Page 1

spring 2012

In Pursuit of God, Discovering Purpose, Maximising Potential

outflow at ten

what easter means to me

the spider king’s daughter

celebrating a decade in print


Hosted by Pastor E A Adeboye

Friday 20th April 2012 The Excel, Centre London (Doors opEn AT 7pm)


contents Spring 2012

04 what easter means to me A message for Easter from Pastor Agu Irukwu 05 reflections on my childhood easters 06 ten years of outflow A journey through the publication’s history 16 pursue. discover. maximise. Tomi Ayodeji investigates what membership means 20 stories @ jesus house Irukwus’ Ethiopia trip, Pancakes and much, much more 26 one person making a difference Even you can make a change, says CSR’s Mollie Oseni 27 diary of a kili climber Dembi Olufon shares her Mt Kilimanjaro experience 30 the spider king’s daughter Interview with author/student Chibundu Onuzo 34 easter: from death to life Joe Onwuchekwa seeks out meaning in Easter 36 keys to developing successful young people Pastor Bajo Akisanya on building up future generations 38 marriage corner Ten TightKnots tips for a blissful marital experience 39 model parenting Living the example you want your children to emulate 40 a spring morning with the king Isabella Rose gets lost in her Master’s presence 42 the way of escape A word of encouragement in a season of trials 43 to plan or not to plan Tax tips from Head of Finance Laide Olunloyo 44 life group: streatham life centre Igho Mowoe talks to the Life Centre facilitator 45 salt: for such a time as this A clarion call for Christians to rise in defence of the faith 47 thinking out loud Dilichi Lawal’s thoughts on mate selection and Whitney 48 @otty warmann Social Network: Is True Fellowship Dead? 50 anticipating the future Planning success w/ Marketplace Ministry’s Ade Ojomo 52 jesus house fc season update Captain Gabriel Chiedozie shares the highlights so far 53 kidz corner Quizzes and Food for Thought from Kidz First 58 lifestyle & culture Reviews, Recommendations and dates for your diaries editorial board lanre iroche/jumoke fawibe/ otty warmann/osayi ehioze-ediae/tinuke akinbulumo/ezinne edomobi/edel meremikwu/ kunle oyetayo/chibundu onuzo/ima jacksonobot/bimbo alonge/tayo arewa/lola adeyemo/ damisi adetola/imole oseni/nkem dennar/joe onwuchekwa contributors bajo akisanya/kemi olutunbi/ bode olutunbi/bukky olawoyin/ade ojomo/ tomi ayodeji/laide olunloyo/joke adedeji/dilichi lawal/adenike adetire/khadijat akpata/dembi olufon/bolarin olajide/igho mowoe/gabriel chiedozie editor-in-chief agu iruwku design & layout lanre iroche printed by alpha colourprint

From the Editing Floor

I

forget how many times I’ve sat here writing an editorial for an issue of Outflow. Maybe I’m only thinking about it because somewhere in this publication you hold in your hands, the first ever editorial I wrote is in plain sight. If memory serves, it doesn’t have a name attached to it, so we’ve named this editorial after it as a little clue (not that you will need one). We’ve been in nostalgic form as a team of late, and have been from the moment we realised that this edition coincided with the tenth anniversary of this publication’s launch. For me personally, it’s been rewarding knowing that our efforts have not been in vain. Having been there from Day 1, and observed the many transitions the magazine has gone through, knowing we had weathered all the storms to still be here ten years on is encouraging. We’ve had periods when we’ve wondered if it was worth it, when we’ve doubted we were actually making a difference. Yes, feedback here and there seemed to suggest this was the case, but when you’re so close to the material it is sometimes hard to look at it objectively. In fact, most of the time we look at our work as a team, we focus on the things we could have done better, so ‘Well dones’ aren’t as frequent as they maybe could be. It has been an interesting road, and even now I’m short of words to describe what I’m feeling. First of all, we have to give all thanks to God for having sustained us, and for encouraging us in the moments when we’ve been tempted to chuck it all in and find something less stressful to do. We must also thank Pastor Agu Irukwu for giving us the opportunity to openly express our views, which he may or may not share, and a platform for playing our part in achieving the vision for this church. We know we haven’t always excelled at it, so our thanks also for the many times we’ve felt he might have ‘pulled the plug’ and he hasn’t. Thanks also to Pastor Shola Adeaga and all the other pastors for their encouragement, feedback and contributions to our work. Thanks especially to you, the congregation, for continuing to collect them when the ushers hand them out. Thanks to our non-member readers, whose encouraging words have often been a fuel to keep us going, their continued support proof that our work is having an impact beyond our

four walls. But Outflow would not be Outflow without the efforts of individuals who have at different times over the years put their hands to the plough as editors and regular contributors. These are the unsung heroes of our achievements, and it would be remiss of me to let an opportunity such as this pass without acknowledging them. So, with much gratitude, and in no particular order, ‘Thank you’ to Pastor Bolanle Ajayi, Chichi Wodu, Funke Akingbade, Tolu Shofule, Femi Ajayi, Bukky Olawoyin, Shade Olutobi, Nesochi Awujo, Gillian King, Tope Omojuwa, Adanna Bankole, Yemi Folayan, Aramide Abe, Olamide Shofolu, Bambo Akani, Niyi Oduneye, Ade Okelarin, Ayo Oke, Tokunbo Ajenifuja, Tola Ajala-Akinlade, Layo Demuren, Tayo Kusanu, Jide Oshikanlu, Tosin Ajanaku, Doofan Kpera, Nkem Ivara, Chicchi Wilcox, Danijela Marjanovic, Feyi Fawehinmi, Doyin Oluokun, Bode Daniel, Ninah Briggs, Henry Etiaba, Natalie Clue, Hannah Uzor, Tope Chiedozie, Thuli’mlambo James, Cyprian Amgbah, Kimberly Ward, Dare Adegbaju, Tomiwa Adesida, Jide Alakija, Yemi Thomas, Toby Sulaiman, Chioma Wodu, Abiola Obileye, Susan Adeoye, Pastor Chizor Akisanya, and all our contributors and regular columnists over the years. Without your efforts we would not be here today. The more observant amongst you will have noticed that the cover of this edition reads ‘Spring 2012’ as opposed to a month in the year. This is simply because Outflow is functioning as a quarterly in this chapter of its life. Quite simply, putting together a monthly publication of any size is a challenging feat, more so when you consider that all our contributors do so in a voluntary capacity, and we are hoping this new challenge would give us scope to develop the quality of our content, which a monthly publication didn’t allow for. So we have a new team of volunteers, who I am tremendously excited to be working alongside, and if the experience of working together on this issue is anything to go by, my excitement is by no means misplaced. So, even as we look back on ten wonderful years, we look forward to the next decade, God willing, and promise to do our best to bring you a magazine you can be proud to call your own. God bless you all. Lanre Iroche

3


WHAT

Pastor Agu Irukwu

EASTER M T M

E

EANS

aster is another season of the year that presents an opportunity for most of us to once again reflect on the life of Christ. Easter represents an opportunity for me as a church leader to remind the congregation and indeed all those around me of the heavy price that Christ paid in order for us to benefit from the wonderful relationship that we have in God. A burning desire is stirred up within me to continue to live my life in a way that emulates the life Christ led on earth by mirroring His actions and words. Easter also helps me appreciate Christ’s leadership. Jesus was very much a leader of the people. He loved people deeply and got involved in their lives– He ate with them, drank with them, laughed with them and cried with them. He was compassionate. He provided for, healed and encouraged. He literally touched a man with leprosy and allowed a woman of

4

O

E

the night to anoint his feet in public. He wasn’t concerned with what the people thought about Him, His primary concern was doing what was commanded of Him by His Heavenly Father. He presented Himself as He was and made no apologies for it. He wasn’t a proud man, He was just a man who knew who He was and stood by what He believed in. He didn’t twiddle His thumbs, He was a doer. He always got stuck in. As a 12-year-old, His distraught parents who had been searching for Him, found Him in the temple listening to and questioning the teachers. He asked questions, He challenged the thought process of the people. He stood up for those who were defenceless. The death of Christ bought me freedom to be salt and light. His resurrection is proof that He will return and I will have to account for how I have lived out His legacy. Impacting the world is not an option; it’s a fundamental duty for me as a leader.


W

hen I look at the cross, I am reminded of my childhood. For me, Easter always conjures up so many memories, taking me back to my Catholic upbringing: crossing my heart, school days, Ash Wednesday, Easter baskets and cards, going to church and eating Cadburys crème eggs and hot cross buns. School Days Back then in school cards were made and not bought. I can still remember drawing the cross, bunnies and eggs, making paper baskets stuffed with tissue paper and giving up chocolate for Lent; being marked on the forehead with ash on Ash Wednesday by the Bishop and knowing that I was very special in God’s eyes.

but they never turned out right; very hard and not at all like the ones in the bakery! Going to Church As a child, everyone in my family wore their Sunday best to church on Easter Sunday. My Mum would not have been seen outside without her damask headscarf and matching wrapper. It was a very special day, with my siblings and I excited about going to see the Risen Saviour! Easter Mass would go on forever, as I waited for it to end, in joyful hope of leaving to eat chocolate. I remember how excited I would be at the end of service to light a candle and dip my finger in holy

loads of chocolate, but never asking for it though. We would count ourselves lucky if we were given extra Easter eggs; asking for anything was just unheard of. And we couldn’t just be eating egg after egg; no, the egg would last a few days at least and we would all have to share the chocolate. I guess you could say we were just glad to have chocolate after six Lenten weeks of not having any at all! Just like Christmas Eating dinner together was almost like Christmas Day, Mum would cook a delicious meal with some homemade Nigerian extras and there was always dessert and hot cross buns too! I can still remember sitting on the stairs at home aged eleven, overhearing relatives in the front room talking and laughing; with all the aromatic smells of Easter dinner in the air. Oh how I miss those Easters! Nowadays though, when I look at the cross I think more about Jesus’ sacrifice for me. I realise that this is how our lives should be marked, not with the traditions we associate with Easter, but with the cross proclaiming the good news of Christ. “Jesus said to his friends, I am the bread of life. Whosoever comes to me will never become hungry and whoever believes in Me will never become thirsty.” - John 6:35 This year, as you experience Easter, reflect on the blessing of eternal life and renewed hope.

Easter Mass would go on forever, as I waited for it to end, in joyful hope of leaving to eat chocolate.

Hot Cross Buns One of my favourite things about Easter was, and still is, eating hot cross buns. During springtime and Lent in the UK they are often made as an alternative to regular bread. I don’t know why but there is just something comforting about a hot cross bun. The distinctive bun, named by the Purists in 1733 to mark Christ’s crucifixion, combines that sweet smell of cinnamon and nutmeg with a fluffy, almost ‘pillowy’ texture of spiced dough, with raisins and candied fruit, honey glazed on top, and strips of chewy pastry that form a perfect cross. I sometimes wonder if the cross is what makes the buns taste so good. We baked buns once in home economics,

water to mark my forehead with the cross. Church was nearby to our house, and back then the buses did not run on Easter Sunday, so we walked home. This was often followed by some childish bickering, which my mum would put to a stop with that glance of hers, the one which meant no fighting or arguing over who got what today…or else. Mum liked to invite people around for dinner on Easter Sunday and sometimes we would have a special guest, like an auntie, uncle or cousins, or someone who might otherwise be on their own. There were always thoughts of getting

Reflections on my Childhood Easters by Edel Meremikwu

5


Ten years of Outflow magazine With the revision of Outflow as a quarterly publication coinciding neatly with the anniversary of the introduction of the title in March 2002. ‘Lanre Iroche, who has been involved with the magazine from Issue 1, takes us on a trip down memory lane.

I

t will probably come as something of a surprise to you to find out that we stumbled on the fact that this edition coincided with the tenth anniversary of this publication completely by accident (or courtesy of an act of reluctant obedience, to give God the required credit for the part He played). We were preparing for our first meeting of the year as an editorial board - which also happened to be our first meeting as editors of the magazine in its new guise as a quarterly publication when it was impressed on me to traipse through past editions to help inform our discussions about the future, when I picked up my fairly pristine copy of the 6

first-ever edition of Outflow (pictured left). I was just about to drop it back in my ‘Outflow pile’, deeming it irrelevant for our purposes, when I caught sight of the date in the top right corner. I was rendered speechless, partly because, prior to the discovery, I had been engaged in conversation with the Holy Spirit about whether to delay my departure for the meeting to rifle through more copies of past editions when I felt I already had enough on me. The team shared my surprise and it was unanimous - to introduce this new phase of Outflow, we would take you, the readers, on a journey of Outflow past and present, while we introduce you to the future. Enjoy..


MAIN FEATURE

7


MAIN FEATURE

8


MAIN FEATURE

9


MAIN FEATURE

10


MAIN FEATURE

The different phases of the magazine Outflow has gone through a number of design changes, some enjoying significantly more success that others. Here they all are, from left to right in all their glory, or lack of it...

the newsletter approach

the ill-fated ‘squiggle’

Outflow was presented as more a newsletter than magazine from March 2002 till April 2003. Though it looks a bit dated now, at the time I thought it was an exceptional piece of design, particularly with the metallic silver ‘flow’ in the top right corner. Even now I think it was a great start. But I would, no?

Ill-fated because this look, and masthead, lasted for only one edition - May 2003 - before being discarded and consigned firmly to memory. To be fair I was still cutting my teeth as both an editor and graphic designer at the time, and I’d thought it was pretty impressive. No-one else seemed to agree.

tHE FLUID HEADER IMpact header PART one This look was introduced in 2003 by long-time Outflow design collaborator Tolu ‘Imaginovation’ Shofule as a replacement for ‘illfated’, the cursive strokes of the masthead adding a classy touch to Tolu’s easily-recognisable combination of illustrations and 3D-rendering that marked this phase of Outflow covers, which are remembered fondly for their bold colour and creativity, and lasted through 2004.

impact header part two

...which saw the black text and matching strips, plus the standard white background disappear for good, to be replaced by the text alone. This new approach meant the masthead could be incorporated as a design feature on its own, with the colours modifiable to suit the concepts of the individual covers.

Introduced in January 2005 as we sought to take a different design direction, the blocky header text, flanked by two strips that housed the lines ‘The Jesus House magazine’ and our motto: ‘Bringing the mind of God to the hearts of His people’, enjoyed a run until mid-2006 in this guise, before a slight modification...

the present look

Outflow’s current masthead was introduced at the end of 2007 and has proved the longestlasting of them all, making it even to this transition period of the magazine. As Outflow is primarily your magazine, we welcome your thoughts and feedback on our content, from our features and reports, to our design approach. All comments should be sent via email to editor@outflow.org.uk 11


MAIN FEATURE

THE phantom EdiTION

The edition that never made it from the printing press to the congregation

A

little known piece of Outflow trivia is that there exists an edition of the publication which made it off the printing presses but never got into the hands of the congregation. This phantom edition - the original print run of the March 2004 edition - came complete with a cover feature titled ‘Colonial Mentality’, but was swiftly turned back by the less-than-impressed leadership, and the bruised egos of the team had to be put to the side to set about preparing a replacement feature, seen here on the left, which was delivered the following Sunday, with the cover feature and its accompanying piece the only omissions from the version handed out. 12


MAIN FEATURE

THE solitary letter

R

ather than wear it as a mark of shame, we keep the page to the left as a reminder of the work that still needs to be done to address a seeming cultural preference for commenting by mouth rather than by the written word, as it remains the only piece of written feedback on our content we have received from a reader over the course of our ten-year existence. Admittedly, it came as no surprise that it was in response to a piece featured in the November 2008 edition of Outflow that presented a largely unenthusiastic take on the Obama election, given the divisive nature of that debate. Due to the undoubtedly historic nature of the event, the more indifferent of the editorial board consented to a pro-Obama approach in the October 2008 edition, with the agreement that we would provide a more balanced argument in the following edition. It was this ‘balanced argument’ our reader objected to, and we printed both her objection and our response in the January 2009 edition. Despite the slightly critical nature of its content, this correspondence retains a dear place in the team’s heart, though we’ve reprinted it partly to encourage other readers to help release it from its solitary confinement. Please send your comments and feedback on anything Outflow-related to editor@outflow.org.uk.

moments in church history Significant milestones during the publication’s ten years

From the moment that the royal visit was announced – I for one could hardly contain my ebullience - in the words of Pastor Agu these were truly ‘exciting times’.

The preparation…

BY GILLIAN KING WITH NATALIE CLUE “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you…Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” - Isaiah 60:1&3 (NIV)

H

ow awesome it is when scripture is fulfilled in your life! For the Jesus House family the scripture from the prophet Isaiah came to pass on Wednesday November 14th 2007 when TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited the church. This

here was such stunned disbelief in the air when Pastor Agu Irukwu announced to the volunteer work force that Their Royal Highnesses (TRH) The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were to visit Jesus House that Pastor had to remind them to applaud. This sentiment was echoed by Deacon A y o Adedoyin when he was asked how he felt when he first heard about the visit. “An element of disbelief quickly followed by the realisation that there will be a lot of work to be done!”

This was of course confirmed by the entourage that visited from Clarence House (the Prince’s official residence in London). Deacon Adedoyin met with His Royal Highness’ principal private secretary and personal assistant, two press officers, his security detail, two others from the Bishop of London’s office and the Lord Lieutenant of Barnet. The purpose of the meeting was to plan the itinerary.

All hands were on deck as everyone pulled out all the stops to make sure the excellence of God was evident on the day. “It was challenging because I wanted to give my best,” said Dapo Oyetunji, the church’s inhouse graphic designer, who worked on the welcome posters designed by Outflow’s very own ‘Lanre Iroche. They were so impressive that the Duchess made a request to take them home! Dapo certainly had his wish. “I wanted

The Prince was extremely interested in the work that the youth were doing on behalf of Jesus House. As Pastor Agu introduced us, he greeted us with a humble smile and a firm handshake. Representing the youth were Tope Chiedozie, Ebere Ikeogu, Ronke Adekambi, Token and myself.

by Hassan Sulaiman

W

e were both excited and intrigued about our pre-arranged meeting with the Prince. The encounter was certainly one to remember.

welcoming delegates converged on the lobby to witness the arrival was the swoosh of the timely arrival of TRH’s Bentley at the Jesus House entrance. The lobby, which had by this time been cleared of the metal detectors and airport-style luggage scanners that had been up from 8 o’clock that morning, was hushed and sparklingly bright, with sunshine streaming through the glass doors, as the much anticipated visit got under way.

Carpets were replaced, furniture reupholstered and offices renovated as the day drew close. Everything had to be just right.

Setting the scene…

P

reparation started very early on the morning of the visit as everyone who entered the building had to be vetted and the building ‘swept’ by special police officers, accompanied by sniffer dogs. Jesus House’s Fire Marshall, Amanda Richbell, was on hand to help the process go smoothly. She arrived at 6:30am to allow the police access to all the areas that needed to be searched before anyone was in the building. She worked with the police to ensure that fire alarms tested were and all the fire and emergency exits were clear. The police expressed how impressed they were with the level of professionalism and excellence and even sought out Amanda afterwards to say ‘thank you’. “I think we ministered to the police in the way we worked,” she said, adding that, “One of the female officers commented on the way my friend and I greeted each other with a hug and a kiss. I think the way we worked ministered to them.”

The arrival…

I

t was 10:25am exactly on Wednesday 14 November 2007 that Their Royal Highnesses arrived at Jesus House. Already seated in the worship centre were around 800 invited guests, but movement all over the building had ceased and the only sound as the press and the

Pastor Agu walked outside to receive the Prince and the Duchess and accompanied HRH as he greeted and chatted cheerfully with the civic line-up, while Pastors Shola and Funke Adeaga, head of Jesus House’s Member-Facing Departments, received the Duchess. The civic line-up was made

She was shown around by Alison Shakespeare, the manager of the nursery, and she spent considerable time chatting with the children and joining in their games. The children were comfortable in spite of the obvious press presence, including flash photography, and chatted away happily, seemingly oblivious to the presence of the august visitor. Afterwards, Alison expressed her delight at having the honour of showing the duchess around. “She was really interested in what the children were doing. She compared the children to her own granddaughter. She was very attentive to the children; she wanted to know their names and what they were doing. She got down [on her knees] to their level. It means she really cares.”

His Royal Highness has made a very good gesture by coming here on his birthday [when] He could have been anywhere. This is a new day and a new dawn for the black church.” - Pastor Jonathan

Oloyede

up of local representatives, including the Mayoress of Barnet, the Lord Lieutenant of Barnet, Martin Russell, and the Bishop of London. The royal couple had come to Jesus House on the suggestion of the Bishop of London, The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Richard John Carew Chartres, who went to university with the Prince and is Dean of HM Chapel Royals. The Bishop thought Jesus House was the perfect place for him to celebrate his 59th birthday. The Prince had become aware, through the Bishop, of the significant community work the Black Majority Churches were involved in all over the Capital and had come to see how the church leaders could collaborate with his Prince’s Trust to enhance the work being done for young people in the community. While the Prince met with the 16 church leaders, which included Pastor Agu, Joel Edwards (Director General of the Evangelical Alliance), Pastor Jonathan Oloyede of Glory House and Reverend Rose Anderson of Holy Trinity, Dalston and All Saints Haggerston in Hackney, as well

The Duchess then went on to meet the church office staff and some volunteers of the various community projects run by Jesus House. She met Abubakar Mohammed, who is an instructor at the Novo Centre, the drop-in centre for young people on the Graeme Park estate. When he was presented to her, she said to him, “You must be very busy.” “Yes, we keep them out of mischief,” he replied. She also met Ronke Adekanmbi, Hassan Sulaiman and Tope Chiedozie, who help run the ACES (African Caribbean Education) project founded by Donia Narh and sponsored by Jesus House which is a school and community project aimed at teaching children of Afro-Caribbean heritage about their culture with a view to raising their selfesteem and consequently, their academic achievements. The Duchess spent some time talking to the youth workers as this is an area of particular interest to TRH. “I think you are doing a fantastic job!” she told them at the end of the comparatively long discourse. Later Ronke, herself a beneficiary of a grant from the Prince’s Trust, said, “She was great! Cool, just very interested. She actually knows quite a bit about the youth, what they need and how it’s important for young people to be helped by young people.”

The Prince showed he had a great sense of humour when Pastor Agu introduced Tope as a musician. He asked Tope “What type of music do you [perform]?” When Tope replied “garage” he looked puzzled replying “What makes that different? Is it faster or slower?” When Tope replied “faster” the Prince laughed and enlightened us with a little dance to show us that he too could groove. Each one of us was asked about the projects we were running as a group, whether we were making an impact and whether or not we worked in schools. With all the answers to his questions being “yes”, he expressed how pleased he was to hear that we are helping to improve our community. He showed knowledge and awareness of the issues that young people are faced with in society today and reiterated the need for role models. His deep knowledge of the issues we are faced with was surprising, as young people would think that a prince would have better things to do than to worry about their issues. He offered the help of his fund to help us in whichever area it could prove useful. The encounter was certainly an experience I will not forget; his humility was perhaps the most intriguing part of his character. The Duchess of Cornwall was equally amazing. We held a conversation with her for almost 10 minutes. For someone from the royal family to speak to us for that length of time says an awful lot about her character and her willingness to take an interest in the youth. She laughed, joked and expressed her point of view on how we could make a positive impact on society. She opined that “it will take young people to help young people and not uptight adults who have no idea of the issues that [they] are faced with.”

The Duchess appeared to enjoy the visit

KUSH

The preparation was extensive and thorough, and it seems

to give my best,” he added. “[To] do something really excellent that would stand out!”

as the Bishop of London, the Duchess spent the time with the children in Kidz First nursery.

FLASHADE

And so the ball was set rolling for the v i s i t of the future Monarch to Jesus House for all nations.

OCTOBER 2007

10 minutes with Their Royal Highnesses

This is a historic day. A partnership has been exemplified in His Royal Highness coming to a Black majority Church.” - Reverend Joel Edwards

The first meeting was a ‘recce’ (a military term for reconnaissance), a walkthrough of the event, which was later fleshed out in partnership with all those present. Despite Pastor Agu and Jesus House’s Chief Operations Officer, Pastor Shola Adeaga, being away at the time, Deacon A d e d o y i n handled the meeting with a p l o m b , as Pastor Agu later testified.

14 OUTFLOW

impossible to imagine that Deaconess Sola Kujore, head of events and conferencing at Jesus House, and her team got any sleep at all in the runup to the visit. When asked what she enjoyed most about the preparations she said, “The adrenalin rush of dashing around to make sure TRH had everything they needed to make their visit as comfortable as possible.”

FLASHADE

An Audience with Royalty T

momentous occasion served a dual purpose; to affirm the positive contribution of the Black Majority Church to the nation’s seemingly ailing spirituality and to join the Prince in celebrating his 59th birthday!

OUTFLOW 15 OUTFLOW DECEMBER OCTOBER2007 2007 15

F

ew events in the church’s history are comparable to the visit of Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall on Wednesday 14th November 2007, an event made doubly significant by the fact that the date marked Prince Charles’ 59th birthday and he chose to spend it morning on the Jesus House premises. The event was extensively covered in a Special Edition of the magazine, released the month after the couple’s visit. Also included in this edition were profiles of the African nations of Tanzania, South Africa and Kenya, all of which celebrate their independence in December, and a special oneoff Christmas Gazette highlighting ways to get involved in the church’s Christmas activities.

13


MAIN FEATURE

T

he November 2008 edition included a 27-page report of the Pastor Aguled mission trip to East Africa. The report, of the team’s visit to the Pader region of Uganda, and Korogocho, a township in Kenya, consisted of a photo diary and profiles of some of the beneficiaries of the mission work in those regions, which had been affected by incidents of war or extreme poverty. This edition remains a collector’s item, if only for the extensive photographic content and accounts of the individuals the mission efforts are targeted at. Also included in this edition were reports ofthe 2008 Mandate Men’s Conference and J-Factor, plus of the church’s involvement in London Peaceweek and Christian charity, Tearfund, holding its 40th anniversary celebrations on the church premises. STOrieS @ jeSUS hOUSe

STOrieS @ jeSUS hOUSe photography by asikofoto

Three Churches - One City - United for Pentecost ...life in the SPiriT

The celebraTion of PenTecosT commemorates the birth of the christian church, following christ’s resurrection from the dead and ascension into heaven. before the ascension, christ informed his disciples that he would always be with them, promising that after he left he would send them a helper to guide and assist them in the work he had left for them to carry on, a guide he called his “holy spirit”. on the day of Pentecost, ten days after the ascension, the gathered disciples experienced the in-filling of this holy spirit, and were granted its gifts, brought from the throne room of God. The apostles began to preach the Gospel in the languages spoken by those gathered around them, tongues previously unknown to them. about 3,000 people were converted and baptised that day. “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there ap-

8 OUTFLOW

JUNE 2010

peared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (acts 2:2-4 nKJV) This is why Pentecost is often called “the birthday of the church”. on this day, with the arrival of the holy spirit, christ’s mission was completed, and the new covenant evoked.

one city...united for Pentecost”. The night opened with holy Trinity brompton’s Tim hughes leading worship, supported by Jesus house’s Tribe of Judah and the worship team from hillsong, before the three heads of the participating churches – Pastor agu irukwu of Jesus house, Gary clarke of hillsong and nicky Gumbel of hTb – took centre stage. Gary clarke drew howls of laughter from the audience as he joked that

Pastor agu was probably the world’s tallest pastor, while he was the shortest, as he explained how the event had come about. Pastor agu was the first to address the audience, reminding us that our purpose as christians was to be salt and light wherever we went (Matthew 5.13-16). he added that, as individuals, we shouldn’t question the ability of one person to effect a change in the world, as it is the “christ in us” that will achieve this. Continues overleaf

friday 21sT of May eVenTually arriVed with great anticipation. it was a day many had billed as historic, a Pentecost concert uniting three churches from three different denominations: hillsong, holy Trinity brompton and Jesus house. The event was held to mark the celebration of Pentecost, a commemoration of the day the holy spirit descended upon the disciples, and the hammersmith apollo was buzzing that evening, with thousands lining up for the chance to witness “Three churches...

OUTFLOW

JUNE 2010

9

J

une 2010’s Outflow covered Jesus House’s partnership with Holy Trinity Brompton and Hillsong in putting together and hosting the inaugural Pentecost event on Friday 21st May. The celebration, an evening of praise, prayer and worship, was put together to commemorate the birth of the Christian church and to break down denominational divides that had previously prevented London and UK churches from working together to achieve their shared Christian objectives. This issue also included an insider report of the Esthers Spring Retreat, and introduced the ministry’s Mentoring Scheme. Also included was a report of the Sierra Leone High Commissioner’s visit to the church.

T

he unfortunate events of the London bombings of July 7th were covered in the August 2005 edition and, while not directly related to the church, the effects of the atrocities were deeply felt by the entire congregation, particularly by those who were personally acquainted with victims of the bombings. Also included in this issue was the participation of members of the congregation in a rally at Parliament in opposition of the Race and Religious Hatred Bill, the church’s donation to various homeless charities, a fire in the neighbouring wood dump, Abigail’s Court’s Celebration of Life, Princes Go-Karting experience, and a commentary on London’s successful Olympic bid. 14


MAIN FEATURE

D

ecember 9th 2009 saw the church open its doors to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who was the special guest of honour at a specially arranged community carol service. This event was recorded in the January 2010 edition of the magazine, in addition to a range of additional Christmas activities, including a report of the Christmas Lunch on Jesus initiative. A special feature put the 2000-2009 decade in perspective by looking at a number of milestone events and developments, including the advent of the credit crunch, the terrorist events of 9/11 and 7/7, Usain Bolt’s remarkable athletic feats, and the deaths of Pope John Paul II, Oral Roberts and Kenneth Hagin.

n trip ing and giv their ow ip rship nsored t sponsorsh m spo gh m sou the con the tea ers of ers of the tea members of House memb of Jesus erosSome , some memb leagues and mbers col ed me reme genmbers however ily, friends, ask ext us h of wit er. Me from fam . A number responded e memb thing, shoes y ion on the n gat clo gre tha teful to more port, and gave us ver y gra God is for sup sponsoring gation also . I am en d. ity, oft House congre ple of Kenya cash or kin to His in give of Jesus to give the peo tribution e in se who s a con asure tho to Kenya cam ple/ and toy who made k peo good me ne ard in t the team too gifts to the everyo rew to faithful . The gifts tha e to give the e them. eiv abl king the purposes team was happy to rec d was bac 0 from y the t Go £10,00 The handy; who were ver group tha of ion d. the worke us donat children to reassure raculo 09 members mission and As if was a mi KM the to funds n, there one of the off to go for missio y. ed the e at which for tim bank donat ng testimon a bank was asking but the such an amazi er is memb sponsorship, edly; it not for n unexpect ssio the mi tridia ye, a pae l Care m e Olute cia The tea r) Tund alth and So tor (D by Pas ad of the He was led He Team KM09 o is also the , an wh G cian, also ha P, and M d was ably iss who d the privi Lydia Fe assisted by pr lix, a leg Gynae Jibade Sa guida ovided mu e of ha ving nce, on lam co ch the tea appreciat Pastor D logy Nurse i, a en ed sp . m. Team iritual rele Runs We secu ewe, leade rity, rship logisti and Mem cs, ro bers les and pa of th their e tea pr rtner purch ofessional m assum ships asing , sec expertise ed addition trans urity, po inc al du devotio luding: work rtation, log ing timek ties beyond nel he at the m istics an nal rota, eepin g, d the tw lped with edical clinic team fin welfare, ca team an tering Jane o Swahili- registration s, the no ce. Also n-med and Ro , wh , sp , tri ea ile Pharm ica semary king Ke age, cro wd-c l personnyans , also medica acists also ontro in ass on th l personn had the ass isted with the team, l, and e clinic el in Au ist tra nslation nty getting ance of days. The some . Th drugs Chris team wo e of ready th rk tia for dis e nonChris n Mission ed with pe a t (YFC nsing numbe which ), the Society r of loc al pa cal sta is the fellow Christian (CMS) rtn Af in the ff at the Un ship of th Medical Fe rica, Yout ers – e med schoo h fo llows The KM ical r hip ls/m iversity 09 ow edical ce of Nairobi, students an (CMF), nt es a debt res where and the d mediloc of gr th al atitude e clinic s we staff to th ese gr re run. oups, as

Sponso

s

ed

e eN

in

nu

Ge

Renewed Hope sg the mi makin for e job in the furniture mendabl acists, g up h a com with settin rs and pharm Jesus g did suc cto e the they all cess – helpin for the do alongsid suc working nslating sion a F, tra , CM ics e of the the clin the cas staff. and, in al medic House etbonding been me , d teamhip an team hadd few weeks Fellows KM09 a goo to develop y, the ead trip for alr nity ly more ntioned plan for the the opportu en we actual ‘liv As me of and wh had , the loc ing and y ion m ver pra los activ al com ing to ers of the tea other. Howe be an exp us the munit e’ (Heb e On mb d to h each so me seeme rpose that gav k, we cho, Te one of th ies, ser vin rews 4: 12 ships wit there e days ) as we got bac s: it g relation ay together, e unity of pu helpe ndai fell after people. time we work a wa Th int d ed in went aw fellowship. e. By the our mantr to take God to clean he o a ditch we ran a lov to and d us ; clinic love and the grace ritual high vanise aweso ed Tendai r up. This we all ral in Ko and felt gal e through the lie incide m as e power on such a spi usual. We a tes ble nt drew d round rogous all His lov as that H timony a few ssing to us toge her and eading were all be business a e th spr , e e hav do da t ther; grou rist es IN ys t to and will no for Ch DEE after this p, giving KM09 team me i and Lade s. world D the live inc he the Di r g, br r an ou Ab ary ide on ing us nin so onies of ng and eve of the word. a together, out of nt, showing testim Day 1 miry morni ring daily rotup to lead the clay. – Every yer and sha g the House, Saturday pra puttin the gro Through the 17/1 time of ponsible for a pair from headed loaded up 0: A nu sessions. felt first-hand e mber ning) th were res uld nominat I of group to Heath e drugs, mes eve etings, The word felt equip us met up row, they wo (and someti at these me d. trave Go wh m of llin at rd ng en ere Jes g on morni of God’s wo r of the word that da we met t and gifts us Day 2 g we the res y. and – Sund sharin ing po of Yo t of ut nsform ay the the tra Meth h for Chris : We we re od of ou ist Guest t, who arr met by M an r team time in Ke House, wh ged for us r Maurice , Jane Nyag ere we to be ol Tambw nya; two to Ke tak sta en ye ot ny met wi a a few da e and Ad her mem d for the du to the be joa Ke rat Njog th other loc ys before ssie, whrs of the KM ion u als o had 09 runs from CM al partners o met us flown a local S, at at in missionand Brothe the Gue the airpo st rt. r Em in Na manue House, Ka We irobi. l Chijiu robia du, wh o

ences New Experi 12 OUTFLOW

FEBRUARY 2010

OUTFLOW

FEBRUARY 2010

13

A

dding to the church’s already rapidly-growing CSR activities, the Jesus House Health and Social Care team embarked on a medical mission to Kenya in October 2009, and the February 2012 edition of Outflow included a detailed photo journal as its main feature, highlighting the group’s efforts and experiences as they developed new friendships while providing free healthcare and medical supplies for residents of the impoverished region. Additional features included a report on the Christmas 2009 instalment of Celebration of Life, Abigail’s Court’s signature program, and the Workers’ Breakfast meeting on the morning of January 16th.

While it is fitting to laud the efforts made to commemorate the memory and legacy of our beloved Pastor Ifeyinwa Alison Irukwu, one is forced to wonder whether anything we do can appropriately convey the worth of the gift she has left with us: one of grace, integrity and dutiful service.” Those words summed up the challenge we faced in putting together the June 2008 edition, a year on from the passing of Pastor Ify. Tributes from those who had known and worked closely with her made our job unquestionably easier, but this remains possibly the most bitter-sweet edition we have ever had to put together as a group. Other highlights included a profile of the Health Care Team and the 2008 Leadership retreat. 15


stories @ jesus house

Pursue I Discover Maximise There’s more to the church’s slogan than a snappy catchphrase, as Head of Member Services, Tomi Ayodeji, highlights in the first of a series of profiles

16

t can be quite easy to get into the routine of passing through church week in week out without being able to measure the impact church has on you. There must be more to life than that. The people in the pages of the bible seem to have such vibrant lives and we must convince ourselves that this is possible for us also. Every church has a heartbeat, that special something that makes it alive. At the very core of our heart is the hope that, as you come through the double doors of the church, you will receive the inspiration to pursue hard after God, discover why He created you, and live out that purpose in love and action. In that vein we say we are in Pursuit of God, Discovering Purpose and Maximising Potential. Our hope is that as you read the experiences of members of the church over the next few editions, you will be encouraged to make these three phrases a reality in your life.


stories @ jesus house Toyosi Ogedengbe is a generalist management consultant (oil and gas, automotives and retail banking). He has been a member of Jesus House since September 2005. He shares his views on... ...being a Christian I’ve always gone to church but my journey to faith started in 2003, a year after I started at University in Bristol. The catalyst for a real walk was attending Mandate [Men’s Conference] in 2005, but even then things were uncertain. In 2008, I rededicated my life and ever since it has been a progressive walk. At the time I was out of work and at a [church] service, Pastor Bajo [Akisanya] prophesied that those who had been [unemployed] for over a year would get a job within a specific timeframe. I believed God and [rededicated my life]. Funnily enough, I did get a job four months after that.

[It’s] everything. Pastor Agu, not the pastor, but the man; the way he articulates the struggles he goes through reveals the reality that he is [facing] the same challenges [as the rest of us]. Then there was the hospitality of the people; the marshals, front of house...everyone. To top it all, the worship and the word were wonderful. I live in south London but travel up North every week because I feel a call to this church. ...what pursuing God means to him It is doing the will of God and the will of God alone.It means getting married next year and not this year, or taking a job that pays £15,000 less than another, not because you want to, but because God has said so. It’s understanding that pursuing God is God first and God only, period! Prayer and the word have really helped. I’m thankful to God for the new burden for prayer he has placed on the church. I’ve always known that prayer is communication with God but when the series on prayer began, I learnt that conversational prayer is simply talking to God like I’m talking to you now. I can talk to God anytime, not just at the ‘close your eyes’ times of the day. In addition, I try and engage in group bible studies so I can ask questions and learn from others. ReCconnect (the young adults ministry) have a Tuesday Skype bible study group and on Wednesdays I listen online to the mid-week service. I’m blessed with good friends, most of whom are Christian. We have conversations that bring God to life.

in pursuit of god

...rededicating his life I recognised that life was not what I thought it was [and] got a conviction to do whatever it takes to be serious about God, to make a full-blown commitment. You know how you meet people that have done it all? I hadn’t done a lot (laughs) but I’d done enough. It was a big deal for me and my friends at that time. Even now, I still have friends who can’t get over the fact that I’m a Christian because they knew the old me. ...changes after Christianity A lot. Some big, some little. The other day someone accidentally hit me on the train. I heard the Holy Spirit tell me to let it go but I didn’t want to. l leaned back to say my piece and ended up bumping by head on a bar. As soon as that happened I said, “Ok, you win Lord” (laughs). Another example is fleeing temptation. I’ve been invited to quite a few risqué bachelor parties by nonChristian friends and I wriggle myself out of them to avoid putting myself in awkward situations. The flesh is weak! ...Jesus House membership I was invited to Mandate by my girlfriend (now my fiancé) and decided to attend the Sunday service following the conference. Having an Anglican background, I had some preconceptions about pentecostals and Redeemed [Christian Church of God parishes]. I didn’t realise that the church I was attracted to was part of the RCCG so I had a good laugh when I came out of the service and saw the RCCG logo on the shuttle buses. I had just moved from Bristol when I came to Jesus House. In Bristol I attended a church called Woodlands, which did a lot to grow my faith, but in London I found I wasn’t growing spiritually and was looking for a church when I came to Mandate. ...the appeal of Jesus House

...the part Jesus House has played in aiding his walk with God G2R was an excellent initiative and it encouraged me to read the bible more. Reading the whole bible will give us so much ammunition to fight the things that contend with us in this world. The Church also takes Christianity out of the box and makes it real. There is an actionable side to our faith, and that for me is key. Our social responsibility initiatives, fuelled by the love of Christ, inspire me. ...advice to someone starting on this journey I would say develop a total reliance on God. Understand that being a Christian isn’t something you can do yourself; you need God. Surround yourself with people who will help you grow spiritually. There are various groups in the church but let your motivation be growth and not just building friendships. You will need to start life all over again. You’ll need to [carry out] an analysis of the things you used to do versus what you need to be doing as a Christian. Peer pressure can be a big thing. If you have friends that aren’t good for your growth, you may need to stay away from them. Once you recognise you can’t do things the way you used to, the motivation to cut certain things and people out of your life will come. 17


stories @ jesus house Renike Suleiman is a Banqueting Coordinator and a part-time student (Masters in Events Management). She has been a member of Jesus House for five years, and she shares her views on... ...Jesus House membership Truth be told, convenience [brought me here]. The church was close to home, my brother was a member and he invited me. Before Jesus House, I used to attend another RCCG church in Old Street.

up till 3am organising them. I started researching courses in events and decided to apply for a Masters in it. ...having people support her It helps to have someone that believes in you but you also need to be able to voice your ideas. If you never open up, you will never know what could be. I opened up to people and always presented my ideas. Even if I got shut down, I would go back again and express myself in another way. Everything I got involved in at school was to advance the school or support a charity, so I got support because there wasn’t a personal agenda.

discovering purpose

...the origins of her interest in Events Management I have always liked organising things. I remember organising a black history month celebration in secondary school. Although the school [already] acknowledged the day, we didn’t have an event to commemorate it. My friends and I pitched the idea to our head teacher and we were allowed to organise the first-ever black history event for our school; since graduating, the school has kept the tradition. It was a major project; we held the events in two halls simultaneously and were given the responsibility of planning the timetable for the entire day. We had poetry readings, rap, drama and a fashion show incorporated into the day. It was very successful and we gained the respect of our teachers and peers. I didn’t think anything of it at the time [but now] I’m amazed; it was like second nature. I now see that it was a massive project for a 16 year-old [but] the skills were already in me: organisation, teamwork, delegation, advertising, marketing and managing a budget.

...developing that interest I was 18 and studying law at university when my brother had an idea to run an event for young people in our previous church. We organised a ball themed “Teens & Queens” at the Holiday Inn in Kings Cross [which] was well received. Soon after, my brother and his friends launched a business called Next Level Events to run alternative events for young Christians. We found that most Christian events were essentially the same; run in a church and featuring a selection of gospel artistes. We wanted atypical events, something different. We’ve since hosted a Jazz night, comedy nights, athletic events and a theatre production. ...a decision to go into events After my law degree I took a year out and worked in the [ Jesus House] church office as Pastor Bajo’s Personal Assistant. Whilst working with him, we talked a lot about what I wanted to do in the future and liked doing [then]. Whilst working with him, I ran events (like the [church’s] youth retreat, RUC Sunday and talent show) and they were the only things I did without complaining. I’d happily stay 18

...whether she’s discovered her purpose I have discovered a part of it [because] discovering your purpose is a journey. I think there are stages to it and at this stage, this is what I believe God wants me to accomplish.

...the difference purpose has made When you know your purpose, there’s a sense of peace [in knowing] that you have God’s support. Even though there are rough times, because you are walking with God, you have His backing. I’m hopeful and excited about the future. I feel I’m just laying a foundation now and there’s a lot more to come, more to do and more to give. I’ve taken a step in faith and believe the rest will unfold as I continue to walk in it. ...the part Jesus House has played in helping her discover her purpose Pastor Agu is always talking about discovering purpose. That the vision of the church is to do what God has called us to do helps me translate that to my personal life. It also means you are surrounded by people who are on a similar journey, in terms of discovering who they are in God. ...advice to someone on this journey Pray about it and then speak to someone about it. Act in faith; start taking actions to support it. It helps to seek wise counsel. Not necessarily because you need a second opinion but sometimes you need advice on how to get there. Talking to someone might provide the kick you need to help take that bold step. It’s because I spoke to people that I found the courage to move away from Law and into Events. [Stepping out in faith has been] hasn’t been easy but it has been very insightful and rewarding. It doesn’t always look like I imagined it would be but when I push a bit further and trust God, it works out. Since I’ve been studying, I’ve had opportunities to work within the industry on major projects and have expanded my knowledge. I’m also getting closer to God as a result because I have stepped out of my comfort zone and have no choice but to rely on God.


stories @ jesus house Misan Wellspring is a Bespoke Tailor and Merchant (www.asotodun.com). She has been a member of Jesus House for ten years, and she shares her views on... ...juggling her passion with her job During the day, term-time, I’m a Secondary School teacher teaching Design Technology to students aged 11-18. At weekends, [in the] evenings and during school holidays, I’m a bespoke merchant. I design and make clothes for women, men and children. (Asòtodun is Yoruba for ‘sweet attire’). [I love both jobs] at the moment, though I know at some point I will have to give one up. But I know it won’t be the tailoring.

[produced] business cards. The following year we began to receive invitations to participate in fashion shows. ...what maximising her potential means It means I have found the talent God has given me and all I have to do is develop that talent. Because we got the equipment [and the course] free, we believe that God made a 100% investment in our business. Therefore it’s very important for us to consult God as we go along, particularly because we give Him a portion of our profits; we view Him as a business partner. I design and Debo (my husband) runs the business. Even though it’s a business, without God I would not be able to maximise my talent and the business opportunities that come along. So it’s very important that I consult God because He gives directs our choices.

maximising potential

...getting into tailoring I had just gotten married (about 4 years ago) and the birth of my daughter soon after presented [us] with a lifestyle change. We had not planned to have a child so soon so we were unprepared financially, [so we] felt we would need another income stream to make ends meet. We started to pray for ideas and, in the course of prayer, made a covenant with God to give a certain percentage of our profits to Him if He would provide us with a worthwhile business that would last. Shortly after I began to feel a pull towards sewing and started researching and looking for schools that [ran] courses over the summer holidays. I happened to mention to colleagues that I was looking [for] a reputable fashion college to study [and] they advised me to [take] a short course with the textiles teacher in [our] school. I spoke to the teacher and began what was meant to be a three-month course with her. Within a week I had grasped the techniques required to sew. I have to [confess] that I believe this was due to a spiritual experience I was having whilst [taking these] lessons. Each evening [when] I went to sleep, I would dream about the textiles teacher and she would teach me different techniques in my sleep. When I went to class the next day I would already know what to do. It was an unbelievable experience and went on for a week. When the first week was done and I told her I understood everything she didn’t believe me [and] set me a test to make a dress for myself. I started at 6am the following Saturday and finished at 7pm. She was happy with [both] the dress and the finishing.

...beginning the journey While on the course, somebody blessed us with all the equipment required to start the business [which was] worth about £1000. I started by making things for myself to wear. This helped us save money [and] I was getting positive comments about my clothes whenever I [wore them] out. A few friends who believed in me started patronising me and shortly after we started working on a website and

...Jesus House membership Prior to Jesus house I didn’t attend church at all. Although I grew up in a Christian home, I had not had a personal experience [of ] God. My uncle invited me one Sunday and I felt it was an alright church [and] started to attend once in a while. My focus at that stage of my life was to be married and I was attracted to the programs for singles. I wanted a family and I felt that my life was not complete until I had my family. At the singles conferences I received the faith to believe God for my family. Soon after, I met my husband at the home of a mutual friend. And I really feel that getting marriage was key [to] my destiny because it was when I got married I got into teaching, which is where I learnt sewing and created the catalyst for starting my business. ...the part Jesus House has played in helping her discover her purpose I wouldn’t have known I had potential if [it] was not encouraged in my spirit. Jesus House fed me spiritually through all the different opportunities - services, morning prayer meetings, night vigils, The Pursuit of God month, the Sorting Out program, PPM Singles Conference, messages from the pastors - all these taught [us] that we are primarily spirit beings. Jesus House also taught me how not to get distracted with the things of the flesh but think deeply about why I am on earth and how to glorify God with my talent. When I started coming to Jesus House I felt a sense of completeness. I just knew [I would find] what I was looking for. ...advice to someone on this journey Everyone is unique in God’s eyes. People should not be afraid to express themselves and not worry too much about what people will say or think. As long as they are convinced that God is happy with what they are doing, they should just carry on doing it and God will see them through it. 19


stories @ jesus house

Pastors Agu and Sola’s Compassion UK mission to Ethiopia Ethiopia is one of the world’s poorest countries, where, of a population of around 80 million, 35 million people live below the poverty line, with more than 12 million struggling to put together a simple meal each day. These are statistics that cannot be glossed over whatever way you look at it.

A

s part of our determined drive as a church to make an impact in the wider world, Pastors Agu and Sola Irukwu travelled to Ethiopia with Compassion UK, spending a number of days touring around the poor, rural areas to meet people whose lives had been touched by God through Compassion UK’s work in the region. Pastor Agu described one of their many encounters: “We went to see a young girl of 18 who lost her father and mother [to] HIV. She lives in a little hut [but] by the grace of God, through the help of the local church and Compassion, she now has a chance to live a healthy and normal life.” The couple also spent some time encouraging and mentoring several young men who were once sponsored as children and have gone on to lead fulfilling lives. “These are people who were trapped in extreme deprivation and unimaginable poverty,” Pastor Agu explained, “but with Compassion working through the local church they [were able to get] out of poverty. Amazingly, one is a computer scientist, one a pastor for the local church, and another works in a carpentry workshop. These guys were [otherwise] destined for a life trapped in poverty.” Pastor Sola was equally touched by the stories she heard. “This trip has had a life-changing impact on me,” she said. “You read about the impact that a small amount of money makes in people’s lives, but I never fully grasped what it really meant until I came out here and saw real people who, from childhood, have been sponsored by individuals all over the world. These children have gone on to become counselors, doctors, engineers…the list is 20

Right: Pastors Agu and Sola with one of the sponsored children. Below: With the family of another sponsored child.

endless.” She shared the story of a lovely lady, called Ayni, who was sponsored by Compassion from the age of eight years old after she lost both her parents. “She’s now 21, works for Compassion, and is doing a Masters degree [as well as] getting married to a gentleman who was [also] sponsored by Compassion. So you can see it actually working well.” Whilst there, the couple were so moved by the experience that they could not leave without dedicating themselves to sponsoring three children: Semira Abdella (aged 7), Abudurazak Abdella Ali and Fikerte Kidney (both aged 4), and upon their return, they shared their lifechanging experience of Ethiopia in a video diary with the congregation. Since their return, 387 members have sponsored children in Ethiopia through Compassion UK. Speaking on CSR International’s plans for 2012, Pastor Sola told Outflow that “The drive is for ordinary people to make


a difference, whether [at] a local or international level. You can make a difference, writing letters, sending cards on special days of the year, giving your time and, most of all, by praying that [the children] will become everything God has created them to be”. Reverend Yemi Adedeji, who also took part in the mission, said, “Beyond Jesus House, the response from other churches has been amazing. Ten [Redeemed Christian Church of God parishes] are sponsoring children and quite a number of churches are planning mission work there.” He added: “This has started a real revival for mission work in general, and has touched the heart of other churches, with one of the RCCG churches in Ireland planning a mission trip to Ethiopia [later] this year.”

Far Left: Two of the sponsored children with their parents. Left: Pastor Sola and one of their sponsored children.

21


stories @ jesus house

Terry MacAlmon ministers at Jesus House

C Above: Anne Nwakeze and Itohan Iyamu chat with a couple of shoppers. Far Left: Creperie 918 staff prepare the pancakes. Left: Zoltan Deak displays the promotional material for the event.

Have your pancake and eat it!

V

olunteers from Jesus House served up pancakes to local shoppers and residents at Brent Cross retail car park to celebrate the start of the Easter season on Pancake Tuesday, which fell on February 21st this year. Teaming up with local business Creperie 918, pancakes were sold at prices from as little as £1, with a variety of toppings, including whipped cream, chocolate or strawberry sauce. Local workers from the Brent Cross area browsing the shops, or taking their lunch breaks from work, were able to choose from the sweet and savoury pancakes on offer, as well as chat and learn more about the significance of date in the Christian calendar. Traditionally, Pancake Tuesday is known as ‘Shrove Tuesday’, which is a day for confessing one’s sins before

22

Lent. The modern incarnation gets its name from the millions of pancakes eaten around the world on this Tuesday before Lent begins as the last feast before abstaining from rich foods. Others mark the Lenten period by giving up a favourite food or activity, donating the money saved by their abstinence to charities close to their hearts. Melissa Levi, owner of Creperie 918 said “We think it’s an absolutely fabulous idea and we are happy to support Jesus House in this community initiative!” Ayo Adedoyin, Head of the Community department at Jesus House, added that “Pancake Tuesday is a perfect opportunity to use a much loved date in the calendar to kick-start the lead up to Easter.” edel meremikwu

hristian songwriter, recording artist and worship leader Terry MacAlmon visited Jesus House for both the Wednesday and Sunday services in the week of March 5th 2012. The globally esteemed minister jubilantly proclaimed that Jesus House was his “church of choice away from home”, adding that “there is no other place I’d rather go to”. On both days, he delivered a powerful worship concert, which combined uplifting song and inspiring scriptures. On the Sunday, he kicked off his praise by leading the congregation in a blessed rendition of ‘I Live to Worship Him’, and it was clear to see that this was someone who knew his instrument well, as he blessed the house with many songs, including: ‘I Came to Worship You’. He rejoiced to the Lord, singing, “I came to sing Your praise, I came to love You, Lord, Your Holy name to raise, hallelujah, hallelujah, Oh, how I worship You”, with the congregation singing along with enthusiasm. Accompanied by his wife, Liz, and his trusty organ, he played with his usual passion and precision. Often described as ‘a child prodigy’ in the music industry, MacAlmon was able to play the piano to an exceptional standard by the age of three, and played in his hometown church in Lexington,


stories @ jesus house

Kentucky, where he grew up. Originally from Dallas, Texas, he is renowned for leading memorable worship sessions at conferences, retreats, worship seminars and churches across the world, and his visit to Jesus House was part of his Europe tour. Leading the church in an enriching prayer session, he prayed “God teach me how to pray”, “God guide me in the direction that is pleasing to you” and “revive the nation”. With the spirit of God in full flow, he prayed for “an acceleration of blessings” and “a return of all lost gifts” for each individual in the church. The congregation lifted their voices in united prayer and worship, as the sweet sound of MacAlmon’s organ played. Finally, he rounded up declaring to God, “All power belongs to you.” And indeed it does. Adenike Adenitire

O For up-to-date news, events and developments, please visit the Jesus House website and enjoy a wide range of Christian resources. www.jesushouse.org.uk

Above and Left: Yolanda Brown shares her special gift with the Jesus House congregation.

Saxophonist Yolanda Brown ministers at Jesus House n Sunday, 5th February, Yolanda Brown, the UK’s premier female saxophonist and MOBO-award winner, shared her musical talent with the Jesus House congregation. It was not her first time at Jesus House; she keeps being invited back to give the House more as a guest minister. As she drew the audience with her soft poetic voice, she talked about the inspiration behind her songs, and also attributed her talent and humble success to God. Self-taught in playing the saxophone from the age of 13, she says: “I’m not sure why the saxophone, of all instruments, appealed to me the most, but I just felt at home with it. I love the music it makes.” After several years on the jazz circuit, she is now also singing, and is being described as “a saxophonistsinger and pianist.” She has become so adept at infusing her music with so much emotion that the instrument is much like a singing voice speaking to the heart of the listener. She effortlessly carries the saxophone whilst dancing around the

stage, the instrument like an extension of her body. Yolanda is also fluent Spanish, and has a first-class degree in operations management, two Masters, and is in the process of completing a PHD. Despite being endorsed by many record labels, the hardworking musician has chosen to retain her independent status and unique style, which saw her win MOBO awards in both 2008 and 2009. Her list of accolades includes, performing for the Russian Prime Minister, meeting the queen in 2011, and performing with artists such as Alexander O’Neal, Mica Paris, Soweto Kinch and The Temptations. Her album ‘April Showers, May Flowers’ was released on Monday, 13th February, followed by a twodate London performance with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on Wednesday, 14th and Friday 17th at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo. Ima Obot Jackson

23


stories @ jesus house

Putting a stop to ‘faith-based’ child abuse

Mothers Weekend Experience at Jesus House

J

esus House organised a special pampering weekend for mothers and primary care givers in the church and community from 17th-18th March. On the Saturday, rooms in the church were adorned in purple and lavender by ‘Spa by Les Luxes’ and for one day only the church became ‘the Beauty Chapel’, offering luxurious and relaxing beauty treatments to hardworking mothers in the community. Professional therapists provided manicures, pedicures, massages and threading treatments for forty mothers, while the church’s hospitality suite became a relaxation lounge for mothers to catch up over a drink and snacks, after their treatment, and learn more about Jesus House. According to ‘Changing face of Motherhood Report 2012’, 47 % of UK mothers enjoy only two hours of free time a week, as opportunities for ‘me time’ are limited by work and having to take care of the family. In light of this, Pastor Funke Adeaga, head of Esthers, the women’s ministry at Jesus House, said: “The purpose of this special Mother’s Day treat [is] to appreciate all mothers. These women work hard to look after their homes and families. In these times of austerity, spa treatments, manicures and pedicures are considered a luxury for most mothers, especially those who have been hit hardest by the current economy. We wanted to use the pampering experience to show our

24

appreciation for these unsung heroes.” Despite the rain outside, the Beauty Chapel was bubbling with excitement as the ladies arrived for some serious pampering and a much deserved day away from the family. Susan Evans, a local resident and mother of three, said: “I took some time off from my usual busy Saturday to get some ‘me time’.” Sipping a delicious drink in the beauty lounge, she added, “This was beyond lovely.” She and many other women were close to tears as they expressed their gratitude to Jesus House. Another Barnet resident, Raquel Ramkhelawan, who spotted the advert in the local newspaper, said, “It was too good an opportunity to miss. I was looking for a bit of pampering and God answered my prayers.” Looking refreshed and relaxed after a pedicure and shoulder massage, she added: “I always thought Jesus House was no more than a church to visit on Sunday and I am surprised at such charitable endeavours.” To mark the day, every mother was presented with a goody bag, courtesy of Lloyds Pharmacy, which contained a prayer book and beauty products, so that the pampering could continue at home. The ‘Weekend Experience’ continued on Mothering Sunday, with mothers (actual and prospective) given a moving tribute and prayer books as gifts. They were treated to a jazz café drama production in collaboration with the dance ministry, and a special rendition of the song ‘Words’ by Otty Warmann. Esthers women’s ministry led special appreciations and prayed for all women, mothers, care givers, and prospective mothers trusting God to have children of their own. Khadijat Akpata

The horrific death of a teenager accused of being a witch has prompted a major Christian organisation to call for a statutory government body responsible for child welfare to become more involved with faith organisations, as Ima Jackson-Obot reports.

The Evangelical Alliance is supporting the move byThe Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS), which is urging all Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards (LSCB) to contact every faith organisation in their area as soon as possible, in order to play a more effective role in protecting all children. On March 5th, Eric Bikubu, 28, and Magalie Bamu, 29, were sentenced to 30 and 25 years, respectively, for killing Bamu’s brother Kristy, 15, on Christmas Day 2010. They had accused him of being a witch and putting spells on another child in the family. The pair subjected the teenager to three days of attacks with knives, metal bars, a hammer and sticks in an exorcism procedure which led to him drowning in a bath. At the end of the trial, heard at the Old Bailey, Judge David Paget said it had been such a “harrowing” case that each member of the jury was exempted from jury service for the rest of their lives. Responding to the case, Steve Clifford, general director of the Evangelical Alliance, said: “The tragic death of Kristy Bamu was a horrific crime which highlights the need to ensure the protection of all children, from all backgrounds. “While no churches or Christian groups were involved in this senseless killing, we recognise that beliefs in witchcraft and spiritual possession have been associated with the Church around the world. “We condemn the exploitative practices that have been carried out by a small minority of unaffiliated groups, but remain confident in the commitment of our member


news around the world

churches throughout the UK to adhere to safeguarding standards. “We take child protection very seriously and continue to work closely with The CCPAS in training pastors and children’s workers and today support their call for every Local Safeguarding Children’s Board LSCB to work more closely with faith communities to protect children. “We pray for all those who have been affected by this tragedy.” In recent years, the Evangelical Alliance has been working with the CCPAS to ensure churches meet safeguarding standards. Simon Bass, CEO of CCPAS, said: “This is a horrific, but very rare

case and it is as incomprehensible and as unfathomable as all child

murders are. Although no churches were involved in the horrific death of Kristy, traditional beliefs in witchcraft and spirit possession undoubtedly lay behind the appalling abuse and torture he suffered.” The charity, Africans Unite Against Child Abuse (AFRUCA) has said a law making it illegal to call a child a witch would protect against incidents of abuse throughout the UK. “There should be a provision in the law to make it an offence to call someone in the witch”, said Justin Bahunga, who heads AFRUCA’s unit dedicated to stamping out faith-based abuse. “When you say someone is a witch, you are saying they are an evil person, who can cause harm or misfortune. “It is an incitement to violence. You are opening the door for someone to harm a child. From being an innocent child to, they go to be a perpetrator of a crime.” Joe Aldred, secretary of Minority Ethnic Christian Affairs at Churches Together in England, added: “The protection and nurture of every child is an essential responsibility of the Church and society at large. There can therefore be no justification for harming a child based on religious grounds. “Any such act is a perversion of true faith and perpetrators of illegal acts against children should be held to account irrespective of how such acts may be justified. “Ministers must be careful not to inadvertently sanction abuse by engaging in exorcism or praying for allegedly ‘demon-possessed’ children without proper investigation into the circumstances of the person being prayed for. “This is even more so when dealing with a minor or vulnerable person. Every church should ensure it has a current child protection policy that is regularly monitored.” In the past 10 years Scotland Yard is reported to have carried out 83 investigations into faith-based child abuse.

Far Left: Court artist’s drawing of Eric Bikubu and Magalie Bamu. © Julia Quenzler/ central news Left, below: Kristy Bamu, who the couple have been found guilty of killing.

OTHER LONDON CHILD ABUSE CASES LINKED TO WITCHCRAFT (extracted from BBC website)

2000 Five year-old Victoria Climbie died after being tortured in 2000 in Haringey, north London. Experts later linked the case to a belief in spirit possession. 2001 The torso of a five or six-year-old boy “Adam” was found floating in the River Thames. Officers believe his death was a ritualistic killing and he had

been poisoned. 2005 Sita Kisanga convicted of aiding and abetting cruelty to eight-year-old “Child B” who was beaten, cut and had chilli rubbed in her eyes in a flat in Hackney, east London, because she was thought to be a witch.

25


church social responsibility

One person making a difference by Mollie Oseni

W

hat do you do when you hear that over 66,000 children are being abducted across Central Africa to be child soldiers and sex slaves? And that hundreds of thousands of mothers, fathers, uncles and aunts are being killed to perpetrate these crimes? At best I stop to think about it, imagine the emotions and thoughts of these families that are being destroyed and maybe say a prayer or two for them. At our worst, I filter through it as one of the many displeasures experienced in life. I try my best to keep abreast of the facts to be able to hold a decent and wellrounded conversation. But I leave it at that; effectively numbing every channel of emotion. And it’s understandable, for how can one person change the world? What does it matter if I connect with their pain or hurt? I do not know these children or their families, they are thousands of miles away from me; plus I honestly can’t comprehend what they are going through. It makes the most sense to devote my emotions and attention to things going on in my life, especially as I can’t do anything to change their situation. Maybe I’m the only one who thinks this way; if that’s the case I apologise for not being caring enough and I promise I’ll try my best to be more like you - concerned about world peace, empathetic towards

26

What does it matter if I connect with their pain? I don’t know these children or their families, they are thousands of miles away. How can one person change the world? the cries and hurts of the broken world. I promise I will be more like the followers of Christ because I hear that is what they’ve been called to do, to love and care for those who are hurting, to feed and clothe their hunger and nakedness; to advocate and fight for their plight...social justice I hear it’s called. But if I am not alone in this plight, then I remember Paul saying something along the lines of ‘there being no condemnation for those who are in Christ’....and if that’s a bit too patronising, then I can look around and see individuals like you and I - with families, jobs and hobbies - who are doing their bit to make a difference. They boldly move from acquiring the facts to empathising with the hurts and pains of these afflicted ones; they look within themselves to their skills, talents and hobbies and pick out what they can use to further the cause of these ones. I say well done to the Jason Russells, Ben Keeseys and Chris Carver (of the NGO Invisible Children) and others out there who are taking a stand and doing their bit

to make a difference. It might be directing a video with over 75 million YouTube hits to raise awareness or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for a charity. It might be saying a few sincere prayers for these hurting ones, volunteering once a week or month, or even simply spreading the word by sharing a video or link. You inspire me to take a step, however little. You get me out of the bubble I’ve blown for my life; you cause me to reevaluate my desires and passions. You inspire me to start small and dream big, but most importantly you make a difference in the lives of these hurting ones. You bring their plight to the forefront of God and other people’s minds, reminding them that these ones matter. You remind me that however small my action is, it makes a difference and can transform a life! I’d love for you to join us as we start the series of highlighting these ones bold enough to take a step to make a difference in the world!

For more on Invisible Children: www.invisiblechildren.com


Diary of a Kili climber

Dembi Olufon shares the experience of her recent climb to the highest point on the African continent to raise funds for KidsCo

Name: Dembi Olufon aka Adrenaline Junkie Mission: Climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for charity. Beneficiary: Kids Company (KidsCo), a London-based charity that provides practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable innercity children. Mission Accomplished?: YES!!!

Day I: Arrival 13 hours after leaving London, I finally touch down in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. It only took two flights and a three-hour layover to get here, no big deal. Met some of the other volunteers as I got off the plane and we made our way through customs and were met by our KidsCo coordinator, Suzie, and our guides, John and Emmanuel. Took an hour to get from the airport to our hotel. I am exhausted. Fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow and woke up just in time to shower and change for team briefing. We are all stunned to hear we will have a team of 74 men working with us; 1 chief guide, 9 assistant guides, 2

cooks, 11 chief porters and 51 porters. Do we REALLY need 74 people to help us up the mountain? We are warned of the dangers of AMS (altitude mountain sickness) and told to report any symptoms (shortness of breath, nausea, fatigue…) straight away. Yikes. We have an early start tomorrow so it’s an early night for all. We’re starting off with an “easy” three-hour walk. Lord help me!

Clockwise from top left: The volunteers hiking through the snow; a sign at Uhuru Peak, Africa’s highest point; Dembi geared up for further climbing; Volunteers and porters ascend with their backpacks.

Day II: Big Tree Camp Up at 6am to pack, shower and have breakfast in time for 8am departure. Duffel bags have to weigh no more than 15kg as the porters have to carry them. That’s a relief as I also 27


have my backpack to contend with. After breakfast we start on the three-hour drive to the national park to register and meet the rest of the team. Stopped to buy 3litres of water each (required daily dose to combat AMS). I predict plenty of toilet breaks. As we drive along, I see a massive mountain and scream, “Kilimanjaro!” to which one of the guides laughs and responds, “That’s the baby mountain, Mount Meru. Kilimanjaro is still ahead.” Yikes. I see it and reality sinks in. What have I signed myself up for? Team’s all together and registered, it’s time to set off. We are all dressed in shorts, as it’s boiling hot, but out of nowhere, the clouds turn dark and start to pour with rain. We have to drop off further off than planned as the rain is wreaking havoc on the roads. That means an extra hour of hiking. Sigh. We’re donning our ponchos, waterproof trousers and jackets and starting the “easy walk”, which turns out to be anything but. The paths are muddy and slippery and I didn’t realise when I burst into tongues. My backpack weighs 14kg, I am climbing uphill through the rainforest, wearing the wrong shoes so I keep slipping and falling. Dembi, who sent you? My prayers intensify when a guy in front of me falls and starts rolling downhill. He has scarce recovered when I too slip, but one of the guides grabs my daypack to prevent me 28

Only 30% of people who attempt to climb Kili make it to the top; some turn back, others die. falling further and we realise my backpack is twice the recommended weight! That’s what happens when you skim through instructions. After distributing the excess contents of my bag amongst the porters, we carry on for another 4.5 hours till we reach Big Tree Camp. I am covered in mud and aching all over. Thankfully our tents have been set up - thank God for the 51 porters! There is limited access to water so we only get a bowl each to clean up. Day III - Shira 1 My first e x perience of sleeping in a sleeping bag is… not bad; I could actually get used to this. After breakfast we pack up and set off on our six-hour trip to the next campsite. There is a lot of uphill climbing

today but, thankfully, there is no rain, so it is less slippery and easier to maneuver around the rocks. We still have to contend with our aching bones from yesterday though. After 3.5 hours of trekking we stop for lunch before carrying on for another two hours, till we make it to Shira 1 Campsite, which is a lot bigger and colder than Big Tree, as it is 3,000 feet above sea level. It is still daylight when we arrive so a few of us play cards before dinner. Long day! Day IV - Shira II Camp We are woken up at 6.45am for “washy-washy”, which is followed by breakfast at 7:30am. This will be our routine for the rest of the trip. The terrain today is very rocky

Above, clockwise from top left: Volunteers defrosting their feet after a frosty climb; a volunteer who took ill during the climb being assisted on his descent; a porter helps with the duffel bags; a view of the snow-covered summit. Below: The volunteer group pause for a photo op.


We’ve walked, climbed, hiked and even crawled, but we all got to the top. Now all we have to do is get off this mountain. but level for the most part. It is a big struggle as we have gained considerable altitude in the last couple of days and are struggling to breathe. Apparently, the higher you go, the less oxygen is available. Thankfully, we arrive at camp in good time and have a hot lunch, instead of our usual cold packed lunch. Play cards again, read a book and then catch up on my sleep before dinner. This had better get easier. Day IV: AMS Strikes! Shortest trek yet; only four hours to our new campsite. We have a three-hour acclimatisation session, which involves us climbing to the top of Lent hill, a very steep and rocky terrain, to get our bodies used to the altitude. The view is amazing, great for pictures! After we descend, three members of the team start to exhibit symptoms of AMS and are promptly treated by the guide. I pray they get better and we all make it to the top. Day V: Moir Camp aka Leaning Moir Camp Every night between 8pm and 12pm I sleep for two hours, then between 4am and 6am, I snooze for another two. My sleep pattern is really messed up. The higher we go, the harder it is to get out of bed. It is FREEZING and our tents are covered in ice. The ascent to the Moir Camp is the steepest yet and involves technical climbing as well as trekking. The weather doesn’t help: hot, then cold, rain and then a hailstorm. Sigh. We’ve gained so much altitude we are literally walking through the clouds. AMAZING! This camp is awkward. It is set on a slope so everything is tipped at an odd angle. Our sleeping bags keep sliding down, ending up at the opposite end of our tents. The three members of the team who were suffering from AMS have been healed, thank God!!! Day VI: Exhausted It is 3.20am. The heavens have opened and it’s raining cats and

dogs. The porters have dug trenches to prevent flooding in our tents. But God is amazing; I haven’t so much as sneezed, not once! I can’t sleep. So many things I take for granted; a warm bed, hot showers, a roof over my head. I have a renewed sensitivity to the plight of the homeless and an idea of how to help them. Watch this space. The most challenging part of the expedition is coming up and is, statistically, when AMS strikes most climbers. Only 30% of people who attempt to climb Kili make it to the top; some turn back, others die…but I know the God who has brought me this far will not leave me now. He is more than able. It’s 6.20am and the rain has FINALLY stopped. I can hear people exclaiming loudly. I’m going out to find out what’s happening. Kilimanjaro is covered in thick snow! How can it rain and snow at the same time? According to the guides, the snow is a good thing because it makes it warmer. I’m not going to try and understand this twisted logic. It took a strenuous 4.5 hours trek to get to our new camp. I’ve got no energy left. I’m going to bed. Day VII- Third Cave Camp I’m so excited! One more night and we’ll be at the summit. The porters and guides have been a great support team, constantly encouraging and helping us. In our excitement, we made it to camp in record time. We’re splitting into two teams for the ascent to the summit. I volunteered to be in the first group; I’m itching to get this over with. We’ve been held up by snow and an electrical storm. There’s a great chance of being struck by lightning as we’re close to the clouds so it’s unsafe for us to summit. I pray the storm settles.

My prayers intensify when a guy in front of me falls and starts rolling downhill. He has scarce recovered when I too slip.

Below: Dembi shows off her certificate as proof of her successful climb. PHOTOS BY SIMON OSWALD

to two summit points. We’ve walked, climbed, hiked and even crawled, but we all got to the top, and boy does it feel AMAZING! Now all we have to do is get off this mountain. Day IX: Down We Come! I’ve just had my last “washywashy” and I’m feeling a little nostalgic. The trip really is over. I’m so grateful for Betwell, the porter who woke me up everyday of this trip. He encouraged me daily and I feel like God used him to spur me on. God bless him! We’re all packed up and ready to descend. We take loads of pictures, sing the Kilimanjaro Song and present our 74-man support team with tokens of thanks. For what will be the last time, I’m about to pick up my hiking sticks, strap on my backpack and embark on the five-hour descent off Kili. We’re at the Park!!! I’m off to say my final goodbyes to the guides and porters and board the bus to the hotel. Come on guys, we need to get moving. I’m in desperate need a hot shower!

Day VIII: Hello Summit!!! It’s 2.45am and everything is covered in snow. The temperature has dropped to minus twenty degrees. I’m wearing four layers of clothes, a massive duvet jacket, three pairs of socks, two pairs of thick gloves, hand and foot warmers, a scarf around my face and a balaclava…I’m ready to summit. WE’VE DONE IT!!! THANK YOU LORD!!!! Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest freestanding mountain in the world and it is also the highest point in Africa. It has three summit points Gilman’s, Stella’s and Uhuru Peak, which is the highest. 18 of us, out of the 20, make it to all three summit points, while the other two make it 29


30

Photo by Elisabeth Scheder-Bieschin


FEATURE

A WRITER IN OUR MIDST Edel Meremikwu talks to Chibundu Onuzo, Jesus House member and author of the just-released The Spider King’s Daughter, about writing and growing up Christian...

F

aber & Faber are known for publishing award-winning writers such as T.S Eliot and P.D James, and now Jesus House’s very own Chibundu Onuzo is the latest addition to the publishing house’s list of authors. As a final-year history student at King’s College London, the 21-year-old currently preoccupied with lectures, essay deadlines and writing her dissertation. But she has something else on her plate too – promoting her debut novel The Spider King’s Daughter. Having written the novel at the tender age of 18, and now only 21, she has signed a two-book deal with the prestigious publishing house, making literary history by becoming the youngest female author ever to do so. Chibundu is delightfully down-toearth, sometimes quiet but hardly nervous considering all the recent attention she has had. Here, she shares how she started her

writing journey with Edel Meremikwu. The novel has been described as ‘A thrilling debut novel about love and divided loyalties in contemporary Lagos’. Tell us more. It’s about two teenagers from very different strata of society. Abike Johnson is seventeen and the favourite child of her wealthy father. The other main character is an eighteen year old hawker struggling to make ends meet for his mother and sister. One day, Abike is sitting in traffic in her jeep and the hawker tries to sell ice-cream to her. She is intrigued by his looks and his good English, something she doesn’t expect from a hawker so she decides to buy his ice-cream. The next day she buys from him and the day after that until they strike up a sort of friendship. And then what happens? (She laughs gently) I’m not telling you. Read the book and you will find out. What was the inspiration behind the book? There was no specific moment of inspiration. I started telling the story from the hawker’s point of view and the narrative just developed from there. It also helped that the book was set in Lagos because Lagos as a setting is so diverse - there is extreme power, wealth, poverty and all living side by side. You can never run out of things to say if you write a book set in Lagos. You have been hailed as ‘one of

Photo by Johnny Ring

Nigeria’s freshest young writers’ in the press. How does it feel to be given such a description? Well, we thank God. I’ll leave it to my readers to decide if my work is worthy of the description. What were the key decisions that you made in the creation of characters? I didn’t really create my characters. Their stories just came to me. The fun part was putting these characters in very specific settings and then watching how they reacted. So for example, Abike is someone who likes to be in control. Put her in an élite private school and instinctively she tries to run things. 31


FEATURE

Photo by Elisabeth Scheder-Bieschin

The hawker on the other hand is a quieter character who is forced to assert himself to survive as a hawker on the very aggressive Lagos streets. How much of the story is based on true life? In what ways do you draw on your own experiences and research? I wrote about parts of Lagos that I experienced whilst growing up. The Lagos I’ve portrayed is only a slice of my city. It would be impossible to contain Lagos in one novel. What are the central themes in the book? I tried to explore the dynamics of relationships, especially the power structure of a relationship: who is in control? Who only think they’re in control. I was also interested in how people from different classes related. And of course Lagos, the city and how it shapes its inhabitants is another central theme. Did you always know what the title would be? Yes, I had the title from the beginning.

32

Having written the novel at 18, she has signed a two-book deal with the prestigious publishing house, making literary history by becoming the youngest female author to do so. half of refining with my editor. What has been the most memorable moment in the journey of writing the book? I think it’s probably the whole journey, starting at 17 and now at 21 seeing it published. From start to finish it [took] four years.

How did the book get published? I read a newspaper article by a writer I admired. I then discovered from the Writers and Artist’s Yearbook (a handbook of UK publishers and agents) that this writer was represented by ‘Capel and Land’ literary agents. So I sent off my manuscript to Capel and Land. The women who read it at Capel and Land liked it and so I was taken on by the agency. After six months of editing the book, my agent felt it was ready for submission to editors at publishing houses. An editor at Faber liked the manuscript, and offered to buy it along with the second book I would write. The rest is history I suppose.

Do you think contemporary African fiction is being represented in the publishing industry? I think there are certainly a growing number of African writers represented on the international scene. There could always be more but generally, I think it’s a good time for the African writer.

How long did it take to write? It took ten months to write, six months of editing with my agent and a further year and

Which writers do you admire? There’s a Japanese author called Kazuo Ishiguro who pays a lot of attention to his

craft. You can see he spends time perfecting his work. I also like the usual African suspects: Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Helon Habila, Sefi Atta. And then the classics: Dickens, Austen, Bronte and so on. The book you are currently reading is? Olaudah Equiano’s biography. It’s a fascinating story about a slave who was captured in what is now Nigeria and eventually worked his way to freedom. You know I have to mention your father, Dr Okey Onuzo, beloved by all at Jesus House. What does he think of your writing? How have your parents encouraged you? In many ways. There were always books in our house when I was growing up and I was encouraged to read for pleasure. I was never forced to read though, so I’ve always associated reading with fun and leisure. Also, they taught me about God and I don’t think I could have finished this book if I hadn’t felt that God was behind me. Where do you see yourself in five years?


Photo by Ezinne Edomobi

Hopefully still writing and doing whatever God wants me to do. I am interested in development. However, I’m still trying to decide if politics is the most efficient way to effect developmental changes in Nigeria. What advice can you give to aspiring writers? Keep going. The more you read, the better your craft becomes. Also, be patient. Writing takes time if you want to do it well. You can follow her blog www. authorsoundsbetterthanwriter.blogspot.com The Spider King’s Daughter (£12.99) is available in all major book stores; including Waterstones, WH Smith, Pages bookstore and www.pagesonlinestore.co.uk

Opposite Page: Chibundu appearing in the January 1 2012 edition of the Sunday Observer.

The Spider King’s Daughter (Book Review)

Chibundu’s debut novel tells of the unlikely romance between the heiress to a business empire and a simple street hawker. As we enter the story Abike has a complicated and manipulative relationship with her businessman father, while the hawker is seeking a way out of a life he did not ask for. What at first glance appears to be a linear friendship between two unlikely people unravels to reveal more depth to their story, as what seems like a meeting of pure chance soon gives way to a tangled web of deceit, greed and desperation, and, through the characters that grace the story, we see the effects of their passions and desires on others. As we follow Abike and her hawker friend down the streets of Lagos state’s most affluent and impoverished neighbourhoods, we learn how oneperson’s dogged determination to achieve a goal can lead them down the very path they despised and wanted to avoid at all costs. Mollie Oseni (More reviews and recommendations in our new ‘LifeStyle & Culture’ section on page 60) 33


FEATURE

T

he veil of death too often conceals the potential for life. It is why there tends to be incessant wailing and sorrow at funeral services by those mourning the passing away of loved ones. With death comes an air of finality that triggers all manner of emotional reactions. This explains why the crucifixion for some, is no more than a reminder of the death of one man and for them, that is where it all ends. Death to a natural mind is no more than the discontinuance of life but to the spiritual mind it is but a veil. In other words, there is life beyond the appearance of death To understand life we must first understand death because whilst Easter is a remembrance of one man’s sacrifice for the whole of mankind it is also a celebration of a process through which a man can be raised from death to life. To speak of death is to refer to a state of lifelessness where inactivity is the order of the day. Anyone who has read the account of Lazarus in the bible will recall the words of his sisters when Christ came to raise him from the dead. They believed their brother was beyond help and Martha even mentioned the fact that he had begun to decay, but Christ introduced himself as the resurrection and the life and promised that whoever believed in Him shall never die. Death in this context is not the physical death that all men are familiar with, and we know this, because even though Christ raised Lazarus from the dead, Lazarus eventually died physically albeit at a later date. If Lazarus eventually died at a later date despite his earlier resurrection then it means physical death is not the only type of death. There is also spiritual death. Christ was assuring Martha that all those who believe in Him would never suffer spiritual death or what the bible terms the second death. As its starting point, Easter recognises that something was dead. The root of death both physical and spiritual starts in the Garden of Eden. In the Garden of Eden, the first man, Adam, sinned against God and as a result physical death (mortality) entered the world but also on that very day he began to die spiritually. Following this event, every newborn baby in the world is

born in sin and carries the gene of spiritual death until they encounter Christ and are raised from spiritual death to spiritual life. The only baby to be physically born without carrying in him the gene of spiritual death was Christ, which is why He was deemed an acceptable sacrifice by God. At Easter we remember how Christ took our place to provide a way for us out of the deadness that characterised our sinful lives. If the starting point of Easter is death then the finishing point has to be life. The inevitable question then is - what is life? Again we must return to Eden in our quest for understanding. Just as we accept that there is both physical and spiritual death, it follows that there must be both physical and spiritual life. Physical life starts with conception in our mother’s womb and is manifested through the birthing process. A

Death Life

From To 34

by Joseph Amaeze Onwuchekwa

To celebrate Easter in a religious fashion, merely going through the motions, will be another missed opportunity for us to step into the next level or phase of life that He has planned for us. baby in the womb is not subject to laws or regulation and cannot be held accountable for anything until it is born and achieves maturity. Physical life is therefore a progression. What about spiritual life? The first man, Adam, had spiritual as well as physical life because God breathed it into him and he became a living soul. Physical life was conferred by God’s spoken word but spiritual life was transferred from God’s nostrils. Adam lost this, spiritually, when he transferred allegiance from God to Satan through an act of disobedience – sin, and this is why the only way of recovering it had to be by way of one taking our place and substituting His life for our deadness. In the biblical account of the nocturnal meeting between Nicodemus and Christ, in response to Nicodemus’s lack of understanding of the concept of being born again, Christ explained that whatever is born of the flesh is separate from that


born of the spirit. In other words physical life is distinct from spiritual life. In his deliberations with the Samaritan woman Christ clarified that God is a spirit (see John 4). This is supported by the narrative in the opening chapter of John’s Gospel which clarifies that anyone who accepts Christ’s sacrifice is given the power to become a child of God – a spiritual child. The same chapter clarifies that in Christ is life and that, that life is the light of men. To cement the position Christ explained (see John 10:10) that He came into the world that we might have abundant life (spiritual life). In summary, whatever is born of God is spiritual but no one can be born of God without passing through the womb of spiritual life which is Christ. Easter is therefore a celebration of the resurrection from spiritual death to spiritual life. With an understanding of what Easter is really all about, it is a time for stocktaking, and an opportunity for sober reflection and self examination. Do we thinking about our lives in resurrection terms? Are we examining ourselves to identify spiritually dead mindsets or activities? For the Christian, the significance of Easter should go beyond the ceremonial pomp and pageantry and instead, be a time for reflection on our life journey.

What are we doing with the new life He gave us? Are we using that new life to pursue the great commission (see Mark 16) or are we pursuing a worldly agenda where the rewards are both received and depleted here on earth? What is dead in our lives that desperately need resurrection? Do we have visions that are laying dormant thanks to procrastination, fatigue or discouragement? Easter is an opportune season to bring them before Christ and seek His assistance in raising them back to life. Let’s not forget that Christ was not only raised to life by the Holy Spirit, but He was also seated at the right hand of God the Father far above every principality, dominion and power and given a name that is above all names in this world and the one to come. The bible makes clear that the church has also been raised together with Christ. This means that there can be no successful opposition to those desires, visions and plans that have been given to us by Him. To celebrate Easter in a religious fashion, merely going through the motions, will be another missed opportunity for us to step into the next level or phase of life that He has planned for us. Let Easter mean more than another annual celebration; let it be a season of reflection that results in the resurrection of dead things in or around us.


Keys To Developing Successful Young People pastor bajo akisanya

A

lot of things are currently being said about the young people of today and not all of them are positive. Two words that are not necessarily mentioned together are ‘youth’ and ‘success’. For those of us who lead young people, this is a major issue, especially at the beginning of the year when our focus tends to rest on resolutions, plans, targets, reviews and achievement. Two questions must be answered by those of us who are privileged to work with young people; first what would constitute success for us as youth ministers and what could we call a successful young person? A variety of arguments could be put forward, some more valid than others, but all would have the passion and intensity that seem to characterise people who serve in this capacity. This, coupled with the myriad of areas that youth work now focuses on, would make for a lengthy but inconclusive debate, however fulfilling the exercise may be. To avoid this, the Bible is the best source for an answer to both of these questions, for here we find on many occasions the dual concept of a successful young person. We will look at a few examples: Joshua The man who took over the mantle of leadership of Israel referred to 36

in Exodus 33:11 as a young man; he was mentored by Moses and had Moses’ vision for the people of Israel, so when he took over from Moses there was a difference in method but a continuation of purpose. Joseph The person who became the Prime Minister of Egypt at 30 years old was referred to as a prosperous man while he was just about twenty years old. He was mentored by Jacob cum Israel, his father, for we see a reproduction of the skill of Jacob in the life of Joseph i.e. managing other people’s goods (Genesis 30:27 -30, Genesis 39:1-5). In addition he had a clear picture of God’s purpose for his life as shown to him in his dreams (Genesis 37:1 - 11). Samuel Sent to serve in the temple after the miraculous events that surrounded his birth (1 Samuel 1-2), he was mentored by Eli and had the famous testimony that “Samuel grew; the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground” (1 Samuel 3:19 AMP) while he was still a child and a young person. David The warrior King of Israel mentored by Samuel (1 Samuel 19:18) and said to have cared for the things of God like no other. He was described by God as “a man after his own heart” prior to his anointing as king and while he was still a shepherd boy (1

Samuel 13:14 & 16:7-13). Saul The person through whom the Holy Spirit wrote two thirds of the New Testament was mentored by Barnabas (Acts 7:58,8:1,9:26-27) and had a clear vision of what the Lord wanted the church to become (Ephesians 3:1-11). Jesus Christ Mentored by Joseph, the husband of Mary. We see in Christ the same Kingdom-minded nature shown by Joseph when he was told to marry Mary; this he did at the expense of his reputation (Matthew 1:18-25). Looking at these examples we realise that two things stand out as essential for today’s youth minister to have and to cultivate in those around him/her: a strong process of mentoring and a clear cut Kingdom-focused vision. For us these become the yardsticks for measuring success in our lives as youth ministers and in the lives of those we serve. The processes have been broken down below.

VISION

When we speak of vision, this is distinct from human ambition, for, as the Bible clearly explains, ‘vision’ is God’s picture of tomorrow and not ours (Proverbs 29:18 AMP). Developing a clear vision is no mystery and the channels or paths for discovering and


passing it on are laid out below. 1. Clarity – the vision must be written and clearly stated repetitively so everybody has the same outlook and purpose. (Habakkuk 2:14) 2. Service – the person who serves a vision will eventually catch the vision. So we must present the opportunity to our young people to serve regularly. (2 Kings 3:11 & 2:9-15) 3. Time in the presence of God – It must be our focus to give our people as many opportunities as possible to be in the presence of God. This must put an emphasis in our activities on the Word of God, prayer and worship, for in such times the vision is reinforced by the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 2:9-12) 4. Revelation in the Word of God – this is the foundation of all that we do, the achievement of a vision is dependent on the people seeing that what God is asking them to do is firmly rooted in the Word of God. This is also the only avenue that presents character change as an expected outcome. (Proverbs 1:4, Joshua 1:8, Psalms 19:7) 5. Prayer – Nothing can be compared to spending time in prayer to God where vision is concerned. Both praying in the spirit (praying in tongues) and in the understanding must be encouraged; this is easily done when the burden of intercession is present. Our desire is to present this as the first recourse for guidance for all young people, strongly governed by the Holy Spirit. ( Jude v20; Jeremiah 33:3; Matthew 6:9 15) 6. Listening to a visionary – relationships are critical in the furtherance of what we need to achieve. It is good practise to encourage young people to spend time with the more experienced and focused around them. This is true not only in the church but in a secular work environment. (1 Chronicles 12:17-18, Luke 10:38-42) 7. The Gifts of the Spirit – the manifestation of The Spirit of God is to be encouraged, desired and experienced. It is imperative that opportunities for the Spirit to move are deliberately created via prayer meetings, vigils and the like. (1 Timothy 4:14)

MENTORING

One thing that we must accept in developing successful young people is that they are never an accident. This is evident in the lives of all the successful young people in the Bible. Mentoring is best explained by looking at its component parts and at its goal, which is the protecting, nurturing and release of young talent or potential. This is what we want to encourage and it includes, but is not limited to, the following: 1. Pastoral Care – one of the greatest influences on the heart of young people is that of caring, concerned and committed visionary leaders. We see this in the influence that David had on the three hundred men that came to him in the cave Adullam. (1 Samuel 22:1 -2) 2. Counselling – The life of a young person is one of a constant series of questions so one of the areas that provide us with influence is godly counsel. It is more than giving advice; it is the heart behind

the advice that makes the change. (1 Samuel 3:1-10) Rebuke or Correction – This is essential, yet must be handled carefully. Rebuke is best received when it comes on the back of sincere care. It then is received in the best way and has the desired positive effect. (Matthew 16:22-23, 17:24–end) 4. Training – We cannot assume that young people will learn the things they need to learn by accident and many times, if not all the time, the most important things must be deliberately taught. Jesus Christ, who excelled in all the elements of mentoring, exemplified this in the way that key lessons were directly and indirectly passed on to the disciples. (Matthew 6, 13 , 18) 5. Opportunity – Achievement is easily attained when opportunity to do what has been taught has been given, with the added security of the watchful eye of the mentor. (Luke 9:1-6) 6. Accountability – It is here that character is developed and acknowledged; here we see the place that champions are groomed. Arguably, of these the most famous would be Elisha (2 Kings 3:11), with Matthias the least known (Acts 1:21–26). Most of the successful ventures we see today have this element present. 7. Prayer – A key element of mentoring is the praying for those under your care with a view to ensuring that they become all that they can be. (Luke 22:31-32) Going forward as a body, and youth ministry as a whole, we would greatly benefit from a focus on imparting these two skills to those who head youth groups, or youth churches as the case may be. This does not preclude all other forms of events one may decide on, but taking an overall view of where we are, the central theme of those events must be to instil, develop, encourage and reward these two strands of activity. 3.

We cannot assume that young people will learn the things they need to by accident and many times, if not all the time, the most important things must be deliberately taught. 37


Marriage Corner with Kemi & Bode Olutunbi

As we reflect on the last ten years of Outflow, we thought to share 10 disciplines that will help keep your love alive and fresh. Enjoy and more importantly practice them.

1. Say “I love you” all the time! Don’t leave your affection to speculation – Tell your spouse how you feel about them constantly. The world beyond the walls of your home can be a less than loving place so keep the scent of your love ever fresh. 2. Be quick to say “I’m sorry!” Don’t wait for your spouse to ease the standoff when there is an argument or you are hurt, be quick to say “I’m sorry.” Realise that marriage is a gift from God and the enemy wants to rob you of the joy of marriage. Every day you lose due to an argument cannot be reclaimed. It is wisdom and humility to forgo an offence for the sake of your marriage. Make a choice to live in harmony. 3. Choose to walk away from an angry or critical remark! James 1:19 says: It is best to listen much, speak little and not become angry. In every relationship opportunities for conflict arise constantly. What makes the difference is our choice to walk away from them. It sounds like make believe, but it is actually possible to live with each other in harmony, despite conflicts. It’s actually a sign of spiritual awareness and hearts constantly submitted to God. Doesn’t happen in a day! But we can all seek to get there.

7. Forgive…Forgive…Forgive everyday! There is no point expecting that we won’t hurt each other, or thinking we have the capacity to avoid hurting each other. Just choose to forgive. We know from scripture that to maintain our own spiritual health, it is crucial that we understand and embrace the power of forgiveness. The seventy times seven principle was not a burden placed on us by God but a gift from God we give to Choose to set aside time ourselves when we obey the command to forgive. Forgiveness as lifestyle is exclusively for just the two crucial for a healthy marriage; it ensures of you to engage on a deep that the drains of everyday interaction level. remain clear and unblocked so the pipes continue to give passage to a smoothflowing relationship every day.

4. Deal with your spouse generously everyday! Let your spouse know they are number one in your life, after God of course! Be their greatest fan and encourager. Find out what is most important to them and spare no expense and effort to be obliging. If it is your affirmation, shower it. If it is your support, don’t deny them. If it is your text and emails schedule them into your day. If it is gifts, find 365 ways of giving it. Basically, celebrate your spouse, let them know you truly appreciate and value them. Don’t just lend a hand, give your heart! 5. Take a vacation from the Telly! Not every day though! On a serious note, the television is certainly a poor substitute for real life. We spend a huge chunk of the best parts of our day with others at work and elsewhere. It’s sad when the TV habit takes away what time of the day that is left for your spouse and children. Choose to set aside time exclusively for the two of you and make the extra effort to engage with each other on a deep level. Of course, it goes without saying that if it is a backrub she wants on the afternoon of the FA Cup final, there is no better time to show her how much you really care! And Ladies sometimes the best gift you can give is to allow your spouse enjoy football or whatever sport they love too. 6. Do something you both enjoy regularly! We spend our courtship period seeking ways to make each other happy. We spend our time doing what the other will appreciate 38

as we seek to make deposits into their “affection bank”, loving and seeking opportunities to discover the joy of new experiences together while finding out what makes each other tick. Then we get married and allow the routines of daily living take over, resigning ourselves to seeking other pleasures. There is no pleasure quite as enjoyable as doing stuff together as a couple; it just requires patience and determination. We only need to cast our minds back to the fun times we had during courtship to act as a motivator. So what are you waiting for?

8. Laugh…Laugh…Laugh everyday! We run the risk of taking each other, and life, more seriously than we ought. Laughter goes a long way in dousing heated situations and making marriage fun, so before you get upset about something, choose to laugh about it together and begin to experience the benefits. Laughter is also good for you physical health. 9. Take A Weekend Away together often! With ever-increasing schedules demanding our time and attention, plus our frenetic pace of life, it is easy to neglect the very things that require an investment of our time and effort. Make time for each other and get away for a weekend; your marriage will be better for it, and you will come back more connected and able to deal with the demands of everyday living. Do it often! 10. Pray with your spouse AND for your spouse everyday! Yes, everyday! Make family prayer your number one priority even if it’s the only resolution you make in 2012! Have a personal altar and pray with your spouse. Be his greatest intercessor and her number one watchman! If you are going to put a thousand out of the ten thousand adversaries you encounter everyday to flight, you’re going to have to start fighting together rather that apart.. Praying together keeps the 3-fold cord strong as it keeps God right at the heart of your marriage and ensures a unity of vision, heart and mind.


T

he most common question a parent would often ask themselves is- Am I doing a good job? Or am I doing it the right way/best way? As parents we are quick to condemn ourselves and others about this issue. Feelings of self-doubt and incompetence quickly creep in to our minds and even those who seem to have it all together, are not immune. Whereas there is no certificate for the ‘best parent’ award, and rightfully so otherwise the race would be for the award and the child in question would just be a pawn, there is one standard we can aspire to and that can be found in the book of Proverbs 22, in verse 6. God, who is all-knowing inspired the writer in the book of Proverbs to write ‘train up your child…. This is probably one of the most quoted and misconstrued verses in the Bible. An article some years back ascertained that this same verse had led to the abuse and death of three children in America. I believe the verse is not a go-ahead for parents to hit the children or treat them like animals that need to be trained. In fact more research into this verse has come up with an interpretation meaning ‘to disciple’. Discipline comes from the word disciple and from what I recall from the way Jesus modelled his relationship with the disciples, it was a ‘watch me do this, and then you try’. Modelling a life that is influenced by Christ There are currently programs looking into the high attrition rate of children who have grown up in the church but do not feel they belong. Events like ‘How to get your kids through church without them hating God’ coming to Jesus House on the 24th of May( so please save the date) explores this issue, but as distressing as it may sound, our role as parents is to train them up. I remember reading a book some months back about parenting, which explained that good behaviour and characteristics are caught and not taught. Teaching often involves one half of the equation but most children learn from observing, applying and then implementing. As our children’s role models we have a golden opportunity to influence them for life simply by practising and living our Christian faith in a very simple way not based on pleasing others, or looking good in public or

Children sense patterns; the more they see us put on and take off masks, the more they see a pattern for coping with life’s situations. at church for that matter. Children can sense patterns and the more they see us putting on and taking off masks to suit each and every situation we are already modelling a pattern they will eventually copy to cope with life’s situations. A lot of us parents are wounded soldiers, looking for healing. The home should be a safe haven between husband and wife, but this is often not the case. Marriage was designed by God but you wouldn’t have guessed that if you surveyed the church today. Divorce is at an all-time high and even those who are not divorced are ‘disdained’, they are together but it’s not a pretty picture. I was having a conversation with my daughter who is twelve, the other day; this is how it went: ‘Mummy there are many divorced parents in my school’, Knowing this meant she wanted to have more of a discussion I said: ‘ oh how many do you know and she said: ‘2’… Now a bit of context-over the weekend my husband and I had a bit of a row, and I know she overheard some of it. I braced myself and said: ‘well you know, marriage is something you work at and not something you abandon, most people walk away because they convince themselves that the other person is the source of all their problems…that’s why one should be very sure before getting married.’ I don’t know if this was a good answer but it prompted me to have a discussion with my husband about our conduct in front of the children. Because children process information from observing first, though we may go to church every Sunday, Wednesday, Friday etc etc, if what they are seeing on a daily basis at home does not add up, a spirit of confusion settles in. Modelling good habits Research shows that a child’s mind, when young is very malleable and as such, psychologists agree that the bulk of the ‘conditioning of a child should be in the early

years of their lives. Somewhere between the ages of 0-5, the child’s brain develops by adapting itself to situations in their individual environments. Our job as parents should be exposing them to good habits through the formation of good habits ourselves. So for example if we want Jenny to pick up her plate after supper we pick ours up and then we tell her to pick hers up. The confusion sets in when we say things like sweetheart you must not lie and then the phone rings and you say; ‘Tell the person I am not here’, or at the school drop off you tell a blatant lie to another parent while your child looks on. Now I am not saying anyone is perfect, we will slip up often, it is by Grace that we have been saved…although whilst visiting the US over Christmas I met someone who said she and her husband never lie… I am aspiring to that! Modelling good decision-making It is easy to rescue children from their problems, but we can help them more if we teach our kids the skills to solving their own problems starting from when they are small. In Cloud and Townsend’s book boundaries with kids he explains that as parents we need to allow our children to understand the difference between loving them and rescuing them. The way we model good decision making is first to show them how we make good decisions. Unfortunately modelling is something that happens round the clock even when we are not aware of it, so our bad decision making; like staying up to watch a movie instead of finishing a project and then blaming it on everybody else, will definitely be copied in some form. At the end of the day we are all work in progress and the best thing we can do for our children is to be led by the spirit of God in all we do, this way it make’s it easy to model the Godly characteristics that we would like them to emulate.

MODEL PARENTING

Living the life you want for your children by Joke Adedeji

39


FEATURE

A Spring Morning with the King By Isabella Rose

40

W

ind. Sun. Light; bright. Gold; shining. Peace; calm. Gentleness; stillness. Beauty surrounds. Flowers alive. Talking, they’re talking! Glory and grace; skip by my side. Peace. Joy. Fill every corner. Angels descending; ascending; descending. Order. Music. Indescribable sounds, seeping into your pores; soaking your entire being. Nothing is missing. All is whole, complete. Briskly, I walk towards the throne. I have business with the King. My gold trimmed train trails behind me. Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh. The angels usher me in. “She has business with the King.” I feel his joy as I approach His throne. He is big, tall. His eyes light up as I draw near. He’s been waiting for me to come. I bow. He lifts me up. I smile, standing before my King. We must speak, but first, a kiss. “How are you Bella?” He asks like He doesn’t already know. We both know He’s been with me and hasn’t missed a moment since the last time I was here. He laughs as I recant the tale of holding my tongue when the man on the bus lashed out at me. He saw me take a deep breath, recall a scripture and count to ten. He is proud. I’m learning the Way, Love. Love is the only Way. He looks at me, “How you’ve grown!” I beam and twirl before His throne. With every passing day, I become a little bit more like His son. I’m trying but it’s a struggle. The world calls this way, that way, tempting me away. He sees my struggle and empowers me with grace. Successfully completing my assignment is key to His plan so today I petition my King for resources to complete the task. Before I begin He says, knowing why I came, “You have everything you need! My son, Jesus, took care of that.” My heart erupts with joy. I praise His Holy name; extol His wonderful works. He smiles, loving every word. I speak of His glory that fills the earth. Everywhere I go, I am reminded of His genius. He laughs when I tell Him I want to be like Him; creating, creating beautiful things. I begin to create a different world, citing scriptures as my authority. He glances in the direction of His angels. They move as though they have been commanded. He turns back and says to me, “your answers are on the way.” He is glad I have learnt to bring petitions that are consistent with His constitution. I bow, humbled that He would honour His words spoken from my lips. Then I leap, holding up my train. He lets out a laugh that rocks His throne. His laugh, like ripples. It somersaults through the air. He rises and holds out His arms. I move quickly toward Him and we dance and dance. He whispers in my ear how much

He cares. He loves me. Oh how He loves me! He’ll move the mountains just for me. He tells me that I am an important addition to His family. He approves of me and encourages me to press forward in my work. His rests his palms lightly on my cheeks. The pureness and sincerity of His being are written on every inch of His face. He shuts His eyes, memorizing the moment, etching it into His consciousness so He can revisit it over and over again. At the same time He pours himself into me to strengthen me. His anointing is refreshing. He drops His hands and opens the deep pools of love that are His eyes. “Is there anything else you want? Anything at all? All you have to do is ask my love, and I will give it to you.” He delights in making me happy and loves the adoration and gratitude He sees spilling from my heart. I want to allow Him the pleasure of giving me more, but first, I’ll enjoy the benefits He has already conferred. “No thank you Father, you have done enough for me today.” He is disappointed but allows me have my way. We stay in the same position for a little while, savouring the moment. No words are spoken, but a lot is being said. We walk together to His throne. He sits and I take my place at His feet. What feels like hours pass and then it’s time to go. “Thank you Father, Your kindness astounds me! I am delighted to be called your own, privileged to be adopted into your family and thankful that you would look upon me with such love and tenderness. I feel so treasured and appreciated. I love you.” His glory radiates throughout the Throne Room. The colours, the fragrance, the beauty…. I blow Him a kiss and skip towards the gold double doors. My robe of righteousness trails behind me almost as happy as I am. I chuckle to myself and steal another glance back. The throne is now a long distance away and I can just about make out His frame. He has risen. His gaze is following my every step. How does He do that? How does He stand there and also walk with me at the same time? The thought that no one can ever take His love away from me suddenly flashes into my mind. I want to scream with delight! Instead I whisper to the air, “This love affair with my King, no one can interfere.” No one.


Yoked with Unbelief Yoked with Unbelief is a phenomenal book encouraging believers in their relationships with unbelievers. It could be with unbelieving spouses, parents/ parents-in-law, siblings and friends. It is filled with memorable relevant bible verses and refreshing words to encourage us not to give up and stand strong in our faith. Readers can relate to this book and have been touched by it. For more information, contact the author via email phins320@gmail.com or call 07958 358 139. Also available on amazon.co.uk


FEATURE

I

am really excited about 2012 as a year because it is going to be without the word we will NOT be able to do anything! Whatever one of victory for Christians, and specifically Christians who are situation you are encountering now, or will encounter in the future, going to allow themselves to be guided by the Word of God. the solution is in the Word. From the tail end of last year till now, the message of the Lord This year I would urge you to meditate on John 15:5-8 and see is clear; some of these things have been regularly confirmed from the the explosion that will take place in your life. In this passage I have pulpit in Jesus House, and in all of them, God is saying that we win. substituted ‘me’ and ‘my’ for ‘Jesus the Word’, so I’ll say it this way: “if But there is that catch I hinted at for those who will enjoy this victory, we remain in Jesus the Word and Jesus the Word in us, we will produce a very simple one in truth. much fruit, because without Jesus the Word we will not and cannot 2012 will have its share of turbulence and chaos - we are already do anything!! If anyone does not remain in Jesus the Word he will hearing about some of it in the news - but for those who will take be thrown aside like a branch and he will wither. If we remain in the Word of God as the final authority, and abide in it and do what Jesus the Word, and the words of Jesus the Word, (that are spirit and it says, the turbulence and chaos may happen around them but it will life - John 6:63), remain in us, we will ask whatever we want and it not come near them. Not only will they remain untouched, but they will be done for us. Jesus the Word’s Father is glorified by this: that we will prosper amidst the chaos, to the extent that they will not want produce much fruit and prove to be Jesus the Word’s disciples. the year to end. As the last phrase of verse 8 of John 15 says we need to prove to More than ever before, this year will prove that all the things we be His disciples. To do this, there must be a clear distinction between have learnt from the systems of the world won’t work for us; things us and the people of the world, so while their lives are governed by the we have learnt from the professors in the prestigious business schools; circumstances life throws at them, we would bask in the goodness of things the so-called experts put forward in their analyses; these are the Father so that He can be glorified. not the things that are going to determine who will be victorious in There are two ways in which things can pan out us this year, and the 2012. The only thing that will is what the Lord has to say, so we would choice is ours really. There is one way for the Christian who will make do well to open our ears to listen. The Word his final authority and It might be easy to say “you another for the Christian who have no idea of the things I am will not. The outcome of both ”God will not allow you to be going through” or “the reports individuals is clear for all to see tempted beyond what you are in the news will obviously affect in Jeremiah 17:5-8. everybody”, but permit me able, and with the temptation point out that the Bible says The Christian who has He will provide a way of escape not made the Word final that there is no temptation (the things we hear in the news or in (verses 5-6) so that you are able to bear it.” Authority conversation) that has overtaken The man who trusts in mankind you except what is common to (and his systems), who makes humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted human flesh his strength and turns his heart from the LORD is beyond what you are able, and with the temptation He will provide cursed. He will be like a juniper in the Arabah, he cannot see when a way of escape so that you are able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13). good comes (When the good comes, he will not have a clue, when good is From that scripture a few things are clear: happening he will not see it, because his trust is in the systems of man, and • Temptations will come; even though he is a Christian, the things of God are like foolishness to him – • These temptations are not from God (every good and perfect 1 Corinthians 2:14) but dwells in the parched places in the wilderness, gift is from the Lord - James 1:17). According to John 10:10, the in a salt land where no one lives. objective of the thief (the devil) in his temptations is to steal the Word from you, because he knows the power it packs. The Word The Christian who has made the Word final Authority to you is like spinach to Popeye; (Verses 7-8) • The temptation is not unique to you and me. It may be packaged The man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence indeed is the differently but its objective is the same: to steal the Word from LORD, is blessed. He will be like a tree planted by water: it sends its our hearts; roots out toward a stream, it doesn’t fear when heat comes (He does • God will use the temptations the devil has meant for evil to not depend on the systems of the world and as such is unmoved when they make a way of escape for us (also see Romans 8:28). begin to fall apart), and its foliage remains green. It will not worry in a The question now is what is that way of escape? Jesus said “I am the year of drought or cease producing fruit. way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” ( John 14:6). The bible also says that “The Word became flesh and I hope you will let this be an encouragement and a blessing to you as took up residence among us” ( John 1:14). Who came to reside with it has been for me. All I can say in closing is for he that hath an ear us? Jesus, right? So by a mathematical equation of substitution we to hear (Matthew 11:15). For those ready to listen to what God is can say that THE WAY=JESUS=THE WORD, so from that equation saying this year, and, more importantly, to do what he says, everything we can deduce that the way of escape this year is the Word of God; is going to be alright.

the

way of

escape 42

by Bolarin Olajide


n? a l P o T t th o N r he 5

O re t o n f a e l b To P nsider 12 o co April 20 t s p Ti of de Olunloyo

le peop s e h t el, llor -b ouns f counse c o o sn ere i ultitude v 11:14) h t e m o er “wh ut in the fety” (Pr a b fail: there is s i y La

S

o the dreaded “January the 31st” (or more like February 2nd due to the public sector union strike) has just gone by but guess what? The tax year end is upon us again with the 5th of April just round the corner. This means another year of tax affairs is coming to a close; it also could mean that huge taxes will be payable in nine months time! What could you possibly do in these last few days that could possibly make a difference? Well, here are a few tips for you to help ensure you are maximising all the annual allowances, reliefs and exemptions available to you this tax year: Make use of your ISA Allowance Although there is no tax relief, an Individual Savings Account (ISA) is a tax-efficient scheme as you pay no capital gains tax and no further tax on the income making it one of the most tax efficient schemes available. If you are planning to open or even transfer an ISA you already have, you have until the 5th of April but it’s dangerous to leave it until that date so you don’t lose the allowance. The HMRC details that the application must have been received and processed by the 5th of April by the ISA provider to qualify for the 2011/12 allowance. There are two main types of ISAs: Cash ISAs and Stocks and Shares ISAs. Cash ISAs work like your normal savings accounts but you do not pay income tax on the interest you earn. With stocks and shares ISAs, you can invest in individual stocks and shares or investment funds and any profit you make is not subject to capital gains tax. Note however that you pay 10% on dividend earnings. The Maximum amount you can put in a Cash ISA this tax year is £5,340 and £10,680 for Stocks and Shares ISA. As long as you have not exceeded the current £10,680 limit, you have until the 5th of April to invest and make the most of your allowance. Jointly owned assets Are you a married

couple jointly owning an income generating asset? It would be assumed that you each own 50% of the income even where the asset is owned in unequal shares. Consider your tax bands as it may be more beneficial for one partner to take all the income, this way you maximise the allowances available to each of you. This would however mean that the asset must be transferred to their sole name, but that could be a great way to save some more tax this year. Capital Gains Tax Allowance If you have assets which have appreciated in value, make sure your annual allowance for 2012/13 - £10,600 is being utilised. Pensions You can increase your contributions to adjust your income below tax and personal allowance thresholds. If you are currently a higher rate tax payer (i.e you earn over £35,001), then it means your contributions to a pension scheme may qualify for 40% income tax relief. This means that a payment of £1,000 will actually cost you £600 so consider making more contributions into your pension fund. The higher rate tax band starting amount will change to £34,371 in the next tax year 2012/13. If you have taxable earnings of over £100,000 in the current tax year, it is important to consider advice to restore the personal allowance which is gradually taken away as soon as the earnings go over the £100,000 limit (it reduces by £1 of every £2 of earnings). If you are concerned about your overall retirement planning, book an appointment with your adviser. One planning area that is often missed is funds payment for a lower earning spouse or child – You can make contributions for members of your family and everyone now has an annual allowance for pension payments of £3,600 whether they pay income tax or not. Giving to Charity Don’t forget that as a higher rate tax payer, you get a tax relief for

IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR GIFT AID PAYERS •

Please do remember that you MUST pay an amount of Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax at least equal to the tax that Jesus House will claim on your donation in the tax year (currently 25p for every £1). To work out if you’ve paid enough tax to cover your donations, divide your donation value by four. For example, if you give £100 in a particular tax year you will need to have paid £25 tax over that period. (This bit is already in note 5 of the article so

• • • •

donations made under gift aid to charity in the tax year and this could reduce your tax bill greatly. Do plan carefully to ensure you have paid enough tax to cover the gift aid repayment so you don’t have to pay further tax to the HMRC as this is one area that is often missed. To work out if you’ve paid enough tax to cover your donations, divide the donation value by four. For example, if you give £100 in a particular tax year you will need to have paid £25 tax over that period. Inheritance Tax planning If your estate (all your assets) exceeds £325,000, then you should consider ways of reducing your inheritance tax liability. There is an annual allowance of gifts of £3,000 that allows for a small sum to be transferred from your estate immediately. This allowance is per person so for a married couple that’s £6,000. You could also consider establishing a pattern of regular gifts which may be treated as exempt e.g. making settlements into trusts. Investments for Children and Grandchildren A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children. Prov 13:22. National Savings Children’s Bonus Bonds are still available for children under age 16. The limit is £3,000 for each child, currently 2.5% AER compound guaranteed over the first 5 years, then a fixed rate notified at each 5th anniversary to age 21 and a final bonus on the 21st birthday; they are tax-free even if the funds are provided by the child’s parents. Finally, do you plan on leaving the UK? This may sound funny but formalising your exit arrangement to coincide with the tax year end can often be a sensible approach and although it may not coincide with the tax year in your intended country of residence, it makes sense to formally exit the UK on the 6th of April if practical. *It is very important that you seek financial advice before utilising any planning tips*

should I be repeating?) If in the future you no longer pay tax, it is imperative that you notify us so that we can suspend or cancel your declaration. Kindly notify us of any changes to your personal details. You can cancel your declaration anytime by calling the finance office. If you have any questions about Gift Aid; how it affects you or would like a short workshop on the Gift Aid management and effects, please contact the finance office on 0208 438 8285.


All roads lead to the Streatham Life Centre...or one near you. Get on board!

An interview with the Streatham Life Centre facilitator Q: How long have you been a Life Group Leader and what motivated you to become one? A: Feels like forever in a good kind of way! I guess since the name change from ‘Small Groups’ to ‘Life Groups’ I felt like I had to do something with all the teaching I was receiving – a way to help out really as ‘The Work’ was increasing rapidly! Q: How would you describe a typical meeting at the Life Centre? A: A safe space for stimulating conversations where members get to ask questions however ‘out there’ they may seem but with the understanding that the Bible is our ultimate frame of reference and ‘the last word’ on any subject. Also to appreciate that there are as many perspectives on any portion of scripture as there are people; hence why the Word is alive and active and able to speak to each person where they are (personal revelation). A time to pray for one another and share testimonies as prayer requests are answered. A place where we have all things in common like the early church and take advantage of any opportunity to celebrate each other with food, drink and gifts! I don’t think the word ‘typical’ can be used to describe Streatham Life Centre as some of our meetings have varied between watching a movie in someone’s home and talking about it afterwards to Saturday afternoon spa sessions for the ladies while the men played table tennis, to sharing meals in restaurants! There are endless ways to meet and minister to people’s needs! Q: What have you learnt about yourself and others in the group since carrying out this role? A: That I love cooking, giving gifts, encouraging – basically fussing over people like a mother hen! I have been humbled as I have seen tremendous growth in and received support from members of Streatham Life Centre over the years. But the best part is the fact that we are never in a hurry to leave (too much food, fun and laughter)! As we say “once a Streatham Life Centre (SLC) member; always an SLC member”! We have had members move on for various reasons who still stay in contact on a regular basis. Q: What is it like leading the Life Centre? A: Stretching and rewarding all at the

same time – humbling as you learn from others and experience God’s love expressed beyond measure in practical ways! Be prepared to see God answer prayers – new homes, better jobs, divine connections (marriages) etc. Q: What encouragement would you give to someone who might be thinking about becoming a Life Group Leader? A: You don’t have to have any special skills – simply ask God for a heart for His people then sit back and watch Him do His thing! Q: What plans do you have for the future of the Streatham Life Centre? A: Do life better with people (there are so many distractions but I must still make time for God’s people and see this as my primary assignment) and replicate what the early church had – a healthy balance between dedicated time for The Word and having a positive impact on the community through church social responsibility projects etc. Members of the Streatham Life Centre were asked to say in one or two (or more!) words what it meant to them to be a member of this Life Centre. The following are some of their responses: “Insightful and Supportive.” - KK “Positive impact, source of inspiration and encouragement, great show of love, support and prayers, deep fellowship.” - N “Awesome, incredible and serves as a lighthouse.” - AR “Solace.” - AA “Like an extended family.” - AA “Enriching.” - AN “Refreshing and Real.” - PE I hope you have been inspired by this article to find out more about Life Groups, becoming a Life Group Leader or joining a Life Group near you! If so please visit the Life Groups page of the Jesus House website (www.jesushouse.org.uk) or send an email to lifegroups@jesushouse.org.uk Igho Mowoe Life Groups Team


Religion is being “sidelined, marginalised and downgraded in the public sphere”

Formal prayers at the start of council meetings in England and Wales have been outlawed by the High Court

THE CON

Michael Mo mutant hit squa in the US and

For Such A Time As This by bukky olawoyin

G

iven recent events in the UK, I’m forced to have a conversation with my fellow believers. My address is specifically to the “family” all those who at one time or the other have professed the Christian faith. There is an old African saying that says that “one does not leave a burning lamp beneath a thatched roof and fall asleep”; the only certainty is disaster. This is a time when folding of arms and wishing for the best will not suffice. We have prayed, and please trust me when I say that; but this is a time when positive action is required. There is a time and place for Moses’ hands to be raised on the mountain and a time and place for the Joshuas to step out and fight in the valley. We need to take personal responsibility for our faith and the time to do this is NOW! Where to start? Two recent headlines worry me, not just for this generation but for future ones. If the nation continues down its present route, I fear that the next generation will not be able to profess their Christian beliefs without prosecution of a type not seen in our lifetime. Luke

18:8 resounds ever louder: “when the Son of man comes, shall he indeed find faith on the earth?” “Formal prayers at the start of council meetings in England and Wales have been outlawed by the High Court, prompting a furious backlash from politicians and senior Christians - Bideford Town Council in Devon.” Religion is being “sidelined, marginalised and downgraded in the public sphere”… “ You cannot and should not extract these Christian foundations from the evolution of our nations any more than you can or should erase the spires from our landscapes.” - Conservative cochairwoman Baroness Warsi. The subtle relegation of the Christian faith in a country that is supposedly ‘Christian’ – at least based on the confession of 69% of the population – has been steadily increasing over the last two decades, with the emergence of liberal democratic politics, free-will and European Union-fuelled human rights policies by the meagre 23% atheists (or people with no confessed religion). I am all for minority rights being

69% of the UK population profess to be Christian, but they appear to be looking on as 23% who profess to be atheists or have no confessed religion map out this country’s future

upheld in the society; after all, I belong to a minority group. I doubt that the quality of life I and million others enjoy in the UK would be possible if not for our rights being acknowledged and upheld. However, the big question is “Should upholding one set of beliefs and values mean relegating another?” At this juncture I feel that, rather than criticize one group or the other, we as Christians need to step up and promote our ‘long-held’, ‘passionatelyvalued’ and ‘eternally-professed’ beliefs. Not in a bid to suppress other beliefs but to protect and preserve ours for future generations, so it at least remains as a choice for them. I would like to also state that professing one’s beliefs should not be immediately construed as ‘inciting religious hatred’, as the previous government tried to purport. We are at a delicate stage now where we (Christians) might need to act to save the faith from extinction. This brings to mind something I picked up during last year’s G2R (Bible study of Genesis to Revelations in a year), while studying the book of Esther: 45


SALT

“You cannot and should not extract these Christian foundations from the evolution of our nations any more than you can or should erase the spires from our landscapes.” - Conservative co-chairwoman Baroness Warsi.

“And they told to Mordecai Esther’s words. Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:12-14 Like Esther, a lot of Christians have risen to positions of influence where their opinions are valued in matters that affect the running of the country. They have been placed in areas where they make decisions that affect hundreds, if not millions of lives. The laws of this nation are primarily founded on a Christian foundation and thus should uphold, rather than suppress, Christian beliefs. These Christian public officials have been mute for so long, possibly lacking the confidence to speak out about some of the things that negate their beliefs. I feel the time has come for such officials to be given the backing of the Christian community in order to be able to stand up with confidence for their beliefs. It’s high time they did not feel intimidated to speak out. I doubt that Esther would have had the courage to approach the king if Mordecai (and the entire community) hadn’t lent their support, even challenging her by detailing the consequence of any 46

inertia on her part. Esther acted at the risk of losing her life. She approached the king without being summoned, an action that qualified for the death penalty. She came to the point where what was at stake with her silence was greater that her standing up for a people she represented; we all need to emulate her bravery in this period. I’m using this medium to call out to all Christians, both in positions of influence and not, to become proactive and lend their encouragement and support to actions that will uphold the Christian faith. We need to form groups that will look out for, and speak out against, anything that will threatens the Christian heritage of this nation. Another reason we should standup for our belief is augmented by the inconspicuous lesson found in the story of Paul the Roman Citizen. “the chiliarch commanded him to be brought into the fortress, saying that he should be examined by scourging, that he might ascertain for what cause they cried thus against him. But as they stretched him forward with the thongs, Paul said to the centurion, who stood [by], Is it lawful for you to scourge a man [who is] a Roman and uncondemned? And the centurion, having heard it, went and reported it to the chiliarch, saying, What art thou going to do? For this man is a Roman. And the chiliarch coming up said to him, Tell me, Art *thou* a Roman? And he said, Yes. And the chiliarch answered, *I*,

Queen Esther took a risk to do what she felt was necessary to safeguared the future of her people. What are we willing to risk to defend the Christian faith?

for a great sum, bought this citizenship. And Paul said, But *I* was also [free] born. Immediately therefore those who were going to examine him left him, and the chiliarch also was afraid when he ascertained that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him. - Acts 22: 24–29 Paul was able to do a lot of the things he accomplished in the regions God sent him to by taking advantage of his status as Roman citizen, without which I doubt he could have accomplished all he was able to. Many of us Christians have statuses that afford us some luxuries. It’s time to put these to use in favour of what we professes as our belief. The buck stops at the feet of every Christian; nothing can be passed on and things need to be dealt with as swiftly as is possible. This is not a time to feel that it is others’ duty to speak out or act. We need to speak out in support of the leaders who are bold enough to profess their Christian belief. We need to ask ourselves the question: When we are eventually reunited with the great cloud of witnesses, and they ask how we ran the race that was set before us, what would our response be? The time to stand up has rarely been more critical than it is this present day! For more information on the SALT Group (Politics and Civic Awareness) at Jesus House, please contact Lola Adedoyin at loladedoyin@hotmail.com or Bukky Olawoyin at bukky@olawoyin.net


Be careful before you say ‘I Do’

I

used to go to a Church where, when talking about relationships, the Pastor always said, “Be careful before you say ‘I do’, because, once you say ‘I do’, you have to”. I’ve been thinking about that statement a lot lately, because I’ve been hearing a lot of stories about marriages, and people’s behavior in marriage. It occurred to me that a lot of people go into marriage thinking that their spouses will somehow change in marriage. You’ve heard the phrase I’m sure: “he or she’ll grow up when they get married”, or “they’ll settle down when they get married”. Having listened to people’s experiences in marriage, and being married myself, I don’t think that expression is true. I don’t think people necessarily grow up as soon as they stand at the altar and say ‘I do’, and I don’t think people change simply because they have a ring on their finger. In the old days people used to court before they got married; I think the equivalent now would be dating with purpose. That ‘getting to know each other’ time is extremely important. It’s a time when you should watch your intended and note all the things they do and decide whether you can live with them or not. Guys, if you are dating a girl and she doesn’t cook, and doesn’t like cooking, please don’t automatically expect that she’ll start cooking, or loving to cook, just because she gets married to you. G e t t i n g married is not like being born again; you do not become a new creation, and old things do not become new once you say your vows. Ladies, you’re dating a guy and you think he goes out too much, spends too much time with friends that you don’t really like; don’t think those friends are going to disappear just because you’re married. You have to decide what you can live with, and make a choice when

you get married to accept that person for who they are. You cannot marry them thinking that they will change, or expecting them to change. This is not to say that people never change, but the truth is, they might not. This has nothing to do with being a Christian. They can be Christian and still have character issues with regards to relationships, they can be Christian and not be domesticated, they (unfortunately) can be Christian and not be responsible. The ring won’t change that and if you can’t accept these things about them, get out now, before the ring, because once you say you do, you have to.

One Moment In Time

T

he year was 1994, and every night before I went to sleep I would put the tape into my cassette player (kids ask your parents what that is), and dance around my room, shouting into the mirror, “#My name is not Susan, so watch what you say…don’t wanna hear about Susan, she got nothing on me, so show some respect for the love you receive…#” I loved Whitney Houston. Out of all the big divas that were around Mariah Carey, Celine Deon - Whitney was always number one for me. Her voice was perfect, she didn’t ‘over sing’, she was soft when she needed to be soft and showed her power when she needed to show power. As she got older and the power ballads ceased, she could still hit us with an “It’s not right, but its okay” or

people, had been turned off by the drugs and drama that seemed to constantly surround her. However, news of her death made me look back, made me remember singing “All the man that I need” when I liked some guy in secondary school, “Where do broken hearts go” when said guy messed up, trying to make my bottom lip quiver like hers did when I sang “I will always love you…” and the memories went on and on. I tuned into her funeral almost by accident. I didn’t even know it was on, but for some reason I was channelhopping 30 minutes before the funeral, and every channel seemed to be carrying it live, so I thought since I’m here, I’ll watch some of it. I was not prepared for how blessed I would be watching a funeral on TV for a person I had never known. Whitney’s funeral was Church, or, as the African-Americans call it, “Cherch”, and God’s presence was there, as the pastor that opened the service declared. From Donnie Mcclurkin telling people to “stand when you’ve done all you can”, to Tyler Perry quoting the scripture that says nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus, to Bishop TD Jakes telling the crowd that love is stronger than death, or Cece Winans telling the watching world to join her in singing “Jesus Loves Me”, or the Winans singing their signature altar call song, “Tomorrow”, the funeral was a big ‘come to Jesus’ moment. I watched in amazement as the Gospel, unfiltered, was being preached to the world at a celebrity funeral and being broadcast on BBC, Sky, Fox news, CNN, places that normally wouldn’t touch the gospel with a barge pole. B e f o r e Marvin Winans preached he thanked Whitney’s mother for bringing the world to Church, and I found myself thinking, if Whitney hadn’t brought anyone to Christ in her 48 years on earth, she definitely did at her death. May she rest in peace.

If you are dating a girl who doesn’t like cooking, don’t automatically expect that she will start loving to cook just because she gets married to you.

Why won’t he change?

a “Heart break Hotel.” As I grew older I stopped buying Whitney albums, and I hadn’t listened to the ones I already owned in ages, so I was shocked by how upset I felt at her passing. I hadn’t bought an album of hers in almost a decade and, like most

thinking out loud The Musings of A 21st Century Christian Girl by dilichi lawal

47


@

OttyWarmann

I

can already see that confused look you are wearing as you wonder what in the world a piece entitled @OttyWarmann could possibly be about. Well, stop raising your eyebrow like that and I’ll tell you. My editors have been brave enough to commission me to contribute a column on whatever I want! My hope is that it wasn’t because they were scarce on contributors, but rather because they felt I had some genuinely interesting ideas. I guess we’ll soon find out. So what will I write about? Any and everything! The topics will be conversation starters, high in calories of opinion, saturated by controversy, sprinkled with subjectivity and seasoned by the Word. What is a little different is that this column is somewhat interactive. After all, I can’t say all these things and leave no room for intelligent rebuttal. So therein lies the reason for the title. I figured that I would get with the times and become an honorary member of the so-called ‘social network’ by joining the Twitter revolution. Find me @OttyWarmann. Doing so will allow you, the reader, to banter with other readers (and indeed myself) about any of the topics discussed. Think of it as an online ‘great debaters’ style forum. You might even want to throw in your two-cents about what a future topic could be. So I’ll see you at the family dinner table, or your staff room at work. I may even see you in the foyer at church or in your life group icebreakers. But you; you can find me @ OttyWarmann. See you soon!

48

Blackberry revolution across Africa proves. There is little doubt that we are in the technological age where things begin with an ‘e’ or an ‘i’ instead of a capital letter. Acronyms for just about everything have replaced phrases and sentences. Disposable has since defeated classic. And time saving options are purchase preferences in our attempts to

The Social Network: Is True Fellowship Dead?

Who wouldn’t want to be reading their Bible on Kindle, recording X-Factor at home with their iPhone, then whipping out their iPad to satisfy their cravings for Facebook gist?

I

n the time it will take you to read this, something you own would have vibrated or made a quirky sound at least once, I’m sure. So what is it? Text? Tweet? E-mail? Facebook alert? Phone call? BB message? Whichever of these is the culprit is of small consequence. What I can assume is that whatever buzzed has convinced you that you stay connected, and also ensures you barely read a paragraph without being distracted (and fuels my wonderment that you might read this whole piece). Somehow the rulers of the day have masterfully fooled us into thinking that these incessant vibrations are what we need to stay ‘plugged in’. The term, ‘contemporary fellowship’ comes to mind, but I question the accuracy of this. They say it’s good to talk....my phone just beeped, excuse me please. Sorry, where was I? Ah yes, they say it’s good to talk, to stay connected and that a conversation is worth having. Such sentiment isn’t limited to the west as the burgeoning

salvage time that will only be filled by other ‘time saver’ creations. Sometimes I wonder if God shakes His head at us the same way we shake ours at those stubborn and ungrateful Israelites. Come on, we’ve all done it! You probably think I am some old dude always reminiscing about back in the day who is probably writing this out with an ink pen, but you would be mistaken. Though I do appreciate history and occasionally like to journey down memory lane, I would consider myself quite young, current and, dare I say it, cool. In no way do I despise the technicallysavvy age we live in. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be reading their Bible on Kindle, while simultaneously using their iPhone to ‘tell’ their home TV box to record X-Factor, then after reading a couple of chapters whip out their iPad to satisfy the cravings for Facebook gist? The person will then use voice activated Bluetooth to call a long lost friend while multi-tasking with a life-group chat on Blackberry Messenger. That’s all on the train


home of course. Once at mi casa, your audio calendar reminds you to dial into a Skype prayer meeting but not before streaming the latest football highlights on your 3G phone. By the time your microwavecooked pounded yam has sent you to sleep, you have had contact with up to ten people – even internationally! Technology is truly wonderful, right? Well not exactly. See I contend that its unrelenting rise has come at a great cost. The reason why so many can still ‘afford’ it is because, like VAT, it is often hidden. Though it is true that you can ‘stay in touch’ by dialling 11-digits or with a quick search and message on Facebook, I’m not quite sold on the world being a better place when Mark Zuckerberg is in excess of £4bn better off in the seven years that Facebook has existed. Or that Nokia can generate annual revenues in excess of £35bn. I purport that these so called time-saving discoveries in fact make us impersonal, lazy time wasters (not you of course, I’m just generalising). I want to believe that advances such as these were supposed to complement social activity and meeting people face-to-face, not substitute it. But today’s truth is that we no longer take time. Not to meet or eat together as a family. Not to pause, breathe and for a moment watch the world pass by. We don’t consider that, “how are you?” is a very different question when a physical and not solely audio presence is involved. I know we’re all busy, right? Have you ever wondered why we are becoming busier when so many modern creations are designed with the intention of saving time? Microwaves, speed trains, bus lanes, mobile phones, laptops, Internet shopping, non-iron shirts and the list goes on. The misfortune is that relationships and fellowship, driven by our social network era, appears to have navigated its way onto this list. The problem is undeniable. We need fellowship! Even our Creator, as powerful as He is, craves relationship with us. You know, that deliberate interaction with those we share interests, hopes, pain, joy, purpose and beliefs with, and supposedly love and care for. Sure there is a time for a phone call, but don’t let modernism trick you into thinking that Nokia can do a job that only your presence can. I would liken that to a single mother trying to play the role of a father, or an Arsenal player donning a Barcelona

True fellowship should leave you feeling refreshed, inspired, grateful, challenged and excited. According to the Bible it sharpens. jersey. You can paper the cracks, but the test of time will always show the replacement as counterfeit and substandard. Only a man can be a father, just as only Lionel Messi and Barcelona can play football in ‘that’ way (no matter how well Arsenal fake it). Moses knew the difference. When instructed to lead his people, his condition was that God had to go (fellowship) with them (Exodus 33 v. 15). An angel, however regal or holy, would simply not do. But we know all this as we have been told. We know that where two or three are gathered, there will God be (Matthew 18 v.20). Last I checked, where God is, power shall be also. The believers in the book of Acts can testify for they devoted themselves to fellowship and resultantly, ‘the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.’ (Acts 2 v. 42-47). Now who wouldn’t want that!? And the benefits extend beyond this in case you’re wondering what’s in it for you. True fellowship should leave you refreshed and inspired. Or perhaps grateful, challenged and excited. The Bible, among many things, says it sharpens (Proverbs 27 v. 17). So l would encourage you to take a trip down memory lane; back to the time when the airwaves were not polluted by the ringing of phones. Back to when any reference to an apple or orange could only be interpreted as you talking about fruit. Back to when ‘be right back’ was typed as three words and not three letters. I concede that our technological advances have in many ways increased the quality of life; but I believe that greater efforts towards fellowship and relationship can increase the quality in life. Agree or disagree, find me @OttyWarmann.

49


MARKETPLACE MINISTRY

C

hange is an unavoi dable process that happens to every individual or organization irrespective of culture or faith. A concept in Biology nam ed the life-cycle confirms this by highlightin g the different generations organisms go through. It reflects a transformation pro cess ‘that causes a movement or pass from one state to another’. The Prophet Isaiah gave a description of this transition in his contributio n to scripture: Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceiv e it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The wild anima ls honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and stream s in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise. We see from the narrati ve above, a transition from poverty to riches; bondage to freedom; death to life; lack to abundance and also an important asp ect of managing change which is applica ble to the state of our mindset in asso ciation with the transformation process – “Forgetting the former things and not dwellin g on the past”. In the description of cha nge stated in the preceding paragr aph, the word “causes” implies that catalys ts or drivers are responsible for initiating the process. For the purpose of this article, I hav e divided them into 4 groups: Personal - Marriage, Birth of Child, Location, Leaving Home, Retirement, Career Change, Spiritual Corporate - Technology, Glo balisation, Increased Competition, Lea dership Changes, Downsizing Church - Decline in attenda nce, Competition with other reli gions, Confidence in religious inst itutions, Involvement of Charity Co mmission World - Technology, Global isation, Religion, Increase in Terror ist Activity

These drivers have an imp act on the current or existing state of an ind ividual or entity.

A quick sur vey in any geo graphic location worldwide will confirm tha t people resist change because of the unc ertainty it brings and having an effective cha nge management process in place will play an important part in allaying this fear which originates from our mindsets. It takes the boldness of Peter, the “water walking” disciple to leave the current status quo and venture into the unknown. Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied , “tell me to come to you on the water. Com e,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boa t, walked on the water and came toward Jesu s. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and , beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me! I am amazed that during crises, some individuals or companies are cool, calm and collected in handlin g uncertainty. Established oil compan ies tackle the uncertainty presented by price fluctuations by their hedging programm es to smoothen the impact of changes init iated by volatility on the supply demand cur ve. Anticipating this scenario in advance has allowed them to embrace change rather tha n resist. Change management is about anticipating the future and managing the people, process and techno logies associated with it as you reinvent you rself to sur vive and exploit future opportuni ties. So crucial is getting the change manag ement strategy to fit with a company’s cor e purpose and core values correct tha t specialists are

engaged to co-ordinate all the activities involved in directing the org anization in the new direction. Out of the three variables highlighted above that have to be ma naged as a result of change, the “people” elem ent is the most critical because it involves the application of a renewed mindset to a new set of issues. This was brought home in a comment made by a colleague of mine who advised that “in a setting which involves two or more people there will be politics and a differen ce of opinion”. I feel that this can be attribu ted to the gift of ‘freewill’ and ‘choice’ giv en to us by God which forms components of our decision making framework. The effective management of these people will have a gre at influence on whether the changes will be pushed through or not. It is almost cliché that the people around you are your most valuable asset but the importance of managing people through these periods is supported by a statement made by Richard R Dupre e, former CEO of Proctor and Gamble: If you leave us our money, our factories and our brands and take aw ay our people, the company will fail. But if you take away our factories and our brand, and leave us our people, we can re-build the whole thin g in a decade. The starting point should always be anticipating that changes will occur and performing the necessary due diligence to identify the impact. IBM did not believe Bill Gates prediction that the PC market would grow much faster than ma inframe. The rest as they say is Histor y! Change isn’t a new concep t. Leaning on records for an example, an acc ount thousands of years ago describes how the Israelites in Egyptian captivity cried out for change for a period of 400 years. Go d responded by initiating the change manag ement process, introducing a leader called Moses, whose task was to take the childre n of Israel out of the bondage of Egypt and into the freedom of the Promised Land call ed Canaan. The definition of change in this scenario was “to cause to move” the childre n of Israel from Egypt to Canaan” and the scope of changes involved was not limited to a physical one;

ANTICIPATING 50


jor renewal of the changes included a ma r 400 years of ove se their mindset – to era in driver for ma The g”. kin “bondage thin He required His the change was God as the freedom He in children to worship Him oppression of the er und provided and not their Eg yptian taskmasters. the Israelites During the wilderness, a result of as s nge cha were subjected to nt from ere diff e wer ich wh their freedom caused s Thi . ypt their life of bondage in Eg are ich wh ce stan resi a lot of tension and es to com it en wh iety soc ay’s recurrent in tod nge arena. Moses managing people in a cha h a motley band wit found himself dealing usher them into to d trie of people as he setting, he sent the Promised Land. In one h contrasting wit out 12 spies who returned against the en tak be to reports. Action had e report, ativ neg a k bac t ugh 10 who bro ards the tow ple so the mindset of the peo e even om bec not uld Promised Land wo . was ady alre it n tha at more downbe be attributed Three types of mindsets can response to or n in terms of their reactio change: 1. 2. 3.

s associated Block – Resist the change ction dire or on visi with the new embrace nor st resi r ithe Ne – al Neutr ce the changes. No firm stan nges Support – Champion of cha

h regards to their As people are different wit ent is required to ssm views on issues, an asse s that need to rest inte of ge identify the ran in planning the be taken into consideration t generates the tha change process in a way ent is called ssm asse s Thi greatest support. is a technique Stakeholder Analysis which s or groups ual designed to identify individ as well as s, ces pro nge affected by the cha it. g cin uen infl of e those capabl ich stressed An example close to home wh eholders stak ing nag the importance of ma credit of ing ten tigh the by d was highlighte ago. rs yea of ple in the financial market a cou rly nea d cte affe y The reduction in liquidit on n “ma the from le sca bal everyone on a glo . ers” tow ry the ivo the street” to the “man in nts me ern gov the This meant that when

kets – everyone came out with the rescue pac the decisions in rest that had a key inte Government s, ker Ban ed; was contact Prime and Presidents, Legislators, ted duc con e wer ls Ministers. Opinion Pol ht mig y the ce stan resi of l to assess the leve in er ord ore to rest come up against in trying y. nom eco the te ula the market place and stim and n nio opi in nce This differe kes an effective perception is what ma hly important. hig communication strateg y to the changes ted rela n If the communicatio dise the whole is ineffective, it could jeopar communicated programme. When God was at that o wh , a vision to Nehemiah rer in the bea cup al roy a as time ser ving per Em or during household of the Persian tell a soul – not not Israel’s captivity, he did cials – until he offi or les nob the Jews, priests, what God had had assessed and confirmed said to him. r staying there I went to Jerusalem, and afte night with a few three days I set out during the what my God had others. I had not told anyone salem. Jeru for put in my heart to do finally he en wh Eventually them told y he onl communicated the vision, dling han w, kno to what they each needed ha wit ters por sup and s tral the blockers, neu y. teg different communication stra y can help or A communication strateg the following and s, ces pro hinder the change ed to ensure a issues should be address desired conclusion:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

ne your You must determine and defi nicate); mu com to om wh audience (to to Identify your drivers (why communicate); municate); The message (what to com ine your erm det to cial cru ally It is equ ); ate nic language (how to commu ) ate nic mu com Timing (when to

ividuality of your These factors take the ind uring that the ens audience into account, is received in iver del to message you choose . The importance a manner that is understood n strategy is atio of an effective communic d to be led nee ple peo t based on the fact tha current The . ted ula nip ma or ed and not forc t and Eas e ddl Mi situation in North Africa, we as fact this to sts of recent Nigeria atte ng ruli the of s icie pol the see resistance to ’. ship ator dict lying parties after years of ‘under e ssag me t righ the These controls will ensure n the hierarchy is being communicated dow e or reaction to to manage the varied respons the planned changes. re are riots in As I write this article, the eral populace gen the as ens Ath the streets of nges to prevent is resisting the proposed cha krupt. Is it safe ban the countr y from going not effective in are ers lead the to conclude that it be a case of a lack managing the process or could on the impact? ple of understanding by the peo of a change e anc ort imp Either way, the underestimated management plan cannot be steps: ing and we advocate the follow 1. 2. 3. 4.

5. 6. 7.

n; Review the Vision or Missio rs; ive Dr e ang Ch the fy nti Ide olders; Define the Key and Stakeh ntifying ide by ers old keh Map the Sta the Blockers, Neutrals and Supporters; e Define Strategy to manag ; ers old Stakeh unication Define an Effective Comm Strategy; g. Implementation and Trainin

d of the KUW Ade Ojomo is the Faculty Hea r with KUW ecto Dir a and Business School Consulting.

E R U T U F THE

BY ADEMO OJO 51


JESUS HOUSE FOOTBALL CLUB

JESUS HOUSE FC 2011/12 SEASON

The season so far in the Captain’s eyes...

T

he season started off with a bang, with the hunger for the chance to bring home a trophy on our minds. The time to rescue our boots, shin pads, and the rest of the footy kit from hibernation. As always, playing football and winning the game is a challenge in itself, but the team have worked hard to get us where we are in the league now. Supporting each other is an important factor and we have done well so far. Seeing the players grow and learn this season has been encouraging. There have been challenges during this season, but that is usually the case in a football team. You sometimes get players who need to be reminded of their duties on and off the pitch. There are also times when the team doesn’t perform to the best of its ability, but the main thing is that improvements are being made. One major hope is to have more supporters from the church come to our matches.

LEAGUE TABLE POS

P

W

D

L

GD

PTS

1

New Life Assembly

10

9

0

1

13

27

2

Jesus House

9

4

2

3

7

14

3

The Lord’s Sanctuary

10

4

1

5

6

13

4

Winners Chapel

9

4

1

4

5

13

5

Kensington Temple FC

9

3

2

4

-3

11

6

London City FC

9

3

0

6

-19

9

7

Open Heavens

8

2

0

6

-9

6

Results so far DATE

HOME

21/01/2012

New Life Assembly

3 - 1

Jesus House

14/01/2012

Winners Chapel

3 - 2

Jesus House

10/12/2011

Jesus House

2 - 2

Kensington Temple FC

03/12/2011

The Lord’s Sanctuary

1 - 2

Jesus House

League

26/11/2011

Jesus House

4 - 0

London City FC

League

05/11/2011

Jesus House

2 - 2

The Lord’s Sanctuary

29/10/2011

The Lord’s Sanctuary

4 - 3

Jesus House

15/10/2011

London City FC

0 - 5

Jesus House

08/10/2011

Kensington Temple FC

4 - 3

Jesus House

01/10/2011

Jesus House

4 - 3

Winners Chapel

League League League League

Cup League League League

Websites http://full-time.thefa.com/Index.do?league=8465277 www.jesushousefc.co.uk 52

AWAY

Images from the league 9-a-side Tournament at the start of the season (Jesus House FC won)


The Man Jesus

Korner

Hannah Abu – aged 9 (Children of Destiny)

Jesus was born in a town called Bethlehem, even though he was not really an ordinary person. He was the son of God and he was sent to change the world. Jesus was born by a woman called Mary and her husband was called Joseph. Jesus was born in a stable and placed in a manger. He did not have to be born that way he could have been born in the most special place in the whole entire world that was so special. Jesus wanted to be like an ordinary person he did not want to be treated like the best person in the world. It is like when you give you will not take. He just wanted to help people for nothing in return except he wanted the people to love God. That is all that Jesus wanted from the people of the world for them to love God. Jesus came to the world on Christmas day. When Jesus was 12 years old he went with his parents to the temple which is a tradition that every year they go to the temple to pray. Then he stayed behind to ask the priests questions and they gave answers and they asked him how he knew so much. Jesus was in trouble because he stayed at the temple but his parents did not know he was there. His parents were very worried about him they asked people if they had seen their son. So after a few days they found Jesus in the temple and they asked him questions the priests heard the questions and said that he was no trouble and it was a pleasure to have him. After that he and his parents went home to rest feeling happy that they had found Jesus. Mary and Joseph still did not realise that Jesus felt more at home in the temple. When Jesus was an adult they teased him because he said he was the son of God. They said, “A carpenter’s son, the child of God you must be joking”. Then after a while he started to work miracles and they began to say he was marvellous. They also called him the son of David but not any of these things bothered Jesus because he knew they were not true. The more Jesus healed and taught people, the more they said he was great. But the high priests and the religious leaders did not like Jesus because he was getting more attention than them. So they began to get jealous. So the high priests and the religious leaders came up with ways to test Jesus. But they found Jesus knew the answer to every question they asked him so they started to think of new plans to get Jesus. Judas Iscariot was a crafty man and he made a deal with the high priests and the religious leader that he would find a way to find a way to betray Jesus. In return they traded him 30 silver coins in a bag. One day Jesus told two disciples to

go into the market place. When they go into the market place they were to find a man and follow him to his house. Then they were to ask him if he had any space in his house to have a special meal. Also they were to tell him they were friends of Jesus. Then the man said he had space in his attic for their dinner. They thanked the man and went back to Jesus. When Judas Iscariot heard their plans he went to the high priests and the religious leaders to confirm where to arrest Jesus even though Jesus did nothing wrong. They arrested him, whipped him, spat on him, called him names and pressed a crown of sharp thorns on his head. But apart from all the pain he was suffering, he knew he was doing the right thing. They took him to Pilot to be judged and Pilot heard all these testimonies about Jesus but found nothing wrong with him for he was personally a friend of Jesus. He tested Jesus many times but found nothing wrong. But the high priests and the religious leaders argued for all they were worth to kill Jesus. Then Pilot said, “I wash my hands off this man’s blood as I find nothing guilty to be charged for but you can go and kill him”. Then they made Jesus carry a heavy wooden cross on his back and made him carry it to the hill

53


of Gethsemane. By the time Jesus was nearly up the hill he was very tired. So they called a man forward called Simon to carry the cross for Jesus. When Simon got up the hill, to the top of Gethsemane, he placed the cross down and they nailed Jesus’ hands and feet to the cross. They placed the cross upwards and they said if you are the Son of God come down from the cross without any cuts or scars. A man on one side of Jesus said the same thing they said. But the other man said, “Do not say that to this man, he is innocent but we have done wrong, he does not deserve to die.” Jesus said, “John, take care of my mother for you are like me”. Then he looked up to heaven and said to our Heavenly father, “Forgive them for they do not know what they are doing”. They held a sponge full of wine out to Jesus and said, “Drink this” but Jesus said, “No”. The soldiers who were

guarding the three men took lots to see who would keep Jesus clothes. Then Jesus looked up to heaven once again and said, “It is finished”. The soldiers took a knife and stabbed it in Jesus side and out came blood and water. John took Jesus’ crying mother home, then two men came and asked if they could bury Jesus` body. So they took his body to a tomb and they wrapped it in cloth and linen and they placed it on a stone. The next two mornings, Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene and another woman named Mary went to the tomb where Jesus lay. They looked in the tomb and saw that nothing was there. Then an angel came to them and said, “Jesus is not here, He has risen from the dead just like He said, now go and spread the word”. Hannah Abu – aged 9 (Children of Destiny)

PRAYER Prayer is simply talking to God! God wants to be our ‘Best Friend’ whom we communicate with regularly and this way, we really get to know Him and become fond of each other The foundation of prayer is a RELATIONSHIP with God. Prayer is not just lists of things we pray about, or something we do to be powerful Christians. We can get a thousand prayers answered and we can become powerful leaders but if we don’t really KNOW God in a personal way, then prayer is nothing more than things about US and what we can get done. Jesus wants to KNOW us - that person that’s deep down inside. He wants us to talk to Him like we talk to our BFFs (Best Friend Forever). He wants to be our soul mate. When we go through tough times, the only thing that will keep us is our RELATIONSHIP with God. It won’t matter if we won a thousand souls or laid hands on people and they were healed. What matters is that we know who to go to that will ALWAYS be there for us. This quiz is about the prayer Jesus taught to his followers, also called his disciples. Have fun!” 1. The prayer begins with the words “Our Father”. To whom are we speaking? our sister our puppy God our teacher

54

4. When we pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, what does it mean? We should do bad things to our family and friends. We should be mean to others. We should be good every day, like God wants us to be. We should not be nice to people. 5. In this sentence, “Give us this day our daily bread”, for what are we asking? Basic things we need to live. Hot and buttery biscuits. A neon pink hula-hoop. A happy, playful puppy.

2. Does the line, “Our Father who art in heaven” mean He is in heaven? Yes No

6. According to this prayer, should we “forgive those who trespass against us”? Yes/No

3. “Hallowed be Thy __”. What word is missing from this line? name house car age

7. “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” Which of the following choices is a bad thing we could do if we were tempted? Stealing a pack of baseball cards. Cheating on a spelling test. Being mean to your brother and/or sister. All of these.


8. Most of the time, at the end of a prayer, we say one word. What is that word? America Ah-choo Amen Abracadabra 9. Jesus taught this prayer to the disciples, (whom later became known as Apostles). Jesus selected a certain number of men to be His followers. What is the known number of disciples (apostles)? 1,578 12 129 1

Answers 1. God 2. Yes 3. Name 4. We should be good every day, like God wants us to be 5. Basic things we need to live 6. Yes 7. All of these 8. Amen 9. 12 10. Testaments

10. The Christian Bible is divided into two parts. What are they called? (Hint: ‘old and new’) confessions creeds doctrines testaments

Divine Intervention Ayo Obileye (12years) Joshua Generation

There was a man; his name was Joe ‘The Stop Sign’

Edwards. This man was a twenty-three year old top criminal and was the leader on the ‘Top 10 Wanted’ FBI and CIA list in several countries due to his Human-Trafficking network. His criminal activities centred around Asia and Eastern Europe where they put mainly women on Cargo planes to be sent to Brothels for prostitution, (in most cases against their will). Joe was a very devilish person who did not care about anybody else but himself and just kept amassing wealth from his illegal activities without a second thought about how it affected others. He was the sort of person that when they heard was involved they agreed regardless of the consequences. Joe had no children or family apart from his father who was the deputy head of the ‘gang’ and shared the same traits as his son. Both the FBI and CIA had been keeping tabs on him for years but still had no concrete evidence that would stand in court to ‘bring him down’ which caused so much frustration for them because he ran a very secure organisation that could not be ‘hacked’ or intercepted. Every effort made was almost in vain, despite being close at times, still no substantial evidence could be gathered against ‘The Stop Sign’. On a chilly winter night, after celebrating a major ‘shipment’ that involved the largest number of women and goods smuggled into Russia, Joe went to bed quite drunk and exhausted. All of sudden, he woke up sweating and queasy. The bedroom windows flew open and in entered a gust of wind carrying a voice. The Voice spoke out and said “Joe, o’ Joe, Why do you do the evil things you do that are not of righteousness?” Joe almost jumped out of his skin as the voice was so clear yet there was no one in sight. After getting over the shock, he summoned up the courage to ask the voice, “Who are you and what do you want with me?” he said in a weak voice. The voice responded, “I am the Lord God Almighty; your maker”. Joe was startled even further, “My maker, I have never believed in God but how else can this be?” God replied, “This is truly me! I have been watching over you since you were born but now I have come to rescue you from a life of corruption and destruction. I will now show you what it feels like if you are on the receiving end of your

55


organisation and you are being forced into an unwanted life”. Immediately, Joe fell into a deep sleep where he had a dream that he became a young Chinese girl who was deceived into going abroad to get a ‘great’ job where she would be well paid and have a decent career. Upon arrival in Russia, she was taken to a warehouse in a windowless van with several young women of the same age group. The warehouse was derelict with no visible lighting. As the doors of the van opened, a number of buff men led them into the warehouse. Joe and the other girls were given some snacks and then left to rest on some dirty-looking mattress with no sheets on. They were woken up in the early hours of the morning and redirected once again to the van which headed for their unknown destination. The drive was long, tiring, tightly packed and many of the girls were nauseous. Finally they got to their destination which had not been revealed to them and they saw that it was a brothel; the girls turned and ran but men came out of the brothel with guns and escorted them into the rooms. Joe woke up abruptly from the dream only to hear the ‘Voice’ again asking him how it felt to be the young girl in the dream. Instantly, Joe was redeemed and deeply sorry for his wrong-doings. He promised God to change his ways but asked for help to be able to escape. Later that morning, he called his father in to tell him of his experience with the ‘Voice’ and the dream he had. Unsurprisingly, his father was dumbfounded. He immediately told him to perish the thought of quitting or escaping as he was too deeply involved however Joe’s intentions were clear as he had made the decision that he was definitely leaving. Joe’s father pulled a gun out of his pocket and aimed it at his son’s head, “Listen to me son, you are not going anywhere unless you keep walking away and end up dead”. His voice was emotionless and his eyes were like steel. Joe was incredibly shocked that his own father did not understand his reason for backing out. Joe’s father made sure that he did not escape. He called some security guards in to take him away and gave them strict instructions to keep an eye on him and ensure he did not go anywhere. No one could understand what was going on but they followed the dad’s instructions. Joe was completely helpless and had fallen asleep on the bare ground only to be woken up by the most elegant being he had ever set his eyes on. The being took his hand and led him out of the guarded environment without anyone noticing because they were invisible to the guards. The next minute, Joe found himself alone in front of a Police building. He looked to both the right and left and saw passer-bys and a sign reading “California – 20 miles”. Joe realised that he had business contacts in California that could help him to hide but due to his encounter with God, he had gained integrity and honesty so he decided to hand himself in to the Police where he identified himself.

Epilogue

Joe was sentenced to twenty years in prison since he had been very co-operative with the Police to help bring down the organisation that he was once proud to have been the creator of. Joe found favour with the Prison officers at the camp in Arizona, due to God’s mighty hand upon him. After ten years, he was released on probation for good behaviour; his probation lasted two years and he followed the rules throughout and went about preaching the Gospel of Christ. Later on in his lifetime, he came face to face with his father. The difference between them now is that Joe himself was an FBI agent yet his father was standing in front of him bound up in shackles waiting to be sentenced.

56

Ten questions about people in the Bible. The first letters of the first nine answers spell the answer to #10 1. In a parable told by Jesus, who was it that helped a man who had been robbed and wounded. A Priest B Man from Nazareth C Levite D Samaritan 2. What was the name of the older brother of Moses? A Abel B Aaron C Reuben D Ramses 3. What was the name of Abraham’s son? A Isaac B Abel C Cain D Japhet 4. Who did God tell to build an ark? Answer: (One word) ____________________________________________________ 5. There was a disciple known as Doubting _______________________ A Bartholomew B Peter C Thomas D Thaddeus 6. Which one of the disciples denied knowing Jesus? A Peter B James C Thomas D Matthew 7. Who were the first two disciples of Jesus? A Andrew and Peter B Matthew and Mark C Judas and Paul D James and John 8. What was the city where Abraham lived? A Babylon B Ur C Jerusalem D Nazareth 9. Which Gospel writer was a doctor? A John B Matthew C Luke D Mark 10. The first letters of the answers to questions 1 to 9 spell the name of a man who was converted to Christianity on the road to Damascus. Originally named Saul, he is now known by this name. Write name in full (see hint) Answer: (Two words - 5 letters and four letters (title and first name)) ____________________________________________________ Answers: 1. Samaritan 2. Aaron 3. Isaac 4. Noah 5. Thomas 6. Peter 7. Andrew & Peter 8. Ur 9. Luke 10. Saint Paul


classifieds We are introducing a new classifieds sections for smaller businesses and entrepreneurs to advertise their goods and services*. To find out our rates, plus rates for general advertising, please inquire by email at

adverts@outflow.org.uk

Newly qualified or experienced Montessori Directress

Due to future expansion of our home based Montessori setting, we are looking for a newly qualified or experienced Montessori teacher to join our friendly team. We are looking for a happy, patient and enthusiastic person who has a passion for teaching and Montessori. Responsibilities will include planning and implementing an exciting curriculum in line with the EYFS and liaising with parents/carers. Applicants should also have good written and spoken English as well as the ability to take on responsibility of being a key worker. If this sounds like a fantastic opportunity for you, please email your cv and covering letter to info@memontessori.co.uk. Successful candidates will be paid a competitive salary with a performance related bonus at the end of each year.

Start Date: ASAP Contact: Mrs Folarin Thompson 07980 267 414 | info@memontessori.co.uk

*Please note that, while we reserve the right to choose which adverts are suitable for print in outflow, we neither accept responsibility for actions taken on the basis of any information contained in the advertisement, nor do we in any way endorse any advertisement published.

57


Lifestyle & Culture IT IS WRITTEN: God’s word in your mouth will recreate your world Review by Tayo Arewa

We caught up with author Kelechukwu O. Okafor, who has spent so much of his time pondering Proverbs 18:21 (“death and life are in the power of the tongue”) that he decided to write a book about it. “The power of the spoken word is one of life’s greatest mysteries,” he notes. “All that you will ever be or accomplish hinges on how you choose to govern what comes out of your mouth.” In his new book, It Is Written: God’s Word in Your Mouth Will Recreate Your World, Okafor talks with a disarming frankness about our everyday emotions and provides God’s word, “readilyparaphrased,” to enable readers to speak God’s power into their lives.

He says “We’re constantly fed with words from the media, our families and colleagues that challenge our ability, emotions and identity” and this book serves as a powerful handy companion and friend, as every page is designed to remind us that ‘the grass withers, the flowers fades, but the word of God stands forever’. “My inspiration for this book started to really develop when I realised people hardly said uplifting things about themselves or their situation,” he says. “I also discovered [how] a journey of seven days took 40 years because the Israelites complained most of the time. Many of us experience the same setbacks the Israelites did, thus what we say is crucial because [though] the tongue is a small member of the body, it is powerful.” Each chapter of the book eloquently identifies emotions such as anger, anxiety, depression, regret, dishonesty, discouragement, loneliness, revenge, forgiveness, pride, sickness, laziness and doubt, and provides readers with specific scriptures for each emotion to aid them speak wellness into their lives.

“It Is Written: God’s Word in Your Mouth Will Recreate Your World” and “The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith” are available in both paperback and e-book format from the following online retailers: Amazon.co.uk Barnesandnoble.com Westbowpress.com

THE PRODIGAL GOD: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith

Review by Lola Adeyemo

As the provocative title suggests, Tim Keller’s book is based on one of Jesus’ most famous parables – The Parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15, from verse 11. However, while most narratives of this passage typically aim to describe the selfish-ambition and derailment of the younger brother with whom most people can identify, Keller discerningly illustrates that the elder brother is no less lost. Indeed the two brothers exemplify two types of people in the world, both of whom are seeking to find happiness and fulfilment. The elder brother tries to achieve this is through moral conformity while the younger brother makes use of the path of self-discovery. In fact both brothers are in the wrong and understanding this very truth is precisely what we need in order to redefine the issues at

RED TAILS: The Story of the Unsung Heroes, the Tuskegee Airmen Review by Bimbo Alonge Red Tails is a fictional reenactment of the racism faced by the first African-American military aviators during World War II. Directed by Anthony Hemingway and written by John Ridley, the movie follows the story of the 332nd Fighter Group of young African American USAAF fighter pilots who were subject to Jim Crow’s laws throughout their Tuskegee training program and kept mostly on the ground during the war before finally being 58

sent to fight in Italy, albeit with “hand me down” Curtiss P-40 Warhawk aircrafts. Red Tails recognises the contribution black flyers played in defending the United States during the war, enduring segregation and discrimination for the love of country despite being treated as less than equals. Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, David Oyelowo and Nate Parker star in this movie scheduled for an early 2012 UK release.


LIFESTYLE & CULTURE hand. Whilst we easily identify sin as the breaking of a list of rules, Jesus shows us that a man who has violated nothing on the list of moral misbehaviours may be every bit as spiritually lost as the most profligate, immoral person. For the elder son, the unwavering obedience was a means to an expected end, a conviction that can be convenient for long-term churchgoers to accept. But by doing this we are at risk of putting ourselves in the place of God as Saviour, Lord and Judge in order to displace the authority of the father in our own life. This in itself is sin. Keller’s differentiation of the two sons in Luke 15 is a foundation for an insightful evaluation and critique of both the religious moralists on the conservative right, and the moral relativists on the liberal left, concluding that each is just as lost as the other, and what both need is Jesus, whom Keller presents as the “true elder brother” – the one who comes to our rescue at his own expense. Through his infinite mercies and his grace, we are given hope and invited to the great feast of the Father. I highly recommend this book to new believers, established Christians, seekers, and unbelievers alike; it’s a pretty short book and very easy to read!

The Snow Centre Hemel Hempstead Disregarding the apparently genetic predisposition for people of African descent to completely shun snow sports, we thought to recommend an extremely enjoyable family day out to the indoor Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead. Well done to those of you who are still reading this. The Snow Centre is the largest teaching slope in the UK, with real snow and only a half-hour’s train ride from London Euston. A team of over 100 qualified instructors provide first class tuition in skiing and snowboarding at all levels, giving you the opportunity to learn how to snow in a desirable setting, and with English speaking instructors, regardless of how seriously you intend on taking the sport. For more info on the Snow Centre visit www.thesnowcentre.com

RECIPE: Cupcakes & Cocktails Review by Bimbo Alonge

extract) as well as the milk and stir well. Put 12 cupcake liners in your cupcake baking pan and divide the mixture evenly. Allow 15 to 20

I don’t know about you but summer always makes me feel like having a get-together. So if you feel the way I do then this cupcake recipe is sure to get your planning started. The non-alcoholic cocktails are easy to make and will be great for a social night in.

minutes to bake until golden. Once done, remove from oven and allow to cool on an iron wire.

Cupcakes for Cockails (12 servings) Cupcakes • 100g of butter • 100g of sugar • 2 large eggs • 150g of self raising flour • 1/2 tsp of maple/almond or preferred syrup • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract Frosting on the Cupcakes • 75g of butter • 150g of icing sugar • 1 tsp of vanilla extract • 1 tsp of milk • Food colouring, choose your favourite colours. For the spring I personally love pink, yellow, green and blue And the Cherry on the Cupcakes. Decorating the cupcakes is optional but I have to say it adds that extra touch. You could use edible sprinkles, glitter or petals to decorate the cupcakes. Cupcakes: Firstly, preheat the oven to 180C. Now pour the sugar into the butter and beat until fluffy and light. Slowly mix in the egg (beaten) and flour (sifted). Lastly add the vanilla and maple extract (or your preferred taste of

Frosting: Beat the butter until smooth then sift the icing sugar whilst stirring. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract until light and creaming. Add your favourite colouring until even colour is reached. Divide the mix if using more than one colour. Pipe or spoon the icing mix on the cool cupcakes. Decorate if desired. Allow the cupcakes to set for at least 30 minutes. Cocktails for Cupcakes Cinderella Shake equal amounts of orange, lemon and pineapple juice. Add some ice cubes and a splash of grenadine. Jazz your cocktails up with a cherry on a stick and a small chunk of pineapple. Princess Margaret Blend a slice of pineapple, five strawberries, the juice of half an orange, the juice of half a lemon, a few dashes of sirop de fraise and some ice cubes or crushed ice. Garnish the cocktail with a strawberry/lemon on the glass rim. Queen Charlie Pour a splash of grenadine syrup over ice cube then top up the glass with some soda water. Dress the glass with a slice of lemon and put in a cherry on a stick. Drink with straws. Grenadine and sirop de fraise syrups are available at major retailers including Tesco and Waitrose. 59


LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

CITY GUIDE: DUBAI

I

Review by Ezinne Edomobi

t was supposed to be a relatively average weekend away. Well, as ‘relatively average’ as a slightly luxurious weekend in Dubai, with a one day trip to the gulf state of Oman, could be. Sailing around the beaches of the Musandam Peninsula, camping under the stars, having BBQ dinners followed by beach breakfasts... As I said, relatively average However, just like those clichéd American movies, we had chosen the ‘perfect’ weekend to go to Oman. It was the one weekend in 30 years where there was a fierce flash storm so harsh that boats were tilting at 90 degrees and cutting through 30ft waves. Our party of fifteen had to be rescued, first

of all by an English family of ten who had a bigger and more robust boat and had found a safe haven in a cove, then by speedboats. This was followed by a 4x4 crossing on what had probably been a road the day before, but was now a fast-flowing river. Horror story Oman experience aside, I’ll give you the lowdown on 10 things you should do on a long weekend in the UAE state of Dubai that will guarantee an enjoyable weekend. Touchdown in DXB, Dubai’s international airport, and you are met with a gleaming marble concourse and Rolex-branded wall clocks, and immigration officers dressed in all white. Everything in Dubai is clean and shiny; it’s definitely the land of opulence. Everything in this almost futuristic metropolis speaks ‘New’, which is hardly surprising, as many of the iconic buildings were non-existent before 2004. Time of Year to Go From December through to March 60

the weather is very pleasant; perfect T-shirt temperature, though ladies may need a shawl as it can get cool in the evenings. For those of you that like your climates frying pan hot, April-November is the period for you, particularly around the months from June to September, when temperatures can reach 40 degree Celsius. Where to Stay Dubai is all about shopping, dining, beaches and hotels, all of which are tailored to extremely high standards. The Palace (downtown) is a great hotel for pure lavishness. Minutes from the well-known Dubai Mall, it has magnificent views of the Burj Kalifah. Or if you prefer proximity to sea and beach views, head to JBR (the Jumeirah Beach Residence) for the big chains such as the Sheraton and the Hilton. What to Do and What to Eat Dubai has a plethora of excellent restaurants, with many restaurants and cafes you’ll be familiar with, though

If you like your climates frying pan hot, AprilNovember is the period for you, particularly around the months from June to September. photos by Ezinne Edomobi


the menus have a Dubai twist to them. 1. If staying in a hotel, have the concierge book dinner at Okkus, a glamorous contemporary Japanese restaurant, with great fresh food with amazing cocktails. Be sure to book in advance and try the Miso black cod; it’s sublime. 2. Sail around the Musandam Peninsula on a traditional Dhow, where you can snorkel, swim and have a nice afternoon BBQ (this is included as part of the price) before sailing back to base. The rocky terrains and blue seas will have you feeling serene. You can arrange to be picked up and dropped off at your hotel, or it’s quite feasible to take a taxi, which is relatively cheap. You may, of course, want to check the weather beforehand. 3. For Brunch/Lunch try La Petite Maison at the Gate Village DIFC; absolutely fabulous! 4. For a late afternoon nibble, stroll along the JBR and have tea at one of the many restaurants/cafes. 5. Have a day of water adventure with the children. Wild-Wadie is arguably one of the best water parks in the world; try swimming with the dolphins! 6. Check out the Jumeirah Beach, where there are loads of hotels, each with access to their own private beach from about 100 AED. 7. Indulge in a One and Only Hotel Spa treatment! I recommend the Haman spa scrub: 50 minutes of bliss, which includes a steam room and a traditional body scrub with oils. You can make special requests, but your choice will have your skin clean and silky soft for weeks! There are separate time slots for male and female treatments so be sure to check this out before you book. 8. Experience new heights and lights by taking a trip up the tallest tower in the world, Burj Khalifah, Dubai’s signature building! If heights aren’t your thing you can view the Burj from anywhere downtown. A great spot is to view is just outside the Dubai Mall, where you’ll find a plethora of great eateries and a view of the fountains display. There is a fountain display with synchronised music every 30 minutes, normally from Thursday to Sunday. 9. Retail adventures need not be limited to the Dubai and Emirates Mall. Try an afternoon visiting the Gold Suks for a chance to barter on quality gold and experience the aroma of the Spice Suks. 10. Dubai’s desert Safari is a must; not doing it would be like going to New York and not trying a New York hot dog. It usually consists of a fast ride in the red sandy dunes of the dessert with a few stop-offs so you can take pictures, and finishes off with a camp where you can ride on camelback.

iPHONE Mania

suddenly felt incredibly foolish: dripping wet waiting for a phone with known flaws, one nicknamed the ‘death grip’? I was still by Ezinne Edomobi reasoning with myself when a tall guy in a suit t’s a wet and dreary Wednesday morning tapped me from behind. “This queue for the - 10:12 to be exact - with city folk in their 4G iPhone?” “Yep.” “Man, I can’t believe how sartorial Macs rushing between offices, long the queue is. I can’t be bothered to wait. sipping their wet skinny lattes under What do you think I should do? I don’t know their big golf umbrellas. I’ve nipped out whether to get the iPad instead?” of work for a quick coffee and decided I It took the seeming absence of logic in would try my luck at picking up the new someone else’s position to drive home the shiny 4th generation iPhone. lack of logic in mine and it suddenly struck I’d tried to get my hands on one two me how ludicrous my behaviour must have weeks prior but the phone stores I went to appeared to God. It also made me thankful had all sold out. Even as I religiously checked that we don’t have to upgrade God every 18 the online website for stock availability for months. Imagine having to wait out in the cold four days solid, thinking I for him to attend to your had it sussed, I get to the prayers? Or that He cuts store to find the last one out when you hold Him or had been sold just five talk to Him a certain way. minutes before I walked Thank God there is no in. My impatience grew ‘death grip’ with Him, that with each shake of head he doesn’t charge me extra from those trendy, iPhone for anytime, any network T-shirt wearing sales minutes, or bolt on texts or “If God was a assistants. I wanted one weekends. Thank God that really badly, like now. So phone He definitely He is God. logically I decided I’d call If God was a phone he wouldn’t be an the store to make sure they definitely wouldn’t be an iPhone.” did actually have them in iPhone. In fact, I can’t even stock and choose a less compare God to a phone, busy day in the week to go and grab one. So... but sometimes the significance we give them A rainy morning in Liverpool Street, six outweighs that which we give to our bibles. weeks after its release, and everyone should (Don’t even get me started on the contagious be at work because of the weather. But no, I BBM addiction - that’s Blackberry Messenger get to a discreet O2 store on a backstreet and for those fortunate enough to not have been there is a queue of eager-eyed people in the plagued with the recent phenomenon). rain outside the store. I ask what the queue I still love my iPhone, though, but my is for, as the store looks open, and one guy New Years’ promise to myself is that every sheepishly replies, “we’re queuing for the new time I flick to a text or a BBM I will try iPhone.” my best to go through a word of scripture It turns out that this particular O2 store on my bible app. The caption for the 4th had decided that it was “easier” to serve generation model iPhone in 2010 read ‘This customers one at a time, so we were all being changes everything. Again.’ God, unlike our made to wait out in the rain. They even locked Apple genius friends, doesn’t need to change the door at the top... did they think we were anything again, again. Why? Because He going to do a smash and grab over a phone? is perfectly flawless and remains the same As I stood in the queue waiting eagerly, I yesterday, today and forever!

I

61


LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

What’s on the Spring/Summer Radar Spring is our favourite season of the year; the weather is warming up and you know summer is around the corner. So, until the summer edition of Outflow, here’s a few dates and events to mark in your diaries. the Urban Saints, please visit their website www.urbansaints.org.

World Shakespeare Festival (23rd April to November 2012)

Esthers’ Spring Retreat

The Esthers’ annual Spring Retreat will be held from 27th to 29th April 2012, with the theme “Powered by Prayer”. Delegates will be accommodated in single occupancy ensuite bedrooms at DeVere Horsley Park, with free high-speed internet access, and is inclusive of all meals from Friday dinner to Sunday lunch. As E.M. Bounds puts it: “Four things let us keep ever in mind: God hears prayer, God heeds prayer, God answers prayer, and God delivers by prayer.” This retreat will invigorate your relationship with God as we chill out, talk to God, listen to Him and seek His Presence. Cost: £130 per delegate (A nonrefundable deposit of £60 is required). Please email esthers@jesushouse.org.uk for more information.

Positive Parenting’s Time Out for Juniors

As part of the National Parenting Initiative, Jesus House will be runnng a course aimed at all parents that will run for 8 weeks from 12th of April 2012. The programme is packed with practical, hands-on activities that will give parents renewed confidence in their roles. For more info please contact the parenting ministry at parenting@jesushouse.org.uk.

Care For The Family Seminar & BUPA 10K race

Care for the Family will be hosting an event at Jesus House on 24th May 2012, focused and themed around Getting your child through church. For every Christian parent, church leader and youth worker, and featuring live worship, talks and drama from Phatfish, Rob Parsons and Saltmine Theatre Company, the ticketed event will cost £8 each, with tickets available to purchase from Pages bookshop. For those who fancy running and taking in the major sites of London at the same time you can join in the BUPA 10K Race three days later. With over 10,000 runners limbering up, it offers the opportunity to be part of something special and make a big difference for families in the UK. Care for the Family have guaranteed places in the run and need a team to raise thousands to support families facing difficulties in the UK, so if you are up for a challenge, love running and want to make a difference then they would love to hear from you. Minimum sponsorship for Care for Family guaranteed places is £300 for this race. To book your place or for further information please call Sian on 029 2081 0800 or email fundriasing@cff.org.uk

National Parenting Initiative: Totally Wired

The world in which young people ‘live’ in 2012 is alien to those responsible for safeguarding and caring for them. How can parents, churches and youth workers not only understand what is happening, but also change the way we work with young people to take account of it? The Totally Wired tour is hosted and presented by Matt Summerfield and Chris Curtis (Director of Luton Churches Education Trust) and will provide an opportunity to hear how Urban Saints can serve churches in their work with children and young people. Tickets on Sale from the first week in April (£5 per ticket) and the event will be held at 7pm on 19th April at Jesus House. To find out more about 62

including Zebra, Ostrich and Springbok. Kenny Thomas will be playing live on 5th of April, so you can take a trip down memory lane whilst enjoy a real traditional experience in a breathtaking African setting.

The World Shakespeare Festival (WSF) is a celebration of Shakespeare, one of the world’s most celebrated playwrights. Produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, in collaboration with leading UK and international arts organisations, it forms a part of the London 2012 Festival, which is the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad, bringing leading artists from all over the world together in a UK-wide festival in the summer of 2012. The World Shakespeare Festival will include some of Shakespeare’s famous plays, including Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Cymbeline.

The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (8th May to 9th September 2012)

Threesixty return to Kensington Gardens with yet another enchanting theatrical onstage experience with The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, taking you on an unforgettable journey with Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy through the magical land of Narnia. C S Lewis’ classic story has been transformed into a major new production and combines live theatre, breathtaking effects and amazing performances. This is a great treat for the family to enjoy.

Dickens and London at the Museum of London (until 10th of June) Shaka Zulu (a taste of South Africa)

Shaka Zulu is currently London’s largest South African restaurant. The two-storey restaurant and bar is based in The Stables Market, Camden and is not just a dining experience but a cultural encounter. On the lower floor, you can enjoy an amazing display of 20ft high warrior statues, and who can miss the walls carved with wooden murals? Enjoy food and drink at the Braai restaurant, with meals created to showcase South Africa’s finest cuisines and, if you are adventurous, you could have a taste of Namibia’s game meats,

To mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens, the Museum of London will be holding an exhibition to celebrate his work. Reconstructing Victorian London through sound and projections, the exhibition takes you on a haunting journey of the city that inspired Dickens’ writings. An array of costumes, paintings, photographs and objects will be used to provide the themes Dickens put into his works. Some of Dickens’ rarely seen manuscripts, including David Copperfield, will also be on display. An audio-visual experience and specially commissioned film are some of the highlights of this exhibition.


Outflow March 2012  

Outflow magazine March edition

Advertisement