Mary - Cameroon
Now that I’m into my final month in Cameroon (departure date 26th Sept), the reality of leaving is beginning to sink in! I’m almost through with finalising a series of literacy primers. Other work-related items are lined up for these next few weeks – requiring further discussion with colleagues and decision-making... Please pray that God would grant wisdom and grace in all matters. No less challenging, the clearing out of office and flat will also demand much time and energy – here too wisdom, grace, and perseverance are needed! Amid the pressures and the emotional swings, may I maintain a steady spirit of thankfulness to God – He has been unceasingly good! And "Thank-you" too for praying!
Caleb - USA
Please continue to pray for Ambassadors Football and myself as we focus on building relationships and sharing the Gospel using football through the clubs, camps, and community service.
COMMUNITY - The vision for Ambassadors Football is to see a positive transformation in the individuals and communities in which we serve. To do this, Ambassadors seeks to provide ministry in underserved communities as well as raise up others to do likewise.
CAMPS - Ambassadors Football strives to offer a distinctive, cross-cultural experience to children and their families as they participate in the yearly summer soccer camps. The camps are run by teams of international coaches that come to work at the camps from Ambassadors Football programs around the world. It is not unusual to have coaches in a camp from Africa, Brazil, England, Ireland, Holland, and many other parts of Europe. The learning takes place on and off the ﬁeld as the children gain a greater understanding of both football and the Gospel.
CLUB - Ambassadors Football Club (AFC) is a unique premier level soccer club that strives for excellence both on and off the ﬁeld. Our goal is to develop dynamic soccer players as well as nurture Christian character in each of our players. AFC has teams competing both in girls and boys leagues and tournaments in Ohio and around the country.
Ministry in the communities in which Caleb works to make the Gospel known.
The summer camps that are about to start and that through these camps the gospel will be effectively shared.
For the clubs that they continue to develop dynamic soccer players as well as nurture Christian character.
David - Prisons UK
Fight the Good Fight (read 1 Timothy 6:11-16)
What is a good fight? The one you know is won. I have read the end of the book and I can see our victory is certain in Christ. We will get ‘duffed’ over on the way but we will win – if we will but pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.
You men and women of God don’t give up, don’t give way but battle on through. A number of the men we are working with are feeling battered. Some have lost family, who will not visit them again (but never say ‘never’ with God’), they have post their possessions, they have lost their business’, they would say they have lost everything.
One young man of 24 heard the news that his wife is leaving him and hates him and therefore will not bring his 6 year old son in to see him. He is an athletic guy and isn’t afraid of anyone but he goes into his cell at night and weeps like a baby for hours on end. He is a broken man. Pray he will ‘lay hold on eternal life’ pray he will not let it go. A huge number of people are looking to see if he will continue to walk with Jesus or whether it is a flash in the pan. He has made his confession before many witnesses may it hold true. When Paul urges them to keep to their confession he reminds them of Christ’s confession: "I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate". In other words Jesus didn’t have an easy time either and He is God! So if you are feeling blue and if you are feeling battered – hold on to your confession of faith.
One of the things I notice is that when the people I love in Christ and family are being battered, I feel prone to take refuge in my weaknesses INSTEAD of in Christ. To see the battle through, to see that battle right before your eyes become a glorious victory in Christ – don’t give way to sin and but be ‘without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, which He will manifest in His own time,…’. I probably complain about being battered too often to you but it seems relentless and I so need your prayers. But the frustrating thing is, I cannot even tell you what the things are because of confidentialities. It seems that once you go through a season like our Master (though who can suffer like Him?) did in the wilderness, the evil one will only leave you for a while, he will be back. BUT that is OK because we will overcome through Christ, we don’t have to give in, we don’t have to turn to the comfort of this world and its trinkets of sinfulness, or as John Bunyan put it ‘Vanity Fair’.
Please continue to pray for the rather exciting work group that was set up in one of the prisons and the amazing work they are doing – it is under constant attack.
Please pray for the new work in HMP Berwyn and our new associate Ed Nicholls – we have 6 months funding for him.
Please pray for the courses we are writing - Open University have expressed an interest in accrediting them. IF this comes to pass, then it would be enormous as far as the work going forward and recognised in this way. We have taken on a writer, Hannah Fortune who is doing the lion share in making the courses fit for purpose – Hannah’s funding is for 3 months, we need 3 years!
My new timetable was going so well but now I need to adapt and get back on course. Thank you also for the practical help when time has been at a premium – you know who you are! Some of the tasks may have seemed small but it freed me up to do the essential. God will bless you.
We just needs loads and loads of prayer from you all – to stay above water!
The government of Sudan to force Christian schools to follow the Muslim calendar and close on Fridays and Saturdays. The ruling will require schools to be open on a Sunday. President Omar al-Bashir has intensified his efforts to Islamise the country with the demolition of churches, some church leaders being imprisoned and deported having being accused of anti- government activities. Pray for those church leaders still in Sudan that are seeking still to lead their people into the truths of the gospel.
British NHS in court to defend attempt to stop staff speaking about their beliefs outside of the workplace.
Mr Richard Page has appeared in court to challenge a NHS ruling that effectively imposes a new "Test act," requiring employees not to make any comments outside the workplace that contradict the trust’s politically correct view of "equality". Until March last year Mr Page was both a magistrate and non-executive director of Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Trust. While sitting as a magistrate during an adoption hearing, he expressed the view that it is generally in the best interests of a child to have both a mother and father. Complaints that this contravened "equality" Policies led him to be removed as a magistrate. After he spoke about this on television, the Chairman of the NHS Trust arranged for Mr Page to be suspended from his (entirely unrelated) role as a trustee. Pray for those people we know who work in the NHS that will have the wisdom to know how respond under this politically charged trend. NOTE Between 1719 and 1888 the UK abolished a series of "Test Acts" that prohibited anyone from holding jobs such as teachers, lawyers, and university professors unless they publicly subscribed to certain beliefs.
Boko Haram attacks reduce, but refugees now face starvation
The situation for Christians in Cameroon has improved since this time last year. Attacks from Boko Haram are sporadic and isolated, but there are still reports of the "theft of domestic animals, kidnapping of children, and killings….suicide bombers in market places".
The greatest danger now is starvation for many refugees and internally displaced people who have fled to the Cameroon to escape Boko Haram. The price of cereals is very expensive for these people. A 100kg bag of millet costs between £31.30 and £34.00. Some schools and hospitals are still closed in many villages. This is causing great hardship for these people. Pray that the Lord in his mercy would bring about a lasting peace and to able to worship Him in complete freedom.
The Harvest offering for 2017 - Help for Syrian Christians
Barnabas Fund is supplying about 6,000 food parcels every month through local churches, to impoverished Syrian Christian families feeding about 30,000 people.
Praise God for a measure of peace and stability in parts of Syria, after 6 long years of terrible conflict. But life is very far from normal after losing their homes, jobs and families, they still need our help and prayers. The typical food parcels contain rice, pasta, eggs, tinned meat, tinned fish, olive oil, tea, sugar, as well as local foods where available. The cost of a food parcel can now cost anything between £18 to £34 a month depending size and the exchange rates.
Geoff, Fay & Danni
Often, when praying for someone, it can be hard to empathise with what they are going through unless we understand it (or have experienced it ourselves).
Imagine losing your ability to walk and the resulting loss of independence after living an active life - the hobbies and pursuits of previous years now just a memory. Now, add to that the degradation of eyesight and memory, with the knowledge that that this may be your final home. These are just some of the things our residents may be dealing with on a daily basis and this is where the Pastoral team comes in. We share a hope that cannot be taken away, that does not age and cannot be shaken by circumstances. Working in such a place puts life into perspective, we are but dust - like flowers, blooming one day and gone the next.
1 Peter 1:3-6 (NIV)
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
That the Pastoral team can share the Hope of Christ in all circumstances and to truly know it ourselves as working so closely to those suffering can have an impact.
That those in their final battle can know true peace and contentment in Christ.
For the Bible studies, that pointing them to the bible can give them a sword to fight well in hard times and also to encourage them of what we have to hope for.
That those who have hardened their hearts over the years after painful experiences will know healing through Jesus.
Tim & Alison - UK
Thank you for your prayers. The summer has been very busy with potential emotions flying, but on the whole a good time had by all. Please keep praying for ‘K’ from whom there is no news as yet! Things have been a little better than expected with trying to keep up with work. This has involved late nights and early mornings as well as the odd morning or afternoon down in the cabin. Please pray for the start of the school time again and all the juggling this involves.
Alison will be starting back with a little boy she was supporting before as well as a new family with complex needs. There will be extra meetings and forums as well as work sessions five mornings a week. We would appreciate prayer for a secondary school to be sorted and all that this involves with starting. There are also secondary school open evenings to visit this month. As you can imagine life is not dull or boring. We really do appreciate your prayers as we walk this journey knowing God is helping every step of the way. Without God this would definitely be different.
Helen & Alastair - Ireland
Alastair enjoyed his first time at TeenStreet, even though they had a lot of rainy weather and storms! One highlight was taking part in the Global Village, an interactive missions experience. We would love to see how we can run a similar initiative in Ireland to mobilise Irish Christians into missions. Another highlight was two of the Irish teenagers making a commitment to follow Christ. We may consider more or all of the family going next year.
Alastair’s niece, Ciara, joins us this weekend from Canada, as her parents and two sisters have returned to the mission field in West Africa. She will be staying with us while she joins the Immersion training for two months, prior to joining her family. Ciara will be joining six new members for the training. We are also joined by an older couple who will be working in the finance office. Our chalets are currently not in use as they are undergoing major renovations including an improved heating system and painting.
Helen is involved in organising two team events on Saturday 30 September. In the morning will be our annual Run 4 The World event, where we as a team run as many kilometres in an hour to raise funds for a local or international cause. This year we have chosen a local charity Join Our Boys, a family whose three sons aged 11 and twin boys aged seven all have Duchene Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a fatal muscle wasting disease. If you would like to sponsor us as a family (I’m sure the children will also be running a few kilometres!) please get in touch with us or talk to Mum (Diane Lyddon)! The other event will be our team day, where will we have a fun packed afternoon spending time together as a team, at Lacken House, with a BBQ, games, etc.
We had a great holiday in Carrigart, Co Donegal. It was a refreshing week, going to a different beach each day, and some special time with extended family too. The children are all settling in well at school with new teachers for the younger three, and Hannah enjoying her first week of secondary school. Alisha is already getting homework and needing to study hard. The Principal of the primary school has asked me to keep her in my prayers. She is excited about the amalgamation of the two primary schools but has lots of extra work and some tough decisions to make. Helen will be visiting her parents 15-18 September.