Month: February 2014

Psalm 10 #FREEDOMFRIDAY

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As I staggered out of bed this morning, bleary-eyed and fuzzy-headed, I was greeted by my wife with these words: “Dai, read Psalm 10 with human trafficking in mind!” I was intrigued, but too tired to act on her advice straight away. So after walking the dog I settled down with a cup of coffee, opened the Bible and read.

WOW!!

This Psalm is phenomenal – describing the vile and violent exploitation of the poor from the point of view of the trafficker, the trafficked and the God of justice. The parallels between the words of this 3000 year old scripture and the reports of how traffickers in the 21st century prey upon their victims are staggering. If you know anything of the way that traffickers operate and who they target, or have seen any trafficking documentaries, such as Nefarious, verses like 8-10 will blow your mind. However, what I LOVED about this Psalm is that it also shows us the issue of the exploitation of the poor from God’s perspective.

Is He moved by trafficking?

Will He act against injustice?

Take a read and see for yourself:

PSALM 10

1 Why, O Lord, do you stand far away?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

2 In arrogance the wicked hotly pursue the poor;
let them be caught in the schemes that they have devised.
3 For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul,
and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the Lord.
4 In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him;
all his thoughts are, “There is no God.”
5 His ways prosper at all times;
your judgments are on high, out of his sight;
as for all his foes, he puffs at them.
6 He says in his heart, “I shall not be moved;
throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity.”
7 His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression;
under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.
8 He sits in ambush in the villages;
in hiding places he murders the innocent.
His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;
9 he lurks in ambush like a lion in his thicket;
he lurks that he may seize the poor;
he seizes the poor when he draws him into his net.
10 The helpless are crushed, sink down,
and fall by his might.
11 He says in his heart, “God has forgotten,
he has hidden his face, he will never see it.”

12 Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand;
forget not the afflicted.
13 Why does the wicked renounce God
and say in his heart, “You will not call to account”?
14 But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation,
that you may take it into your hands;
to you the helpless commits himself;
you have been the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer;
call his wickedness to account till you find none.

16 The Lord is king forever and ever;
the nations perish from his land.
17 O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted;
you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear
18 to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.

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RED Centre, Redemption Bible Studies and Redemption Sessions

Apologies for how long it’s taken me to get round to writing this post. The best part of the last few weeks was pretty much wiped out by major tooth ache and the flu, but I’m back on it now and excited to be writing this post.

As I mentioned in a previous post, things have been moving at a pace regarding what’s next for the Redemption Sessions movement. Following a simple yet significant get together with some of the key Red Sessions guys last month, I am delighted to share our plans.

RED Centre

unnamed-1When I launched the Redemption Sessions last year, people were kind of curious as to why we were praying at a church in Tremorfa. The answer is this – I had wanted to base our prayer movement in the centre of the red light district in Cardiff, but  we couldn’t find a suitable premises. The church in Tremorfa was literally the nearest we could get, and I am incredibly grateful for their gracious hospitality to us. However, there was a specific building that I had always had my eye on in the RLD and just before Christmas I discovered that there were rooms to rent! To cut a long story short the building is right in the thick of things, it is bullet proof and the bit for rent is currently derelict. I am in negotiations with the owner to get it at a cheap rate if we do the works ourselves. The venue (which will be known as the RED Centre) will function as a prayer centre, from which we can pray for the trafficked, exploited and enslaved both in Cardiff and across the world. Similarly, it will be a base from which Liberty can operate from. Liberty is a fantastic Christian ministry that reaches out to sex workers in the city, both on the streets and in parlours. Essentially the RED Centre will be a gospel outpost for prayer and practical ministry into one of the darkest and most desperate mission-fields in Wales. As such we are super excited! As you can imagine, there is a lot of work that needs doing and some considerable funds that needs to be raised. Therefore if you (or anyone you know) would be up for helping out practically or financially, please get in touch.

Redemption Bible Studies

unnamedThe second part of the plan moving forward is to mobilise a Redemption Community, that is, an army of men and women from in and around the city who are passionate about and equipped for the mission of standing against trafficking and exploitation in Cardiff. We want to fan passion into flame, explore ideas and opportunities to raise awareness of the issues in the city and put practical tools in people’s hands to help them be advocates for abolition in their churches and communities. The focal point for this community will be Redemption Bible Studies. These studies will be a fortnightly mid-week Bible study that will explore justice and God’s heart for the poor and oppressed from a gospel perspective. I’m really stoked to have a local IJM rep partnering with me in running these sessions. The long-term objective is to hold these studies at the RED Centre. In the meantime, however, we will meet together at a late night coffee house. My prayer is that these sessions will be precious times of prayer and provocation as we allow God to shape us, guide us and propel us into a mission that will see chains broken and souls set free. This is an initiative from which I can really envision a timely and strategic church plant coming out of, which excites me greatly. Again, if this is something that you might like to get involved in, please get in touch.

Redemption Sessions

Red Sessions gravFinally, what of the monthly Redemption Sessions prayer nights that ran throughout last year? Well, with all of this new activity it would be completely unrealistic to keep up the once a month commitment. However, there is no denying that the Redemption Sessions were invaluable in helping us to raise awareness about trafficking in Cardiff last year. Therefore, the plan is to run Redemption Sessions on a quarterly basis this year, focusing on running them in some of Cardiff’s larger churches in order to maximise the impact. Dates and venues for this years sessions will be released in due course.

So there you have it. We press on. Thanks to all who supported Redemption Sessions last year, either prayerfully or in person. Please pray for us this year, that we will know God’s grace and favour as we step out in faith to do all that He has called us to do in the city.

Blessinz.

Re-Tweeting

Twitter logoAfter a 9 month break I just signed up for Twitter again. I appreciate that I made a big song and dance about leaving Twitter last year, so I thought I’d briefly explain why I’m back on.

Essentially I feel that I am now able to re-engage with the world of Twitter without getting dragged into it like I once was. Initially I rejected Twitter. Now I feel that it’s time to redeem it. I’m not as bothered about stuff like follower numbers, retweets stats etc that I once was. Neither do I feel the need to share a blow-by-blow account of my daily thoughts and experiences. I guess I’m probably less “up my self” than I used to be.

However, I do feel that there are many friends who I’m not as connected to as I used to be and that, primarily is why I’m back on board. I don’t intend to follow hundreds of people and have thousands of followers like last time. I don’t intend to tweet 30+ times a day. I have no intention of engaging in pointless debates or vain competition. I simply want to be sociable and to share life, encouragement and Scripture with friends. As a means of keeping myself accountable I have asked several close friends in the ministry to keep an eye on my Twitter behaviour and I have given them licence to call me out if they think I’m tweeting in an ungodly way. If it gets stupid again, they’ll tell me and I’ll jack it all in (again). Simple!

So that’s it!

May God be glorified.

I’m @daihankey if you want to connect.