Displaying items by tag: Praise
Cancer survivor John Dunn, who had served in the Special Forces, was interviewed under caution and subsequently summonsed by the police for alleged 'homophobic' behaviour after preaching on Swindon High Street. When his case went to court, the Crown Prosecution Service argued that parts of the Bible are 'abusive' and 'no longer appropriate in modern society'. The case was thrown out of court when the women making allegations against him ‘refused to engage with the case’. Another Swindon street preacher, Shaun O'Sullivan, who was arrested in March 2020, was also found not guilty of 'hate speech'. He found salvation in Christ after hearing the gospel preached by John, and has experienced radical transformation. They both said they will never give up preaching Christ on the streets. Hear how God has worked in both men's lives:
‘People were getting sick and dying a lot,’ says Sango. ‘One of my children died from diarrhoea. We could not afford medical care, we sold our mattresses, plates and clothes to pay for medicine and had nothing left to sell. ‘Our children were often ill and couldn’t go to school so we didn’t have time to farm and lost the respect of our community. Our despair turned to joy when Tearfund came and taught the importance of good toilets and washing our hands to prevent diseases, including diarrhoea. We built our first family toilet with a hand washing device. It has been three months since anyone has been ill! We have time and strength to farm and we can eat three meals a day, not just one. Our children are back at school, and after we have harvested our next crop we will buy some clothes.’
Ecuador, one of four Latin American teams in the 2022 World Cup, is drawing attention not only for its impressive start to the tournament but also for the way the players are celebrating their goals. On 20 November former West Ham player Enner Valencia scored twice, securing the win against host team Qatar. Both goals were dedicated to God as the players came together to form a circle and fall to their knees before pointing and looking up to the sky to celebrate. It is understood most of the team’s players are Christians, with several videos on social media showing them praying before each match.
BAFTA actress Letitia Wright, who has starred in Black Panther, Doctor Who, and Black Mirror, is also vocal about her faith in a devotional YouVersion Bible app. She posted about her faith on Instagram and has turned down certain roles in her career. In an interview, she explained how her faith sustains her in her career and that she had temporarily stopped acting for a few months to focus on God. She said that her faith in Christ has kept her alive, but some people advise her to keep it to herself. ‘I've had people tell me to stop talking about Jesus and to keep things private that the world may not agree with. I'm not trying to force anything on anyone. I'm sharing my truth because I probably wouldn't have been able to cope without Jesus. If someone saves you and brings light and love into your life, you want to share that, not hide it.’
It has been another year of remarkable progress in Bible translation activity. Many areas of the work have seen significant acceleration. We see the favour and hand of God on translation projects and teams, enabling them to help create a world where everyone can know Jesus through the Bible. The number of language programmes that Bible translation teams are working on has seen its biggest leap on record, with new programmes starting at a rate of one per day. Also, Bibles and New Testaments have been launched at a rate of almost one per week. There is so much to be thankful for and be encouraged by. More people have God’s word in their language. More languages have a Bible than ever before. More languages have a New Testament than ever before. All this means that God’s word is available to millions of people in their own languages for the first time.
Tearfund works tirelessly to help communities escape the very worst effects of poverty and disaster. They believe that the same people facing these troubles also have the best ideas about the ways they can overcome them. So Tearfund listens and then helps people to utilise their resourcefulness and determination to overcome their circumstances. When disaster strikes, Tearfund and its local partners are usually already present, hard at work in those very places. They have been responding to emergencies since 1968, working alongside local churches and Christian organisations wherever possible. They know the people, they know the problems and so often they can see simple, inexpensive solutions.
Corey Brooks, founder of New Beginnings Church, is a leading voice in the fight against the violence gripping Chicago's poorest neighbourhoods. He camped on a makeshift rooftop for 365 days, raising over $20m for a new community centre. He said, ‘We talk about trying to remove violence, trying to remove poverty; this community centre will help people change their lives. Giving them a place to accept responsibility, start trying to do things for themselves and get on their feet. It's going to be a great place, teaching trades and business, giving counselling, a place for transformation.’ He braved wet, windy, cold nights and big storms; his mother died of cancer and his daughter welcomed a baby. He continued camping through it all.
Asking permission to preach was necessary for Leonardo. Not asking could result in death from Colombian guerrillas or paramilitaries. Pastors are obstacles to guerrillas’ political ambitions, as young Christians are no longer attracted to their violent lifestyles. One Sunday gangs stopped him outside the church saying, ‘Today no church preaching!’ So with a speaker and microphone he preached outdoors to young boys. Very quickly his outdoor church grew to 70 adults and 53 children. Most had never heard the gospel, but they soon found faith in Christ and were baptised. Now Leonardo is training several others to preach. It is dangerous to share the gospel so openly, but he knows God is with him.
Yuriy Kulakevych, a leader in the Ukrainian Pentecostal Church, says Ukraine’s churches were the first to respond when Putin attacked. While the government scrambled to mobilise defences, it was churches that began evacuating civilians from combat zones, offering them shelter in church buildings and members’ homes. Within two weeks, many churches had exhausted their funds buying gas to transport refugees and food to feed them. With trusting relationships already forged, existing financial agreements allowed the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) to transfer money directly to the churches and ministries in Ukraine, while many organisations were still arranging logistics. By the fourth week of the war, the WEA had provided $210,000 to Ukrainian church networks. The WEA is a church-focused alliance with a vision beyond the immediate relief efforts. They want to come alongside and strengthen the Evangelical communities in Ukraine and other countries as they serve people affected by the war.
While volunteering at our church’s free clothes closet, I interact with our visitors who struggle to put food on the table, pay rent or purchase basic needs. Although some of our shoppers allow their situations to define their lives, others share their stories of God’s grace. They express gratitude for our ministry and the ministries of others in our community. While volunteering recently, I met a woman who wasn’t just a recipient of our ministry. She volunteers to help others in need, sorting clothes, organising racks, and assisting shoppers. She admits she hasn’t always made the right choices but knows she can’t make it through life without her Saviour and Lord. She relies on our church’s hospitality while boldly sharing her stories of how God is working in her life.