A Bible Believing Evangelical Church in the Community of Coldharbour in Eltham, S.E. London.

Pastor: Don Wilson

Mary - Cameroon

Cameroon prayer points:


We continue this month with Wycliffe workers Bruce Cox and his wife Kathy  (currently on home leave in Australia). They request prayer: 


¨ “That God would continue to facilitate our path back to Africa. We hope to arrive in Cameroon at the end of March for the SIL Cameroon annual conference and then in April go on to Jos, Nigeria, to be processed and oriented there before moving to the south.


¨ That God would bring a few more regular supporters onto the team, as visas for Nigeria and trips to Cameroon will make it a bit more expensive than usual.


¨ That God would help Bruce in his furlough studies and Kathy in several teaching assignments.


¨ That God would strengthen and guide Iceve translators Napo, Pius and Donald as they plan to meet up to check each other's draft translations of some passages in Luke.”


Thank you for keeping these servants in your prayers!


Caleb - USA

As people heard at the Bring & Share on 12 January, Caleb went to Peru with the Cleveland Ambassadors team on Monday 27 January.  They played their first game against Alianza on 30 January and won the match 5:3!  It was an amazing first game with some great goals.  Please continue to pray for this tour as it includes indigenous football outreach, game matches against local and national teams, opportunities for players to share their testimonies of the ways God has worked in their lives, bible studies and discipleship within the teams, and true transformation by the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of many.

 

Barnabas Fund

Here are a few snippets of the latest news from Barnabas.  For more in-depth news from around the world, please visit their website: www.barnabasfund.org/en/news


Nigeria - Boko Haram murders kidnapped Church leaderOn 20 January, Boko Haram announced that it killed Pastor Lawan Andimi, a leading Church figure, who was kidnapped in north-east Nigeria by the Islamist terrorist group on 2 January.  Pastor Andimi, chairman of the local Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), leaves a wife and seven children.  He was abducted in Adamawa State during a series of Boko Haram attacks in the region.  In a video released by his captors on 5 January, the pastor had called on senior CAN colleagues to ask the State governor, Ahmadu Fintiri, to intercede for his release.  It is thought that the church was involved in negotiations with the captors when Pastor Andimi was killed on 20 January.  In his poignant statement, Pastor Andimi had told his family and colleagues not to cry or worry about him but to “thank God for everything”.  “I have never been discouraged because all conditions that one finds himself is in the hands of God. By the grace of God, I will be together with my wife, my children and my colleagues.  If the opportunity has not been granted, maybe it is the will of God,” he said.  A regional analyst in contact with Barnabas has warned that there are indications that Boko Haram is extending its territory in north-east Nigeria.  At least four murderous Islamist attacks have taken place in the region in less than a month, including the murder of a bride-to-be and her friends as they travelled by road to her wedding, and the beheading of ten Christian men and the shooting of an eleventh by Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP).  The past year has also seen a significant increase in Boko Haram activity in neighbouring Far North Cameroon.  The expert raised concerns that the group may be progressively combining forces with other terrorist militia including ISWAP, Fulani herdsmen and Al Shabaab. (Barnabas Fund is assisting Pastor Andimi’s family, especially during the traditional mourning period when his wife, Auwa, must, according to local custom, temporarily halt her small business selling honey and fish.) 


Pray that the God of all comfort will be with Pastor Andimi’s wife, Auwa, and his seven children, the oldest of whom, a son, is training with the Methodist Church and the youngest, Rachael, is only 13 years old.  Ask that God is their stronghold, refuge and Saviour from violent people (2 Samuel 22:3-4).  Give thanks for the pastor’s life, his courage and his service.  Ask that the Christian community stay strong in their faith and remain courageous (1 Corinthians 16:13).  Beseech the Lord for an end to the terrible violence in the region and for the protection of Christians living there.


Kenya - Al Shabaab murders three Christian teachers in school compound attack.  “The eye of the storm is on us,” said a Barnabas Fund contact after three Christian teachers were murdered in an attack by Al Shabaab jihadists on a primary school compound in Kenya on 13 January.  The dead teachers were Samwel Mutua, 29, Caleb Mushimbi, 28, and Caleb’s cousin, 29-year-old Titus Mushimbi.  Another teacher was shot twice in the leg, and a fifth managed to escape when the militants struck the school’s staff quarters at 2am in Kamuthe, about 30km from Garissa town, on the Somali border.  The terrorists spared a female Christian teacher and a nurse with an infant child.  However, they forced the nurse to recite the shahada (Islamic creed), before marching her to the dispensary where they looted medicine and other items.  Muslims believe that anyone who recites the creed has become a Muslim, even if the person does not understand what they have said and does not believe it.  The gang then burned down the nearby police post, abandoned by its officers when the gunfire started, and bombed a telecommunications mast in the market place.  The murderous Al Shabaab raid was the fourth in the area in less than two weeks, claiming a total of ten lives, including four children.  “The intensity of the attacks is terrifying,” said our contact.  “It is not the first time Christian teachers are killed by Al Shabaab in the area, the increased frequency and the plain helplessness of stopping the attacks is concerning.  Apart from God, we are on our own.”  He added, “We appeal to the security agents to double their efforts to protect Christians and local Somalis in the region.”  One of those killed, Titus, was at the school only because the headmaster was away.  The previous day, Titus had played keyboard during a Sunday service at his local church.  Anxious because of the recent spate of attacks, he had asked for prayers for safety before leaving for the school. At 11pm on Sunday, he spoke on the phone to his wife Ruth, a teacher at Garissa Academy, and his son, Baraka, bidding them good night.  In an earlier attack, on 6 December, Christians and non-Muslims were singled out and killed when suspected Al Shabaab extremists forced a bus to a halt in Wajir county, northern Kenya, as it travelled from Nairobi to Mandera.  The militants allowed Muslims to go free before killing at least eleven non-local passengers, eight of whom were Christians. 


Ask the Lord to be with the bereaved families of those murdered, knowing that God will remove every tear from their eyes (Revelation 21:4). Entreat the Lord for an end to the terrible persecution.  Pray for the teacher and nurse and ask that the Lord comfort them after the trauma of their ordeal and that they may know His peace (John 16:33).


Norway - Muslims beat, rob and try to forcibly convert street preacher.  Four Muslim men abducted, beat and robbed a Christian street preacher in Trondheim, Norway, finally demanding at knifepoint he convert to Islam or be killed.  Roar Fløttum, who regularly preaches on the streets of the city, was lured away on 28 November by the men to pray for a friend who had “injured his foot”.  After pushing Fløttum down a flight of stairs and beating him about the head, the gang took his bank cards, extracted his passcodes and stole money from his accounts.  They then tried to force him to recite Arabic words, probably the Islamic creed, and demanded he “convert to Islam or die,” while threatening him with a knife.  Fløttum plans to continue his evangelism work in Trondheim. “I only want to tell others about God’s love,” he said.  Police say the incident is the first of its kind in the city. It was estimated in 2016 that 5.7% of the Norwegian population are Muslim, mostly Sunni Muslims living in the Oslo area. 


Thank the Lord for Roar’s courageous faith in refusing to give in to the demands of his attackers to recite the Islamic creed. Pray that he recovers fully from the pain of his ordeal and that he will find comfort in the unfailing love of the Lord (Psalm 119:76). Ask that the Lord protect him as he continues in his ministry (Hebrews 13:6) and that Islamist extremism will not take hold in Norway.


Russia - Security agencies target Christians under new ‘anti-extremism’ law.  Russian security agencies are using the sweeping surveillance powers of the “Yarovaya Law”, introduced in 2016, to impose harsh restrictions on evangelical Christian groups in the name of tackling vaguely defined “extremist” activities.  The law, which imposes tough fines and even potential expulsion from Russia, places restrictions on religious groups including requiring a permit to meet outside registered religious buildings. This, in effect, outlaws prayer meetings held in Christians’ homes as well as criminalising house churches.  The law also gives security agencies access to private communications held by telecom companies including 'phone conversations and text messages.  “There are practically no Protestants that haven’t been impacted by the law,” said a pastor of a Protestant church in Moscow. “I lead a congregation of 50 people, and almost every Sunday a police squad interrupts our services … Sometimes, local authorities dress up like civilians and knock on our door, asking to be let in so they can ‘pray’.  “If we don’t let them in, they film us turning them away and then use the footage against us. And if we do let them in, then they take pictures inside the church to identify ways that we are violating the ‘Yarovaya Law’. We have had to pay several fines for ‘illegal missionary activity’.”  In the city of Noyabrsk, pastors from a Baptist denomination were fined for building a children’s playground near a church. Police claimed that the children could be subjected to “illegal missionary activity” by reading the religious literature found when they searched the building. 


Pray for a repeal of the punitive “Yarovaya Law” which brings such harsh restrictions, invasions of Christians’ privacy, and criminalises house churches. Ask that the Lord protect Christians from unfounded charges and that they will remain strong, keeping their trust in the Lord.


Myanmar - Prayers answered as more than 50 churches reopen in Shan State.  The United Wa State Army (UWSA) in control of the Wa Special Region in Myanmar (Burma), bordering China’s Yunnan province, has allowed at least 50 churches to reopen.  Local church leaders issued a plea for prayer when the China-backed, communist influenced separatist group closed more than 100 churches in northern Shan State in 2018, demolishing some and banning the construction of new church buildings. At least 200 Christian leaders and workers were “investigated” and detained. All have since been released.  The UWSA order to close the churches included the Chinese term jidujiao, which refers to Protestant and evangelical Christians, indicating the clampdown was aimed at specific denominations. A Bible school was also shut down and 41 students forced into hard labour as military porters.  Local church leaders welcomed the reopenings and reported that most church buildings in the towns of Panghsang, Hopang, Kho Pang and Namphan are now open for worship, leaving only one church and a school still closed. 


Praise God for the prayers of local church leaders and Christians which have led to the reopening of at least 50 church buildings (Psalm 146:1-10). Thank the Lord that the Christian leaders were released from detention and that only one church and a school building remain closed. Pray that they too will be reopened soon. Pray for the protection of Christians in a region where persecution is rife.

 


Geoff, Fay, Phil & Danni

Christmas is the busiest time of year for the homes and especially for the pastoral team. There are 6 Christmas services (1 per home plus the Mission Care Christmas service) and we also like to attend as many of the Christmas parties as possible. And we try to do this with minimal disruption to the regular 1:1 pastoral visits etc. But we believe that the extra work is appropriate because of the unique opportunities that we have to share the gospel with residents, families and staff.


We are delighted to have 2 new members of the pastoral team—Joyce (started 17 November) and Iain (starting 2 December).  Please pray that they settle in well, and are able to adjust to the work and the nursing home environment, and that all of the team will walk closely with the Lord and draw their strength from Him.

In addition to the great work that takes place in the Mission Care homes, we have just re-launched our Mission Café in Bromley. 


Community is at the very heart of Mission Cafe. Our comfortable space in the heart of Bromley provides a welcoming home for everyone including networking clubs, mum and baby groups, business societies and church groups. We are also proud to be dementia-friendly, ensuring our cafe environment offers a safe and supportive environment for those living with dementia and those who care for them.

 

Our Baristas have all received dementia training which means they understand how to help customers who may be living with dementia feel supported throughout their visit.


Mission Cafe, 8A The Mall, Bromley (Opposite Argos)

Monday-Friday - 8am-5pm

Saturday - 9am-5pm



Helen & Alastair - Ireland


Alastair will be travelling to the International Leaders Meetings in Thailand from 12-23 February. Pray for good meetings and connections. He will also visit his brother and family in Qatar before he returns home. For the past few weeks he has worked on finalising the new payroll system and the year-end accounts, as well as being involved in preparation meetings for the Logos Hope's visits to Cork & Dublin.


Pray for the DuFrene family (Canada) who heard from the Irish Immigration that their appeal has been refused and so will not be able to continue their ministry in Ireland. This is a disappointment as they were doing a wonderful job for the past three years leading the youth group in our church. Pray for them as a family as they look into the possibility of ministering in another European country. Pray also, for the youth at our church as we don’t have a gifted youth leader to take on this ministry.


Helen is busy working on preparations for our St Patrick's outreach, taking place from 1220 March.  We have 13 participants coming and will be working with a group of churches in one town in the North West of Ireland. Helen will be having surgery (to remove her gallbladder) on 6 February.  Pray for a good recovery and no complications.


Alisha is training for athletic competitions. Hannah has mock exams for the first two weeks of February and her Grade 5 piano exam later this month. Daniella is training with MidWestern Girls League (soccer) and played one match so far for the U13 girls team.  Ruairi & Callum will keep practicing their chess skills for the Community Games competition!