Month: August 2011

Great News From Ouagadougou…

Had such an encouraging email earlier today from Pastor Robert (the pastor of SIM Paspanga – our Compassion partner church). It was encouraging in 3 ways:

  1. It’s always good to hear from him – he’s a dear brother and phenomenal encouragement to me.
  2. He informed us of some extremely exciting news – just like Hill City, our friends at SIM Paspanga are planting a church in the very near future. Sakoula is a region that is also in Ouagadougou and Pastor Robert has been preaching there since July. He’s asked us to pray ahead of an evangelistic campaign next weekend, at which they will be showing the Jesus film. They have already secured a hectare of land and are hoping to plant in December! BUZZIN!!
  3. He attached photographs of the playground equipment and mosquito nets (see below) that our recent fund-raising drive has provided for those precious children. He also mentioned that they have yet to secure government approval for the building of the new classrooms, but reassured us with these words: “we are on it, we pray and work waiting that God opens the doors for his glory.” Haha!! Gotta love that!!


I seriously got emotional when I first saw these pictures. If you’ve followed the adventure of our partnership with the beautiful kids of BF201 you’ll understand why these images mean so much to us!

THANK YOU JESUS!!

Would you join us in prayer:

  1. Thank God for Pastor Robert and our friends at SIM Paspanga.
  2. Ask that God would bless the outreach mission next weekend and save mightily.
  3. Pray for wisdom, courage and provision for the forthcoming church plant in Sakoula.
  4. Rejoice with us for the playground equipment and mosquito nets that we’ve had the privilege of providing.
  5. Press in for a favourable response from the government regarding the building of new classrooms and for the remaining funds to be raised.

Hope you’re as encouraged as me! Bless you guys.

Buzzin!!

In Awe


A couple of months ago a Christian producer from Cardiff got in touch with me through Twitter and asked me if I’d be up for collaborating with him on a track for his forthcoming mix tape. I’d never heard of BiG MacK before, but I’m glad that he tracked me down. He might be young (18 years old) but he’s incredibly talented and creative. I reckon he’s got a bright future ahead of him in the music industry.

Anyway, I’ve never collaborated on a track with anyone before and I’ve been wanting to try a few new things with my rapping, so this was an opportunity too good to miss. Essentially what we’ve come up with is an urban worship track called ‘In Awe’. My part in it consists of 16 bars in the middle and a bit of back-to-back in the last verse. MacK on the other hand not only wrote the music, he also rapped the rest of it, sang the chorus and produced the track too.

In Awe is going to feature on the forthcoming mix tape that MacK is currently working on. It’s also going to be included on my next CD too. More about that in due course.

In Awe is very different to any of the other tracks I’ve recorded thus far, therefore I’d really appreciate your feedback on it. Feel free to post a comment below and let me know what you make of this new track.

Blessinz.

In Awe – BiG MacK feat. Truemcee

Reason 3. My Kids Keep Me Humble

In my experience, the greatest temptation I have faced in over 10 years of ministry is the temptation to become proud. This is not only sinful and wrong, it’s also extremely counter-productive as: “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6).

Literally, pride puts you on a collision course with God (and there’s only one winner there!) whereas humility plugs you into the power source of His amazing grace. Every day I face an epic battle to decrease so that God might increase in me. Which is why my kids have been such a phenomenal blessing to me…

…cos no one keeps me humble like my kids!!

1. My kids are mini versions of me!
I don’t really get how DNA works, I just know that I can see traces of both me and Michelle in all our kids (it’s been suggested that they get their looks and intelligence from their mum and their mischief from me!) I’ve also heard it said that kids are a product of their environment, so what they see and hear in the home influences them. Sometimes this blesses the socks off me, like when Josiah spontaneously says grace before breakfast or when Elen starts making up her own rap lyrics. But other times…it can be horrifying, like when Josiah erupts into a violent tantrum – it’s like looking at my aggressive past in realtime! The truth is that while I love my kids to bits (and I think they’re turning out pretty well, even if I do say so myself!) they are all little sinners who daily remind me of my own sin. It can be like looking in a mirror that never lies sometimes…

That’s humbling!

2. My kids are like elephants – they NEVER forget!
Broken promises. Inconsistent parenting. That time I let them down (again!)…my kids have detailed files. Ironically, while they can’t remember where they put their favourite toy on any given day, they have no such problem laying hold of the files of dad’s mistakes and when it comes to pulling them out they’re ruthlessly trigger-happy!

“Dad, remember when you said_________ and it never happened?!”

“Well you did _________ last time so you’ll probably do it again!”

OUCH!!!

Clearly they still need a bit of help in grasping the concept of “Love keeps no record of wrongs” (1Cor13v5). In the meantime, however, I get to share a home with 4 living, breathing, merciless commentators on the sin in my life. While I could choose self-defence or denial, I choose instead to acknowledge my sin, face up to my sin, confess my sin and deal with my sin so that my kids get to see what true repentance looks like.

That’s humbling!!

3. I get to read the Bible with my kids
I do 2 quiet times per day. The first (in the morning) is me, God and my trusty  ESV. The second (in the evening) is me, my kids and one of their vast array of children’s Bibles. Reading Scripture with my kids is always one of the highlights of my day. It’s such a privilege to read it with them, answer their precious, innocent questions and help them to apply the truth they’re reading! However, I’d be doing a bad job if I wasn’t daily helping them to see that ultimately the Bible reveals their own sin and their desperate need of a Saviour. So as I explain these things to them, I’m daily reminded that I too am a sinner, saved by scandalous grace and as much in need of Jesus today as I was when I was saved 19 years ago!

That’s humbling!!!

Urban Hymns

If you’re anywhere near Abergavenny this weekend, why not come along to a little gig I’m rapping at?

It’s called Urban Hymns, it’s going down at 7 Corners in Abergavenny.

All the info is on the flyer below.

Maybe see you there…

Souled Out

This afternoon (14th August) me and the family will be packing our car to the rafters and heading up the A470 to the wonderful world of North Wales.

North Wales is a very special part of the world to me. It’s where I was converted and it’s also where me and Michelle went on honeymoon. We’re really looking forward to an enjoyable, albeit short, break up there, although for me it’s more of a busman’s holiday as the main reason we’re going up is for me to preach at Souled Out Cymru.

Souled Out Cymru is a week-long youth event that takes place in Bala and that attracts young people from all over the place. It’s a privilege to be invited to preach there. My reason for blogging about it is to ask for your prayers, both for my ministry to be fruitful and also for my family to be refreshed. If you’d be willing to pray, this is what the coming week is going to look like:

Sunday
Travel up to North Wales

Monday
Family Time

Tuesday
Family Time

Wednesday
am – First preaching session
pm – Rap/preach at outreach event

Thursday
am – Teaching Seminar
pm – Michelle giving testimony

Friday
am – Second preaching session
pm – travel home

Saturday
Family time

Thanks so much for your prayers.

You’ll be in mine.

Blessinz.

Reason 2. My Kids Teach Me About God

I have learned more about God from my children than I could ever convey in a simple blog entry. (Check out Lessons I’ve Learned From My Little Girl for a deeper look).

However, there are 2 things in particular that my kids have taught me about God:

1. God is a Phenomenal Creator
I’ve loved God’s creation for as long as I can remember, but fatherhood has taken that love to a whole other level! From the mind-blowing jelly-baby (with a poppy-seed-sized heart) that I witnessed on our first 12 week scan, to the miracle of healing that took place in Michelle’s womb that meant baby Josiah saw the light of day, to the jaw-dropping wonder of fathering twins…God’s creative power has taken my breath away more times than I can count! And don’t even get me started on the mechanics of childbirth, bonding with parents, the intricate wonder of a baby’s fingers, first words and first steps…

…INCREDIBLE!!

(more…)

Porterbrook Cardiff

Porterbrook is a theological training course that is all about equipping everyday Christians to embrace everyday life with Gospel purpose, for the glory of Jesus.

Originating from Sheffield, Porterbrook was written by gospel gurus Tim Chester and Steve Timmis and it’s impact has been massive. Porterbrook now has learning sites popping up all over the world, from South Africa to USA, Italy to Australia…and now WALES!!

I’m proper excited to be involved in setting up Porterbrook Cardiff – a brand new learning site that launches in September. Despite being based in Cardiff, Porterbrook Cardiff will serve the whole of South Wales!! We are working towards local groups popping up all over the region…not least in my own backyard – Trevethin!!

If you’re in South Wales and doing Porterbrook sounds appealing to you, please click here for to register your place.

Reason 1. My Kids Are A Gift From God

Far from being an unhelpful burden or a drain on my resources, I genuinely view all 4 of my kids: Elen, Josiah, Ezra and Anastasia, as precious gifts from God. Each one of them is a living, breathing testimony to the kindness of a loving God who loves family!

We love this Scripture in our home:

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
   are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
   who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
   when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
(Psalm 127v3-5)

And this one too…

“Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
   within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
   around your table.
Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
   who fears the LORD.”
(Psalm 128v3-4)

Michelle often refers to the Hankey kids as our olive shoots. I’m more down with the arrows in the hand of a warrior image myself! Either way, we know that we are immensely blessed by God! There are genuinely times when I look around our dining table, observe all the different characters chirping, screaming, giggling and laughing, and I feel like the richest man alive!

My children are a gift from above. Hand-crafted by God and given to us for our joy. Encouragement and reasons to celebrate can often be hard to come by on the mission field. I have 4 very vocal, very energetic, very obvious reasons to be grateful EVERY DAY!!

Thank you Jesus for such a wonderful gift.