Hunger for God’s Word is Growing!

bibleappxPeople are hungry for the word of God! A new wind is blowing – a new eagerness to voyage through the pages of the Bible on a path of discovery.

Recently I went to RAW (Real and Wild), our annual youth event, and led a discussion group on ‘Digging Deep’ – why and how to read the Bible.

After the group, my friend Sam (18) told me he has started co-leading a Bible study in Northampton. Around twenty young Christians from different churches meet in the upstairs of a pub every week to read and study the Bible together. Here in Coventry, we had record numbers at our international Bible study this week – around 20 from Holland, Brazil, Germany, Pakistan and Iran. There are a few grey heads like me but, for the most part, these are young people.

A really good Bible study for me is similar to sharing a good meal. Let’s all dive in folks and share the event together. A communal meal!

People are hungry for the word of God and if hungry, God promises to fill. I shared at RAW that the Bible is never a means in itself – it is a means to knowing God, becoming acquainted with Him and learning what He loves – so we can love it too. What we put into it, we get out of it. Hey, let’s pray this wind continues; let’s set sail. If this happens, we’ll begin really going somewhere in our church and discover again what God wants for us.

The great danger for Bible study is we think we know; we think we know and the voyage of discovery ends. We are still in dock! Let’s start with the premise we do know something but really very little. Let’s look at familiar passages from the Bible with fresh eyes. Maybe we have misunderstood; maybe there is so much more for us to see there. As the psalmist says, “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” Psalm 119: 18

Catch the Fire! On a Damp Evening!

Catch the Fire is a year old. We all celebrated with a bonfire and ice-cream (never mind that it what raining, cold and some of us were also sitting under umbrellas). Despite the wet, we managed to set and keep the fire alight and yes, it raged!

 
Catch the Fire is a group where we ‘grow’ in Jesus together – read the Bible, pray and talk about what is going on in our lives. It is especially for refugees and asylum seekers and we run it every Wednesday evening in Foleshill, Coventry. Why ‘Catch the Fire?’ Well, we know that when people become real Christians, they are not merely changing religion. They are coming alive, ‘catching alight’ with the life of the Holy Spirit and starting a new life, one that is running in quite a different direction from the old.

 
Maybe that wet anniversary was prophetic. Fires have to be kindled, encouraged and they start off as a tiny spark. Newspapers are very good for fanning the flame and quite a lot of enthusiastic fanning went on that damp evening! – Especially our young guys! There is much to put ‘the fire’ out (drizzle!) and we must foster, encourage it.

 
So, Catch the Fire is all about igniting, fostering, fanning, encouraging, persevering, so that the life of the Holy Spirit can increase in us all.  Usually around 20 people attend and those wanting to be baptised do a 12 week Catch the Fire Course first, on topics such as: what sin is, the cost of being a disciple, understanding why Jesus had to die and why we need to be baptised.

 
Last weekend two of our Catch the Fire young guys were baptised in our makeshift baptistery at our local Edgwick Park (water at the courtesy of Coventry Fire Brigade as there is no running water in the park). The fire is lit! Now we must encourage, foster, fan and feed the fire with fresh fuel! As the old Salvation Army hymn starts:

 
Wanted, hearts baptised with fire!

Calais to Coventry

After going to the Calais regugee camp several times in the last year I wanted to get involved in a more sustainable way. So I’ve been helping out at some of the ESOL classes at the Jesus Centre. I’ve enjoyed it but I’ve recently become a lot more aware of how important they really are.

When I was at the Calais camp I met many people who were desperate to start a new life in a safe country. One of the guys I met there recently contacted me to let me know he had made it to England! I remembered that he had a brother living in Coventry so when he arrived here we all met up. It was wonderful to see him safe and he was so happy. In his halting, pigeon English he tried to explain to me how the scarring up his side had been caused. Some of the ruling ethnic group dragged him along behind a car. He wasn’t one of them. That was his crime. He new he couldn’t stay and so, after a dangerous and uncertain journey, he has finaly made it to the safe and new life he has longed for.

But with such a limited amount of English how will he create that new life? When you know someone who is desperate to work and can’t due to the language barrier you suddenly see how vital our free ESOL classes are. Not only are they a way to meet others but they provide the all important skills of communication to help the dream of a safe and new life become a reality. I’m so glad I can do my small little bit to help it along.

(If you are interested in supporting these classes as a volunteer please contact  Coventry Jesus Centre 02476 550033 or http://jesuscentre.org.uk/get-involved-coventry-jesus-centre)

Coventry Jesus Centre – a “melting pot”

Eldridge from the Billy Graham Association called at the Jesus Centre to offer us some evangelism resources. Rob Halligan, one of the Managers at the Centre, showed him round the Centre after spending some time talking to him. Coming into the Bridge Drop-In which caters for basic needs, he was introduced to Abdullah from Afghanistan who was volunteering in the kitchen; walking through the foyer where students from the ESOL class was coming out, he met May from Iraq; going further down the corridor he bumped into another volunteer doing some cleaning – Reza from Iran. He then prayed for the Jesus Centre and commented “it’s a real melting pot here!”

Friday Nights with the Jesus Fellowship

friday night calendarNext week we start our new program of Friday night clubs and groups at the Jesus Centre.

The cafe will be open from 6:45pm with activities starting from 7pm. All the groups and courses are free and everyone is welcome. To find out more call reception on 024 7655 0033