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Archive for the ‘Global Focus’ Category

Come to Mumbai

October 28th, 2011

India!  What comes to mind when you read that word?

Curry – lots of it, people everywhere, beggars and eunuchs, rickshaws – hold your breath!, noise – it seems to never stop, slums (Mumbai has the biggest in Asia), heat, and don’t forget the humidity as well!, and on it goes!

India conjures up all sorts of thoughts, reactions and emotions.

What else? A thriving business community – banks and call centres,  millions of young people, some amazing sights – Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Golden Temple, Bollywood, and some of the richest people in the world …and some of the poorest too!

India is a kaleidoscope of sights, sounds and colours, causing so many feelings and emotions to rise up and swirl around in the mind.

Oh … and don’t forget the churches.  Amazing groups of Christians, often in the minority, pressing forward against the odds and making an impact through their changed lives.  Their lively worship, growing churches and various projects in the community – AIDS sufferers, Leprosy Care, Senior Citizens Care, Education etc. are always a challenge to us.

Are you interested in knowing more?  Would you fancy a trip to have a look, get involved, and to be stretched and challenged, possibly as never before?

Then come with us to India next year.

We are planning a trip to Mumbai and Nasik, visiting the church led by Sydney Nevis (he preached at Churchcentral in the summer), meeting some of the believers there, as well as visiting some of the projects.

If you are interested in knowing more, then please do contact John & Mollie as soon as possible for all the details or email office@churchcentral.org.uk

India awaits you – dare you rise to the challenge?!

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: ,

Internationals Team:

April 5th, 2011

God has called us to build his church in one of the most diverse and cosmopolitan cities in the UK. At Churchcentral our International Team work hard to welcome, incorporate and bless internationals newly arrived to Churchcentral and sometimes even the UK.

John and Mollie Oldfield: Hello, we are John and Mollie Oldfield.  We have been passionate about cross cultural work since the 1960′s when God first called us to mission.  Having worked abroad, and been involved in cross cultural work in England over the years, that passion has never declined!  So it is a joy to be involved with the International Team. With the many international guests and students that we see coming into the church,  it excites us and encourages us to believe that God will establish us into a truly multicultural church.

Sam and Dawn Keong: We started coming along to Churchcentral around 3 years ago.  We’d moved down from Manchester, had just graduated and were newlyweds, so it was a big move for us.  In Churchcentral, we found a welcoming family, fantastic friendships and people who loved Jesus and showed His love to us. Sam is from Singapore and Dawn is from Northern Ireland. We’re passionate about family and community.  Having people from other countries and cultures in our church brings fun, diversity and experiences of God that we can all learn from.  It reminds us that His family is worldwide, and that we are all one in Christ.   However, sometimes moving to the UK from another country can be daunting, lonely and difficult.   We joined the Internationals Team to help ensure that the Internationals in our church can experience the same family welcome that we were so blessed to have, and so that we as a church can benefit and learn from them.

Nick and Connie Reading: Hello! We are Nick and Connie Reading and we are part of the Internationals Team here at Churchcentral. Why internationals? Well, we love visiting other countries and to immerse ourselves into different cultures. In fact we spent the first four month of our married life together in South Africa.  We find it exciting to learn from and to spend time with people from all over the world. We are ourselves a multi-cultural family – Nick is British, Connie is German and our daughter Heidi is being raised bilingual. It is exciting to be a part of an international church congregation with people from all over the world.

Dan and Anna O’Neill: So we are Dan and Anna, the O’Neill’s, and we are part of the International Team here at Churchcentral but I guess what you are really interested in is what we do… Actually we are writing this to you from Amman in Jordon (truly international I think you’ll find) as we are out here to encourage our friends and see how they are settling in.  We are blessed in Birmingham with being in one of the most diverse cities the UK, if not the world, and what that represents is an opportunity for each of us at Churchcentral to reach out to all corners of the world, every tribe, nation and tongue, from Judea, Samaria, to the ends of the earth!  We want to help build a church that is the beautiful bride of Christ representing the diversity of the character of God in his people, created in His image, worshipping He who created us.

Categories: Global Focus, Interviews Tags:

…Life Live from Zimbabwe!

February 22nd, 2011

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At the end of February 2010, Phil and Claire along with their two daughters Hannah and Sophie moved from Birmingham and Churchcentral to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and New Creation church; part of the Newfrontiers family. Since arriving they’ve got fully involved in church life, and Phil has started building his own business. A year on from moving the family are now beginning to feel integrated and that Zimbabwe is their home.

If you want to find out more about what they have been up to, what it is like living in Zim and all the exciting things that God has been doing then come along to our Churchcentral ‘Life Live!’ event on the 12th of March where we have exclusive footage filmed by Jonathan from when he visited them at the end of January.

Categories: Events, Global Focus Tags:

Cross-Cultural Training: John and Mollie Oldfield

November 23rd, 2010

Following another Churchcentral ‘Cross-Cultural’ training day we caught up with John and Mollie Oldfield, two members of Churchcentral with a vast experience and passion for Internationals to find out what it was all about:

CP: So, what exactly is a Cross-Cultural Training Day?

J&M: It’s a day organised especially for the church (although others are very welcome to join in), to get together and share our cross-cultural experiences, learn from each other and support each other.  The programme is different each time – and sometimes we have someone from outside of Churchcentral to speak. The idea is to give some training and encouragement, as well as a challenge to us all to reach out to the many cultures around us, both at home and abroad.

CP: What kind of things happened this Saturday?

J& M: We were focusing on the international guests we have seen coming to the church, both students and others, as well as looking at the many asylum seekers who live in Birmingham.  Jo Sharman talked from her experience about the work of Restore – a ‘churches together’ group reaching out to asylum seekers in Birmingham and Sam Keong shared about the work of the International Team in Churchcentral.  We then had a really helpful session from Connie and Ellie, who shared very honestly what it was like being a foreigner in Birmingham, and the difficulties they faced.  All together it was a very challenging and helpful time.

CP: What is it that makes you so passionate about Internationals?

J&M: Our passion for Internationals has been with us since the 60′s when God put the desire for Mission in our hearts.  He is the God of the Nations, and one day we shall be with those from every tribe, language, people and nation praising him around his throne – so why not start now!

CP: What is your vision for Internationals at Churchcentral?

J&M: We would love to see our church reflect, in every way, the international city we live in – where barriers are broken down, with everyone playing their part, displaying their cosmopolitan background and adding their rich diversity to the life of the church.

Biggs Family

October 1st, 2009

CP: So, this was your 1st ever visit to Zim. Was it how you imagined it?

P&C: Yes… and more! We had gone to Zim with a number of questions and things which we were praying about. We were trusting that God would provide answers to these questions during our trip and through those we met. We found that this was definitely the case and we feel we have much clearer direction for the future.

CP: Is it possible to distinguish a ‘best part’ of the trip?

P&C: That’s tricky. The first week was great relaxation and good fun – driving through the bush, dodging Giraffe and Baboons. The second week was full with building relationship, getting informed, making plans and absorbing the vision. All good in different ways, whilst also presenting a number of challenges to pray about.

CP: What are some of things God is doing through his church there?

P&C:The foundations for farming college at Ebenezer is ground breaking – Literally! Not only are students learning sustainable farming techniques that allow them to feed their own family and have a surplus to sell, but they are also coming to know Jesus for themselves. There is a real sense of momentum and excitement about what God is doing in the nation through the church.

CP: What was the most unusual thing you saw?

P&C:A tortoise in the road

CP: If you were to sum up the trip in 8 words, what would they be?

P&C:Life changing, Future shaping, Momentum building, Faith stretching

CP: What did Hannah and Sophie enjoy most?

H:Big gardens, great countryside but most of all Victoria Falls

S:I liked it all, but riding on an elephant was the best

Greg & Angela Kemm

May 1st, 2009

CP: Can you give us a highlight in your family lives since you where with us a year ago?

G&A: We went to Cape Town in December last year and enjoyed glorious sunshine and Christmas lunch in the ‘open air’ on a Wine Farm. Our whole family were together for the first time in quite a while. A real highlight!

CP: Has much changed at Churchcentral since your last visit?

G&A: Yes it has! We found such an air of maturity over the whole church and this has nothing to do with age. People, generally, seemed to have developed greatly in their relationships with God. And there’s such a hunger for God that it makes it a joy to be with you again. We really enjoyed seeing spiritual gifts flowing so freely at the Sunday service, and trust that they are being used in the week as well..

CP: You travel internationally. Where are some of the places you have been in the last year?

G&A: Besides two trips to Cape Town we have also ministered in two Newfrontiers churches in Denmark and two in Sweden. We’ll be back there this year again, as well as helping the embryo of a church plant in Antioch, Turkey.

CP: What do you miss most about being away from home?

G&A: Our family and friends, long uninterrupted spells of sunshine and the vibrancy of the various cultures. Having said that, we really enjoy being here as well!

CP: What do you enjoy most about ministering in local churches?

G&A: We love the Church and know the power and effectiveness of the local church to change society and bring hope. So we really enjoy helping to build confidence into people to know their authority in Jesus and their ability to advance God’s Kingdom wherever they are.