The Magazine of The Faith Mission jan/feb 2013 Price 75p FI RST! abnormal fears a personal story of being set free how to comfort a bereaved child practical pointers surrendered sleep biblical foundations for the sleep-deprived ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness’ (Matt.6:33). FIRST! No. 1285 January/February 2013 EDITOR: Lin Pearson E-mail: [email protected] CONSULTING EDITOR: John Townend and Sandy Roger The FAITH MISSION OUR VISION STATEMENT To reach through passionate evangelism the lost of all age groups, particularly in the villages and rural areas of Great Britain and Ireland, and by biblical teaching to encourage holiness of heart and life in Christian people. COUNCIL MEMBERS President - Rev. N. Darragh General Director - J. Townend Mission Administrator and Treasurer - J. McNeilly, J. Bennett, Miss A. Brown, Rev. J. Currie, N. Liddle, I. MacLeod, J. Matthews, Miss A. Paul, R. A. Potts, Rev. A. M. Roger, J. Sandall, Rev. W. Smylie, D. Stevenson, Directors and Superintendents. General Headquarters Govan House, 548 Gilmerton Road, Gilmerton, Edinburgh EH17 7JD. (Tel: 0131 664 5814) (Fax: 0131 664 2260) Email: [email protected] Website: www.faithmission.org General Director - John Townend Mission Administrator & Treasurer - Joe McNeilly (Email: [email protected]) Office Administrator - Carole Townley Practical work - John McCartney Bible College Interim Principal: Rev. John Shearer 2 Drum Street, Gilmerton, Edinburgh EH17 8QG (Tel. 0131 664 4336) (Fax 0131 672 1322) Email: [email protected] Website: www.fmbc.ac English Headquarters Director: A. Patterson 10 Millgates, York, YO26 6AT (Tel. 01904 798357) Email: [email protected] Irish Headquarters Director: T. Matthews 62 Glenavy Rd, Lisburn, Co.Antrim,BT28 3UT (Tel. 028 9262 8286) Email: [email protected] Scottish Headquarters Director: J. McNeilly 548 Gilmerton Road, Edinburgh, EH17 7JD (Tel. 0131 672 2149/1419) Email: [email protected] Faith Mission & Missionary Training Home (known as The Faith Mission) is a charity registered in Scotland No SC005119 LOCATION OF WORKERS SCOTLAND South District: Superintendent – DANIEL & JUNE CHAMBERS, 3 Southhouse Rd, Edinburgh EH17 8DZ. (Tel. 0131 672 2564) Email: [email protected] East District: Superintendent – NOEL McCLINTOCK, 43 Great Southern Road, Aberdeen AB11 7XY. (Tel. 01224 587112) Email: [email protected] Kirkcaldy: Kathy Wood Peterhead: John & Liz Macdonald Highland District: Superintendent – DONNIE & Catherine MACLEOD, 1 Lodge Park, Inverness IV2 4YR. (Tel. 01463 238160). Email: [email protected] Fort William: Justin & Carol Cummings Ministry Apprentice: Stephen Houghton Anglo-Scottish Border District: Superintendent – WILLIAM & CAROLYN HARRISON, The Steadings, High Barbuchany, Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire, DG8 6QF.(Tel. 01671 403632). Email: [email protected] Bookshops : General Manager – NORMAN & PEARL LIDDLE. Email: [email protected] EDINBURGH, 548 Gilmerton Road (Tel. 0131 672 2152) DUNFERMLINE, 4 Canmore Street (Tel. 01383 720643) PETERHEAD, 2 Erroll Street (Tel. 01779 471961) STIRLING,36 Barnton Street (Tel. 01786 451152) PERTH, 240 Old High Street (Tel. 01738 638142) Glasgow, 24-28 Bothwell Street, G2 6NU, (Tel. 0141 221 8913) COVER photo: A grey squirrel enjoying a nut— iStockPhoto.com ENGLAND Headquarters and North District: DIRECTOR – ALISTAIR & SHARON PATTERSON, 10 Millgates, York, YO26 6AT (Tel. 01904 798357) Email: [email protected] Preston: James & Lynda Bovenizer Durham: Mark & Sheena Nelson North Lancashire: Paul Curwen South East District: In Charge – Stephen & Cynthia Walker, Red House Farm, Fen Lane, Earl Stonham, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 5EG. (Tel. 01449 711877) Email: [email protected] Norfolk: David & Donna Ohin Kent: Arabella Paul Central District : Superintendent – DANIEL & GRACE HOWSON, Glebe Farm, Langar Lane, Harby, Melton Mowbray LE14 4BL. (Tel. 01949 860313). Email: [email protected] Associate Workers: Simon & Rebecca Walsh Grantham: Tim Currie; Andrew & Grace Morton South West District : Superintendent – IAN & HAZEL GILKINSON, 8 Willow Tree Close, Okehampton, Devon EX20 1NL. (Tel. 01837 53922). Email: [email protected] Outreach: David Lewis WALES Regional Representative: PAUL & ELIZABETH CROWE, 5 Glandulas Drive, Mochdre Lane, Newtown, Powys SY16 4JB. (Tel: 01686 628779). Email: [email protected] ►► (Locations are continued on the inside back cover) Photo by Andre Shalygin/Hemera God in the Dark D r. Leslie Church tells us that once, when a child, he went out for a walk with his father on the Welsh hills. It was a very dark night. Meteorites were falling from the sky. He was startled, but thought them bright and desirable and darted after them, to possess one. He grabbed at the spot where he thought the treasure lay, to find nothing, not even star dust. Suddenly he realized it was very dark, that his knees were cut and bleeding, and his hands scratched and torn, and most terrifying of all, he thought that he was alone and lost. Then he heard a familiar voice calling his name. It was that of his father. He was not alone, he was not lost, and the cuts and bruises did not matter. “He was with me,” says Dr. Church, “and I belonged to him, however black the darkness; however lonely the moor.” So Christ came to reveal the Eternal Father. He came to humanity, to be our Friend and Saviour, so that however dark our spiritual night, however forsaken we might feel, or however great our sense of being lost by reason of our sin, we might find in Jesus a mighty Saviourand a constant Friend. Is he that to you? God so ‘dvu’ed the World… By Bob Creson T ranslator Lee Bramlett was confident that God had left his mark somewhere on the culture of the Hdi people of Cameroon. But, though he searched, he could not find it. Where was the footprint of God in the history or daily life of these Cameroonian people? What clue had he planted to let the Hdi know who he is and how he wants to relate to them? Then one night in a dream, God prompted Lee to look again at the Hdi word for love. Lee and his wife, Tammi, had learned that verbs in Hdi consistently end in one of three vowels. For almost every verb, they could find forms ending in i, a, and u. But when it came to the word for love, they could only find i and a. Why no u? Committee Lee asked the Hdi translation committee, which included the most influential leaders in the community, “Could you ‘dvi’ your wife?” “Yes,” they said. That would mean that the wife had been loved but the love was gone. “Could you ‘dva’ your wife?” Lee asked. “Yes,” they said. That kind of love depended on the wife’s actions. She would be loved as long as she remained faithful and cared for her husband well. 4 January/February 2013 “Could you ‘dvu’ your wife?” Lee asked. Everyone laughed. “Of course not!” they said. “If you said that, you would have to keep loving your wife no matter what she did, even if she never got you water, never made you meals. Even if she committed adultery, you would be compelled to just keep on loving her. No, we would never say ‘dvu.’ It just doesn’t exist.” Lee sat quietly for a while, thinking about John 3:16, and then he asked, “Could God ‘dvu’ people?” Millenia after millennia There was complete silence for three or four minutes; then tears started to trickle down the weathered faces of these elderly men. Finally they responded. “Do you know what this would mean?” they asked. “This would mean that God kept loving us over and over, millennia after millennia, while all that time we rejected his great love. He is compelled to love us, even though we have sinned more than any people.” Love encoded One simple vowel, and the meaning was changed from “I love you based on what you do and who you are,” to “I love you based on who I am. I love you because of Me and not because of you.” God had encoded the story of his The New Testament in Hdi is ready to be printed now, and twenty-nine thousand speakers will soon be able to feel the impact of passages like Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, ‘dvu’ your wives, just as Christ ‘dvu’ed the church…” God had encoded the story of his unconditional love right into their language. I invite you to pray for them as they absorb and seek to model the amazing, unconditional love they have received. A Cameroonian lady. Photo by Elisa Kellner unconditional love right into their language. For centuries, the little word was there—unused but available, grammatically correct and quite understandable. When the word was finally spoken, it called into question their entire belief system. If God were like that, and not a mean and scary spirit, did they need the spirits of the ancestors to intercede for them? Did they need sorcery to relate to the spirits? Many decided the answer was no, and the number of Christ-followers quickly grew from a few hundred to several thousand. Relationship As God’s Word is translated around the world, people are gaining access to this great love story about how God ‘dvu’ed us enough to sacrifice his unique Son for us, so that our relationship with him can be ordered and oriented correctly. The cross changes everything! Someday, the last word of the last bit of Scripture for the last community will be done, and everyone will be able to understand the story of God’s unconditional love. ■ Wycliffe, the world’s largest Bible translation organization, is currently working with language communities in 93 countries on 6 continents to make the Bible and humanitarian materials accessible to all people in the language most meaningful to them. In November 2008, Wycliffe USA launched the Last Languages Campaign with the goal of starting a Bible translation programme in every remaining language that needs one, by 2025. Article reprinted by permission from the blog of WycliffeUSA— www.wycliffeusa.wordpress.com First! 5 Guidance: Part 4 principles in action By Sandy Roger W e will look at Acts 1:12-26, the record of how the disciples coped in the period in between Christ’s resurrection and his ascension. If ever there was a time that these followers needed guidance it was then. The great value in focusing on one small section of the Bible is that it gives us the opportunity to see how these principles were put into practice in a real life situation. 6 January/February 2013 This passage contains a number of key principles that are absolutely essential to a right understanding of the subject of guidance. Very few Christians doubt that God has promised to guide and that he does guide. Where they have problems is in relation to how he actually does it. There are principles in this passage that can help us. TURN TO THE BIBLE FIRST Peter begins his remarks by pointing to the importance of the Holy Scriptures, which he acknowledges to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. By quoting from the Psalms (Acts 1:20) he clearly saw God’s Word as an authoritative source of direction. This must be our starting point as well. For Christians, their primary source of guidance is the Bible and that presupposes a regular reading of it, resulting in a knowing of it. There is just no substitute for familiarity with the Word of God and that cannot be acquired overnight; it takes time. In some instances no further guidance is necessary because the Bible has already revealed what God wants from us. All that is needed is our compliance with what he has fully and finally revealed. • Our sanctification (1 Thess. 4:3) • Thanksgiving (1 Thess. 5:18) • Submission and obedience to recognized authority (Eph. 6:6; 1 Pet. 2:13, 15) • Faith and love (1 John 3:23) • Right living (Rom. 14:17, 18) • Walking in the Spirit (1 Pet. 4:2) GROUP DECISION-MAKING Peter played a key role as leader of the Apostolic band, but when it came to the final decision-making process he had no special insights the others did not have. He was “among the believers” (Acts 1:15). There were 120 of them and they functioned as a band of brothers and sisters, as any family would when faced with having to make a momentous decision. They were a self-contained group whose primary allegiance was to Jesus Christ, and the Twelve only had a special function because of their knowledge, status and unique responsibilities as leaders. There is such a thing as the discipline and corrective of collective guidance. It is what W. E. Sangster used to call “the affectionate scrutiny of the fellowship”. Sharing with trusted, usually older and probably wiser counsellors who can often ask God-guided questions, will often help us to read our own minds and discover our personal motives. There are a number of key Bible texts that show the importance of this principle (Deut. 17:8-9; Prov. 11:14; 12:15; 20:18; 24:6 ; 1 Cor. 12:8). The counsel and advice of others is very often used by the Lord to provide the guidance we need, but not always (Neh. 6:12; 1 Kgs. 13). This principle is not to be slavishly applied. No one else can get guidance for us, although they can make a valuable contribution in our seeing what course of action to take. We need to be humble enough to consult others. Older Christians often have a better grasp of the situation, longer experience and clearer insight. They can often judge our gifts and limitations better than we can. Always remember that decisions in Bible times were usually group decisions. ESTABLISH CRITERIA Notice yet again how the Scriptures feature prominently. These first Christian believers were convinced that by putting these principles into practice God’s revealed will in the Bible would be fulfilled (Acts 1:16). As they chose within the limits of certain specifications (1:22) clearly what they were doing here was using their minds to think through the issues. Reading between the lines of this incident we do not gain the impression that they were just sitting around, however prayerfully, waiting for God to drop some ideas into their minds. Instead, they were using their minds prayerfully. Eventually things began to formulate as they recognized God’s sovereign and supreme will, began to grasp his overall plan, acknowledged his moral and holy will and applied these principles to seeking what he wanted in the situation. ► [Continued over] First! 7 CREATE A SHORTLIST As they thought and presumably discussed things, it became clear to them that only two men fitted the criteria: Joseph Justus Barsabbas and Matthias (1:23). Presumably there were others, but only these two were suitable, which led to them being nominated and proposed. Notice that the lot (rolling of dice) was not used at this juncture, nor were they “looking for a verse” or a “divine thunderbolt from heaven”. There is something quite calm, logical and business-like about how they went about things. They were seeking to “love God with their minds” (Matt. 22:37) in this very practical way. As in every other aspect of the Christian life, the mind matters. God has provided two main resources to help us know his will and both are given to aid the mind. We have the written Word acting as a lamp to illumine our understanding and the Holy Spirit to incite us to apply what we grasp. PRAY ABOUT IT This was not a spur of the moment prayer (1:24). They had been constantly in prayer for days beforehand (1:14) and their prayer now was with the same attitude of reverence, wide open to what God wanted and very specific. It was then followed up by action. Prayer creates within us a sense of spiritual sensitivity and a desire for moral conformity. We must reach a point where we are more concerned to do his will than to find it, discuss it or debate it. For this reason we must use our minds, but not without prayer. TRUST GOD’S OVERRULING PROVIDENCE “So he was added…” (1:26) almost 8 January/February 2013 sounds matter-of-fact. But quite often that is how guidance works itself out in the end. Walking with God is not a guessing game; he wants us to know his will. But we must not ask the Lord to guide our footsteps unless we are willing to move our feet in the direction he opens up. The advice of St. Augustine cannot be bettered: “Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to God’s love and the future to God’s providence.” If we are to find ourselves in a position where we are willing to trust God’s sovereign will implicitly then there are certain questions which must always be addressed when we are seeking guidance and making decisions. • Are there biblical foundations to my decision-making? • Do I decide on my own or consult with others? • Do I use the mind God has given me to think things through? • Do I pray and trust the sovereign God to control events? This might be a good place to recall Paul’s prayer for the Colossians. “For this cause we also, since the day we heard of it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that you might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” (Colossians 1:9). In the context of this chapter it demonstrates clearly that God wants us to have a knowledge of his truth (v.6), his will (v.9) and himself (v.10). That in itself should be a great encouragement in putting these principles into practice. ■ [Series to be continued] Adapted from a series of talks given by the Rev Dr Sandy Roger when he was Principal at the Faith Mission Bible College, Edinburgh. I will answer you “He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him” (Psalm 91:15). B ill Gates was hooked up to the computer network we call the internet. Using it, subscribers can send electronic mail (email) to other users of the internet. In no time he was swamped with five thousand messages—he simply couldn't handle it. So he armed his computer with software that filtered his email, allowing important messages through and sending all the others to electronic oblivion. Photo—Wikipedia,Creative Commons Originally, Gates had an internet address just like everyone. But he got into trouble when The New Yorker magazine published his email address. Then, anyone could send the computer genius a letter. Above: Bill Gates of Microsoft (on the right) with the late Steve Jobs (Apple). We are limited; we can handle only so much and do only so much. God, on the other hand, never tires of s-mail (spirit mail). His ear is always open to our prayers. And he has an unlimited capacity to help. You'll never hear God say, “Due to an unusually high call volume I am unable to take your call at this time. Please call back or leave a message.” No, the Bible says, “He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honour him.” “...the desire of the righteous will be granted” (Proverbs 10:24). “...the prayer of the upright is his delight' (Proverbs 15:8). “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7). ■ From UCB Word for Today—used by permission. Bible verses are from the NKJV. First! 9 How to Comfort a Bereaved Child By Jenny Funderburke L ast week I was asked for advice on comforting a mourning child. A correspondent wrote about her close friend and ministry leader who was dying from cancer—they expected the Lord to call her home that week. She asked, “Do you have any material that would help us deal with this loss to our children? My main goal is for the kids to know that our friend is in heaven with Jesus! I want them to find comfort in knowing that she is okay.” This is a hard question and sometimes God is the only comfort in those situations. But one way God helps is through your efforts. Here are some basic things you can do to comfort bereaved children. Be present In the book of Job, a book that is quite a picture of dealing with suffering, Job’s friends do a lot of things really, really wrong. But Job 2:13 shares something they did right, “And they sat 10 January/February 2013 with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.” When anyone, especially a child, is grieving, we have the desire to “do” and to “fix”. Kids need people who are there. Be consistent, when at that point their world is void of consistency. Even if you do nothing but sit close by for them to run up and hug, do that. Be honest. Kids will have lots of questions. And they will likely ask questions that no one else wants to ask, and questions that don’t have easy answers. Answer as honestly as possible. Of course, keep age-appropriateness in mind, but lying or padding the truth will only cause more harm in the future. Repeat the truth. Tell the child repeatedly the things that we know for sure from Scripture. God loves them. God is with them. When believers die, they are immediately with Jesus. Heaven is a good place. God is good, even when we are hurting. Avoid platitudes that aren’t scriptural. Also, be wise in how you share truth. Speak truth to comfort, not to confuse. Saying “this was God’s will” to a young child sounds helpful, but is just too much for them to process. It’s okay to say “I don’t know”. Why did God let my mummy die? Why is this happening to my family? How long will it hurt? Those are questions to which we just cannot know the answers. “I don’t know” is an acceptable answer. Say “I don’t know” and then repeat the truth that we do know. Avoid sayings that don’t make any sense. Kids don’t always understand “passed away” or “gone to sleep” or “gone away”. Use simple, clear language. “John, I’m so sorry that your grandma died. I know that makes you feel sad.” Understand that kids and grownups grieve differently. A child may very likely cry briefly and then run off to play. This can be disconcerting to adults, but young minds just can’t process grief in large portions. They will be sad again and they will think about it a whole lot more than you realize. However, God protects their little brains by letting them grieve in pockets. Listen. Be available for the child to talk if he or she wants to. Don’t force conversation, but it is okay to ask things like “What did you love about your mum?” or “Tell me a favorite memory about your grandma.” Talking is extremely healthy, but kids will shut down if they feel like you are forcing them. Watch for disturbed behaviour. There are warning signs that may show that a child isn’t processing grief well. Violence, anger, extreme withdrawal, not eating, depression and selfinjury are all signs of extreme grief that may need further attention. Encourage counselling. I highly recommend counselling for every child that experiences a loss. They may only need one session or they may need lots of help, but I am a big fan of having someone else walk alongside such a critical time in a child’s life. Counselling is not a sign that the family can’t help a child. It is a sign of great love and dedication to that child. Pray. You can do all of these things and still feel helpless in truly helping a child who is grieving. The truth is, it is a process that only God can bring them through. It is part of his plan and something that he wants to use powerfully in the child’s life. So, pray—a lot. Pray for God to heal and bind up the brokenhearted. Pray for protection spiritually and emotionally. Pray for God to work a miracle in healing that child. ■ This article is from a blog post Jenny wrote for Ministry-to-Children.com, a children’s ministry resource site, and is used by kind permission. You can Jenny’s personal blog at jennyfunderburke.com. First! 11 HE WALKED WITH ME By David McKee God said, "He walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity" (Malachi 2:6). n these words God himself bears witness to his servant Levi, almost as if God finds a holy pride in the fact that one of his fallen creatures can walk with him again! I He walked WITH ME. Not "He worked for me", but "He walked with me". He walked with God continually, and therefore talked for God convincingly. How the Lord spoke this to my own heart. We, in his service, are tempted to “walk before” so many things—the needs of the people, the urgency of the hour, the loyalty to our mission or group. All of these, perfectly legitimate, can become snares if in them we lose the vision of him. Jesus has not sent us because of lost souls, he has sent us for his own glory – “all power is given unto me, go ye therefore…” And the words of a preacher of an earlier day search the innermost heart, "This is the reason why many good men have a barren ministry. They speak from…past experience, not from a present sight of the Lamb of God. Hence their words are fair and beautiful, but cold and freezing. May the Lord enable us to stand in the 12 January/February 2013 presence of the Lord Jesus. I wonder is there someone reading this who is so burdened working for Jesus that he or she has forgotten to walk with Jesus? He walked WITH ME IN PEACE. Later on we read of Levi, that he turned many from iniquity to the way of peace. Here is the reason for his success—he turned many into the way of peace, because in his own life he walked, whatever the temporary circumstances, in the peace of God. It is God who says this of his sinful child! Not, “He walked with me in cringing fear, because of the memory of past sins." Not, "He walked with me in agitated concern, burdened with the affairs of my Kingdom.” Not, "He walked with me in perplexity because of the apparent success of the forces of ungodliness." But, "He walked with me in peace, because of the covenant which I gave him.” How absolutely essential it is for us today, to enter, daily, into the peace of his covenant! Robert Murray M’Cheyne wrote, "We must be hiding our guilty souls in the wounds of Jesus, or else we cannot with joy speak of the peace and rest to be found there." Matthew Henry comments: "When Christ left the world He made His will. His soul He bequeathed to the Father; His body to Joseph; His clothes fell to the soldiers; His mother He left to the care of John; but what could He leave to the poor disciples? Silver and gold He had none, but He left them something which was far better, He left them His peace!" And His Word to us again is: "Do not let your hearts be agitated …I have told you these things that in me ye might have peace” (John 16:33). He walked WITH ME IN EQUITY. The word equity comes often in the Old Testament, meaning uprightness, plainness, straightness etc. The emphasis is peace and equity. For many today it is peace or equity. It is either peace, at the sacrifice of honesty and holy testimony, or, shame to say, such a stern loyalty to equity and holiness that we lose the way of peace. Levi walked in peace and equity, and so may we. E. M. Bounds reminds us: “Study universal holiness of life; your whole usefulness depends on this." He walked WITH ME, TURNING MANY TO ME. Perhaps this is the most astounding part of this testimony which God gives his servant. God does not say, “I turned many to myself through him", but he, a creature of the dust, "turned many to me who would otherwise have been lost"! How deeply has God humbled himself to depend upon our cooperation in saving rebellious mankind. And how crushing is the thought that many are going unturned, into a lost eternity, because we have not walked with God before them! This was God's plan for Levi, to turn souls to God as he walked with the Lord. This was God's plan for Paul, to open blind eyes, to turn them from Satan to God. This is God's plan for you! “What doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God” (Micah 6:8). And as you allow the Lord to quietly search your heart now as to whether you walked with him today or not, the words of the chorus show the way. Humble thyself and the Lord will draw near thee, Humble thyself and His presence will cheer thee, He will not walk with the proud or the scornful, Humble thyself, to walk with God. ■ The Revd. David McKee is a former Faith Mission worker and missionary to India. He is retired and living in N. Ireland. This article is reprinted by permission from a prayer letter he sent home from India in 1960. First! 13 As I see it By John Townend Reflections and news from our General Director A former President of The Faith Mission, J. G. Eberstein, wrote in 1958, “We are living in critical days, in a world haunted by fear, unrest and suspicion.” How relevant that still is today! Fifty-five years later, standing on the threshold of another year with unknown changes and challenges to face, we should perhaps remind ourselves of the following foundational truths. 1. The Lord Reigns What confidence this inspires! The Lord reigns, therefore the psalmist reminds us in Psalm 97 that we should rejoice, and in Psalm 99 that we should stand in awe and reverence of God’s sovereignty. We do so because we recognize that he is in control, he is working out his purposes and nothing can thwart him. To those who acknowledge this truth and allow him complete Lordship over their lives there need be no undue fear. The threat of financial meltdown which continues to loom over us, the political unrest currently sweeping the globe like a tidal wave, the suspicion and lack of trust which seems to be creeping into every area of public and social life, or the unknown personal circumstances which the coming year may present—all can be faced confidently because we rest in the fact that God is still on the throne. 14 January/February 2013 2. His way is Perfect What encouragement this brings! In Psalm 18:30 the psalmist reminds us that “as for God his way is perfect”. It is very easy to glibly quote this verse when all is plain sailing, but more challenging to accept its truth when it seems that everything around us is falling apart. Nevertheless, God is the author and perfecter of our faith; he knows what he is doing and even the most difficult of times are not without purpose in his divine plan. This truth is summarized aptly in the following verses taken from The Weaver, a poem attributed to Benjamin Franklin, in which he speaks of God as the master weaver at work on the tapestry of our lives. Sometimes He weaves in sorrow, Which seems so strange to me; But I will trust His judgment And work on faithfully. Not ’til the loom is silent And the shuttles cease to fly Shall God unroll the canvas And explain the reason why. The dark threads are as needed In the Weaver’s skillful hand As the threads of gold and silver In the pattern He has planned. 3. His grace is Sufficient What solace this affords! There are times when, like the Apostle Paul, we are inclined to say, “ Lord, please take this thorn away. I can’t face the pain or the problem any longer.” But it seems that the Lord in his greater wisdom denies our request. It is in those times that we, like Paul, prove the sufficiency of God’s grace. Recently, at a time when the pressures seemed almost too great to bear, God brought to my attention three times in one week a hymn which I had not heard sung for years—He giveth more grace as the burdens grow greater. The third and fourth verses say: “Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision, Our God ever yearns His resources to share; Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing; The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.” The chorus affirms—“His love has no limits, His grace has no measure, His power no boundary known unto men; For out of His infinite riches in Jesus He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.” 4. He is Faithful What security this provides! Had you or I known on 1st January 2012 the demands which awaited us in the year that was to follow, we may well have been overwhelmed by the burden of it. Now however, with the benefit of hindsight we can say, “Hitherto the Lord has helped us.” On every one of the 366 days of the past year God faithfully gave all the grace we needed—fresh strength for each new demand, peace to guard our hearts and minds and, most precious of all, the assurance of his presence with us. Will 2013 be any different? The challenges may be different, old burdens may be replaced by new ones and our lives may battered by different storms, but God does not change! The one who reigned last year will continue to reign; his way will always be the best way and his grace will never fail. Mission News We have much to thank God for as we look back on the ministry of the past year. We rejoice to know of both young and old who have put their trust in the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. We extend our sincere thanks to you, our loyal supporters, for standing with us in prayer and in practical ways, too. We are pleased that Heather Wilson has been able to return to the work in West Fermanagh. Please continue to remember Cherith Anderson who remains off duty but is helping, as her health permits, with outreach, mainly in the Irish Border District. We welcome Andrew and Grace Morton, along with their daughter Charis, as they enter the work of the Mission and join the Project Grantham team. They will value prayer as they get to grips with life and ministry on this needy estate. Please continue to pray for the work at the Bible College. We are encouraged that some applicants have already been accepted to study with us next session, but we would love to see many more applying during the coming months. Please continue to pray for the Lord’s provision as we finalize plans for the appointment of a new Principal. The Faith Mission Council meet on Thursday 3 and Friday 4 January and we very much value prayer for God’s presence to be known and his wisdom to be given in our devotions, discussion and decision-making over those days. ■ First! 15 Evangelism Evangelism is something that man plans. Revival is something God purposes. Evangelism is something that man does in response to a divine command. Revival is something that God does because of his own divine passion. Evangelism happens when and where man determines. Revival occurs when and where the divine conditions are met and the miracleworking power of the Holy Spirit has free course in dealing with men's hearts. Evangelistic calendars can be prepared for the future. Revival visitations are known to God alone, for he alone knows when men—in faith, love and obedience—will make possible a visitation of the Holy Spirit to convict men of sin and righteousness and judgement. 16 January/February 2013 Evangelism can be taught. Revival must be sought. Evangelism is the preaching of the Word. Revival is the power of the Word. Evangelism proclaims what God reveals in his Word. Revival achieves what God reveals in his Word. Evangelism may be carried on hypocritically by men who seek their own ends. Revival can be carried on only through men who seek God's glory alone. Evangelism may name its conditions and its remunerations. Revival conscripts life, time, treasure, without any rewards, but that Christ see the travail of His soul. or Revival ? Evangelism could be carried out by self-seeking, self-centred men. Revival only comes when all sin is confessed and its power destroyed in the heart of the believer. Evangelism may be as easy for backslidden people as Old Testament temple service for unclean priests (1Sam.2:12-15). Revival is as difficult as Gethsemane's sweat or Calvary's cross. Evangelism may leave men exhausted. Revival keeps men in the power of resurrection. Evangelism can be defeated by the strategy of wicked men. Revival can no more be stopped by a force than men may hinder the rise of tomorrow's sun. Evangelism may be fruitless. Revival always has abundant harvest. Evangelism may be carried on without conviction. Revival always creates a Holy Ghost conviction. Evangelism was taught by Christ to his followers. Revival was given by Christ to his church at Pentecost. Evangelism will benefit a nation. Revival will transform a nation. Evangelism may be preached with dry eyes. Revival must be interceded for with groans which cannot be uttered. Evangelism is worth living for. Revival is worth dying for. Prayer: "Oh God, revive me and, at whatever cost, make me a channel of revival to others.” Reprinted in Bright Words 1966, from the Oriental Missionary Society. First! 17 Surrendered Sleep: Part 1 The hippocampus and the Holy Spirit in elegant harmony By Dr Charles Page “I will bless the Lord who has counselled me; Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.” Psalm 16:7 (NASB) E ver heard of the hippocampus? I bet you didn’t even know you had one! Your hippocampus is the part of your brain that works overtime as you lay your head on your pillow. As you sleep, your hippocampus makes connections with other parts of your mind to help you remember, process and interpret the events of the day. Recent studies out of the University of California San Diego confirm that the deepest stages of sleep enhance one’s ability to maximize the creative processing and memory. As you sleep your hippocampus begins to integrate seemingly unrelated data in your brain together—similar to the linking of information on the internet. In other words, if you “sleep on it” you are more likely to see your problems from a fresh perspective when the sun rises. Isn’t it funny how medical research eventually catches up with biblical truth? It’s positively elegant! God fashioned your brain to work on solving your problems as you lie down to sleep. Got a problem with no apparent solution? Maybe it’s a challenging relationship that you don’t know how to handle. 18 January/February 2013 Perhaps it’s a decision that has to be made? SLEEP ON IT! Someone once said that sleep is God’s contrivance to give to man what he cannot do for himself while he is awake. Whether the answer comes from your hippocampus or from the Holy Spirit, God is still in it. He created the mechanics of your mind and gave you the Spirit to counsel you. When these two are working together in harmony our mind is renewed and transformed— both by natural and supernatural processes as you sleep. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). Believer, allow the Holy Spirit to direct your hippocampus before bedtime. It’s a habit that can accelerate God’s plan of renewing your mind. Here are some bedtime habits that will help facilitate this work in your life. Reflect: On the decisions and prob- lems of the day that burden your mind. Draw them back into your consciousness Record: Write them down in a As you sleep your hippocampus makes connections with other parts of your mind to help you remember, process and interpret the events of the day. journal—David did. Sometimes David’s thoughts were raw and messy, but they proved to be an inspiration for millions for generations to come. Psalms 3 and 4 are examples of how David sandwiched his sleep with times of worship. Request: Bring your requests before the Lord who counsels your mind as you sleep. You have not because you ask not. Don’t forget to ask for wisdom: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given you” (James 1:5-6). Rest: In the understanding that God cares for you as you lie down to sleep. If God’s eyes never close there’s no use for you to stay up ruminating over your problems. Surrender them to God and allow him to do for you what you can’t do for yourself while awake. Rejoice: That God fearfully and wonderfully made your brain and has given you the gift of the Holy Spirit. To think about: What are the issues that race through your mind as you lie down to rest? Can you think of any other ways to allow the Holy Spirit to direct your hippocampus as you sleep? ■ This series continues in our next issue. Charles W. Page, MD, FACS, is a surgeon, author and father of five who enjoys watching sunsets with his wife Joanna in their Texas-sized tree house. For an overview of the spiritual principles of sleep, and regularly updated comments, check out Dr Page’s Surrendered Sleep blog at surrenderedsleep.blogspot.com. First! 19 Why the Detail? By Angela Chappell Oscar Hammerstein II wrote, “A year or so ago, on the cover of the New York Herald Tribune Sunday magazine, I saw a picture of the Statue of Liberty, taken from a helicopter and it showed the top of the statue’s head. I was amazed at the detail there. The sculptor had done a painstaking job with the lady’s coiffure, and yet he must have been pretty sure that the only eyes that would ever see this detail would be the uncritical eyes of sea gulls. He could not have dreamt that any man would ever fly over this head. He was artist enough, however, to finish off this part of the statue with as much care as he had devoted to her face and her arms, and the torch and everything that people can see as they sail up the bay.” We can well ask “Why?” Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was the sculptor. He went from France to Egypt in 1856 and was awestruck by the grandeur of the pyramids and the beauty of the stately Sphinx of the desert. His artistic mind was stimulated. Taken by the concept, he decided to design something out of the ordinary. He worked on the concept for ten years, changing the design many times until he was satisfied. The result was a colossal robed lady that stood taller than the Sphinx. She held the books of justice in one hand and a torch lifted high in the other. After Bartholdi returned to France, the French government sought his artistic 20 January/February 2013 services. His ten years of planning and designing culminated in the Statue of Liberty lighting the New York Harbour. The statue of Liberty was completed in France in July 1884 and arrived in New York Harbour in June 1885. In transit, the Statue was reduced to 350 individual pieces and packed in 214 crates. It was re-assembled on its new pedestal in four months. The dedication of the Statue of Liberty took place in front of thousands of spectators on October 28th,1886. President Grover Cleveland, the former New York governor, presided over the event. The Statue of Liberty stands 305 feet 1 inch (93 metres) in height from the base to the top of the torch. No planes flew at that time. There were no high risers. It was not until many years later that aeroplanes were able to fly above it and the exquisite details and beauty of the top of the head could be observed. Bartholdi could have reasonably argued that such detail on the top was not necessary. Why did he, on such a massive job, take so much trouble on something that he thought would never be seen? Why? Integrity! We see another example of such integrity in the work of Michelangelo in his four years labour (1508-12) painting the very high ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The painted area is about 40 metres (131 ft) long by 13 metres (43 ft) wide. This means that he painted well over 5,000 square feet (460 m2) of frescoes, carefully perfecting the tiniest details of each figure he painted. A friend asked him why he took such pains, since the figures would only be seen from a great distance, and no one would be able to discern such perfection. The artist simply answered “I will!” Why? Integrity! Integrity is more than not being deceitful or slipshod. For the Christian, it means doing everything “…heartily, as to the Lord and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord you shall receive the reward; for you serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24). We are not called to build a sculptural masterpiece or a great work of art, but the same principle applies. If no one ever knows of our efforts, our work ethics should be the same. When it comes to anything in Christian service, whether it is ministering to a lonely or needy person, or sharing the gospel message, or singing in the choir, or teaching children, or cleaning the church, or working behind the scenes, or playing a major role, or whatever we do, we should give 100-plus percent even to the tiniest detail which “no one will ever notice”. Our Father will, and we serve him. ■ Angela was born in England and now lives in Australia. You can visit her blog at meetingintheclouds.wordpress.com. Photos—Thanks to Flikr users Alan English (for his image of the Statue of Liberty) and and Dennis Archer (for the one of Sistine Chapel ceiling). First! 21 God in every circumstance Part 1 - Abnormal Fears By Catherine Slight I have found that Jesus has helped me in every circumstance of life. Childhood fears For instance, I was always a very fearful person. When I was a child I heard that on one side of the family most of the people had died of painful illness. I was just wee and I was scared this would happen to me. I worried about illhealth, and about everything else, right through childhood and well into my forties. But I was so ashamed of my fears that I didn’t tell anybody about them. Photograph One night I found photographs of family members who had died of painful illness and immediately I was gripped with an abnormal fear. I thought, “Lord, I can’t go on like this.” That night in our church house group we had a minister visiting from another of our churches. He said, “You know, Jesus is here tonight and he can set you free from any abnormal fears or phobias that you may have. If any of you have that problem, then come for prayer.” I was very shy, but I was desperate to get rid of those fears that ruled my life, so I went to the prayer room. Prayer When he prayed for me I didn’t feel anything happen, but from then on that abnormal fear of illness had gone. Right after that, for a number of years, I had ill-health. In fact, one GP diagnosed one of the illnesses that I was terrified 22 January/February 2013 of getting and I found that Jesus had completely taken away that abnormal fear and instead I had his peace; he was with me. Another big fear Now I hadn’t told the minister who prayed for me about another big fear I had (I had forgotten about it at the time). I was scared of spiders big-time! If there was a spider in a room I could not function until somebody removed it. In my Faith Mission work I travelled and stayed in different places and wherever I went I’d spot spiders. The Bible says that spiders are even found in palaces and I can remember one particular stay in a very nice home. One night I was sitting on a pouffe and, to my horror, I saw a big spider crawling up one side of it. The room was packed. I couldn’t make an exhibition of myself and scream or ask for someone to change places with me. So, as the spider was crawling up one side, I was sliding down the other—and trying to make it look as if it was absolutely normal for me to sit like this! I was terrified. At a Bible youth week I had been telling the teenagers after supper, “Now folks, once we get to bed let’s all settle down and go to sleep. Don’t keep anyone awake, then tomorrow we’ll be fit to enjoy all the meetings and activities we’ve got planned.” The young folk were great. They settled and fell asleep. The girls and I were sleeping on camp beds in a church hall. I fell asleep, but I dreamed a spider was crawling up my sleeping bag. My piercing scream not only woke myself, but the whole hall! The girls were all startled and saying, “Who was that?” I’m afraid I didn’t own up; I was far too ashamed after asking them not to keep anybody awake! I laughed as I removed it, because, when I had been prayed for concerning the abnormal fear of illness, Jesus had not only dealt with one abnormal fear, he dealt with the very root of my problem, the root of abnormal fear. So the fear of spiders had gone as well. I am telling you this because I have found Jesus is real and he comes right into every circumstance. ■ Difference after That was before I was prayed for, but what a big difference afterwards! I was in bed the night after the meeting and something happened that I hadn’t seen before, and haven’t seen since. It was warm and I threw back not only the covers, but also the top sheet. And there in the bed beside me…you’ve guessed…were TWO (increasing in numbers!)…two big black crab-like spiders. I gently picked them up. And as I put them outside, my concern was not to damage their legs as I released them. Before, my only concern would be my own legs—and how fast they could go running away from the spiders! Shortly afterwards I was down on our allotment and went into one of the huts. I felt something crawling on the back of my neck— another spider. I seem to be a spider magnet! This series continues in our next issue. Catherine is a retired Faith Mission worker. She worked in the Mission from 1968 until 2002, in both youth and children’s work. This article is extracted from a talk she gave to a ladies’ group. “One night I found photographs of family members who had died of painful illness and immediately I was gripped with an abnormal fear.” First! 23 Powerless in the Sanctuary By Stanley Banks worshipper with the withered hand. Here was impotence in the sanctuary. Many of the things which Christ found in the synagogue he would find now in the church, and he would doubtless find a multitude of impotent folk like this man—waiting for something spectacular to turn up. Mark does not tell whether this man was born thus, or whether through some disease he became like this. Unhealthy First, let us suppose that the man was born like this; from birth his arm had been undeveloped and useless. As such, he is surely a picture of many in the church who undoubtedly have life; they have been born again of the Spirit of God and have felt and known the life of God flowing through their souls. They are alive, but there are parts of their lives which are withered up; there is an impotence about their spiritual experience; they do not enjoy real spiritual health. I t seemed that whenever Christ went to the synagogue something unusual always happened. In Mark chapter one he discovered a man with an unclean spirit there. In the place that stood for purity he found impurity. In chapter six we read that he found unbelief there. “He could do no mighty works there because of their unbelief.” The synagogue stood as a monument to faith in God, and yet in the place of faith he found unbelief. The incident which is to occupy our thought in this article is in the third chapter. It is the story of the 24 January/February 2013 Casualties The words “health” and “holy” come from the same Anglo-Saxon root word. What health is to the body, holiness is to the soul. Health is the absence of disease and the presence of vitality. It is the purpose of Christ to make us spiritually whole. He wants to deal with the withered things in our lives and make us fit for the task of glorifying him and fulfilling his purpose through our lives. We often sing, “Like a mighty army moves the church of God.” Where is that army? The church is rather like a hospital ward full of spiritual casualties, and impotent folk who, years ago? Or have we become cool and calculating? There may be no heresy in our creed, but there is no passion in our souls; our first love has withered up. Gradual decline Cooled off But perhaps the man’s arm had once The other church at Laodicea was been as strong and useful as the other, successful and prosperous; yet in the but some disease had attacked it and it eyes of God it was nauseating because had slowly lost its power and usefulness of its lukewarmness. It made the and had become limp and withered. Eternal One feel sick. There are many Are there not many in the sanctuary in the sanctuary whose lives were once today who can look back to better ablaze for God, but have cooled off. days spiritually—days in which they Some have prospered materially and were keen, zealous, active, but now a become comfortable and complacent. withering-up process has set in? They Others are so busy with their own have cooled off and in the process have interests that the zeal they once had become impotent. for the things of God has withered Passionless up. Many of In the second and our churches “Our fundamentalism and third chapters of are filled with orthodoxy and our zeal the Revelation middle-aged you have a folk who are to defend the faith graphic picture are incidental to Christ, if our evangelical of at least two but lukewarm, first love has withered up.” churches which fundamental but had withered up. loveless. One was at Ephesus. Yes, there are still people with withered hands in the sanctuary. Christ There were many things about the is looking for those whose hands are members of this church which were whole. He wants hands stretched out entirely commendable. There was no in holy service—hands like Moses’, heresy in their creed; they were truly uplifted in holy intercession, hands fundamental and evangelical. They extended in generous giving. But above would not tolerate heretics, and they all he longs to see human hands which strongly contended for the faith. But bear the marks of sacrificial devotion. the ascended Lord condemns them Are your hands withered or whole? for having left their first love. It is apparent that our fundamentalism and Christ’s dealings orthodoxy, and our zeal to defend the faith are incidental to Christ, if our first One further question arises from this incident. How did the Lord deal with love has withered up. this man? First, he exposed the man's Do we love Christ with a greater need in a public place. He said to passion and a more total abandonment the man: “Stand forth.” The man's today than we did one, five or ten though they have life, have not yet discovered that abundant and abounding life which Jesus gives. First! 25 impotence was fully exposed; his need was apparent to all. Secondly, our Lord demanded of the man faith and obedience, for he said to him, “Stretch forth thine hand.” In order to do this the man needed faith in Christ's ability and obedience to his word, and as he trusted and obeyed he was made whole. Are you amongst those who are withered up spiritually? Perhaps this has been your condition ever since you were spiritually born; you have never been spiritually fit. Or perhaps you have seen better days spiritually; the withering-up process has set in; you are not what you were. Will you expose your need? Will you put faith in Christ's ability to restore or to impart fullness of life, and will you obey his voice ? If so, the glory of the latter end may be greater than the former. ■ The late Revd. Stanley Banks was a welcomed speaker at many Faith Mission events. He was Principal of Emmanuel Bible College, Birkenhead for many years. Adapted from an article first printed in the Faith Mission magazine Bright Words, 1960. Soothing Balm for the Fearful Jesus Christ foretold a time of widespread terror: “Upon the earth there will be distress of nations in bewilderment and perplexity…men expiring with fear and dread…and expectation of things that are coming to the world” (Luke 21:25-26 Amplified Bible). But Jesus also brings a message of hope and security: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades” (Revelation 1:17). He has the keys! He is in control of all that lies ahead. Christians are never immune from problems, but we will always have his presence and help. Even death no longer holds terror to those who have heaven to look forward to. Put your trust in Christ, then you can say with all your heart, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (Psalm 23:4). 26 January/February 2013 Photo: Hemera Flying into the Storm By Ron Hutchcraft Y ou need only to have seen an eagle in flight to know that there's something singular and almost regal about these magnificent birds. It's no wonder they have been the symbol of great empires. Expectant One of the many amazing facts about eagles is the way they respond to an approaching storm. Other birds sense the storm coming and they head for cover. Oh, but not the mighty eagle. No, he literally sits on the edge of his nest, waiting expectantly for the storm to come. When it does, he locks his wings in an ascending position and he uses the storm's strong winds to help him spiral round and round, rising higher and higher all the time. Ultimately, the eagle begins to see sunlight around him and the storm below him. He rides the storm until he rises above the storm. Soaring in the storm God seems to love the eagle like we do. One Bible picture shows the one whose hope is in the Lord soaring like an eagle (Isaiah 40:31). Even in a storm —especially in a storm. That may be a very important picture for you right now because "storm" is a good word to describe what you're going through. You have no choice about getting hit by the storm and you certainly have no control over it, but you do have a choice about how you handle this storm. You can let it frighten you into retreating, you can let it bury you, or you can fly into that storm and let it take you higher than you have ever flown before. First! 27 Thorn in the flesh In his amazing words in 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10, Paul talks about how he moved from being beaten down by his storm to capturing his storm as a means of soaring where he had never gone before. His storm was what he called his "thorn in the flesh," an unidentified issue that, in his words, tormented him constantly; something painful and limiting that he had repeatedly begged God to remove. Instead of taking away the storm, God said to Paul, and he says to us, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Spiritual altitude Then, like the eagle, Paul realizes the storm can be his chance to experience a new level of power and spiritual altitude. He says, "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." Again like the mighty eagle, Paul in a sense, says, "Come on, storm! You're not going to beat me! You're not going to defeat me! You are my chance to experience Christ's power as only those in the midst of a storm can!" Stripped of self-reliance Your storm strips you of your selfreliance, your ability to control things, your ability to contribute anything to a solution, and that's actually an exciting place to be. Because it means it's going to have to be totally over to God! Don't fight that. Open yourself up to the possibilities of letting God carry 28 January/February 2013 you to a new level of spiritual power, of knowing him, of seeing things you've never seen before. It was only after his awful season of suffering and loss that Job could say to God: "My ears had heard of You, but now my eyes have seen You" (Job 42:5). You can meet Jesus, touch Jesus, experience Jesus in a storm as nowhere else. And if you'll surrender to the mighty winds of God's great grace and empowerment, you will find yourself eventually able to look down on the storm that once held you down. You'll be looking at it from God's perspective. And you will be flying higher than you've ever flown before! ■ © Ronald P. Hutchcraft. Used by permission.Based on a work at www.Hutchcraft.com/A-Word-With-You. Oops! Two mistakes of fact have been pointed out concerning the November/December 2012 issue of FIRST! The list of our retired workers on page 29 carried the names of R. Kingston and E. Currie. Though we had indicated in 2011 that these ladies had died during that year, their names had inadvertently been retained in this year’s list. Also in the last issue, the hymn quoted on page 17 is by Charles Wesley, not Maynard James, as was incorrectly stated. Thank you to those who have pointed out these mistakes. EDINBURGH CONVENTION TWENTY THIRTEEN TUESDAY 2 - SUNDAY 7 JULY JOHN SHEARER ROBERT MURDOCK The Convention aims to provide a programme of accessible Bible teaching for people of all ages with a view to helping equip for daily Christian living PAUL MALLARD BRIAN EDWARDS Morning Bible Readings Evening Word and Worship Youth Track Seminars Workshops Other speakers include: Peter Grainger . Stephen Nowak Andy Prime . Linda Townend For more details of the programme and accommodation contact: The Convention Administrator, The Faith Mission 548 Gilmerton Road, Edinburgh EH17 7JD Tel: 0131 672 2149 Email: [email protected] Book online: www.edinburghconvention.faithmission.org Faith Mission & Missionary Training Home (known as The Faith Mission) is a charity registered in Scotland No SCO05119 First! 29 Called Home Gordon Carter (uncle of Mrs Sandra Matthews) trained in FMBC and worked in The Faith Mission for a number of years. He never lost his vision and burden to reach the lost for Christ, and was an active member of the Luggacurren PU. For almost thirty years he, along with his wife and family, opened their farm each August for Faith Mission Camps and the annual Midlands Convention, where many folk met with God. We will miss Gordon’s wise counsel, his prayerful backing and his presence at our meetings. Mrs Phyllis Doherty was called home recently after a short illness. She had a great interest in the work of God, not only locally but also worldwide, and prayed earnestly for the work of the Mission. Hector Irwin was a faithful member of Curglassan PU for most of 70 years and the leader there for many years, until prevented through ill-health. He was a man of wisdom and integrity, who pointed others heavenward through his quiet witness. George Hughes was a faithful member of Tamnamore PU for many years and a real support to the work of God. He was well known and a constant witness for the Lord in his area and will be greatly missed. Aberdeen PU has recently lost a faithful member with the sudden home call of Bruce Lawson in a tragic house fire. Jack Harper was for many years a member of the Kilkenny PU and, although failing in health for some time, never lost his interest in the work of God both at home and worldwide. His quiet and prayerful support will be greatly missed. Lydia Taylor (Née Lim Yeow Tien), only in her fifties, went to be with the Lord after complications following an operation. Sadly missed by her husband and two children, she is also greatly missed by us as workers, who marvelled at her energy, servant attitude and real interest in the work. She wasn’t just a Northfleet PU member, but a real friend. Eleanor Kerry was “truly precious,” a 30 January/February 2013 fragrant, godly witness. Involved in The Faith Mission from when she was young, (a part of Diss PU) she was both prayerful and practical, often passing a “that’s for you” gift with love and real affection. She loved the work of the Mission, and the workers, but more noticeably, she loved the Lord. Knowing, trusting and doing God’s will is a true reflection of the life of Mrs Bella Lamont who was a member of Ballynafie PU. Bella leaves lasting and worthy memories of doing the will of God from the heart. Nellie Burns was a faithful supporter of Faith Mission work since her conversion in the late 1980s. She will be greatly missed by members of Dunaghy PU. It is with much regret that Loan PU recalls the homecall of Agnes Buick, at 93 years one of their oldest and most faithful members while health permitted. Of a quiet Christian disposition, she had a keen interest in and support for the work of The Faith Mission and her testimony will be greatly missed by all who knew her. Malcolm Gilmour was a member of Ballykeel PU. In the meetings he prayed on his knees with great emotion and tears for the salvation of his loved ones and the work of The Faith Mission. His sudden passing has been keenly felt by all who knew him. William Armour, a Coleraine businessman, was a loyal supporter of The Faith Mission over many years, attending missions, conferences, conventions, etc. He was a faithful PU member and his witness will be greatly missed. Tommy Galloway was a member of Craigmore PU for over 50 years. Saved as a young man through the work of The Faith Mission he prayed with passion and attended meetings where possible. He led a quiet, consistent life for his Lord. Billy McMahon along with his late wife, Jean, had a great witness for the Lord for many years in the Clones area. Residing in Lisburn in retirement, Billy continued a vital prayer ministry. He has gone home to a great reward. ► [Continued on next page] Advertisements Co. Donegal – Christian farmhouse, self-catering accommodation available. 10 minutes drive to Rathmullen beach. For further details Tel: 074-9158334 (UK: 00-353749158334). Cornwall – nr. Callington. B&B. Comfortable en-suite accommodation. Convenient for moors, towns, coast or stopover. www.keadeen.co.uk Tel 01579-384197. Email [email protected] Devon/Cornwall – nr. Plymouth, Farmhouse B&B en-suite, convenient to coasts, moors and National Trust property with riverside walks and gardens. www.higherchapel.co.uk Tel.01579 350894 [email protected] Locations IRELAND Headquarters and Central District Director: TREVOR & SANDRA MATTHEWS, 62 Glenavy Road, Lisburn, Co. Antrim BT28 3UT. (Tel. 028 9262 8286) Email: [email protected] Auxiliary workers: Trevor & Yvonne Bennett West District: Superintendent – GEORGE & ANDREA CONN, 15 Derry Road, Omagh, Co. Tyrone BT78 5DY. (Tel. 028 8224 2286). Email: [email protected] Assistant (part-time): Anne Brown Outreach: Jenny Kilpatrick Fermanagh: Heather Wilson Dumfries and Galloway – Static caravans for holiday lets (half an hour from Irish ferry) Further details —01671 403632 North-West District: In Charge – Garry & Alison Tutty, Sheephill House, 74 Tully Road, Limavady, Co.Londonderry BT49 9HW. (Tel. 028 7776 8871). Email: [email protected] DVDs for children – presenting the Gospel clearly with teaching for Christians. Suitable for children’s meetings or home use. Free of charge. List available. Mail: Immanuel studios, 10 Meadow Drive, Ballyclare, Northern Ireland, BT39 9XF; Telephone: 028 93352270; Email: [email protected] North District: Superintendent – LESLIE & MABEL BRUSH, 3 Grange Avenue, Ballymena, Co. Antrim BT42 2DX. (Tel. 028 2565 6494). Email: [email protected] Assistant: Ian Booth Outreach: Ruth Martin Properties to let: Florida – Orlando, Private 6-bedroom villa beside lake, with heated pool. Disney 20mins. Year-round warm climate. Evangelical church and friends nearby. Northern Ireland – Also self-catering by the sea (Antrim Coast), panoramic views. Town minutes’ walk. Spain – Quiet coastal apartment, minutes to town/beach. Year round sunny climate. Special monthly rates in autumn/winter. Accommodating large families in summer. Christian fellowship. Airport pickups available. Contact: Gerald 07971 194211, website:www.christiancoastalapartments.com Border District: In Charge – Andrew McCullough, 131 Mahon Road, Portadown, BT62 3SF, (Tel. 028 3833 2806) Email: [email protected] Co Cavan: Ronnie & Carey Killops Yorkshire Dales – Static holiday caravan on farm. Also B&B in bungalow in Settle, ideal to see the Dales or a stopover. Details: Mrs Irene Fawcett 01729 823949 Email [email protected] CALLED HOME—continued from page 30 May Truesdale hosted the Drumadonald PU for some years and was a very genuine Christian lady. Joe Patterson was a very faithful member of the Ballymacreely PU. He took a great stand for the Lord during his career and bore a clear witness for the Lord right up to the end. Frances Milligan was a lovely, quiet Christian lady whose prayers will be greatly missed. She was a very faithful member of the Ballycarry PU. Ethel Nelson, sister of the late Harvey Trotter, who worked in the Mission, was a godly woman. Although in poor health for some years, she is remembered for her consistent Christian witness and was a member of Banestown PU. South District - Superintendent – DAVID & MARJORIE BENNETT, ‘Bethany’, Oakvale, Stradbally, Co. Laois, Eire. Tel. 00 353 5786 25288. Email:[email protected] Midlands: Mervyn & Rachel Tomb Cork: Johnathan & Janet Slater Bookshops: Gen. Manager- JOHN MATTHEWS (028 9060 2102) Accounts - Linda Collins (028 9062 4438) Purchasing - Trevor Wilson (028 9060 2102) BELFAST (Queen St): Mark Conroy (028 9023 3733) Armagh: Craig Beattie (028 3752 7927) Ballymena: William White (028 2564 9443) Banbridge: Stephen Dundas (028 4062 6761) Bangor: Stephen Dundas (028 9145 3222) Belfast (C’reagh Rd): Jackie Smith (028 9073 1779) Coleraine (028 7034 3857) Cookstown: Iris Farrell (028 8676 6569); Kilkeel: Elsie Baird (028 4176 4934) Lisburn: Tracy Brown (028 9266 5888) Londonderry: Brian Kerr (028 7134 5137) Lurgan: Liz Lavery (028 3832 5304) Omagh: Dean Mallison (028 8224 1334) Portadown: Jim McKee (028 3833 4123) P’DOWN Clearance Shop:Glenn Yeman (028 3833 2348) THE BIBLE COLLEGE College Director: John Townend Interim Principal: Rev. John Shearer Vice-Principal: Adrian Holdsworth Staff Lecturer: Heather Holdsworth Chef: John Frame Administrator: Alistar Frater Librarian: Valerie Robertson Finance Assistant: Patti Worth Property Maintenance: Scott Worth The Faith Mission Bangor Convention 2013 29 March-2 April Bible Teaching • Worship & Fellowship Challenge & Encouragement Renewed Spiritual Vision • Ministry To All Ages Jonathan Currie Magherafelt, N Ireland Raymond Moore Lisburn, N Ireland Andrew Mullan Kilkeel, N Ireland For more information, contact: The Faith Mission Office 62 Glenavy Road, Lisburn, BT28 3UT Email: [email protected] Tel: (028) 9262 8286 Jacques Nadeau Ontario, Canada John Shearer Edinburgh, Scotland The Magazine of The Faith Mission jan/feb 2013 Price $16 per year FI RST! abnormal fears a personal story of being set free how to comfort a bereaved child practical pointers surrendered sleep biblical foundations for the sleep-deprived Challenge & Growth Report from JOHN BENNETT, General Director 2012 has been a year of: Many changes Kevin & Janice Evans relocated from Kamloops to assume the management of the Mission Centre at Falkland. Andrew & Melissa Porter moved to take up the work in the Mount Forest area, and our newest workers Mark & April Hardwick replaced them in King Kirkland. Bill & Heather Bott resigned from the mission due to health reasons and Jennifer Moldovan resigned to marry a pastor. Cheryl Mitchell, having reached retiring age, officially retired. However she continues to live in the mission home in St Thomas and is still fully involved in ministry to ladies and kids. Many challenges We face the increasing secularization of society and consistent opposition to freedom of evangelical Christian thought and outreach. One example is a recent proposal by the Toronto school board to increase the rent— sometimes by up to 400%—to churches renting schools for religious services. The Toronto City council also proposes to prevent churches renting in the less expensive light industrial areas, forcing them into more expensive property. Much encouragement • Welcoming new workers Mark and April Hardwick to the work in the north • New doors opening to share the gospel and existing doors remaining open. • Seeing souls saved and many of God’s people coming to a place of fresh surrender to the Lordship of Christ. • Experiencing a gracious sense of God’s presence in our summer camps and seeing boys, girls and youth openly profess faith in Jesus Christ. • Knowing that most of our camp counsellors and summer team members were former campers and have come through our Youth Leadership training program. • Seeing many volunteers offering their time and skills to help forward the ministry. ► [Continued on page 31] [Continued from page 2] For example, when a new home was needed for the managers at the Falkland Centre, a retired building contractor donated his time to oversee the project. Many others volunteered to see the project to completion. Volunteer kitchen and cleaning help both at Falkland and Campbellville have been invaluable. This includes Wayne Welch on a year out from his work in China. He lives on site at Campbellville and is there to help wherever necessary. • Seeing God faithfully and consistently fulfil his promise to supply all our need. • Watching what God is doing in the area of prayer. Let me share some examples: N. Ontario For over eight years Andrew and Melissa Porter laboured faithfully in Northern Ontario, among adults and children. There seemed little growth or fruit. In 2009 some men from the north attended a men’s retreat at Campbellville, where they were challenged about their prayer life. On returning home they made prayer a priority in their lives and in ministry, and began a weekly early morning prayer meeting. Their wives noticed a great change in their lives and soon the ladies began meeting to pray. After more than a year of praying, they began to see God at work in the community. Some youth and adults got saved; numbers at the ladies’ outreach meetings suddenly and unexpectedly increased to over eighty, most of whom were unsaved, and some requested a Bible study. A pastor from an Ontario church wrote “Last year…a group of men from here went to the Faith Mission Men’s retreat. It became the catalyst for getting the men from city excited. They now have eight small Men’s Groups, with several new men coming. Two of the groups are ready to split. Their men’s ministry used to be eleven guys, now it is over eighty and growing”. Saskatchewan When Jeff Goudy began an evangelistic ministry in Saskatchewan four years ago, God gave him a vision to see men’s prayer groups all over the province. God led him to guide the groups through the Beatitudes for the first few weeks, asking God to search and cleanse their own hearts. What began in Melfort four years ago, is now repeated in many communities. Pastors have testified that since these weekly early morning prayer meetings began in their community, God has been blessing their ministry in a way they did not know before. Men attending these groups have become passionate about evangelism and we hear of some leading souls to Christ. Other communities want to start similar groups. What of 2013? We enter another year full of hope and expectancy, knowing God has a wonderful plan. We are believing God for someone to join Debra Hewitt in the work in Quebec, a couple to manage the Campbellville centre and a couple to fill the vacancy in St Thomas. We are praying for a second couple to join the work in Saskatchewan and trust we will have permission to commence the building extension at the Campbellville centre. Please pray on for us as we enter another year of challenge, that we may ultimately look back on 2013 as a year of encouragement and growth. ■ Open yourself up for growth at Faith Mission events 2013 ONTARIO youth leadership training March 8-12 Men’s Retreats February 22-23 Speaker: Glenn Deane March 1-2 Speaker: Jeff Goudy LADIES’ RETREATS May 24-26 & May 31-JUNE 2 Speaker: Lynda Bovenizer For details of all events contact (905) 854-3284 Email [email protected] Staff locations B.C. Snow Camps Teens (12-14yrs) Feb 1-3 Junior (7-11yrs) Feb 15-17 marriage enrichment Retreat March 8-10 Details: Kevin & Janice Evans (250) 379-2422 Email: [email protected] “Men of Honour” Retreat April 26-28 Speaker: Mr. John Bennett Details from (250) 558-1805 Email [email protected] Hamilton: Timothy & Emma Condy 133 June Street, Hamilton, ON L9A 2S1 Tel: (905) 575 5975 Montreal: Debra Hewitt 202 - 481, Boulevard Perrot, L’Ile Perrot, QC J7V 3H4 Tel: (514) 425 0740 Napanee: Jennifer Armitage and Laura-Anne Drake 395 Ginger Street, Napanee, ON K7R 3X8 Tel: (613) 354 9882 Coldstream: Brian & Julieanne Spence 326 Inverness Drive, Coldstream, BC V1B 3W1 Tel: (250) 558 1805 Campbellville Centre: 10463, 2nd Line, Campbellville, ON L0P 1B0 Tel: (905) 854 3284 and (905) 636 0721 Falkland Centre: Kevin & Janice Evans 4690 Hoath Road, Falkland, BC V0E 1W1 Tel: (250) 379 2422 Mount forest: Andrew & Melissa Porter 340 Church St. S. Mount Forest, ON N0G 2L2. Tel: (519) 323 9400 MELFORT: Jeff and Jani Goudy Box 4109, Melfort, SK S0E 1A0 Tel: (306) 752 3103 king kirkland: Mark & April Hardwick 286 Broadway Avenue, Box K8, King Kirkland, ON POK 1K0. Tel: (705) 567 2956 The FAITH MISSION (in Canada) - Incorporated General Director: John Bennett Secretary: Isabel Bennett Head Office: PO Box 376, Campbellville, Ontario L0P 1B0 Tel: (905) 854 3284 Fax: (905) 854 3827 Email: [email protected] Website: www.faithmissioncanada.org COUNCIL OF REFERENCE: Revs. Wm. Clayton, James Reese, Drs. Grover Crosby, Gerald B. Griffiths, A.P. Lee, John Moore, Ted Rendall, Ian Rennie and J. Weatherall. BOARD MEMBERS: P. Ali, J. Bell, H. Bock, W.R. Hatch, M. Hoover, D. Hysert, E. Hoey, M. Quigley, W. Robb, D. Robson, R. Thompson. ABOUT US: Information about our Aims and Principles, Prayer Newsletter, coming events, etc. may be obtained from any Area Office (see address box above for your nearest).
© Copyright 2021