The Good Book Company have been churning out quality gospel resources for ages now (but then I would say that seeing as I’m one of their authors). However, last week they sent me a copy of their latest resource and frankly – they really have hit the ball out of the park with it!
As the title suggests, Discovering Jesus Through Asian Eyes seeks to addresses 16 questions that many Asians ask about Christianity, the Bible and what it means to follow Jesus. Here’s the lowdown: (more…)
It’s been a difficult week this week.
One of those weeks when the pressure of ministry is crushing and the temptation to throw in the towel is very real. Which is why it’s kinda funny that I got a timely kick in the pants today…from myself!
The way it transpired was that at some point last year (genuinely can’t remember when!) I was at an Acts 29 event in Sheffield and was asked to record a short video to encourage church planters. So I did. However, I never heard any more of it and clean forgot about it.
That is, until today, when it popped up in my Twitter feed courtesy of the Acts 29 Europe media team. You can see the video below. As you can tell my motive was to give a shot of gospel challenge and brotherly encouragement to any poor, battle weary church planters out there who might be in need of it.
Church planters like me!
Let me say this right at the outset of this post – I like Instagram.
I mean I really like it.
I use it all the time.
I wanted to get that off my chest now so that you don’t think that what’s coming next is just an anti-instagram rant.
So I’m an Instagram fan, but I probably need to confess that the real reason I like Instagram goes no deeper than this: (more…)
At last year’s Acts 29 Europe BootCamp in Cardiff I met a legendary bloke called Ian Williamson. Ian is man who is full of Jesus and has a passion for seeing the gospel take root on the estates of Middlesborough (find out more about the church that he recently planted up there here.) He also runs a fantastic ministry called SixtyEightFive. Here’s the lowdown:
Psalm 68 verse five, speaks of God being a father to the fatherless and this is where the charity, SixtyEightfive takes its name. Working in some of the most deprived wards in the country SixtyEightFive seeks to promote and support the role of fathers whilst providing positive male role models to men and boys who have been raised in a fatherless environment
By working closely with and supporting local schools/colleges, churches and community groups, SixtyEightFive provides a number of services including;
Here’s a short film that serves as a great introduction to SixtyEightFive:
Here’s how I encourage you to engage with the video:
- Watch it.
- Pray for the ministry.
- Pray for Ian and his family.
- Pray for Middlesborough (could God be calling you to join the mission up there?)
- Share it.
It was as we were travelling home from our Sunday morning gathering last weekend that my eldest daughter, Elen, told us that she was starting to find Hill City Church too big. This was the first time, as far as I’m aware, that the growth of Hill City Church has affected any of my kids in a negative way. (more…)
Further to my recent post about the issues of whether trafficking is actually happening in Wales, I thought I’d share a link with you to an eye-opening report by ECPAT UK (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) which is a leading UK children’s rights organisation that campaigns to protect children from commercial sexual exploitation. This report, published in 2007, looks specifically at the situation of the trafficking of children in Wales. While the report is now fairly old, it certainly helps us to better understand that trafficking is an issue for us here in Wales. Here is how the report concludes:
“This small scale-study considered whether there is an evidence base for child trafficking in Wales. Evidence was found of confirmed and suspected cases of child trafficking encountered by social services, the voluntary sector and the police. Data was gathered from 41 practitioners who described 32 cases that caused them concern. These cases involve children aged three and a half years and upwards, from a variety of countries of origin. Notably, more boys than girls were identified during this study. Children were described in situations of sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, cannabis production, street crime and forced labour.“
You can download the full report here.
Is human trafficking actually happening in Wales?
This is a question that I get asked a lot, especially now that Red Community is starting to gather pace and people are starting to appreciate that this is something I’m passionate about. Anyway, as you might expect it is very difficult to obtain accurate data due to the nature of the crime and the fear that many feel in reporting it. However, I can confirm that trafficking is very much an issue in Wales, as this Welsh Government video makes painfully clear:
So, tragically human trafficking is happening in Wales. However, I was encouraged to receive an email from Wales’ anti-slavery coordinator earlier this week informing me that it would also seem that awareness is increasing and there has been a sharp rise in it being reported. Indeed there was a massive 47% increase in slavery cases reported in Wales from 2012 to 2013. This is encouraging and must be celebrated as an answer to prayer. But there is still much to be done.
We are by no means the only gig in town, but if you’re in South Wales and keen to know how you might be able to get involved in a gospel-centred response to human trafficking in Wales, why not hook up with us at Red Community. We’d love to connect with you.
I’ve been needing to post this update on where things are at with the human trafficking work that I’m involved with in Cardiff for quite some time now. To say that things have progressed at a pace in the last few months would be a massive understatement. In this post I’ll give an update about all the different things that are happening, but before I do, perhaps I should quickly explain why we’ve had a bit of a name change.
Regular readers of the Rant will know that the monthly prayer sessions that we ran last year were called Red Sessions. (Red = short for ‘redemption’, alludes to ‘red light districts’ and also ‘red light’ meaning stop. It’s also the colour of Jesus’ blood…so red is a good colour for this ministry!) Anyway, we have changed the name to Red Community because Sessions speak more of an event, while what God has clearly been doing over recent months is mobilising a community of Christians who are up for a lot more than simply rocking up to a meeting once a month. There’s a lot of energy, a lot of activity and a lot of stuff going on week-by-week now, so RED Community it is! So what, I hear you ask, is this community actually getting up to? Well, where do I start…?