Street Pastors has formally launched in Westminster to provide support to young and vulnerable people out and about in London's West End. A team of Street Pastors was commissioned during a service last week attended by the Bishop of London, Dr Richard Chartres, and the organisation's founder, the Rev Les Isaac. During the service, the organisation appealed for more volunteers to come forward to join the 15 Street Pastors in Westminster who have already completed their training. Prior to the formal launch, the team undertook two patrols in the area around the Strand and Victoria where they were able to provide assistance and support to people, including young revellers and a stranded family of tourists unable to speak English. As more volunteers come on board, there are plans to expand the patrols to cover more areas of Westminster. Street Pastors are now working in over 200 towns and cities around the UK.
Praise: God for the continued expansion of this work across the country. (2Tim.4:5)
Street Pastors have been praised by the fire service for their ‘immense’ contribution in reducing river deaths in Shrewsbury. The volunteers patrol streets at night, helping ‘vulnerable’ people who may be about to take their own lives. Since they began work in November 2011, no deaths have been recorded along the Shrewsbury stretch of the River Severn. From 2004 until the volunteers began their patrols in 2011, 29 deaths were recorded on the river. Shropshire fire chief John Redmond praised their work. The same week as the volunteers began a training course on water safety. Mr Redmond said the Street Pastors were now receiving training to help people struggling in the water. ‘The contribution from Street Pastors to community safety has been immense.’
Praise: God for those who volunteer to work with Street Pastors. (Jdg.5:9)
Church leaders left Methodist Central Hall feeling energised after an evening of praise, worship and inspirational talks on sharing the life-changing message of the Gospel within their communities. Crossing London Mission 2013 (http://www.crossinglondon.co.uk) aims to equip London churches of all denominations with the skills to step out into their local areas to deliver hope to the lonely and the broken. The first meeting of the year, titled ‘Inspire’, was aimed at encouraging leaders and took place in Westminster on Saturday. ‘Crossing London is not simply an event or a series of events, it is about creating a movement,’ said Stephen Gaukroger, Executive Chair of Crossing London. ‘Our vision is to see London change, person by person, street by street, community by community.’ He continued: ‘There are issues around sexuality and morality, poverty and crime in our capital city. What’s the answer? There is no economic or political solution for this, there is only a spiritual solution.’
Praise: God that this initiative will stir the churches into reaching out to the communities. (Ps.57:10)
A powerful movement is sweeping through Ukraine. Thousands of Christian families are caring for the fatherless. They want to see their nation without orphans. Svetlana and Evgeniy Isaev became the first family in Ukraine to adopt a child with HIV, and now have seven HIV-positive children. ‘If we want to see a Ukraine without orphans, Christians have to be part of the solution,’ they say. Pastor Gennadiy Mohnenko is also a foster parent. He and his wife adopted 31 children. ‘If this movement is to have a lasting impact, Christian leaders must set the example,’ he says.
Praise: God for this move by Christians who have taken on the care of so many needy orphans. (Ja.1:27)
South Sudan has a low rate of life expectancy. Children born with complications are at a significant disadvantage. But the lifes of Arual and her family were transformed with the help of a German missionary and MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship). Arual was born with Spina Bifida and noone expected her to live long. But God had other plans. A missionary visiting Arul’s wider family heard about Arual and made enquiries at a hospital in Kenya. She discovered a paediatric neurosurgeon specialising in deformed spines who treats patients from all over Africa. Arual travelled from her village in South Sudan to Juba flew with MAF to Nairobi on a free flight provided by MAF. Within 24 hours she was undergoing surgery. When she was well and ready to leave, MAF organised to fly her back to her overjoyed family. The father praised God and testified that now he believes God really loves him.
Praise: God for the amazing plans that he has for Arual, her family and each of their lives. (Jer.29:11)
Moon-ja Kang is one of 450 Christian drivers who belong to the Missionary Taxi Club in Busan, South Korea. They have devoted themselves to telling their passengers about the Lord by playing Christian radio programmes and through personal testimony. ’Each day we spread the gGspel on the road,' said the group's president, Myeong-Woong Ban. ‘If a driver gives us the name of any contacts they make, we'll pray for them, embrace them in our heart, and have them connected to a church so they can get to know Jesus.’ The taxi missionaries see the streets of Busan as a mission field. Their goal is to deliver all of their passengers safely to an eternal destination. ‘I consider serving God as my primary job, and the rest of what I do in this world, secondary,’ explained driver Gil-hong Jin.
Praise: God for the work of the taxi missionaries and pray for those that God calls to himself. (Is.55:6)
Seoul’s Church began in 1982 with 13 members and now has 100,000 members and 9,000+ branch churches. The Koreans are noted for their belief that prayer changes things and people, and they are hard to keep up with in their zeal and discipline as they come together for long weekend gatherings of fervent prayer. The senior pastor of the church said they now have 700 North Korean members who escaped to the south and who are preparing to take the Gospel into North Korea which some believe will soon open up, but possibly just for a short time. 'These people realize that the door may not be open for long and are willing to lay down their lives - become martyrs - for Jesus Christ.’ - See: http://www.breakingchristiannews.com Also pilgrims visit a well in Seoul where many believe God miraculously turned saltywater into drinkable fresh or ‘sweet’ spring water eight years ago. Many are healed after drinking it or applying it to their sick parts.
Praise: God for the many ways He displays His mercy, grace and power to those whose hearts are continually turned to Him. (Dan.4:3)
Inspired by the example of several ultra-wealthy individuals in the US, South Africa’s first black billionaire and its fourth richest man will donate half his assets to help the poor in his country. Mining magnate Patrice Motsepe announced he will donate half of his personal fortune, which is currently estimated by Forbes Magazine at $2.65 billion, according to a report by NPR. Motsepe was inspired by ‘The Giving Pledge,’ a philanthropic programme launched by Warren Buffet, along with Bill and Melinda Gates. So far, their initiative has attracted nearly a 100 like-minded billionaires. Motsepe is making the pledge to assist the millions of South Africans who have seen little improvement in their financial well-being since white minority rule ended in 1994, according to NPR. Motsepe’s wife, Precious, said that his wealth would be given away throughout his lifetime, according to the Financial Times.
Praise: God for the generosity of Motsepe and pray that others would be influenced by his decision. (2Cor.9:6)