Highlights of February Messenger
February tends to make me think about time, because it’s our shortest month and therefore there is less time to get things done.
We live in a society that seems to be going at breakneck speed. We have gadgets and machines to do much of the work that used to done by hand which I always thought would mean we would have more leisure time. But every one seems to be working even harder!
We have ever faster broadband on our computers which means we can send messages to one another even quicker, as well as mobile phones and text messaging. But we seem to have far less time just to talk to people face to face and make new friends.
Time is a gift from God and we need to spend it with care. A long time ago I read something called a ‘Bank of Time’ and part of it says this:
- To realise the value of a year, ask a student who has just failed his exam. To realise the value of a month, ask a mother who has just given birth to a premature baby.
- To realise the value of a week, ask an editor of a weekly newspaper and to realise the value of a day, ask a daily wage labourer who has his children to feed.
- To realise the value of an hour, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet. To realise the value of a minute, ask a person who has just missed the last train.
- To realise the value of a second, ask a driver who has just avoided an accident. To realise the value of a millisecond, ask an athlete who has just won silver at the Olympic games.
- Yesterday is history, today is a gift and that is why it is called the present!
2 Corinthians 6:2 says: ‘In the time of my favour I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. I tell you, now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation.
In our busyness, don’t let us forget the one who gave us the gift of life and time and through His Son Jesus Christ offers us the gift of salvation.
With love in Christ,
NEWS FROM THE FOYER
After closing during the Christmas 2010 and New Year 2011 holidays the Foyer opened its doors to a new chapter in its history.
Following a time of training for existing and potential staff most will now have “mastered” the mysteries of the coffee machine and the new system of accounting. Also the introduction of a café menu and pricing will now apply to both afternoon Wednesdays and Saturdays and every morning. It will be good to offer a wider range of drinks for instance.
Following the November 2010 elders’ elections Chris Hartley together with Linda Robinson and Jayne Laird will take overall charge with Margaret continuing to ensure the mornings are staffed and the duty rotas kept up-to-date.
If you’re not already working in the Foyer but would like to explore the possibility and are available, please speak to any of us. You will be given some training in the practicalities. Or perhaps you would like to come when available to chat to visitors?
As the church on the High Street we remain committed to providing hospitality and help to whoever comes through our doors.
Yours in Christ
‘HOW MANY LOAVES HAVE YOU?’
On Friday March 4th 2011 women from around the world will celebrate the Women’s World Day of Prayer. The service has been written by the women of Chile. It is an appropriate theme for bread is eaten at every meal and is very much part of every day life. The women of Chile offer what it means to them as they share this service with us.
The Tonbridge service will be at the parish church of
St Peter & St Paul at 10.30 am on 4th March 2011
Jean Hackett, president of the National Committee of the Women’s World Day of Prayer Movement, said:
‘This is always an exciting day as a great wave of prayer sweeps the world, beginning when the first service is held in Tonga and continuing around the world until the final service takes place, some 35 hours later, in neighbouring Western Samoa. By then the day will have been celebrated in over 170 countries and over 5,000 services will have been held in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.’
Stretching from Peru to Antarctica, the Republic of Chile occupies a long, narrow strip of land 2,640 miles long and 110 miles wide. It is a land of incredible contrasts. It also has the highest incidence of domestic violence in Latin America and most women suffer from discrimination in some form or other. Equal opportunities are being pursued.
Although organised and led by women, this is essentially a day of prayer for everybody as we demonstrate our solidarity with our sisters and brothers in other countries and all are welcome to attend.
WHERE IS CHILE AND WHAT IS IT LIKE?
Inhabiting a long, narrow strip of land in South America, the Republic of Chile has possibly the world’s most unusual territorial shape. Stretching from Peru to Antarctica it touches three continents: South America, the Pacific Islands and Antarctica and is known as a tri-continental country. Its most western possession is Easter Island, 2,200miles from the mainland. Eighty per cent of the country is mountainous. The rugged Andes mountain range separates Chile from Argentina along its eastern border. Throughout the country, deep valleys and high plateaus front the Andes, most of them winding east to west and creating what is known as the Central Valley which extends to the Pacific Ocean shoreline. The low coastal mountains which run down the western side of Chile include transverse ranges – such as the Cordillera de la Costa – which dissect the country into north and south. Chile is a land of incredible contrasts with its deserts, beaches, fjords, deep sea channels, glaciers and icebergs. It is also a land of volcanoes and earthquakes: the Chilean side of the Andes mountain range includes over 600 volcanoes, 10% of which have erupted at least once in the past 100 years.
Mestas (mixed race Spanish and indigenous people) comprise the majority of the 17 million inhabitants. Less than 7% of the population is purely indigenous, most of which are the Mapuche people, together with a small percentage of the Aymara and Quechua. Waves of immigrants from Europe, Asia, Oceania and other parts of Latin America have also made Chile their home. Seventy-five per cent of the inhabitants live in the Central Valley, with over 5 million people living in the capital, Santiago. Chile has a rich and diverse culture. From the north to the furthest south, cave paintings, drawings made on stones (petraglyphs) and painted figures in open desert areas (geoglyphs) can be found. Inca influence can be seen in brightly-coloured ponchos, which women still make by hand from naturally-dyed llama wool in the north and sheep’s wool in the south. The pre-Colombian Diaguita people have left their legacy of distinctive ceramics decorated with geometric designs in black, red and white. Easter Island is known for its enormous stone statues called moais and its boatshaped, straw-roofed, windowless houses made from volcanic rock. On the island of
Chiloé, beautiful painted houses (palafittes) are built on stilts at the edge of the sea. One tradition here is the ‘minga’ when the whole community comes together and takes part in a collective task, such as moving a wooden house.
Throughout Chile both indigenous and European influences can be seen in drama, painting, music and dance. European influence is also evident in architecture, furniture and handicrafts – particularly in the south where many immigrants have settled.
The Aymara people speak of ‘God-man and man-God’ as creators of life. Aymara theology attempts to find common ground with Christianity in its ‘Plan of Life’ and seeks to blend the essence of the gospel and the Aymara cultural order. They worship the ‘Pachamama’, Mother Earth. The Mapuches invoke Ngeenechen Lord, who is both male and female and nurture their ancestral heritage through music, which they say makes the heart speak. The majority of Chileans are Roman Catholics and celebrate with festivals throughout the year. These are often colourful affairs with dancing and music. One popular
festival, originating from colonial times, is the Feast of Cuasimodo, which takes place on the Sunday after Easter. It involves colourfully-dressed ‘knights’ on horseback escorting the priest as he takes the Eucharist to the sick and infirm of the parish. Another popular festival is the Feast of La Tirana, much celebrated in Iquique. Ten
percent of the population is Protestant and the remaining 1% consists of small Jewish, Orthodox Christian and Muslim communities as well as other minorities.
LETTER FROM AMERICA – Go Sian (a former CareForce worker) says:
I left the U.K in September 2007 and attended a discipleship training course in Depauville, New York. I trained for a year and during the summer of 2008, as a partial requirement of the training, I was posted to do PRACTICAL ministry in Tulsa city, Oklahoma State. There I was in contact with the “Far East Mission Church” where I taught music theory, guitar, and some new songs. I believed it was God’s plan for me.
When my discipleship training finished I prayed God would show me my next step. My placement church asked me to stay on as they found all the music training helpful. I prayed and believed God put me there to help that church and so I help with the music in the Praise and Worship team. Most members are refugees from Burma. God is extending the church in every area; the youth, church members, children, etc. We hold a musical concert called “Summer Praise” every year. God is good.
I also serve as one of the youth leaders. We go to nearby towns once a month to meet people, mostly refugees from Burma, and share the gospel and encourage them with the Word. In 2009 God gave us a vision to hold revival crusades and we started doing that and many people got freedom & deliverance, many were saved, and others became to understand God more. We’ve also been doing this every year and it was only last week the latest one took place. God works in many ways. Praise God.
I am still studying. At the moment I am attending the Victory Bible Institute in the town part time, and I am learning about Worship Leading. It’s been so helpful and useful to me, and for the church. Now we have a solid worship team in church.
Only just at the beginning of 2010 the church accepted me as a minister in the church and I am serving as a worship pastor. Since the church is still young, they can only support me with love gifts. Yet, it’s been really exciting what God is doing in my life. I am leading the youth group right now with 20-30 young people coming to the youth service. In this past year the youth group has been recording a praise and worship album in my own language and is almost done. It will be released on 1.1.11 to everywhere where the Zomi people are residing. I also serve as editor for the church’s monthly newsletter Far East Newsletter and I am so thankful to God for making me able to participate in His kingdom and for those people who have been a blessing to me.
For my prayer requests:
I am now trying to alter my immigration status so I can stay and freely participate in extending the Kingdom of God here in America. Please pray about this.
I would like to go university to study in Music.
I am in urgent need of a car to enable me to carry out all the work I have before me.
I know that all things are possible with God and he will provide all I need.
Thank you to TONBRIDGE CHRIST CHURCH, for your love, care, and support. I will never forget the experience and the great things God did there for me.
You will all be in my heart at all times. God bless you.
PS I just got the money you sent through Paypal. Thank you so much to those in Tonbridge still thinking of me. May the Lord richly bless you all for your generosity. You have always been a blessing to me. I can not express my joy or know how to thank you all. But I am glad the Lord knows and sees in my heart how much I am grateful for what you have done to me. I pray that the Lord will bless you and give you joy in your heart as we all headed to this new year, 2011. I hope to hear from you as well. God bless and Thanks.
News from Rocio in Peru – January 2011
Christmas through Jesus makes us think of all our friends and relatives. It makes us happy to know that in Him we are one. Thank you for such blessing in giving us your thoughts and kind consideration over the years. Also for all the patience you have had for us in that time.
Tarapoto where I live is too hot at this time of year, so I went to spend Christmas with my Mom in Moyobamba, which is 2 hours from here. I spent 12 days there and I came back after New Year. Sadly Ronel could not go due to his job as he worked full time during the holidays. Christian started to walk the first day of the New Year. It is exciting but now we have to follow him everywhere.
I want to thank you for all you have done in this area in 2010 and with your help we:
¨ Visited one of the villages once a month where Pastor Alex planted a church for the indigenous peoples.
¨ Until November we were taking Bible studies, helping families and providing Bible material to the pastors there
¨ Provided Sunday Bible materials for children
¨ Provided bread and milk to the Sunday school for 5 months.
¨ Helped 8 children to study school during the year, Josias, Daniela, Prisci, Karen, Amy, Michell, Kelvin, Tucto, etc.
¨ Evangelized in different districts of the area of San Martin and sending those who come to the Lord to their nearest churches.
¨ Worked with some policemen and workers from the bank in the area who come to Pety´s home. Here they have many times of prayer. They have become Christians and are strong in the Lord.
¨ Helped some needy people with medicine, milk, notebooks and sometimes food.
¨ Many sick people were helped and their families were evangelized too. There are two people at the moment who need your prayers – Pastor Rabbit’s son with failing kidneys, and Alejandra, who went to study at University in Bolivia and came back disabled.
It is thanks to you also for training 2 women to be hairdressers and in February they will finish their studies and go back to their communities to work.
There are so many things to thank you for: For helping us with the Green Grass Project. For supporting ‘The house of the Banquet’ – More families are coming to the H of the B, a man called Felix and his 3 children and wife are coming and so hungry for the Lord.
And now for news of the bakery….Daniel has decided to open a bakery in Moyobamba. This is due to there being a place there almost ready to be used. He is making arrangements with the bank to buy all that is needed to open up. This is all taking some time and needs your prayers. The money that you sent to help with this arrived this week and there is $3,840 -Praise the Lord! Daniel considers that March or April we may be working the bakery. As for myself, my trip to England is still in God´s Hands. I will be on my own as it is too expensive for all 3 of us to come, but it happens it will be by my own considering that that 3 of us is too expensive. We all pray for you all and pray that this year God adds more people to the church there, and will give you each of you great surprises.
Thanks to you all – because you make my life different and beautiful.
Rocio & all the Family