CHRISTIAN TODAY DIGEST - AUTUMN 2011

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From:-
TORCH TRUST, Torch House, Torch Way, Market Harborough, Leicestershire, LE16 9HL, U.K.
Telephone: +44(0)1858 438260, Fax: +44(0)1858 438275, email: info@torchtrust.org
The Torch Trust for the Blind, registered charity number 1095904.

Contents

[This magazine has been jointly edited by Christian Today and Torch Trust for the Blind. All the articles were first published on the Christian Today website www.christiantoday.com over the last thee months.]

Welcome!

Welcome to this autumn edition of Christian Today Digest. Autumn is a time of thanksgiving, very much linked with harvest. But for Torch Trust there is a very special thanksgiving celebration every October, giving opportunity to thank God for the year just gone and to renew trust in his continued guidance and provision for the year to come.

This year the celebration is on October 22nd - and we're back in the capital, as it was for many years before we started to move it around the country to cover different areas. It's in a special location: St Martin-in-the-Fields - and it has a special title: "Touching the Word" - as it is set to include a fantastic celebration of:

The celebration will start with public braille Bible reading outside the church from 10.30am, and the service will start at 11.30am. With guest speaker, Jeff Lucas, a really great occasion is anticipated.

The event is jointly organised by Torch Trust, Guild of Church Braillists, Royal National Institute of Blind People, Compass Braille and Premier Christian Radio.

Tickets are free and available online from the link on the home page of the Torch website www.torchtrust.org or by calling 01858 438260.

So book now and we shall look forward to seeing you!

Jill Ferraby and the editors

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A final farewell to Uncle John

There were moments of poignant reflection but also much laughter and thanksgiving at the funeral of John Stott on August 8.

All Souls Langham Place, Stott's beloved church in London, was filled to capacity with friends, relatives and many others who did not know him personally, yet had in some way been touched by his preaching and more than 50 books. The queue of Christians waiting to enter the church prior to the start of the service stretched to a block away. One Christian waiting in line said of Stott: "He was a very, very special person. I wanted to be here for this."

There was heartfelt sadness at the passing of a much loved teacher and friend, but the tone of the service was joyous as All Souls conductor Noel Tredinnick led the congregation with typical enthusiasm in hymns such as Crown him with many crowns and Thine be the glory.

Those who knew Stott personally brought laughter to the service as they shared humorous anecdotes about his keen attention to detail and love of birdwatching.

Stott's niece, Caroline Bowerman, recalled with fondness the many Christmases spent together with Uncle John and said that he never lost an opportunity to share his faith with her.

Former study assistant Toby Howarth spoke of the undivided attention Stott gave to each person he encountered and remembered him as someone who always "pointed not to himself but to Jesus".

Also paying tribute was former All Souls church warden, David Turner, who described him as "a Christian giant, a hero, a mentor, and a friend we loved".

The greatest tribute, however, came from Dr Chris Wright, international director of Langham Partnership and the man Stott asked personally to preach at his funeral. Dr Wright spoke admiringly of Stott's legacy and the example he had set for Christians the world over, contrasting his integrity with the "too many" Christian leaders who fall short of the mark by preaching prosperity or failing to lay themselves at the foot of the cross as Stott had done throughout his life.

Dr Wright praised his friend and mentor for his "anger" against injustice, the way in which he honoured and respected women, his love of children, his rejection of wealth, and his delight in God's creation.

"John Stott modelled that obedience of faith," he said. "Is there any life that has more beautifully borne the fruit of the Spirit? ... In so many ways, John was simply like Christ."

Dr Wright appealed to his fellow Christians to honour Stott's greatest desire - to see the church united and Christians loving each other as Christ loved them.

"His was a cross-centred, Christ-glorifying life, lived in obedience of love." He added: "Walk in the obedience of love and the obedience of hope."

Stott died on July 27 at the age of 90. He is credited with doing more to change the landscape of global evangelicalism in the twentieth century than any other evangelical.

He was rector of All Souls Church, Langham Place, from 1950 to 1970, and went on to write 51 books on the meaning of the cross and the Christian faith.

He was named by Time magazine in 2005 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and appointed CBE in 2007.

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A miracle from the mess

Pakistan is not without its challenges one year after vast floods devastated an area the size of Britain, but Anila Suleman and her family are just some of the victims who have survived against the odds.

Anila was 16-years-old and heavily pregnant when Pakistan was hit last summer by its worst floods in 90 years. As the waters rose rapidly, she recalls having to swim out of her house.

"I was asleep, it was in the night and I was woken up by my husband to see the flood waters coming through my house," she said.

Together with their two other children and husband Mohammed's 60-year-old mother, they managed to find safety on the roof of a nearby building.

"We were swimming through shoulder-deep water and then had to get to a place of safety," said Mohammed. "We were there for three hours on the roof of that house just praying that someone would rescue us."

As the waters continued to rise, Anila was sure they would die, but they managed to squeeze onto a passing boat and were taken to the Golarchi camp, which had been set up for flood victims.

The relief at being rescued was short lived when they arrived at the camp only to find that all the available shelter had been taken and that there was not enough food for them and the other 150 families to eat. With no shelter left, Anila's family had no choice but to sleep in the open air, exposed to the incessant rain.

"I was convinced my baby had died by now as he wasn't moving around inside me anymore," she said, " but my husband took me to a clinic where they tested my blood. He was ok."

Eighteen days after arriving in the camp, Anila gave birth to her son, Sahib. There was no medical assistance, only the help of her mother-in-law Hadra.

Says Hadra, "I thank God that my grandson was born safe. I also helped my daughter give birth to her son a few days before, so it is a miracle that both children were born healthy in the middle of such mess."

When Anila and her family finally returned to their village, they found that everything had been destroyed by the waters.

Yet they have managed to survive the last year. Tearfund is helping Anila's family and the community to rebuild their lives and their livelihoods by providing them with rice seed and fertiliser for a crop to harvest in October. Members of the community are also being paid by the development agency to restore roads and dig irrigation channels to work the land. With the money they receive, the families are not only able to rebuild their communities, but also earn the money they need to continue feeding and supporting their families.

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Bible verses on bags at Forever 21

A chain of fashion stores that prints a famous Bible verse on its bags has opened a shop in London.

LA-based Forever 21 opened its doors on Oxford Street to scores of cheering shoppers last week.

The company is owned by Korean business couple Don and Jin Sook, who are committed Christians. After opening up their first store in 1984, they made the decision to print Bible verse John 3:16 on the underside of each fluorescent bag that is given to customers.

And the Sooks believe God has helped them turn the business into an international empire. They now have more than 500 stores with revenues of more than $3 billion (£1.8 billion) per year.

The couple's daughter, Linda, was in London for the opening of the store.

She told BBC Radio 4: "The biblical verse on the bags is a statement of our family's personal faith. I would think of it as no different from a favourite quote of someone's. For us, faith is a very important component in our personal lives, and, therefore, that is something we stand for. Our personal faith is separate from the business. Forever 21 as a company, a business, is a separate entity from something the owners stand for; so I wouldn't say that it necessarily overlaps too much."

However, standing for their faith hasn't come without opposition.

Professor Jenny Harrow, of the Cass Business School, said that by printing a verse from the Bible on their bags, Forever 21 was opening itself to criticism.

"Firms should expect to be scrutinised in terms of their wage levels, in terms of their relationship with supply chains, in terms of the expectations they put on their employees, and the logic is they are open to scrutiny - as is anybody who makes a declaration of faith," she said.

Forever 21 has faced several lawsuits, including one brought by garment workers protesting at working conditions and pay. The company eventually settled this out of court.

Its prospects in the UK, however, are for the moment bright. The opening of the London branch followed the launch of a store in Birmingham. Forever 21 plans to open three more outlets in the South East in the next few months

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Biblefresh movement taking God's Word even further

Christians across Britain have been celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible this year as part of Biblefresh, and they are helping God's Word spread even further in the process.

So far, scores of creative projects and events have taken place to inspire Christians and non-Christians alike. These include an inventive display at Peterborough Cathedral using 3,000 shoeboxes filled with different items to represent the 66 books of the Bible. Boxes were filled with novel items such as knitted fig leaves, Lego men being massacred, and the feeding of the 5,000 jelly babies.

A photographic competition saw lots of people come up with fun and clever pictures to demonstrate how the Bible has changed their lives. Some of them were even pictured far beyond the shores of Britain, including one of the winning entries, a group of men who were pictured at the Dead Sea covered in mud and holding a placard that read: "Now I am washed clean".

The movement has so far raised £21,000 towards translating the Old Testament into BissaLebir and the New Testament into BissaBarka, two native languages of the Bissa people in Burkina Faso, the world's third poorest nation.

There have also been dozens of Biblefresh-inspired theatre performances, meals and training courses, but some of the most successful initiatives have harnessed social media and digital technology.

Some 30,000 Britons have contributed to the first hand-written Bible in multiple languages. The People's Bible project has enabled people to handwrite verses using a digital pen. Part of it will be bound and presented at a national service of celebration to be held at Westminster Abbey on November 16 in the presence of the Queen.

In another initiative, hundreds of Viral Bibles are being given out to random people at Christian festivals and events. Recipients are asked to underline their favourite passages before passing the Bible on to someone else. Each Bible has a unique code printed on the cover that can then be entered online to track the Bible's journey.

Some of the Bibles have already travelled across mainland Europe, Africa and North America so far, and to events like Glastonbury and the Church of England General Synod in York.

Krish Kandiah, director of Biblefresh, said: "The Bible's 66 books are inspiring thousands of Christians to live for God 365 days a year. The words of the Bible are being translated by Christians into millions of acts of kindness and compassion. Countless people, across the UK and around the world are receiving the message of God's love and forgiveness. We're looking forward to the creativity that churches will bring to the Bible in the second half of 2011."

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Billy Graham reflects on the end of life

The world's most famous evangelist has written a book on finishing life well.

Billy Graham, 92, preached to millions of people during his lengthy ministry career but has been less active in recent years due to ill health.

In his latest release - his first for five years - Graham has penned "Nearing Home: Life, Faith and Finishing Well". In the text, Graham shares his personal experience of growing older, but also teaches some important lessons on how to view our time here on earth. He says the Bible makes it clear that God has a specific reason for keeping us here.

"The best way to meet the challenges of old age is to prepare for them now, before they arrive," says Graham.

"I invite you to explore with me not only the realities of life as we grow older but also the hope and fulfillment - and even joy - that can be ours once we learn to look at these years from God's point of view and discover his strength to sustain us every day."

Graham's publisher, Matt Baugher, vice president and publisher at Thomas Nelson, calls "Nearing Home" one of the most important works Graham has ever written and one of his most vulnerable.

"Time catches up to all of us," Baugher says. "At his age, with all that has gone before, he is in a unique position to guide all of us on what it means to finish well in this life. God bless Billy Graham."

Graham has preached the gospel in person to more people than any other person in history. According to his staff, as of 1993 more than 2.5 million people have stepped forward at his crusades to accept Christ as their personal Saviour.

As of 2008, Graham's lifetime audience, including radio and television broadcasts, topped 2.2 billion.

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Chosen or frozen - are today's Christians too concerned with comfort?

The Keswick Convention got underway with an uncomfortable challenge to the UK's Christians to wake up.

Addressing thousands of Christians gathered in the Lake District, leading Bible expositor Ajith Fernando lamented that Christians were not "going out proactively in search of the lost". He contended that 21st century Christians had become more concerned with their own comfort than they are with the needs of others.

"Whether you are in the East or the West, the North or the South, people are crying out for fulfilment," he said.

"We have the answer and what are we doing? Sleeping."

Fernando warned that there was a personal cost involved in finding the lost and that the church may need to consider changing its tactics to reach the unchurched.

"We are not going out proactively in search of the lost. To do that, we have to change. We may have to change our music, or our style of preaching. We may have to leave the confines of our church and go to where people are."

He continued: "Going to the lost is hard work. Sometimes we prefer to sleep in the comfort of our comfort. The world is headed for destruction, people have no hope without Christ, and we stay at home, satisfied with our methods, refusing to change, rejoicing that we are chosen. But perhaps it is better to call us frozen."

A second challenge came from Patrick Fung, of OMF, who urged Christians to have the same holy fear towards God as did the early church. He said that the fear of God would affect the way that Christians share their faith with others.

"Mission is not so much about doing something for God, as if we are doing God a favour," he said. "Mission is about obedience, about acknowledging who God is, fearing God above everything else to serve his purposes. We are called to come before him with a holy fear."

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Church builds community spirit after riots

A church in the riot-hit borough of Hackney used a simple tea party to join the community together in a display of defiance and solidarity. More than 300 people came together for the event on Clarence Road, which was badly affected by the riots. The event was organised by St John at Hackney Church to reassert the positive community spirit of the area in the face of the recent looting and vandalism.

Among the crowds who turned out were local residents and business owners, as well as representatives of the police, voluntary organisations and the local council. The local branch of Marks and Spencer's also stepped in to provide cakes and refreshments. Local youths put on a dance performance, while guests were invited to add their reflections to a mural of post-it notes about Hackney.

The tea party is among the first steps being taken by the community as it seeks to rebuild and heal the damage caused by the recent riots. The following weeks saw meetings between local community and religious groups on ways of working together and initiatives such as the CitySafe Campaign, supported by St John at Hackney.

Father Rob Wickham, Rector of St John at Hackney, said: "We suggested the idea of an afternoon tea to bring the whole community, including local residents, businesses and faith communities, together exactly one week on from the Hackney riots. Last week Clarence Road was a place of destruction. This week it was a place of hopeful healing."

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Don't be afraid to share your faith

Christians in Britain should not be afraid to share their faith, says the Evangelical Alliance's mission director.

Krish Kandiah asked the audience at this year's Keswick Convention why it was that Christians in Britain were so nervous when it came to speaking about Jesus.

"It is very easy for Christians to retreat into a Christian ghetto, for fear. Many are afraid at the moment," he said.

He dismissed the notion that recent equality cases involving Christians were evidence of persecution.

"Some people are even calling this persecution, I shared with a friend of mine from Ethiopia - and he laughed. He said: 'You cannot call that persecution, not unless they have changed the dictionary.'

"In one village in Ethiopia, all the Christians had a note pushed under their doors, and it said 'Leave this village tonight or tomorrow you will be dead'. That's persecution."

Instead of worrying about persecution, Kandiah suggested Christians be more concerned about fostering unity and working on their personal relationships with those outside the church. He said that personal relationships could be the key to evangelism and that Christians could make an impact by caring for the ones they were not expected to care about.

"There should be something different about the kind of people we phone up in the week, to see how they are doing; the kind of people we invite round or to stay over," he said. "It shouldn't just be our kin, our family, those who fit our demographic group."

When it comes to the call to share the gospel, he added, "Don't think there is nothing that you can do."

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Going the extra mile in Madagascar

On the surface, Hanta makes for an unusual missionary. A daughter of farmers from outside Madagascar's capital, Antananarivo, she first became interested in telling others about Jesus through seeing her sister's commitment to sharing the gospel. Having been accepted to join an upcoming Operation Mobilisation (OM) outreach in the town of Manakara, every Saturday Hanta meets with the other participants for ministry training. Unlike them though, she walks five hours to get there.

Her commitment to see God's kingdom grow has been noticed by the team of OM workers, who are excited to meet someone with Hanta's enthusiasm. They are also encouraged to know that she is one of a growing number of Madagascans who have a burden to see their fellow islanders repent and turn to Christ.

For her part, Hanta remains humble about the courage and love she displays in going the extra mile. "I would like to grow in my service to God," she says.

Hanta's journey to the evangelism training doesn't just involve walking, however; she also has to take a bus to arrive at the meeting's location. To offset the expense of this travel and to raise funds for the eventual cost of the outreach, Hanta has been selling some of the ducks she owns.

In addition to equipping local Christians for evangelistic outreaches, OM workers are involved in numerous ministries around this island nation. These include teaching pastors about God's Great Commission and partnering with churches to promote prayer for world mission.

Madagascar is one of over a hundred countries around the world where 6,000 OM workers are sharing their faith.

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North Sudan church still too fearful to rebuild

More than seven months after Muslim extremists burned its church building, a Presbyterian Church of the Sudan (PCOS) congregation is still afraid to meet for worship, according to Christian sources.

The Rev Maubark Hamad said his church in Wad Madani, 138 kilometers (85 miles) southeast of Khartoum, has not been able to rebuild since the January 15 devastation due to the congregation's meagre resources.

"Nothing has been done for the burned church building; so far it has not been rebuilt," he told Compass.

Christian sources said they are increasingly fearful as Muslim extremists pose more threats against Christians in an attempt to rid what they call Dar al Islam, the "Land of Islam", of Christianity.

According to Rev Hamad, another church leader who spoke on condition of anonymity said: "The increased challenges now faced by many Christians in North Sudan are something for which we need to pray very hard for the Lord to intervene."

The PCOS building in Wad Madani was burned after a series of threats against its members by Muslim extremists, sources said. "These anti-Christian activities continue to be growing these days, aiming to cause fear among the believers in North Sudan," said the church leader.

Property damages to the church building were estimated at 2,000 Sudanese pounds (about £400). Destroyed items included Christian literature, Bibles in local languages, chairs, tables and a pulpit.

"Muslims target our church because they don't want anything that is related to the church," one church member said.

Christians in North Sudan are living beneath a blanket of fear since South Sudan seceded on July 9.

Just one month after the South voted for independence from the predominantly Islamic North, pressures on churches and Christians have increased, with Muslim groups threatening to destroy churches, kill Christians and purge the country of Christianity.

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Parliamentary inquiry to review freedoms for Christians

A parliamentary inquiry has been launched into the freedoms that exist for Christians within British law.

The inquiry has been launched by Christians in Parliament, the all-party parliamentary group, to seek clarity on what Christians may and may not do under the law. It reflects the concerns of many Christians who feel that they are being increasingly marginalised in the public square, particularly in the workplace.

According to the Evangelical Alliance, the inquiry will attempt to ascertain whether the freedoms of Christians really are being eroded and what the law has to say about public expressions of faith.

Gary Streeter MP, who is chairing the inquiry, said: "There has never been a more significant time for Christians to make a positive contribution to our society, but if we are to do that it is important to clear the ground of the confusion that sometimes appears to hinder our capacity to live and speak freely. This cross-party inquiry from both the Commons and the Lords attempts to do just that."

Confusion over the law has arisen out of recent high profile court cases involving Christians who were penalised as they sought to express or live out their faith. These have included Christian employees disciplined for wearing Christian jewellery, Christian street preachers arrested for describing homosexuality as a sin, and Christian guesthouse owners made to pay damages for refusing to accommodate a gay couple in a double bedroom.

Evidence is to be presented to the inquiry by Christian public policy groups on a range of issues, including education, business and employment, and human rights.

A report will be compiled based on the evidence to help Christians and others understand the legal situation, and suggest possible improvements.

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Pro footballer: Faith is 24/7

Standing at 6ft 3 and weighing more than 15 stone, you would be foolish to argue with solid defender Darren Moore. In fact, the Burton Albion star jokes that his team-mates never question his Christian beliefs because of his huge size.

Darren, who has played for clubs such as Portsmouth, West Brom and Derby during an impressive career, revealed he converted to Christianity after Bradford City assistant boss Wayne Jacobs invited him to a Christians in Sport meeting back in 1999.

He recalls: "I had grown up in a Christian household and would go to Sunday School but didn't understand the true meaning of God and Jesus. As I progressed in football, I didn't give it much thought. Even though I had become a professional footballer, I had doubts that I wasn't good enough. But after I attended that meeting I became a Christian and I realised that God loved me, it was an amazing experience. I learned that God loved the world so much that he gave his own son to die for me, and I am a part of that world. It struck a chord in me. I couldn't believe that someone loved me that much."

After finding God, Darren enjoyed a successful campaign at Bradford, even being selected in the Professional Footballers' Association team of the season. And whilst Darren is a regular at Renewal Christian Centre in Solihull, his faith means much more than turning out on a Sunday.

He said: "This is a 24-7 thing for me. Just as you build a relationship with your partner or your wife, you have to build one with the Lord. He wants to be with you through the good and the bad times."

Like any professional footballer, Darren suffers knocks and injuries, but he revealed that the physio's table isn't always his first port of call.

He added: "The Bible says that because Jesus died we can be healed. I'm a firm believer in healing. Even in football, injuries can occur but at the same time we have the Greatest Physician and his name is Jesus Christ."

In his spare time, as well as being a regular at church, he also is active in Christian charity Faith in Football along with fellow stars Linvoy Primus and Lomana Lua-Lua.

He has raised thousands of pounds for Christian Aid and Oxfam through charity ventures.

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Reaching the world from the London pavement

Why has Britain lost its way? In the light of the widespread violence and devastation spread across England in August, this question is incredibly relevant.

However, it was actually posed by a man from Kuwait during the Tell-a-Tourist outreach campaign in London, which ran from 25 to 30 July. This man explained that he appreciated the rich heritage of the UK, yet his searching question recognised a moral vacuum present in our society.

This example was just one of many conversations the Tell-a-Tourist team had this summer. Across six days, they spent 250 man hours in the capital's tourist hotspots engaging people with the good news of Jesus Christ. This led the team to Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, the Tower of London, and Covent Garden. Other areas included Hounslow and Ealing, as the team worked alongside local churches there.

Painting on sketchboards accompanied brief evangelistic messages. This approach not only attracts crowds and reinforces the spoken message but is also especially helpful for those for whom English is not their mother tongue.

The team met people from 54 countries, had dozens of meaningful conversations and distributed hundreds of gospel tracts over the week. There were several very encouraging stories that came out of the week.

One of the team members had this experience: "There was one young woman from Pakistan, who has a Muslim mother but also a sister who came to faith eight years ago, who showed a lot of interest, especially in the Bible. I suggested she go to a local church in the area that Sunday. The following Monday the minister rang me to say that not only had she come to the morning service, but that evening she brought three other ladies whom she'd seen standing outside a church which was not open, and invited them to go with her to the evening service! Please pray for her."

Tell-a-Tourist is a partnership between London City Mission (LCM) and Open Air Campaigners (OAC). Training is provided by seasoned evangelists. This enables team members to give creative gospel presentations and engage in one-to-one conversations with people of diverse backgrounds.

"Through Tell-a-Tourist, we can speak to the whole world from the London pavement," said Peter Kennelly, OAC Director.

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Soul Survivor and Momentum bring 1,500 to Christ

A whopping 33,000 delegates attended youth conferences, Soul Survivor and Momentum this summer, with more than 1,500 youngsters becoming Christians.

Soul Survivor Director and event host Mike Pilavachi, said, "Once again we have been humbled by how God has met with us and moved among us as we've gathered to worship him. One of the highlights has been seeing so many come to faith and hearing their stories. One youth leader told me he'd brought seven staunch atheists to Soul Survivor, four of whom gave their lives to Jesus before the end of the week, and the other three had totally changed their opinions about God.

"We've seen many healed and set free and, in contrast to many of the negative reports about teenagers in our nation, many have told me they want to make a positive difference and serve their communities. We're praying that the things God has done in people these last weeks will bear fruit for many years to come."

During the Soul Survivor Conference, there was worship led by Matt Redman, Beth Croft, Tom Field and Jamie Rodwell, and Bible studies and teaching seminars from Pilavachi, Sanga Samways from Hillsong, Dannielle Strickland, from Canada, and Ants Watts from New Zealand. Topics included dating, science and faith, women in leadership, evangelism, social networking, the persecuted Church, heaven and hell and sex and relationships.

At Momentum, worship was led by Tim Hughes and topics covered included money, suffering and discipleship.

Pilavachi added: "The church has been haemorrhaging people in their twenties and thirties for many years so it was wonderful to see so many gathered who are absolutely passionate about living their lives for Jesus. God spoke to us in the main meetings and seminars, and met with us in profound ways as we worshipped him and prayed for one another. We're already looking forward to what God will do among us next year."

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Suffering for Jesus is a privilege, says veteran missionary

There is no cost in following Jesus, only privilege, says a long-time missionary who once nearly lost her life for the gospel in the Congo.

Helen Roseveare joined WEC International missionary society in 1952 and went on to serve in the then Belgian Congo for 20 years.

She was asked at this year's Keswick Convention whether following Jesus had been worth it. Her answer was not only that it had been worth it, but that it had all been a privilege. Such an answer would suggest an easy path with few burdens but Roseveare was once arrested by the Congolese authorities, stripped and forced to cut grass before jeering onlookers.

Later, her life was on the line when she was captured by rebel soldiers. Roseveare admitted that when she was captured, she did expect she would die and cried out to God. Rather than showing her the way out, Jesus showed her how to embrace the situation with thanksgiving.

"The Lord met me," she recalled. "I just knew that he was there, he was in charge. He whispered to me 'Can you thank me for trusting you with the situation?' That was amazing. I had always thought of me trusting him but this was him trusting me. In saying that, he was really saying: 'Yes, I could have prevented this. I could have stopped it happening, but I, the Almighty God, have a purpose bigger than you can see. I know where this is going to lead to, you don't. Can you thank me for trusting you with this situation, even if I never tell you why?'"

Despite her fear, Roseveare told of how she was able to say "thank you" to God even in that place of despair.

"In that moment of saying 'thank you', immediately I was filled with a tremendous sense and understanding of the peace of God. Once you thank God, you can't have any bitterness towards him. You can't reject him. And then he seemed to say, 'Instead of asking is it worth it, and looking at the price you have to pay, would you ask instead: "Am I worthy?"' And of course he is worthy."

Roseveare recalled how she had only been a Christian for half an hour when someone told her that being a Christian would probably involve suffering. She affirms that statement, saying that Christians should be willing to bear a cross in their lives.

In spite of some harrowing experiences, Roseveare still knows only praise and thanksgiving.

"It is over sixty years since I first came to know the Lord Jesus as my Saviour and in all that time, he has never failed me. He has never let me down. We talk about counting the cost, but there isn't really a cost. It is sheer privilege to follow the Master. If he indwells me, I have got to go wherever he wants me to go. And that will involve suffering."

What gave her the courage to suffer for the Lord was knowing what he had done for her.

"He suffered for me: am I willing to suffer for him? The word privilege has underlined everything for me; it is all privilege."

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