Posts Tagged ‘international’

Godfirst Jo’burg

January 28th, 2011

For the last week I’ve been getting to grips with the phenomenal Godfirst church in Johannesburg. Planted with 20 people in January 2005, it now has 9 meetings every Sunday, spanning 7 sites and gathering in the region of 2,000 people. And they’re still expanding! Last Sunday saw them announce that two new sites would be launched over the next few months!

In an attempt to get to the bottom of their extraordinary success, I’ve attended a couple of their sites, three elders meetings, one early morning prayer meeting, a joining the church evening, and had one to ones with nine of their key leaders.

It has been impossible to get away from their energetic devotion to God – they really do put God first! As their remarkable growth implies, there’s also an overwhelming sense of being on a mission together.

The whole experience has certainly been both inspiring and faith building. I feel as though I’ve caught more of a glimpse of our future as we seek to reach the many people God has for us in our city. Suddenly the prospect of seeing Jesus the most talked about person in Birmingham doesn’t seem so hard to imagine!

The next leg of my trip sees me visiting Phil and Claire in Bulawayo – hopefully for a spot of much needed r & r (!) before returning the UK on Tuesday.

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.