith. “I lived on a container unit with 60 other lifers. There was a lot of drugs going on – heroin and cocaine,” remembered Peter. “I was seeing all these damaged people and could sense the evil going on. “I was so close to losing everything and being sucked back in. I was having a lot of trouble with a particular group of lads. “I had two options, I could either get involved in a fight with them or I could pray. I decided to pray. “I found out that every few months, a bunch of people would come from a nearby church to pray, so I pinned my hopes on them. “When they arrived it was all these old people with their walking sticks, but they were all I had. “When they asked did anyone have any problems I stood up and said, ‘I’ve done two Alpha courses and I’ve half accepted the

❛ I had two options, I could either get involved in a fight with them or I could pray. I decided to pray ❜

Holy Spirit into my life. I’ve done 11 years of my life sentence but I’m struggling.’ “They jumped up on their walking sticks and prayed for me!” Peter was amazed by the effect their prayers had. He said: “Straight away, I felt the Holy Spirit come through my whole body and I was weeping. I cried for the next three days but the baggage was gone. I knew I was forgiven.” And the changes weren’t just in Peter. “That unit changed,” he said. “The lads I’d had trouble with came and said sorry. They stopped the heroin on the unit and the violence stopped.” Peter spent h is last th ree yea rs i n Kirkham prison, where they prepared him for his release by letting him out on home visits and work placements. He would use these opportunities to tell people about Jesus. In January 2009, Danielle gave birth to their son Jude, and in March 2009, after serving the minimum term of 14 years in prison, Peter was released. He said: “I now have the opportunity to share my testimony everywhere. I believe I’ve got out of prison through becoming a Christian. “God saved me from a life of gun crime and gangs that could have led to my violent death. A lot of people I knew before I went inside are now dead because of their lifestyle. Now I want to be an evangelist for my Lord on the streets of Liverpool.”

7


6

LOG ON NOW: www.newlife.co.uk

NEW LIFE • Issue 186 NEW LIFE

Issue 186 •

NEW LIFE NEW LIFE

NEW LIFE EXCLUSIVE: EX-GANGSTER’S AMAZING STORY OF FAITH BEHIND BARS www.newlife.co.uk

WORKING TOGeTheR TO BRING you The GOOd NeWS

tune in In 2009, New Life will be working with Christian

media organisation United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) to spread the Word. UCB broadcast to virtually all major UK cities on dAB digital radio and you can also listen via digital satellite and online. UCB radio is perfect for anyone who has an interest in news, features, music and interviews from a faith perspective.

explore ChristiAnity We’re also working with Alpha, the course that allows people to explore the Christian faith in a relaxed setting over ten thoughtprovoking weekly sessions. The courses are free and are usually run in the evening, and include a meal or refreshments. To find a course near you, see www.alpha.org

Find A ChurCh We’re also working with Find a Church, who run a brilliant website listing the details of more than 42,000 UK Christian churches. Simply tap in your postcode for help to find a great church in your area.

the BiBle MAtters The Gideons are well known for their work distributing Bibles to schools, hospitals, hotels etc. If you want Jesus to make himself real in your life, and don’t have a Bible, The Gideons will be happy to provide you with a Testament completely free of charge.

The ABC of how you can become a Christian...

A Admit that you have done wrong that Jesus died so that you can B Believe be forgiven, and ask God to forgive you The Bible says, ‘All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23).

‘God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’ (John 3:16); ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us’ (1 John 1:9).

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A

S the OAPs shuffled into the room, Peter’s heart sank. How were these pensioners on Zimmer frames going to help a convicted murderer deal with the problems he was having on his prison unit?

in Florida,” remembered Peter. “She was visiting them over here one day, when I rang and she answered the phone. “We got chatting and she started to write to me. I told her about Marjorie’s letters and I didn’t know it then but Danielle had been a Christian but had fallen away. “She met up with Marjorie and came back to God and started to share with me about her faith. I didn’t take it seriously at first.” But Danielle continued to share her faith and the couple married in 1997 when Peter was in Long Lartin prison. Danielle was granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK. Five years into his sentence, while at Garth prison in Preston, Peter enrolled on an Alpha course. He said: “I knew it was about Christ and how he lived his life, but that was about it. I wanted to change but I had a lot of baggage.” Peter was one of the first prisoners in the country to take part in the Alpha course. “I went on the course with a group of gangsters. Some of them weren’t taking it seriously,” remembered Peter. “Nicky Gumble sent his team from Holy Trin ity Church in Brompton. I liked it and I started realising I wanted to change my life. I could relate to the people who came because they were normal people with normal problems; some had had drug problems.” But then something happened that challenged Peter. The team told the group that they could ask God to come into their lives and change them, and that God does this by his Holy Spirit who comes and lives in you.

NEW MAN... Peter Wynn, enjoying his freedom. Inset, on the day of his wedding to Danielle and, below, the couple with their first son Jude

But they were all he had, and little did he know it they had someone far more powerful than he knew on their side… the God of creation. Those elderly people were to change his life forever – through the power of prayer. Peter Wynn, 47, now a landscape gardener, grew up in Liverpool and was just ten when he first got in trouble with the police. The married dad-of-three had a troubled early life growing up in care. He said: “I joined a gang aged ten in Toxteth. I had no dad. None of us did, so it was like family.” And it wasn’t long before the gang lifestyle led to his first stint in prison. “When I was 21, I first went to prison for robbery,” he remembered. Peter had developed a heroin and cocaine habit which led him to his first encounter with Christians. He said: “I got involved with drugs and went to a Christian rehabilitation centre. Christians had visited me in prison when I was there on remand and recommended it to me.” But Peter wasn’t impressed. “I didn’t want anything to do with these Christians,’ he remembered. “I thought that they were a joke – naive and vulnerable. It seemed too easy to pull the wool over their eyes.” But the encounter had awoken something inside Peter. He said: “It made me curious though, how nice they were to people.”

drugs Peter was released from prison and moved to Eastbourne at the age of 26 to help his brother, who was a bouncer in the seaside resort. “I started working on the doors and had stopped taking the drugs completely. But then I started to drink heavily,” remembered Peter. “I was on the doors with a gang of lads. We were doing protection rackets – having organised gangsters coming down from Liverpool and we were helping them to rob things for a price.” But this wasn’t going down well with Eastbourne’s own gangs. Peter said: “It started to cause problems with other doormen in the area.” He was jailed again for nine months after a run in with another gang ended when a gun was brandished. He said: “When I got out, there was a contract on my head. So I went up to the person who had put the contract out on me and knocked him out in front of all his mates.” The man’s friends turned on Peter, and he was then beaten and left for dead. His face still bears the scars of that beating.

H

e turned to drink as a way of coping as his life was falling down around him. But something was to happen that would plunge Peter even further into the depths of misery. “In March 1995, my sister and her boyfriend had come for the weekend to make sure I was OK,” remembered Peter. “They went out one day for a drink in town and I heard that they’d gone to this particular pub where I knew they could be in danger. “I went and got a knife and went around the clubs trying to find my sister. I was scared that once people knew that they were my family they could be in trouble.” And Peter’s worst fears were confirmed when he rounded the corner to see his sister and her boyfriend being beaten by a group of bouncers. “I just saw red and jumped in,’ said Peter. “I remember being hit with knuckle dusters then this guy came to knock me

How God saved life of murderer a brawl 14 years ago. The 47-year-old Peter Wynn was convicted of murder after stabbing a bouncer in view, the one-time gangster tells was released from prison just four months ago. In this exclusive inter to visit him in jail Becky Barlow how his hear t was softened when Christians went

out and I stabbed him in the side. Another bouncer was holding my sister’s boyfriend so I stabbed him in the backside. “It was the first time I’d ever used a weapon. I was in such a traumatic state after using the knife. I knew I was in big trouble. “I was arrested and I remember the Police saying to me in the station later that night. I was told, ‘You realise you’ve just killed someone?’ I collapsed. I was so upset.” At

this point Peter thought both the men he had stabbed had died. “In the morning they told me that one of the men, Anthony Rogers, had died,” said Peter.

TrAuMATIsEd “It was terrible because I actually knew him and his wife. I was just completely out of it and traumatised by what I had done.’ Peter was charged with murder and put

on remand as a “Category A” prisoner. On July 15, 1996, Peter was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 14 years. “I was in my early 30s facing life imprisonment,” remembered Peter. “It was devastating.” But God had plans for Peter. He said: “This woman, Marjorie, started to write to me through the Prison Fellowship. One of the letters said, ‘I don’t believe that you’re a

murderer, but that you’re a man of God.’ “I didn’t really know what to think, so I just ignored the letters, but they kept coming. She told me that prayer changes things and that I should find an Alpha course to go on.”

wIfE At around this time, Peter also came into contact with his future wife, Danielle. “Danielle used to work for my cousins

H

e explained: “The ninth week is about the Holy Spirit. They said that they were going to pray for people to receive the Holy Spirit. So I sat in a chair and prayed, ‘Please God come into my life. I want my life to be changed. Take away the criminal element. I want you in my life.’ “I felt the ground begin to tremble under my feet and my mouth went dry. I got really scared and asked them to stop.” The course finished and although Peter now believed in God he still felt he had baggage that hadn’t been dealt with. A n opportunity came up for him to be moved to a therapeutic prison in Buckinghamshire, but first Peter had to persuade a panel that he was suitable to go. He said: “I had to go in front of a panel to get there and one of them was a probation officer. By this time I’d been in prison seven years. He asked me why I wanted to go. “I answered, ‘I’ve got a lot of baggage which I need to deal with. I’ve been on this course and I believe I’ve accepted God into my life, but I’m a bit scared of it.’” To his surprise, the probation officer told Peter: “I’m a born-again Christian and I believe in the Holy Spirit and I believe in you. I’m going to send you to this place.” For the next two-and-a-half years, Peter was placed in a prison with paedophiles, murderers and arsonists who were there to deal with their problems. “It was the worst and best time of my life,” said Peter. “I told them about my faith and was always getting my Bible out, but they said it was psychological. We had some great debates but my faith was strengthened through going there.” But Peter’s faith was given a tough test. “One time I was accused of something I hadn’t done. I could have lost it and hit out at these lads, who I knew were lying, but I decided to pray,” said Peter. “Not long afterwards they came and apologised and admitted they’d been lying. A Bible passage (1 Peter 2:23) came to mind:

‘He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.’ “I took my Bible to therapy the next day and read those verses with tears streaming down my face. I certainly had an effect on that prison.” Peter left there and was placed in Rye Hill Prison, Birmingham, where he enrolled on another Alpha course. He said: “This time when the ninth week came, I went ready to go for the Holy Spirit. So again I sat in the chair, and again they prayed for me. This time I felt it come up through my feet to my waist and again I jumped up. ‘I can’t do this!’ I said. ‘I’m too scared!’ “Although I believed in God I was still sceptical about the Holy Spirit.” But a Priest there encouraged Peter. “He told me that he saw me as an evangelist. I didn’t know what to think,” said Peter. He was then moved to HMP Wolds in Yorkshire, where he continued attending church. But Peter was struggling with his faith. “I lived on a container unit with 60 other lifers. There was a lot of drugs going on – heroin and cocaine,” remembered Peter. “I was seeing all these damaged people and could sense the evil going on. “I was so close to losing everything and being sucked back in. I was having a lot of trouble with a particular group of lads. “I had two options, I could either get involved in a fight with them or I could pray. I decided to pray. “I found out that every few months, a bunch of people would come from a nearby church to pray, so I pinned my hopes on them. “When they arrived it was all these old people with their walking sticks, but they were all I had. “When they asked did anyone have any problems I stood up and said, ‘I’ve done two Alpha courses and I’ve half accepted the

❛ I had two options, I could either get involved in a fight with them or I could pray. I decided to pray ❜

Holy Spirit into my life. I’ve done 11 years of my life sentence but I’m struggling.’ “They jumped up on their walking sticks and prayed for me!” Peter was amazed by the effect their prayers had. He said: “Straight away, I felt the Holy Spirit come through my whole body and I was weeping. I cried for the next three days but the baggage was gone. I knew I was forgiven.” And the changes weren’t just in Peter. “That unit changed,” he said. “The lads I’d had trouble with came and said sorry. They stopped the heroin on the unit and the violence stopped.” Peter spent h is last th ree yea rs i n Kirkham prison, where they prepared him for his release by letting him out on home visits and work placements. He would use these opportunities to tell people about Jesus. In January 2009, Danielle gave birth to their son Jude, and in March 2009, after serving the minimum term of 14 years in prison, Peter was released. He said: “I now have the opportunity to share my testimony everywhere. I believe I’ve got out of prison through becoming a Christian. “God saved me from a life of gun crime and gangs that could have led to my violent death. A lot of people I knew before I went inside are now dead because of their lifestyle. Now I want to be an evangelist for my Lord on the streets of Liverpool.”

7


Issue 186

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NEW LIFE

Issue 186 • NEW LIFE 9

New homeowners to be offered spiritual support TWO thousand households that buy a home on a new development are to be offered spiritual support. Christians from different denominations in Portsmouth are to join forces to ensure a Christian presence at the new development, which is in the Waterlooville area of the city. An ecumenical community worker may be employed to offer pastoral support and ministry to residents. Part of their role would be to highlight the existing churches

Archdeacon of Portsdown, the Ven Trevor Reader, at the new development

A WOMAN has revealed how she left Brighton for Bulgaria to open a retreat centre to help the poor.

The Free Range Chicks

‘Chick’ out this event! THE only farm you’re likely to find these Free Range Chicks on is a health farm! Vicky Taylor, 45, was so inspired by how her friends loved to hea r her stor ies about God, she decided to set up Free Range Chicks. The group arranges trips to luxury spas where women hear about Christianity while being pampered. The next event – the Frag ra nce Spa Con fe re nce – takes place on October 10–11 in the Cotswolds. For details, go to freerangechicks.net.

Juliette Harris, the guitarist of band The Evening Service, took the decision after she discovered a sense of the reality of heaven. She said she was stunned because up until that point she was always sure there wasn’t a God! After making the discovery, the 30-year-old decided to stop having sex with her boyfriend and fellow musician Jeremy (Jez) Norton. She then decided to call it day with Jeremy and headed off to Bulgaria. Juliette said that about 18 months into her relationship with Jeremy she began to have an awareness of God. “I didn’t even think that there was a God, but there was just this growing sense. It didn’t affect our lifestyle for a long time, but I remember that I used to talk about God down the pub and even almost pray when I was drunk,” she revealed. “I became very preoccupied emotionally and spiritually – I felt like I was alone in this bubble of introspection. Soon after, I met a girl, also in a band; I really aspired to be like her. “She was a Christian and talked to me about Jesus; I went to church with her for the first time and, soon after, I converted. “Jez was never scornful of it, but he was bemused and felt excluded by this new bunch of friends.” As soon as she converted to Christianity, Juliette’s life took a huge turn. “My outlook on life did a 180-degree turn almost

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COMMENT Looking for love

of all denominations in Purbrook, Waterlooville and Denmead. The Archdeacon of Portsdown, the Ven Trevor Reader, is chairing meetings of church leaders. He said: “We’ve been meeting for some time, and we’re all agreed on what we hope will happen. “A new church building would be inappropriate, as there are several churches of all denominations within easy reach of the new homes. But we hope we can be involved in creating a new church school and also fund an ecumenical community worker.”

i quit uk to help bulgaria’s poor

Solutions on the right

NEW LIFE NEW LIFE

Juliette Harris on stage as part of The Evening Service

THE biggest tragedy surrounding Michael Jackson was the fact he never felt loved. The widely-publicised beatings that his own father gave him left the young Jackson craving love. The result of this was that he surrounded himself with material possessions to make up for what he was missing. Whether he became a Christian or not in his final weeks is something we’ll never know in this life. What we do know was that he was happy to talk about Jesus and prayed with Christians towards the end of his life. But whether he did or didn’t make the decision to become a Christian, the fact is that accepting God’s son Jesus as his Saviour would have woken him up to the love God had for him. Unlike his earthly father, his heavenly Father has shown true grace and love. He would have found forgiveness from God and been at peace. Jackson would have found a love in his life that would have more than replaced all those material goods. We hope he did find Jesus and that you will find him too, so you can experience that love as well.

The true meaning instantly. I asked Jesus to change my life, and from then on something just shifted,” she said. “Suddenly it was like there was no connection with Jez on a real spiritual level any more. I felt in the core of my being that some of the stuff that had been fine for me was no longer OK. “I didn’t want to spend my time in the pub, and I gradually stopped wanting to sleep with Jez. “Around the same time, Jez was going through a big change in work and I wasn’t there for him. “What pushed me was realising that trials can bond people, but we were going through our own trials yet not bonding. “When I finally said I didn’t feel comfortable with us sleeping together until we got married, he felt like the final closeness had been taken away. Last year I moved to Bulgaria to work on a project to open a retreat centre, a place of safety and calm where people can go to be with God without distractions.”

PEOPLE are turning to prayer during these tough economic times. The cynical among us may think that it’s desperation that is driving people to it. Praying for a return of material richness isn’t the right thing to pray for, however. What we all need to pray for is that those who find themselves in financial hardship will understand the true meaning of life and accept Jesus into their lives.

BIBLE QUOTE OF THE MONTH “Everything is possible for him who believes.” Mark 9:23 Editor: Peter Wreford Accounts: Helen Wreford Advertising: Barry Wilson

Editorial office: New Life Publishing Co, PO Box 777, Nottingham NG11 6ZZ, UK Email: editor@newlife.co.uk Telephone: 0115 824 0777 Website: www.newlife.co.uk

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Issue 186

NEW LIFE CLASSIFIEDS WANT TO EXPLORE CHRISTIANITY, BUT DON’T KNOW WHERE TO TURN? KEEP THIS PAGE TO HELP YOU FIND A NEW DIRECTION IN LIFE... ALTRINCHAM The Upper Room Christian Fellowship, The Downs. Sunday services 10.45am and 6.30pm. Enquiries: 0161 282 6676. (CA09) ASHFORD Ashford Christian Fellowship Worship Centre, 23 Tufton Street. Sundays: 9.30-11.30am (inc. children’s facilities) & 12.00-1.15pm (no children’s facilities). Enquiries: 01233 334007. (CF57) CANTERBURY Trinity Community Church. Meetings Sundays 10.45am at St Stephen’s Junior School, Hales Place, Canterbury. Tel: 01227 459 785. (CA06)

CHATTERIS FenLife Christian Church. Sunday 10.30am and 6.30pm. King Edward Centre, Railway Lane, CHATTERIS. 01480 385001. www.fenlife.org.uk (EQ51)

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LEICESTER Narborough Road Christian Fellowship. Meet at Manor House, Neighbourhood Centre, Haddenham Road. Services: Sunday 10.30am. Tel: 0116 2891 395 or 0116 2897 804. All welcome. (AB25)

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RUSHDEN Full Gospel Church. High Street South, Rushden. A family Church that loves God, each other and those in the community. Sundays 10.45am & 6pm. Enquiries telephone: 01933 418 002. (DC19)

LEICESTER Apostolic Church New Life Centre, Sanvey Lane, Aylestone, Leicester LE2 8NF. Main services: Sunday 10.30am worship, Bible ministry and Communion. Wednesday 8pm Bible study and prayer. Pastor Richard Forman telephone 0116 275 2582 everyone welcome. (CW05)

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EDENTHORPE, near Doncaster Edenthorpe Pentecostal church, Edenthorpe Community Centre, Cedric Road. Sundays 10.30am & 6.00pm. Children’s Good News club Wednesday 4.30pm to 5.45pm. 4U Children school year 6-9 Fridays 7.15pm. Warm welcome to all. Enquiries 01302 882738. (ER50) ELY CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP A loving, growing, praying family church. Sunday celebration 10.30am. Enquiries phone: 01353 662 228. Email: info@elychristianfellowship.org.uk. Web www.elychristianfellowship.org.uk. Also Christian Bookshop 01353 667 004.

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tel: 0115 824 0777 or email: ads@newlife.co.uk LONG EATON Oasis Christian Centre, Derby Road. 10am & 6pm. Come and enjoy the dynamic worship and a warm welcome. God centred, Purpose driven, People empowering. Enquiries: Church Office 0115 9460463 (EL62)

MAIDSTONE Welcome to Grace Community Church which meets at Grove Road, Mangravet (near Police HQ), Sundays 10.30am. Enquiries: 01622 664 940 (DP53) READING Assemblies of God Christian Centre (Mount Zion). Sundays 11am and 6.30pm. Tuesdays and Thursdays 7.30pm. Enquiries Tel: 01252 872 754. (AC01)

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SHANKLIN Isle of Wight, Living Waters Fellowship, 29, Victoria Avenue. Sundays 2.30pm (Service). Wednesday Home Group 10.30am (Bible Study). Thursdays 10.30am (Prayer) 7.30pm Monthly also Saturdays 7.30pm Monthly (Intercessory Praise & Worship). Enquiries & Newsletter (01983) 863683, livingwaters.iw@btinternet.com or livingwaters.iw@gmail.com. (CA52) STEVENAGE PENTECOSTAL CHURCH Assemblies of God UK. Bedwell Community Centre, Bedwell Crescent, Stevenage. Meeting Sundays 10.30am. For details email Pastor: pete.cross@stevenagepentecos talchurch.co.uk or visit our web site www.stevenagepentecostalchurch. co.uk (FV22)

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HUDDERSFIELD Elim Pentecostal Church, Grace Centre, 23 St Johns Road, Huddersfield HD1 5BW welcomes you to their Sunday services 10.30am and 6.30pm. TE: 01484 535 554 Web Site: www.huddelim.org.uk

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Issue 186 •

NEW LIFE NEW LIFE

11

RUGBY ACE IS A DIFFERENT MAN LINVOY

THERE’S NO WAY I’LL TURN BAKKIE by Matthew Murray

South African rugby ace John “Bakkies” Botha isn’t one to be messed with – after revealing he has God on his side.

John “Bakkies” Botha in action

The 18-and-a-half-stone second row forward, considered one of the hardest players in the modern game, is also a committed Christian. And he says he is fully aware it is God who has given him his talent. In a recent interview, Botha, 29, revealed he had been a churchgoer from birth. However, his fully-fledged Christian lifestyle hasn’t always been apparent. He said: “A lot of friends who knew what I was once like cannot believe I am now so relaxed. The difference between me now and then is night and day. “I made a promise to God that I would cut out the bad stuff; I don’t go to nightclubs anymore, and I never drink excessively. “There is a bad dog on a chain; if you go within a certain distance, he will bite you. I stay outside of that extended chain. I just don’t go where I might get bitten. “The devil still puts some bombs in my road but that’s fine. If you’re not getting those attacks you’re on the wrong path. If you’re living a bad life, the devil doesn’t bother you.” Bakkies, some claim, kneels in the changing before every game and asks God to forgive him for the damage he is about to do to his rivals on the pitch. He laughs because he has heard this so many times. “I do pray before each game, but it is to thank God for giving me the talent to play for the Bulls and the Springboks. In return I promise him I will play to 100 per cent of my ability in every game. “We are not put on earth to be big rugby players, to live in big palaces. It not about Bakkies Botha getting 50 caps. I believe God has put us in this position to make a difference to his Kingdom.” Several players within the Springbok team share Botha’s Christian beliefs. From the forward pack who started against the Lions in the first test at Durban, John Smit, Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, Victor Matfield, Juan Smith and Pierre Spies are all committed Christians. When the Springboks are on tour or in training camp, there are voluntary Bible classes, which Botha says are attended by 70 to 80 per cent of the team group.

The inside track on faith in football

Offer of new role really is an honour... HAVING agreed a new one-year deal with my club Portsmouth, it now looks as though I will be with the club for a long time after my playing days are over – I certainly hope so! I have agreed to take on a new role which will involve me in mentoring the youth players, and looking after the concerns of everybody from the box office staff to the highest paid Fratton Park professionals. I have also agreed with the club to become their ambassador, but the job has a much wider remit than that. I don’t think there’s a football club in the world which has created such a job and I’m honoured particularly as I’m still a player! As an example, there are occasions when some of the youngsters have problems with parents or other personal concerns. It will be part of my job to counsel them and try as far as possible to sort things out. Somet i mes the top fi rst tea m players have worries and anxieties and I will become the bridge for them between the training g rou nd a nd the boardroom.” My work w it h charity Faith and Football has seen me working right ac r oss t he lo ca l com mu n it y, a nd Pompey officia ls see t h at as a n idea l way for me to promote and create closer ties between the people and the club. It’s extraordinary really because when French manager Alain Perrin was here he was on the point of selling me to Norwich but I knew my future was always going to be at Portsmouth because I had heard from God. So it was no surprise that before he had a chance to sell me he was sacked and there were suggestions that Neil Warnock would arrive as the new boss. I heard on the grapevine that he apparently didn’t fancy me either, and in one of my prayer times God told me not to worry because I would always be working in some way or other for Pompey. The rest is history! Harry Redknapp arrived as boss and despite being injured for a substantial part of the season, I completed enough games to qualify for another contract. I see no reason to believe that I won’t be associated with this club for many years to come. I took the idea of the new role to the club and they welcomed it with open arms. I am very excited because it’s a totally new thing in football and I’ll never know what situations each day will bring. It has shown me too – although I didn’t need it proved – that God is true to his word. When everything looked odds on for me to leave the club, he had a quiet word with me telling me it wouldn’t happen. Now I have a fantastic new job to look forward to and another season around the first team squad.

❛ I see no reason that I won’t be associated with this club for years to come ❜

Powerboat driver’s thanks after crash Keeper’s prayers CANADIAN powerboat driver Jean Theoret As a man of sincere Christian faith and has said praying helped save his life when he devotion to God, Jean believes the power was involved in an horrific accident of prayer also played a huge role in at last month’s Madison Regatta. his survival. Jean, 47, of Quebec, told reportAs rescue workers were fighting ers he remembered little about what to save Theoret’s life, a great many happened after his hydroplane craft people were also praying for his flipped during qualifying for the health and recovery. race in Indiana, USA. Theoret has seen prayers anAnd he thanked rescue workers swered in the past and believes for helping pull him out of danger. those prayers were answered dur“They did a great job,” he said. ing the regatta on July 4. “I had swallowed water and I was Jean Theoret “All those prayers, God heard unconscious. I was going to die.” t hem a nd he a n swered t hem,” However, Jean also believes there were Jean said. “So thank God I’m alive. I’m not other powers at work in his ability to survive really afraid of dying, but I’m glad to be the crash – a higher being. here today.”

PRIMUS

WIGAN Athletic have no need to worry this season if super shot-stopper Richard Kingson is between the sticks. The Ghanaian goalkeeper, lef t, is a com m itted Christian who asks for God’s help before every game. He said: “I enter into what I term silent prayer, and pray to God for a good day in order not to pick a ball from my net.”

injuries Doctors told Richard his career could be over after he suffered a couple of serious injuries earlier in his career, so he went back to Ghana for treatment which is where he found God.

Linvoy was talking to Hugh Southon

DON’T MISS LINVOY NEXT MONTH ...ONLY IN YOUR NEW LIFE


Issue 186 • NEW LIFE 12 NEW LIFE

NEW LIFE

SPORT rugby ace who’s a different man FiNd OUt WHO it iS ON PAGe 11

Primus becomes Pompey ambassador NEW LIFE sports columnist Linvoy Primus is to become the first player in history to be given the role as ambassador for a club while still a player. Bobby Charlton achieved the status at Manchester United long after his playing days were over. But Linvoy exclusively revealed

you’ve got to roll with it to help youths

to New Life Sport that he has taken on what he hopes will become a job for life with Portsmouth FC.

mentoring The job will involve him mentoring young people and acting as a “bridge” between the senior playing squad and the boardroom.

And the defender revealed that the new development was in line with a word he had received from God when it seemed he was likely to join Norwich City several years ago. l Linvoy reveals the full story only in New Life on Page 11

Benn to tell of his fight with drugs

Bruce and Janine Dyer get their skates on to help young people

Boxing legend nigel Benn will visit Sheffield next month to tell how he found God after almost ending his life in a suicide bid. nigel, below, had seen his life spiral out of control after taking drugs and having several affairs. But after finding God and spending a year living with his pastor, the former world middleweight and super-middleweight champion now visits churches sharing his story, while his marriage to Caroline has been restored. The couple are teaming up with ex-footballer Bruce Dyer and wife Janine for an event at Sheffield United’s Platinum Suite on September 12. Nigel, 45, said: “If people want to hear the truth they should come. I will be telling the story of how Jesus changed my life. “People say they’re happy because they have money, cars and the big lifestyle, but let me tell you, you can’t find true happiness until you find Jesus. “I was in darkness all of my life but wasn’t a happy man until Jesus came and set me free.” Bruce added: “We’re here to tell people about the difference Jesus can make in someone’s life, and Nigel’s story is a prime example of that.” To buy tickets, visit www. lovelife-uk.com or telephone 0751 5884082 or 01226 762677. l don’t miss our exclusive interview with Nigel Benn in next month’s New Life.

Ex-striker’s bid to help stop crime

A retired striker – the first £1m teenager in British football – hopes his rollerblading events will help persuade youngsters to stop getting involved in knife and gun crime.

Ex-Sheffield United, Watford and Barnsley goal poacher Bruce Dyer has seen up to 500 teenagers attend the events, which are held in Sheffield. And born-again Christians Bruce and wife Janine believe their organisation, Love Life, which they established in 2008, can help young people realise their future doesn’t have to lie with drugs and alcohol. Bruce, 34, said: “I went skating with my brother about 18 months ago and really enjoyed it, but I hated the music, and thought that we need something like this that promotes Christianity. “I spoke to my wife and we realised that in Sheffield there isn’t much going on for young people. “There are lots of bad things going on today with the knife and gun problems, and we want to show a generation that they don’t need to live like this.” The couple have invited gospel DJs and musicians to perform at the events, and Bruce admits he has been shocked with the response.

He added: “We’ve had people travel from the north, south, east and west. It’s been incredible, to be honest. I know God is able, but it has blown us away how fast this has grown.” Bruce, a one-time clubber before his conversion to Christianity, said his love for Jesus had even overtaken his passion for football, which saw him play in the top two flights of English football for the majority of his career. “Living for Jesus is what I call proper living. Life isn’t always easy, but God is faithful. “I would much rather have Jesus with me during my struggles than face them on my own. “My passion is evangelism. I hardly even watch football now and I’m determined that these young people will hear the gospel message. This is now my number one goal. “There’s a heaven and a hell, and Jesus loves us enough that he died for us. He doesn’t want us to go to hell but he wants us to go to heaven. “I’ve been there, lived the life of a professional footballer, and after it all I can say that our God is faithful and that living for Jesus is so awesome.” The next Roller Gospel Blitz is on August 31 at Skate Central in Sheffield. For information, visit www. rollergospel.com or call 0751 5884082.

New role... Linvoy Primus

LocaL contact detaiLs:

Published by New Life Publishing Company, PO Box 777, Nottingham NG11 6ZZ. Tel 0115 824 0777. Printed by Yorkshire Web, Barnsley. Tel 01226 734410. New Life Newspaper is printed on 100% recycled paper.


New Life Aug 09 issue 186  

Stories of faith and inspiration to bring you hope

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