Good News from India: Sunil’s Story

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SunilHyd

We just received this report from one of our sister churches in India …..

“It was truly a testimony of God’s faithfulness that Sunil could accept Jesus as Lord.

Sunil is the son of church member Sheela Aunty in the Hyderabad Church. God gave him at least 2 chances to join his kingdom. Sunil was reached out to 10 years ago and studied the Bible. But he was not ready at that time.

Again 5 years ago God allowed other disciples to study the Bible with him, but even at that time he did not want to give up his Khaini and Guthka to become a disciple. There was a ministry happening in his house at that time.

A few weeks ago, he developed a huge lump below his right chin. They did a biopsy on it and the report came that he was in the final stage of tongue cancer. This time when the men in the church initiated with him, he was open to the gospel. He took responsibility for his sin and did not blame God for the situation nor did he give in to any self-pity. Instead he accepted Jesus as Lord and was baptised.

It just goes to show that God keeps coming back to us and never lets go of us.”

Good News from the church planting in Iceland

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It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 2 Cor 3:13-15

On behalf of the Reykjavik church, we would like to thank all of you who prayed and fasted for us over the last months.

We saw God working his awesome miracles as we had a church service on the 21st of April this month with 30 people in attendance. The Word was preached and people were moved as His name was glorified!

A special thanks to the disciples from Finland and Sweden who came over to help share the Gospel in rain, sleet and snow, all delivered via the cold and gale-strength winds that are part of life here!

It was a tremendous victory and we are meeting people to study the Bible. Please continue to have us in your prayers as we reach the lost in Iceland.

This victory was truly His but also all of yours as we felt ourselves carried by your love and all your prayers.

On behalf of Samfélag Krists i Reykjavik,
Pauline and Charlie Hovenas

ALICIA’ S STORY – a soft heart finds God

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Alicia is baptised into Christ

Alicia is baptised into Christ

I have been a disciple for just over twenty four years and have studied the Bible with many women but none like Alicia. Studying with Alicia has been an incredible experience.

Alicia has been attending church meetings with her mum, Roslyn, since she was about 11 years old. She is usually very serving and expresses care for others. She would often asked, “How are you today?” She always had a cheerful smile and never complained.

Unlike most of us, Alicia is unable to read and speak fluently. She attends a day group for vulnerable adults and enjoys some fun activities with others with similar disabilities like herself.  Before studying the bible with her, Alicia and I built up a real bond of friendship.  Every week I spent time with her at home, walking, evangelising etc. I went to a social evening of the day group she attends, because I wanted to see how she interfaces with other activities and her peers. The more time I spent with Alicia, the more I knew she would make a great disciple!

When I shared this with her mum, she reminded me that, “she cannot read!” I asked her what her age of understanding was. She said twelve years. I then said there must be a way! Let’s pray about it.

One night as I slept I saw a lot of pictures before me. It was then I got the vision of doing ‘Guard the Gospel’ in pictures. I realised that God had answered our prayers and I could use this method to study with Alicia. Each day I spent hours searching the net, books, a children’s’ Bible, wherever I was could, to find pictures to suit the scriptures.

After consulting with mum about Alicia’s daily activities, I set aside a specific day and time when to study with Alicia. When I was late I called to let her know, and when I could not make it I did the same, rescheduling immediately. This was very important for Alicia, to avoid creating anxiety and to keep the bond of trust between us.

Studies lasted for about forty-five minutes.  At first I did only two or three scriptures, so as not to exasperate her. If ever I felt that she was anxious I let her know that we could stop.  It did not matter if we only got through one scripture in a study. Some scriptures needed more than one picture illustration. I also used some of my own illustrative drawings and sometimes made reference to articles in the home or her personal items. Alicia responded well to both. As Alicia became more confident we were able to do more.

Pictures were in colour and of a variety – cartoon characters, real people and things, big, and small. Studies overlapped as I would review elements of previous studies to ensure that Alicia was retaining what she had heard and seen.

I gave Alicia challenges from the scriptures as I if were studying the Bible with anyone. These,  however, mirrored her needs and understanding. She embraced them well. When Alicia ignored the challenge given, I postponed the study until she made progress.

This would not have been possible without the support of Alicia’s mum, Roslyn, who was involved in the studies from the beginning.

Mother, daughter and Cathy united in joy

Mother, daughter and Cathy united in joy

Finally we reached “Counting the Cost”. The same picture concept was used. In the week running up to her immersion Alicia started telling others that she was getting baptised.  When I asked her what song she would like to sing at her baptism, she said, “I’m going to view that Holy City “. There was no doubt in my mind, she knew what she wanted – Jesus.

Alicia & Cathy

Alicia & Cathy

This story is really about a very precious little girl, who was born underdeveloped in some ways, but with a heart that loved God. She was unable to express this like most men and women; but she had a mother whose heart was always protective, with a yearning that somehow, someday her daughter would make Jesus Lord. She didn’t know how. She never gave up hoping. As for me, I am humbled that God used me to unfold this story. To Him be the Glory!

Cathy Shambler

FATHER & SON Camp 5-7 Years

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Friday 24th to Sunday 26th May 2013
Cuffley Camp Outdoor Centre, Carbone Hill, Cuffley, Nr Potters Bar, Herts, EN6 4PR

We are at a new venue this year – Cuffley Outdoor Centre. It is set in 90 acres of outstanding natural beauty in south-east Hertfordshire and is 15 minutes from the M25. The accommodation is in tents in camping villages with their own campfire, showers and toilets. And with all the plans we have in place we will be too busy to cook so the chefs at the centre will be cooking up some great dishes for us.

Please SAVE the dates. Further details will be available soon.

First Quarter Report From Indian Subcontinent

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Indore is the red marker

We have received good news from our 56 sister congregations on the Indian subcontinent. The first three months of 2013 have seen God add 168 souls to the churches in that part of the world.

“Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.” (Proverbs 15:30 NIV11-GK)

A new church was planted in Indore – please pray for the mission team to be full of faith, and for people open to the gospel to find them. Keep the mission work as a whole in your prayers. Some of the conditions in which the Christians share their faith are very challenging indeed.

Vizag is the blue marker.  Karur is the red marker

Vizag is the blue marker. Karur is the red marker

More church plantings are planned for this month of April. One is a planting to the city of Karur, and the other is a replanting of the church in Vizag.

Ask the Lord of the harvest to bring in the harvest in these cities.

Good News from Bangalore

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Priyanka is baptised into Christ

Priyanka is baptised into Christ

Some good news sent to us from our sister congregation in Bangalore …..

When the Church in Bangalore got own building in the district of Krupalaya our prayer was that many from the neighbourhood would become disciples of Christ.

We evangelised in the neighbourhood and started a Bible Talk in Krupalaya. Many people attended. One of our prayers was that people would just walk in to the church service by seeing the board outside or even hearing the singing. Many people did come like that.

One of them was Priyanka. She moved to Bangalore from Tamil Nadu after doing her BTech in Aeronautical Engineering and stayed near Krupalaya as she started training in HAL. She began looking for a Church where she could get close to God. She saw the board outside the building and came on Sunday. However, that particular day the church was meeting elsewhere!  

Undeterred, she saw on the board that there was Bible class on Tuesdays at 7pm. She came the next Tuesday and once again the people in the Bible talk had another plan and so there was no meeting! She did not give up but came the next Sunday, attended the service and stayed on for a Bible study. From that point on she met the women in the church  for a Bible study every day. Finally, she was baptized on 24th March. Her room-mates and friends witnessed her accepting Jesus as the Lord of her life.

Please pray for her in her as she starts out on her spiritual walk with God. And also please pray for more people to walk in to the church building.

City Bible Discussion

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Please join us on Monday for our next bi-weekly City Bible discussion. Our topic for this session will be “The Following” taken from John 6 and nothing to do with the new FOX TV series, I am reliably informed.

Entry to the church will be via the side door in George Yard if you find the main entrance closed.

Hope to see you there and have a great weekend

Kind regards
Kevin

CITY BIBLE DISCUSSION.
Date : Every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month
Time :1.05pm – 1.35pm
Place : The Church Of St Edmund The King, Lombard Street, EC3V 9EA
Nearest Tube : Bank (exit 6) or Monument

Please enter through the side door in George’s yard if the main entrance on Lombard street is closed. All Welcome.

New Church Planting to Indore

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The Indore Mission Team

The Indore Mission Team

We have received this news from India today ….

It was a wonderful service last Sunday in Chennai. The church gave a powerful send-off to the Indore Mission Team. The Indore Mission team started on their way on 2nd April, Tuesday night. The travel time alone is around 30 hours by train to get there. They arrived on Thursday 4th April ready to spread the gospel.

Please keep them in your prayers.

Iceland Church Planting

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The Geyser Stokkur, erupting at a temperature between 80-100 Celsius)

“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”
– Acts 4:31

Fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

After 2 1/2 years of prayer and fasting monthly, God is moving to re-plant the Reykjavik church of Christ. My wife and I, Pauline and Charlie Hovenäs, along with our four children, have been sent out by the Stockholm congregation to lead the re-planting mission team. We are blessed to have our Icelandic brother, Rögnvaltur Gudmunssön join our team, as well as Joakim Kjös from Oslo.

We will be hosting an evangelistic campaign April 14-21, the week leading up to our first official worship service on April 21. We need all of the evangelistic help we can get. So, we are calling on brothers and sisters from around the Nordics, the U.K. and Ireland as well as among the churches that so generously suppport the Baltic-Nordic Missions Alliance in the United States to set aside a week of vacation and come and join us in this campaign and attend our inaugural worship service on April 21. Now is the time to take bold action and speak the word of God to the lost people of Iceland, the true descendants of the Viking settlers that came here 874 AD.

The title of the Sermon on Sunday and of the whole campaign is –

“Fan into Flame”

We are calling on all disciples who long to partake in evangelizing the streets in the northernmost capital in the world.
The program will start Moday morning at 09:00 with our first daily devotional.
We will have daily Bible lessons on the Mission and Christian apologetics, how to reasoning with non-believers, etc.
You will be taught some Icelandic as well, so that you are able to properly adress the people here. This language is almost the exact same language spoken by the Norse vikings over 1200 years ago!
Naturally we will spend hours each day evangelizing Reykjavik and the University.
We conclude some evenings with a special communion service somewhere in the beautiful nature of Iceland.
On one of these days we will enjoy great fellowship as we travel out in the countryside to experience more of the magic in this unique country.
Guest-speakers will include among others Reese Neyland and Christopher Reed.

If you have ever wondered what it is like to be a missionary, now is your chance to be a missionary for a week and help our small band of Faithful disciples become many!

We will make arrangements for inexpensive lodging at one of the many Youth Hostels around the city. Due to the size of our church and our missions’s budget, we need everyone who comes to be self-supporting for their trip, meals and lodging.
Tickets from Stockholm cost around 300€ if you book now, lodging will be between 30-50€ /night and fish is cheap here
If you are interested in participating in this campaign, please contact me, Charlie Hovenäs at
c.hovenas@gmail.com / +3547770024.

Come, hear the call of our Lord and share in our Joy!

For Samfelag Krists i Reykjavik, Charlie Hovenas
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Pauline & Charlie Hovenas
Haaleitisbraut 24
108 Reykjavik, Iceland
PH: +354 777 00 26
CH: +354 777 00 24
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Singles Retreat

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Singles Retreat on 4th to 8th May is now online

A gathering of singles from the British Isles and beyond all sharing in the same inspiration of:

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength”. Philippians 3:4

We are back at Cefn Lea for our annual Spring retreat! And we have been able to maintain last years prices!!

£80 per person in a standard chalet.
£90 per person in an ensuite chalet.

Early Bird rates apply until close 17th April.
Late rates are another £20 per person (close date 24th April).

Payment and registration will close on these dates or when capacity is reached, whichever is sooner.