April 2016

 

I want to know Christ—
yes, to know the power of his resurrection.
Phil3:10
Christ is Risen

Alleluia, Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed, Alleluia!

Happy Easter.

Again this year, we have had moving services over Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday & Easter Day.

On Easter Day, I spoke about ‘Easter’ being like seeing the same film in black & white, in colour or in 3 dimensions.

1D- Black & white- we get the story. We acknowledge the past event as facts only –
the Proof of the resurrection.

2D- In colour- the story gets us. We accept the future promise of our own resurrection –
the Promise of the resurrection.

3 Dimensions- we become part of the story. We access, in the present, Gods power at work within us-
the Power of the resurrection.

I left a challenge for us to experience Easter in 3D. One practical way we can do this is to enlist on the course below.

In the year of discipleship I need to recognise that I have to take responsibility with God for my own life with God.

Freedom in Christ

We are starting a new course called ‘Freedom In Christ’. It is ‘up to’ a 13 week course with an introductory session & a day away. It sets out to change my life by helping me to:
Live out my new identity in Christ
Break through to maturity and fruitfulness
Uncover strongholds and deception and learn how to renew my mind
Resolve issues from the past
Understand God’s goals for my life & evaluate whether my goals are the same as His.
Understand exactly why Jesus commands us to forgive and how you really can do it

 

It is a key part of this year’s emphasis on Discipleship and I hope that whether you are in a house group or not, you will seriously consider joining us.

Details will follow shortly. Please pray for this course.

Please pray for the interregnum. Pray that everyone associated with our church will continue to support and be willing to take on extra activities to help spread the workload. Also, that God’s person is selected as our next vicar. Pray for those who are part of the selection process.

My final Sunday at Christ Church is the 29th May and my licensing service at St John’s Burscough is on Tuesday 28th June at 7.30pm. It would be lovely to see you at both these services.

God bless,
Simon

 

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More than Conquerors by Simon GuillebaudDISCIPLESHIP – SOMETHING TO GET YOU THINKING

(Extract taken from ‘More Than Conquerors’ by Simon Guillebaud - another challenging book you might like to read during our Year of Discipleship)

During a weekly Bible study group in Kentucky, the book of Malachi was being studied. In Malachi 3;3 they read “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver”. The group discussed this analogy to understand what the significance was. It seemed the Lord chooses to put his people in the furnace; the purpose is to burn off the impurities. God watches the refining process take place; it’s a painful process.

One woman in the group was fascinated by the analogy and wanted to gain the full impact of it, so she went to see a silversmith in action the following day. She observed him at work for a while, and then asked him, “Do you have to sit the whole time the refining process is taking place?”

“Yes,” he replied, “it’s crucial – because if the refining process is exceeded by the slightest degree, the silver will be damaged.”

The woman was comforted by the thought that similarly the Lord was watching over her, and however difficult her current circumstances were, He was in control. He wouldn’t let the refining process go on a minute longer than was required, because His purposes were good, and He didn’t want her to be damaged.

The silversmith carried on gazing intently into the furnace. After a while, the woman got up to leave, but as she was halfway out of the door, he called her back and told her he had forgotten one important detail: he only knew that the refining process was complete when he could see his own image reflected in the silver.

Copyright © 2006, 2009 Simon Guillebaud. Published by Lion Hudson plc

More Than Conquerors A call to radical discipleship by Simon Guillebaud - Price: £7.99 can be purchased from Lion Hudson publishers via the link -

http://www.lionhudson.com/display.asp?K=9781854249739

 

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Logo for Embrace the Middle EastWHEN A BLANKET BECOMES A TREASURE

Embrace’s Christmas Appeal raised over £100,000 to help Middle East Christians like Pastor Michel to assist refugees living in the most difficult of circumstances:

A plastic bag has many uses. But when Pastor Michel made a home visit to a newly arrived Syrian refugee family, he was shocked at what he saw. A tiny baby, too young to remember her homeland or understand the wars and politics of adults, had nothing but a plastic bag to wear as a nappy. She cried with discomfort from the rash it caused. Her empty stomach made her cry even more, her family could not afford milk and were filling her bottle with a paste made from flour and water. Pastor Michel came back with formula milk, nappies and some cream for the rash, relieving the discomfort of the baby and the heartache of her parents.

The destitute family is one of around 400 to whom Pastor Michel and his wife, Rita minister in the Na’aba and Bourj Hammoud suburbs of Beirut. They began helping refugees at the beginning of the Syrian crisis, but as the situation got worse and living conditions deteriorated, they were unable to meet the needs of all the families. Determined to provide for everyone, they began praying for more resources.

Their prayers were answered through an embrace partner, The Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD) which has been heavily involved in carrying out the humanitarian work that you fund through our appeals. Pastor Michel met with LSESD and his church became a distribution point for mattresses, blankets and winter clothes.

“The families were so happy” Pastor Michel reflects, “Some of the children were going to sleep with their new gloves on their pillows.”

The astonishing thing is that during the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990) Pastor Michel was a member of a Christian militia. He hated Syrians, to him and his fellow soldiers, they were less than human. Yet, as Pastor Michel left behind the aggressive nominal Christianity of the forces, he came to accept Jesus and turn his life around. Now he embraces the humanity of the Syrian refugees and his work – like everything Embrace stands for – is founded on acceptance and equality, on building relationships.

“Would you be able to sleep if your brother or sister was hungry” Pastor Michel says, “Jesus didn’t help a certain type of person, he helped everyone.”
(From Brian McGucken)

 

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Logo Mercy Rescue trust

MERCY RESCUE TRUST

Mercy Rescue was founded in 2006, and started with just 6 children, we now support 25 children including several children in the community, who are living with their families. Earlier this month saw arrival of Aiden the 100th baby Mercy Rescue Trust have proudly rescued. We could not have changed the lives of all of these children without your continued support so thank you to all of you for making this happen.

The work on the new house is well under way. I have been following the progress on Facebook. Following some Building workunexpected work that needed to be done at the start progress is moving forward quite quickly. Walls have been taken down, new walls built, bathrooms, more bedrooms and an office have been created as well as storage space, and the house is becoming unrecognisable.

Outside a new kitchen has been added, a maize store laundry space and an area under cover to dry laundry during the rainy seasons.
The borehole for the water has been drilled and connected to the water tank, we just need an adequate electricity supply to operate the pump. Please pray that is soon resolved as the Electricity suppliers say they can’t supplies us with the correct voltage needed.
It looks brilliant. There is still work to be done, but hopefully the big move will take place soon.
(Barbara Long)

 

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Logo for Hope for JusticeHOPE FOR JUSTICE

Our ground-breaking investigations featured on BBC2 Documentary.


Hear from a survivor on life behind the headlines of our most recent conviction with contributions from our frontline team and partners at West Yorkshire police.

Don't miss this powerful half-hour insight into human trafficking in the UK.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b073cbb3/britains-secret-slavery-business

 

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Logo for EducAidEDUCAID NEWS

The EducAidians are continuing their work in Sierra Leone - providing the only free secondary education in the country, and still EducAid students achieve the best results in the country. The students continue to pay the usual EducAid fees, namely Excellent Effort, Excellent Attendance and Excellent Behaviour. The staff continue to make such a valuable contribution, and pay the same fees but in a different way.

The situation remains the same - too much demand from children desperate for an education and too little money to be able to meet the need. When I was in Sierra Leone during January I saw over 150 children waiting outside a school, hoping against hope, to be admitted, but although there was space, there were not enough teachers and no money to pay for more although they are available.

However, in an attempt to spread the benefits of the EducAid experience, Educaid staff are working with 27 other ‘partner’ primary schools in Sierra Leone. The Educaid staff work with teachers in the 'partner' schools to improve classroom management, improve the levels of literacy, and to enhance the role of girls in the schools and in society. Early experience shows that there are significant improvements in all 27 schools, and Educaid staff will continue to guide and support the staff in the partner schools.

Miriam Mason-Sesay - the Country Director of EducAid was recently nominated , as one of fifty in the world, for The Global Teacher Prize 2016. The prize is awarded annually by the Varkey Foundation to 'an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession.

Unfortunately, Miriam did not win the US $1,000.000 prize that was presented in Dubia on 13th March, 2016. The winner was announced by the Pope, via a video link. However, she was flown to take part in the Presentation Ceremony at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubia (not at any cost to EducAid, I stress!), to take part in the Forum and to meet the other nominees. This must have been valuable in itself as it enabled her to make contact with other exceptional educators. The winner this year was Hanan Al Hroub who grew up in a refugee camp and now teaches refugees herself. Hanna Al Hroub is a lady educator working in Palestine, and, I am confident that the award was well deserved. More details can be found on the Global Teacher Prize network by all those with internet skills that are beyond my own!

Teachers from Educaid - a group of teachers from Educaid visited the UK during February, 2016. Again, I stress, at no cost to EducAid !! The visit was financed by the Steve Sinnott Foundation. Steve Sinnott taught in the North West and was General Secretary of the National Unon of Teachers until he died from a heart attack in 2008. Details of the Steve Sinnott Foundation may be found of the website of the same name.

During their stay in the UK the Educaid teachers were able to visit schools, work with professional educators and trainers in and around London, and to visit Durham University. Whilst they were on the way from London to Durham Miriam and the Educaid teachers stopped off with us for a buffet lunch. I had worked closely, and been every effectively supported, by two of the teachers, Suma and Cobra. Catering was a little different for Val as some of the visitors were Moslems, but she coped, and they all ate well.

We think that they enjoyed the lunch, but….. football was on the television, and we know that they enjoyed that part of the visit. They all loved watching the match, and all the more because Arsenal were playing, and they are Cobra’s team. Both Cobra and Suma were fascinated by the ability to stop the programme, re-wind and see parts again.

On Easter Sunday Suma was married to his long time fiancee, Sudan, and I am sure that you will join us in wishing them well in their life together.
(From Pat & Val Horn)

 

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THE WISDOM OF CHILDREN……..

How Do You Decide Who to Marry?Children on see saw

 No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before and you get to find out later who
you're stuck with. - Kristen, age 10

What Is the Right Age to Get Married?

 Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then. - Camille, age 10

How Can a Stranger Tell If Two People Are Married?

 You might have to guess based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids. - Derrick, age 8

What Do You Think Your Mom and Dad Have in Common?

 Both don't want any more kids. - Lori, age 8

 

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THANK YOU
Thank you to all our contributors this month – the purpose of the newsletter is to enable us to pray with more focus on the needs of the church and our links at home and abroad. The next prayer newsletter will be available on Sunday 5th June and the deadline for items is Wednesday 1st June to Lin Milne.

 

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