Travelling with Jesus

As we move through the season of Advent we would like to share some of the feedback we have received recently from those who have given up their time to go on the road with Jesus.

Blessings at home



Have you ever thought of joining a mission team? Often we fear that evangelism is for other people; and yet God has a habit of working through us if only we give him the chance. Ian Cripps pulls no punches in his account of what it felt like to follow Jesus on a daily basis on one of our recent parish missions:
“Stepping out of my regular life of marriage, employment, faith, family, golf and watching rugby, and going straight into mission was a shock of adrenalin and fright. To be surrounded by a combined ‘Home and Away team’ for 8 days, with complete freedom to think, speak and sing of the gospel is a privilege, exhilarating and joyfully exhausting all at the same time. I was paired with Pete from Coventry and Terry from Barnsley. Both had an irrepressible sense of humour; the three of us were consistently dissolving in laughter throughout the week. Both Terry and Pete have wonderful powerful family based testimonies, which clearly touched the people God intended to reach. Since the Mission I have a renewed hunger for the word, and my prayer lists have joyfully expanded. God is amazing.” For an insider’s view on the mission, read Ian’s full account here. And if you would be interested in joining a future team (we have three in the planning), please do let us know!

Blessings away



Last month a team led by Revd Tim Carter led two followup Rooted in Jesus conferences in the Diocese of Mityana, Uganda. We’ve posted a full account on the Rooted in Jesus blog, but sometimes it’s good to take a more individual view too, focussing not on what the Lord does among our brothers and sisters in Uganda but what he does among us. Nick James writes:
“The visit was exhilarating in many ways. Such appreciative people, such vibrant worship and such a wholesome, challenging course (I felt personally challenged by some of the material…). I think it more than lived up to my expectations on account of the people we met who were on fire for the Lord, despite little material resource. The chief impact on my ministry is a refreshing of my own call to make disciples (very helpfully challenging), and a firm understanding that Ugandan Christians face exactly the same fundamental issues as I do: am I willing to trust God and follow him wholeheartedly? And the things I need to trust him for are exactly the same: material provision and spiritual strength. The main circumstantial difference is that I am anaesthetised to my need of God by all the provision I have made for myself in fear of not having enough while my Ugandan brothers and sisters are to some extent handicapped and diverted by fear or frustration of not seeing how God will provide for them tomorrow. And both of us are spiritually poorer for it.”
Ruth Williams (65)
Ruth Williams makes new friends!
It sometimes seems odd for a small organisation to be working so widely. England and Africa are very different places; and yet, as Nick points out, many of the challenges we face are the same. How do we reach and disciple children? How do we cope with situations in which there are many small, rural churches and just one leader? How do we help clergy to keep the fire within them burning when the demands placed upon them are so great? And how, above all, do we ensure that we depend on God in all that we do, and that we trust in him and follow his guidance? We cannot do these things alone; but we can perhaps do them together. As we wait afresh for the coming of Christ in this season of Advent, let us commit ourselves to living in the knowledge that he is with us in all that we do.
Posted 14th December 2017 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan