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Archive for June, 2011

Jo Chumbley in Turkey…

June 16th, 2011

For me the past few weeks have been pretty amazing. As part of the FP Impact; working for a local church and receiving regular training we recently had the opportunity to go abroad on a mission trip for ten days. When I first found out that I would be going to Turkey I was a trifle surprised, as when I think of Turkey I think of sun, sea and cheap package holidays. But a mission trip…?

Staying in Izmir, the third largest city in Turkey, meant we got to witness the ‘real’ Turkey rather than the Turkey that tourists see when they fly out to resorts. Living with a Turkish family, walking Turkish streets and eating in Turkish restaurants really began to give you a feel for both the country and its people.

Whilst we were out there we had so many adventures including an innocent run-in with the military police, a large mob of excitable football fans and significant amounts of rain. However, throughout the whole trip we knew God with us, protecting us, challenging us, and truly changing us.

There were so many things that I learnt while I was out there, but one thing that really stood out to me was the way in which all the Turkish people that we met were so ready to love, welcome and accept us. This was something we experienced wherever we went but especially one day when we visited a family living in a small village in the mountains. They cheerfully welcomed into their home sixteen cold and soggy strangers, fed, watered and dried them as well as providing some of us with dry clothes and socks to wear. It made no difference to them that they had never met us before, or that they had to sit on the floor because we were covering every available space in the two small rooms we were in. God really challenged me that day as I watched people who currently had no interest in Christianity living out the call of Jesus to love others. And doing it better than I do. As we sat being served tea and cake and being constantly asked if we were warm enough, you knew that this wasn’t being done out of a sense of obligation or duty, these people genuinely cared and wanted to love and serve us in the best way they could.

This really spoke to me and provoked me to look at my own life and how as a Christian am I really living out the call of Jesus in my life? Without realising it, that family and those people taught me so much and inspired me to live for Jesus in every aspect of my life.

Categories: Central Point, Global Focus Tags: ,

Ocean-Bound

June 5th, 2011

As we set course on a new season in the life of Churchcentral, God wants us to understand something of how he is changing our life together in order that we can have faith for it, be encouraged, be challenged by it and so that we can pray in line with God’s good and perfect will. As Mark has been praying into our next phase as a church together, God spoke to him in the form of a picture, in order to help prepare us as a church for what God has planned ahead.

God showed me a harbour – this is where Churchcentral has been for some time now, gathering a group of vessels together. Different boats, all shapes and sizes, colours and specifications. It has been as though the people on land have heard a call and got into their boats gathered together and begun to fish. But God is calling us out from the harbour. The open sea is waiting.

Now the sea is a different prospect altogether… rougher, deeper but it’s where the real catches of fish are to be found, those who are far off and who God is calling (Acts 2: 39). If we are to be able to go into the open sea some things need to change. A group of small boats will not make it – God wants to shape us into an ocean going vessel; a ship where all are committed, playing our part, no matter how big or small to the smooth running of the operation. There is a coming together that needs to take place to leave the small boats and step on board the bigger ship.

There is a price. The small boat is familiar, holds happy memories and security. You can be the captain of your own boat. You can come and go from the group when you please. But, you will never see the ocean, fish in the depths, reach far off shores, see real power at work.

God is calling us all to get on board, he is calling us out to the ocean, the ship is waiting, the adventure is waiting. Nets are ready to be manned, the engines are fuelled up, Jesus is setting us on a course for the bigger, deeper, more powerful things and is inviting us to step on board. Will you leave the small harbour-bound boat and come to sea?

Categories: Central Point Tags: , ,