Month: March 2014

Introducing Jason Bushell and the work of IJM #FREEDOMFRIDAY

InternationalJusticeLogoI’ve met some wonderful people and been introduced to some fantastic ministries in the short time that I have been seeking to pursue God’s heart for the trafficked, exploited and enslaved. Some have become goods friends and great partners in the gospel. One of those people is Jason Bushell who recently moved to Cardiff as a rep for IJM. I asked Jason to write an article for the Rant to introduce both himself and the ministry of IJM. Please do give it a good read and stand with Jason and his family in prayer.

“Again I saw all of the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them. On the side of their oppressors there was power and there was no one to comfort them.” [Eccl. 4:1]

Inspired 3000 years ago, Solomon’s words ring true today, with 4 billion of our global neighbours unprotected by the law. Nearly 30 million trapped in short, brutal, dead-end lives of slavery.

As a teacher of History for over twenty years I had assumed that slavery was a thing of the past; I hadn’t been paying attention! My awakening came in the Passion Conferences where I was first exposed to the depths and extent of modern slavery. Primary school-age girls trapped in brothels, raped daily for others’ profit. Widows, with their young children, being forced off their property, left destitute and vulnerable. Children in back-breaking, bonded labour in brick factories, rock quarries and rice mills, never allowed to know or enjoy the freedom that childhood should bring.

A glimpse of such horror can leave us paralysed in despair. Yet despair, as C.S. Lewis wrote, “is a greater sin than any of the sins that provoke it”; it belittles or denies the power of our great God. It is then that we must listen to the voice of Jesus telling us to “Take heart! I have overcome the world”. [Jn.16:33] Our Father cares deeply about injustice and wants to work through us to bring rescue to the victims. [Is.1:17, Mic.6:8, Mat.23:23]

International Justice Mission was founded in 1997 in response to the Bible’s call to “seek justice”. Our vision is “to rescue thousands, protect millions and prove that justice for the poor is possible”. With 18 Field Offices in countries such as Bolivia, Uganda, India and Cambodia and with a staff of over 600 Christian lawyers, investigators and social workers, IJM rescues people from violent oppression, brings criminals to justice under local laws so they cannot abuse, exploit or enslave others, restores survivors to safety and strength and transforms justice systems by helping law enforcement defend and protect the poor – stopping violence before it ever starts. Last year alone over 3,500 were rescued from slavery, more than 300 criminals were restrained and 153 convicted. Over 4000 survivors of violence received aftercare services.

My role as IJM’s representative in Wales is to encourage the local church to mobilise and actively seek justice. Nearly 30 million slaves is a problem but IJM’s work proves there is hope if we make 30 million slaves a priority. We can, by God’s grace, end slavery in our generation; not because we are awesome but because we serve an awesome God of justice who is ready to move in power if we are ready to move in obedience. It’s not only about what God wants us to do, but who God wants us to be.

Looking for church planting interns

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One of the reasons that I love being part of the Acts 29 Europe network is that they are not only passionate about planting churches, they are passionate about planting churches that plant churches that plant churches…

I share the same conviction, which is why at Hill City we have always sought to have young people serving with us as a part of their training and preparation for future church planting and gospel ministry. In fact, one of my greatest joys over recent years has been to see some of the people that we have invested in leaving Hill City and going on to plant, lead and serve other churches.

Anyway, as the Hill City mission roles on at pace and I start to get my head around my new role as Acts 29 Wales director, it has become apparent that now would be a good time to take on a new church planting intern. As a church we have never been better positioned to train, assess and send church planters. Similarly, we are now at a stage where we could be incredibly flexible in what we offer: full time, part time, bi-vocatinal, living alone, living with a pastor and family…we can literally custom-build an internship programme that matches the circumstances and aspirations of the intern.

Below are 12 things that we can promise you will receive as church planting intern, as well as 12 things that we guarantee you won’t get.


What you get:

  • You will be based at Hill City Church, a young, growing and exciting church in the Eastern Valley.
  • You (and your family) will be warmly welcomed into a church family that will love you and look after you.
  • You will have an abundance of opportunities to serve in a variety of gospel ministries: some public, some behind the scenes and some pioneering. None particularly glamorous!
  • You will be in the perfect context to explore your gifting and calling further.
  • You will get to live locally and serve on the frontline as part of one our Gospel Communities.
  • You will be given opportunities to observe and serve in other missional contexts and new church plants around South Wales.
  • You will work alongside the Acts 29 Wales director as he works with church leaders, church planters and potential church planters from all around Wales.
  • You will have the opportunity to have your credentials as a church planter assessed by Acts 29.
  • You will get to attend various conferences and training days hosted by Acts 29 throughout the year.
  • You will be given space and opportunity to pursue theological training that is both missional and contextual.
  • You will get a financial contribution towards your living expenses.
  • You will flippin’ love it!

What you don’t get:

  • You will not be taken for granted.
  • You will not be be treated like you’re any more special than anyone else in church.
  • You will not be treated as inferior or ignored like you have nothing of significance to offer.
  • You will not be abandoned and left to your own devices.
  • You will not have an easy ride of it.
  • You will not be used, abused, burnt out and spat out at the end.
  • You will not get a promise that you won’t be pushed to your limits, stretched and challenged.
  • You will probably not have signed a book deal or received global recognition as a marquee preacher by the end of your internship.
  • You will not receive fame and fortune (but if you do, we would expect your tithe to reflect this ; -)
  • You don’t get a jet with your name on it…
  • …or even a bike with your initials scratched into it.
  • You won’t have to worry about looking back on your internship and wondering it had been a complete waste of time…cos it won’t be!

If you’re interested or would like to find out more, please email me