News Jottings – June 2015. Ebola update, Pacific Rim update, Jubilee+ Conference

Ebola, Health, International, Jubilee+, News, Pacific Rim, Poor
Another interruption to my ‘Mobilising volunteers’ series, but various things have come to my attention recently that I think will be of wider interest. Ebola Update There was a very positive response to the appeal in recent months to help people in Liberia, Sierra Leona, Guinea and Nigeria through our churches. John Hammond, who worked hard to coordinate the appeal, has produced an excellent update. If you wish to have a copy please contact me or John. Pacific Rim Newsletter In recent weeks I have published brief reports from various Newfrontiers apostolic spheres. This Newsletter came to me recently from The Pacific Rim, led by Peter Brooks, and gives some encouraging reports from Australia, New Zealand and Cambodia. Jubilee+ Two weeks ago I had the enjoyable privilege of meeting with a…
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Apostolic Administration Forum

Administrative Skills, Biblical Administration, Conference Administration, Cross-culture, Equipping, Finance, International, Newfrontiers, News, Planning, Time Management, Together on a Mission
We are approaching a major transition in the family of churches we call Newfrontiers. As we continue to grow God has shown us that we need to become a network of apostolic spheres (as in the New Testament) rather than be centred predominantly on one person, Terry Virgo, the father of Newfrontiers. In February God spoke to me that I should gather some of those who will be helping administrate these spheres in a practical way, supporting those with apostolic gifting. And so it was my joy to gather nearly 20 men and women for three days at a Forum during the week preceding the Newfrontiers Together on a Mission Conference in Brighton, which begins today, July 12th. Cross cultural exchange The atmosphere of the Forum was ‘everyone a teacher everyone…
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Visit to Guinea, West Africa

International, News, Poor, To the Nations
I have recently returned from Guinea in West Africa where I have been visiting the church in the capital, Conakry, which was planted over ten years ago with refugees from the Sierra Leone civil war. Guinea is a very poor nation. Let me give you some of the bare facts: Population: 10 million, 2 million being in Conakry. Four primary tribes, 32 tribes in total. Health. Life expectancy high 40s. Poor health provision. No provision for disabled children etc. HIV levels unknown but growing. Bird flu wiped out all poultry recently but no profile given to bird flu. How many people died? Poverty. In bottom ten of UN poverty scale. High inflation - prices have doubled in the last four months. More than 80% of population live on less than…
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Resistance Fighter – Book Recommendation

Books, Christian ministry, Cross-culture, HIV, International, News, Poor, Zimbabwe
Resistance Fighter has just been published and is a read-at-one-sitting book. For me it turned the tedium of a flight from UK to West Africa into an enjoyable, challenging, emotional and disturbing experience as Susie Howe took me from the joys of playing with lively orphaned children in Zimbabwe to the horrors of learning of children accused of witchcraft in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Susie's autobiographical record of her life (how much she has packed in already!) recounts how she has sought to walk close to God in obedience as He has taken her and her husband Jeremy on a number of unexpected excursions into situations that most of us have never experienced nor even dreamed existed. Starting with her childhood she tells of growing up as a talented…
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When Helping Hurts – Part 3 – Practical Strategies for helping without hurting

Christian ministry, Cross-culture, Equipping, Good Practice, International, News, Poor, Relief and Development, To the Nations
Concluding the review of this excellent book we shall now look at one very practical application. Short term mission teams. Like the story of the elephant and the mouse dancing together at a celebration - both benefit and enjoy it until the mouse is squashed - such can also be the effect of a short-term mission team. Who is really benefitting? Perhaps neither. The team have a ‘life changing experience' - but may learn the wrong things. The hosts can feel crushed. At the root of the problem is lack of sensitivity to others' cultures eg "Mine is the plumbline so any deviation is ‘wrong'". Consider time. In the ‘west' time = productivity; the emphasis is on good stewardship and using every minute productively. In the majority world there is…
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‘When helping hurts’ pt 1 – Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert

Christian ministry, Cross-culture, Equipping, Finance, Good Practice, International, News, Poor
Foundational Concepts for helping without hurting. In this excellent book - a ‘must read' for all who are involved in helping people who are poor or disadvantaged - the authors look critically at both the issues of poverty and how it is defined, and at the typical response of very well meaning individuals and agents of society that may in fact be doing more harm than good. This is a book that will challenge the accuracy of notions you may currently hold - ‘is my desire to do good actually doing harm?' It applies both to ministry within your community and to international development ie how to relate across cultures. Each chapter begins with questions for you to answer which reveal your present stance and ends with questions to review.…
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