Living in a Field of Hats

some ramblings and reflections on working with students in Herts and Beds.

Moldova Prayer Requests! June 28, 2009

Filed under: Mission Trips — Sarah @ 8:43 pm
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So, I’m off to Moldova tomorrow with the UCCF summer team. I’m really excited to be going back and to see friends that were made last year. There’s some daily prayer points below for the first week (i’ve set it so that they come up weekly as a reminder!) Your prayers will be very much appreciated and I’ll try and update my blog if I get chance 🙂

29th June
The team is meeting in Luton tonight at 6pm where we’ll be sleeping on a church floor before our early flight tomorrow. Please pray for the team to get to know each other a bit better, rest and a good night’s sleep.
30th June
Our flight is at 8am from Luton this morning, and arrives in Bucharest at 1315 (local time) and then catching the overnight train into Moldova at 8pm this evening. Please pray for safety for the whole team (and luggage!) whilst travelling and for ease of buying train tickets as the language barrier can cause problems. Also, all the team will be getting tired so please pray for continued good team relations.
1st July
We should arrive in Chisinau at 8am after a very disturbed night’s sleep of passport checks and immigration etc! There’s time for some rest and relaxation, but orientation starts fully today. So, please pray for energy and concentration for all as we look in detail at “What is the gospel”. Please also pray for the team to quickly embrace and adapt to Moldovan culture.
2nd July
Today we are looking an entire overview of the Bible as part of our preparations for camp. We’re also having a seminar on prayer and our first set of Romanian lessons! Today will be our first proper chance to see Chisinau as well. Please pray equipping of the English team with the topics being looked at today and that the Romanian lessons will be practically helpful
3rd July
We start our preparations on the Bible studies we’re doing on camp today. We’ll also be thinking about how to practically teach English as a second language. Please pray that students will get to grips with the studies as Peter, Matt and Sarah lead them through them and the students will feel more equipped to be able to teach English.
4th July
as well as bible studies for camp, we’ll also be looking at How to Lead an Evangelistic Bible Study which focuses on God’s sovereignty in Evangelism. We’ll be putting out Romanian into practice by going on a scavenger hunt to buy the things that we need to get for camp! Please pray continued group bonding especially with the CSC staff we will be going on the scavenger hunt with.
5th July
Peter is leading a study on “the gospel and wholeness” today. We’ll also be prepping studies 5 and 6 for camp and thinking about how to get alongside non Christians on camp. Please pray that we learn and are equipped to sensitively get to know and get alongside Moldovan Students and point them towards Christ.
6th July
Today we head to camp! We’ll be preparing bible studies 7 and 8 in the morning, but then we set off. Please pray that we would all be confident in the gospel alone, as we set off to camp (and what may feel for some the scary unknown!)

Thanks 🙂 another update next week!

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Overawed by Grace . . . . again June 20, 2009

Filed under: Christian Life — Sarah @ 5:08 pm
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Todays one of those days when I just feel like an idiot for messing up, and for forgetting just how radical and broad and life changing the gospel is. For seeing how I have made it so narrow and legalistic in some areas so its glory just doesn’t shine through. How I have limited it and it’s effect.

That is what is so amazing about grace. Even on days like today, grace covers me – Praise the Lord. Was reminded of the words of this song which really do sum up how I am feeling!

Grace unmeasured, vast and free
That knew me from eternity
That called me out before my birth
To bring You glory on this earth
Grace amazing, pure and deep
That saw me in my misery
That took my curse and owned my blame
So I could bear Your righteous name

Grace paid for my sins
And brought me to life
Grace clothes me with power
To do what is right
Grace will lead me to heaven
Where I’ll see Your face
And never cease
To thank You for Your grace

Grace abounding, strong and true
That makes me long to be like You
That turns me from my selfish pride
To love the cross on which You died
Grace unending all my days
You’ll give me strength to run this race
And when my years on earth are through
The praise will all belong to You

God has known me from the beginning of time, he knew my heart and what i would do and yet he still chose me to bring him glory on earth. He paid for my sin, brought me from death to life and knew that I would still be sinful and selfish and so grace, over time transforms me by God changing my heart and even when it feels like I can’t go on he gives me the strength and best of all . . . . the grace knows no limits!

The gospel really is good news!

 

Church is boring June 19, 2009

Filed under: Christian Life,Church — Sarah @ 11:39 am
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Just came across this video on youtube . . . . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StEDAjhuiTo

Really excting to hear that Sunday Monring BBC broadcasts have really challenged Chris Moyles view of church – it isn’t boring!

 

Summer Mission Team Weekend June 9, 2009

Filed under: Christian Life,Conferences — Sarah @ 3:30 pm
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I had the great pleasure this weekend of meeting the Moldova 2009 team at the national training weekend for all those going on a UCCF summer mission trip this year.

The one thing that struck mainly was how diverse the team is. I honestly can not think of one thing that would unite us all apart from the gospel and I am really excited about how God is going to use that. Got to thinking that this must be a really weird thing for non believers to see – 16 British University students, voluntarily giving up three weeks of their summer break, raising £700 to pay for costs, to go and visit a country which the majority of Molodvans can’t wait to get out of. We are choosing to go there!

Also was thinking how excited I was to see how God has changed our hearts and desires. This weekend there was around 100 people who are going on summer teams this summer with UCCF. None of them are going to an “easy” context, in fact the speaker for the weekend, Keith Walker from SIM (Serving in Mission) made that point a couple of times, that there aren’t any ‘easy’ places left! And yet all 100 of us have had our hearts changed by God to go to these countries with a desire to share the amazing truth of the gospel with the students we’ll meet out there and to work along side our brothers and sisters who are working out there already.

If you had told me when I was a fresher at Uni that I would have gone on one mission trip already, and be involved in leading another to the same country in 5 years time and that I would be happy and excited about it I really would have laughed!

It is really great to see how God has changed my heart over the last five years. How he is changing the hearts of the students that are going on the trip and making us all more sacrifical. What an encouragement to see God working in this way!

The teaching over the weekend was great as well. To be reminded of the uniquness of Jesus was something I think I desperatly needed to hear. And it is so true! My fire for wanting to go to Moldova is now based so much mroe firmly on God’s Word and as Matt Redman said “Worship is the fuel for Missions flame”. It’s because of what God has done, because of who He is that we want to worship Him, and spread glory – hence mission!

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” Ephesians 1:3

Keith looked at Revelation 7 on Sunday morning and pointed out that this vision is something that God showed John as an encouragement that God will keep promises. The “great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9) aren’t just faceless people – they are all those who have been saved, me, my church family, the other Christians I know – how exciting is that!

One of my main prayers for our mission trip is that those we encouter this summer, who haven’t accepted the truth of the gospel for themselves, will and will become one of those great multitude.

Praise to God who has the power to change us from living in darkness to the light!

 

Deprivation and the Gospel

Filed under: Christian Life,Conferences — Sarah @ 2:41 pm
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A few of us from church went to a conference recently which was thinking about ‘reaching the unreached’, those who live in situations where there seems to be very little gospel input, which is increasingly council estates and so on.

I was quite disturbed that through the conference, those we were talking about reaching were referred to as the “under class” as well as working class.

I didn’t feel that there was a great call for us to sacrifically give up our comfort to live amongst these people (as was briefly noted that we wouldn’t dream of doing ‘cross cultutral’ mission work as a one off so why should reaching these ares be different). But more of a conscience clearer for many in very comfortable positions. I came away feeling that there was no real love for these people, and no sense that they are no different to us! Instead it felt that people did indeed see them as an underclass, and actually a bit of an annoyance because they aren’t like us. This could be a bit harsh and most probably wasn’t what was intended at all.

There were notable to exceptions to this, for example Steve Casey, from Speke Evangelical in Liverpool spoke really humbly and honestly about life working in a council estate community.

Lack of academic qualifications doesn’t mean that people are stupid, nor does it mean that they need preaching and teaching ‘dumbed downed’, a point which was repeatedly made . . . why was there the assumption that people in urban areas are stupid?

It seemed that the organisation was done by those who have never had the contact with these communities that others have had, and are living on stereotypes! Surely, all of us have a role to play here. Can our large, majority white, middle class, affluent churches afford to lose people, to send them them to go and serve in these deprived areas?

Surely, we should be encouraging people to go and sacrifically live in these areas that have no access to the gospel, and doing what we can to support those working in these hard areas?

It really saddens me that in this country there’s still a lack of access to the gospel for people literally on our doorsteps