news APRIL 2009
Daniel writes ... My dear partners in prayer and supporters of the ministry of TFM, I begin my letter by saying, that despite current world circumstances and daily reports of businesses going to the wall, you have once again proved that the power of prayer and the generosity of a heart given to the Lord overcomes even the apparently impossible. Gifts large and small - but all entirely welcome, gratefully and humbly received have consistently arrived in the office since the last Newsletter, which has given us the reassurance of your continuing love and been an expression of your backing and support. You have told us of clear leading and guidance from the Lord and there have been meetings and collections by groups and churches giving sacrificially. The 'Appeal' stands at £80k but the considerable number of you who have been able to make promises to support us on an on-going, monthly basis has also thrilled us. We are so grateful to you and to God. Your reward, besides the knowledge that you honour God, is in knowing that you have enabled us to continue planning and preparing for missions well into 2011. I can honestly say that as a team we have never had such a full diary for the coming years. At a recent staff meeting we discussed the plans for two-dozen forthcoming missions, plus there are three major Walks in the offing and requests continue to come in! Hallelujah! A recent exciting development has been an approach by a couple of Christian businessmen who have expressed a desire to help TFM continue its work, undisturbed, in its current premises for a while. We hope to be able to share more of the details with you as they emerge, hopefully at the Prayer Partners’ Conference on 9 May at Swavesey (see advert later). Also, Gillie and I spent an hour with the
Bishop to discuss our concerns for the future. He was very gracious. We asked if the August deadline was set in stone and he implied that there was a short/medium term pressure but agreed that the market would suggest it was a bad time both for the Diocese and us personally to sell any property. As you may appreciate nothing is definite yet. We found the meeting a comfort and it gave us a sense that we can 'walk gracefully' into retirement rather than being rushed into it. We continue to wait on the Lord for His provision. As the Newsletter and Prayer Diary only lands on your mat three times a year, may we encourage you to sign up for the Weekly Prayer News via email or use the Prayer Line (01954 210327), to keep you up to date with developments. It has taken me rather by surprise that I have to retire from the Church of England in August but it is not my intention to retire from TFM just yet. Over the next few years I will gradually 'let out' the ministry more and more to the rest of the team but I will 'keep my face in the frame' and take on a selection of engagements. I find the constant travelling more exhausting now and so I am being more cautious regarding my diary. I must tell you what has been so heartening to me lately. Everywhere I go, to conduct a mission or to speak at a Night of Colour, I am approached by folk
who have been touched in some way by the ministry of TFM throughout the years - converted, encouraged, entered the ministry full time or who simply know of someone near and dear to them who has been affected in such a way. It confirms that 'our labour has not been in vain'. Amongst the thousands who receive our newsletter I am conscious that I have many friends all over the country and for that I am truly grateful to God. God is ever doing a new thing and I feel that if I am less on the road in the future I will have time to pray and be guided into new paths of service for Him within the context of TFM. We have a unique ministry and as there are far less Evangelistic organisations in evidence in the country these days, our endeavour is to encourage this ministry in others, perhaps by more training schools and workshops. Yours gratefully in Christ
Pen Pals We often receive letters from African Christians, in prison for various reasons - sometimes even on Death Row, who are in need of pen pals to stand by them and encourage them in the Lord whilst they are in such difficult circumstances. In the office we just do not have the capacity to keep up a correspondence with these people and so I wonder if any of you are able to take on such a responsibility? If you are interested please get in touch with me and I will give you details and advice. (Hebrews 13:3 Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners…”)
Roger writes... Well we seem to be emerging from a real winter for a change and I have managed to avoid the snow around the country. As ever there has been a mixed response to the Gospel with some glorious moments of seeing lives changed through to some real opposition! During the latter part of last year/early this year I had a run of missions in Ireland and here is some of the feedback; - After a slow initial follow up over 60 people attended a course, plus around 15 teenagers in a fairly rural setting - A lady who thought she was a Christian, during the mission realised she was not, but ultimately became a Christian! - A number of people from different traditions and backgrounds have come to really know the Lord in a personal way - A boy who I stopped from running into the road turned up at a church outreach event with his family and has now been baptised!! - Many children responded to the Lord at an activity day - Many powerful encounters of healing in some outreaches - A lady who came to Christ was followed by her husband and now the teenage children are beginning to ask questions. Church at Fowey showing the Mission banner
The God Confusion Six students from the Cornhill Training Course joined regular TFM team members under John Hibberd's leadership for a week of mission in the beautiful Cornish seaside town of Fowey. This is the first time we have worked with this group and they did really well. The mission was planned for early in the year so as to reach local people; for 6 months of the year their focus is tourism. The first half of the programme included Hot Potato evening events where John spoke and took questions, the best attended being on the theme of Jesus' unique claims in a multi-faith society. A strong schools programme built on the excellent work being done by ministry trainees, Amy (Primary School) and Jake (College); this included lunchtime grill-a-Christian events that grew in numbers day by day. Daniel joined us on Thursday for a series of main meetings and by the end of the week there was a good clutch of people to be followed up, as well as some significant contacts from door-to-door visiting. Quotes from the Fowey Mission. “…huge encouragements..” and “…thrilled to hear their reflections (of the missions team).” and “…with immense gratitude…” Fowey team
The mission in Millisle, NI in February was a real blessing with a good response to the Gospel. I am looking forward to leading a mission in Mount Merrion in East Belfast with my son Chris who will be leading a team of 10 students from his college at Moorlands in May. There are also missions in Crawley in June and in September we have Walk National Forest. Thank you for your prayers. Jill is fine but we would value your continuing prayers for protection on our home, especially when I am away, as there have been some sporadic incidents, but on the whole they are largely waning! You may remember that we shared that some monies had been stolen out of our account in 07 - well the bank has finally reinstated the monies in full! Jill and I have been involved in the Well Christian Healing Centre for over 5 years now and during a recent celebration it was good to look back to see how the Lord has been at work in so many lives. There was one story shared of a young man who we helped from a very rough and drug related background that was a great testimony to the Lord's healing power, as he is now a committed Christian and team member. Our son Chris and wife Abbi are well and now really seeking what the Lord is calling them to when Chris finishes his degree next year. Our daughter Carol, husband Andy and grandsons Thomas and Matthew are doing well in New Zealand enjoying a good summer having moved locally recently.
Missions, Missions, Missions! Our calendar is bursting with Mission opportunities. Here are just a few that are planned for your ongoing prayers. 2009 April May Jun
Holloway, London Mt Merrion, N.I. Hartshill Crawley Lincoln Spine Walk St John's Stratford Walk National Forest Saintfield & Cranagill, N.I. Hastings Ore Wellington Square Hastings Spine Walk St Marks, Portadown N.I.
2010 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Sept
Lisburn Methodist, N.I. St Paul's, Lisburn, N.I. Tempo, N.I. Tobermore N.I. Holloway Easter mission Bicester villages Hook Norton Walk Wales
Report On Walk Kenya 2009
The Gospel in the snow.
Six ladies and four men comprised the Walk team that undertook this year's mission (postponed last January, because of Kenyan political strife). Under the guidance of Pastor David Kereto ( Director of the Maasai Evangelistic Association) we were located in two centres - Olorroito for the first week and Olepariata for the second. Both are rural Maasai communities, where the families are largely herders. In both cases the ongoing drought is a very serious problem, with consequent famine. Olepariata is the worse hit, being in a semi-arid zone to start with.
Back in February a wonderfully evocative newspaper article appeared. It reported how residents of Primrose Hill in London were out enjoying the snow when 15 police officers appeared at the top of the hill carrying riot shields. This seemed a rather harsh response to a bit of fun, until the officers then sat on their shields to toboggan downhill.
The team undertook a mix of home-tohome visiting, schools work, preaching in Sunday worship, some open air work in a small town, and a visit to a prison. Whilst similar to what would be undertaken at home, the way it works is rather different. Home-to-home usually results in a small congregation gathering under a tree, with an invitation to give testimony and preach. In schools, almost always there are committed Christians among the staff, and typically one would be given the whole school for a whole afternoon. In the second week, there was a national teachers strike under way, and so Olepariata school welcomed us with open arms! Over the two weeks, many made professions of faith (98 in the first week alone). The local Christians have much to follow up. The seriousness of these people was undeniable. The intention in the first week was to contribute to the establishing of a new church in the village. On arrival, it consisted of a few wooden benches, in the open, in the area of land that has been given for the church building, and a congregation provided by Christians from nearby
The Kenya Team Clockwise from top left; David Rhodes, Angie Scott, Philip Tory, Jane Riedel, Hilary Donnelly, Ian Silk, Paula Preston, Richard Scott, Eva McCulloch and Sheila Hughes communities. For that week, we joined with a team of Maasai evangelists from a different area and also were part of a very special bull-roasting festival, which many of the local men attended (free food is good in any country!!). Our prayer is for the establishing of a local congregation, and a building to worship in. One team member had come with a financial gift towards that, so a start was actually made while we were there. Team life in a different culture, and where the practicalities of life are very different from normal experience, brings its own challenges. However, God is good, and over the two and a half weeks of the mission, prayers for a sweet team life were abundantly answered. So, at the end of January, ten rather weary TFMers embarked on a journey that would take around 36 hours to get back home, much enriched by the experience, and reassured by local
Right: The Team at Olorroito Primary school Below: Visiting Narok prison
Christians that the effort of going and witnessing (albeit always via translation) is more than worth it. â€œWhen people see how much effort you have taken to come and share this news, they take it very seriouslyâ€? was the local leader David Kereto's remark.
The scene was not so far removed from a hillside in Chelwood Gate, West Sussex, the month before. The snow then was equally deep and crisp and even, but instead of police officers it was youth leaders and instead of riot shields, kitchen trays were the sledges of choice. It was one of several unlikely activities during an action-packed youth weekend at which Associate Minister of Missions Jonathan Mortimer was speaking along with Jonni Brunton, a team member on Walk East Sussex Coast last year. The weekend's theme was 'Getting real with Jesus', based on the story of the paralysed man in Mark 2. The large youth group from St. Mary's church in Slaugham ranging in age from 11 to 18 were encouraged to identify with his forgiveness and healing by Jesus. Many made a step of faith in response at the Sunday morning communion service. The weekend was not without cost. Temperatures plummeted in the night to minus 12 whilst noise-levels from the bedrooms remained high. In addition to sleep deprivation, various injuries were suffered during the Saturday wide game, including sprained knee ligaments by Jonathan. In the Accident and Emergency department the following day he was given a pair of crutches, pain-killing tablets and the advice that he should perhaps act his age - tobogganing on kitchen trays and wide games with people 35 years younger may just be things of the past. Jonathan Mortimer and Jonni Brunton conferring on how to get across the Gospel, and to get through the youth weekend.
Urgent Call for Team Members This Year
I wish to become a Prayer Partner……………………………… Please note my address change or email address below……………………….......... Please remove my name from the mailing list…………... Please send me the weekly email Prayer News (need email address please)…......... I enclose a gift to support TFM's ministry (Cheques to Through Faith Missions...... or go to www.through-faith-missions.org for online giving options). Name................................................ Address.............................................
Postcode ………….................. Tel .........................
Will you join us on Mission? The “Forest” takes in parts of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire. The http://www.nationalforest.org/visit/ website gives you all that a visitor needs to know, but what does a mission team member need to know?
NA T IO N
Please tick a box below and complete your address details.
q The mission will last 2 weeks: 12-27 September 2009. q The initial invitation came from a group of ministers in the Coalville area. We now have a good Task Force representing the whole area and different denominations. q The area has many ex-mining communities, the brewery town of Burton-on-Trent, lots of villages and the National Memorial Arboretum, one of the most visited places in England. q The need is for hundreds of team members, so please sign up early. q Training will take place at many regional weekends by our Evangelists' Association groups. The deadline for training and for signing up as a team member will be the end of June. q There is a Leaders' training event 25-26 April 2009 in Whitwick. We will send personal invites out for this. www.walkforest.org.uk is the website address for this walk. Have you registered yet?
Walk Wales 2010 Following an invite from Stuart Bell in Aberystwyth, Daniel, Jonathan and David Baslington travelled to Wales in January to meet with over 30 representatives from many Churches in SW Wales. As a result TFM has been invited to lead Walk Wales 2010. The details are still to be worked out but the intention is to go along the new West Wales Coastal path and the Pembrokeshire Coast path a distance of some 300 miles between Aberystwyth and Laugharne. Below: Daniel speaking with one of the Welsh representatives at the Walk Wales exploring meeting in Cardigan
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School assembly: Walk Kenya 2009
31st Annual Prayer Partners' Conference
“The Sword and the Trowel” Saturday 9 May 2009 10am - 4pm Swavesey Village College, Gibraltar Lane Swavesey, Cambridgeshire, CB24 4RR
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