Archive for the ‘All’ Category

Canada April ’09

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Yes, we do realise that Canada is not part of Europe! However in March, John spent a couple of weeks travelling throughout Canada. The aims were to raise finance, recruit short term mission teams, promote BOOST Tour 2010 and sign up trainers for BOOST It! training of kids leaders in both Slovakia and Spain. He was also networking with key Canadian leaders and had a number of speaking engagements.

Downtown Toronto is home to Emmanuel Church – a church for those with life dependency issues, such as alcohol and drug abuse. They believe that to reach families, they must reach also the kids. Each week, they meet in a cinema, with the kids program being held literally in the stair well, and hence the creative name for the kids program – ‘Stairway to Heaven’ – true story! Prior to John speaking at the service, he was told to expect some heckling from the crowd, as they are not exactly backward in telling you what they really think about what you have to say. Fortunately, the crowd was silent, indicating their agreement with John’s message about kids! He also spent time training their kid’s leaders, and has potential for future follow up and consultation with them.

John also travelled to Vancouver, British Columbia, specifically to speak at ‘Elevate’, the first district children’s ministry conference for 7 years. He took a number of electives, as well as checking out some of the local kids clubs.

Kenya

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

(28th November to 17th December 2008)

The first experience of Kenyan culture occurs miles away from the Kenyan border. In fact, it begins whilst queing at the boarding gate at Amsterdam airport. Different skin colors, different hair styles, different languages, different smells, different ideas of cabin luggage size……we were definitely in the minority! In December, we spent almost 3 weeks in Kenya, training kids leaders, running kid programs and speaking in churches. This was Christine’s first time to Africa, whilst John has previously been several times. (more…)

Emerge

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009


In Bratislava, Slovakia, Christine attended ‘EMERGE’, Next Level International’s first conference for European women in leadership. Emerge was a conference for women in church leadership, designed for both emerging and advanced leaders. Everything is in the name. Emerge; ‘to appear out of or from behind something; to come out of an experience, condition, situation, especially a difficult one; to become known or apparent; to arise’. Everything about the conference reflected the value & importance women have in God’s Kingdom. A holistic approach to ministry was modeled, addressing the whole person; spirit, soul & body.One hundred and twenty plus leaders from England, Canada, Germany and the US gathered with leaders from Ukraine, Romania, Czech Republic and Slovakia to encourage, equip and release each other to God’s purposes. The conference theme was ‘Come Out of the Shadows’ and covered topics such as healthy thinking, healing and freedom from former hurts and fears through intimacy with God and the role of women bringing the message of hope to their nations. There is such hunger amongst the women of Europe & they need encouragement to ‘come out of the shadows’ & be all that God has called them to be.The weekend included interactive ministry workshops for those involved in children’s, youth and women’s ministries. Christine facilitated the kids ministry workshop, speaking on ‘why kids ministry?’, ‘how kids think and learn’ and ‘seeing kid’s hearts changed, not just educating their heads’. Practical life sessions were held in parenting, being a pastor’s wife and women in leadership.

For more s stories from EMERGE, check out www.nlieurope.com.

‘Ignition’ – Kidshaper 08 UK

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009


The Kidshaper team was spearheaded by John and Christine, but included experienced and passionate leaders from all over the UK and guest speaker, Rob Bradbury, from Planetshakers in Melbourne, Australia. Over the 2 days, we saw about 110 delegates attend the conference, which was based in Coventry. The theme was ‘Ignition’ -the start of something new!Delegates came from all over the UK – from Plymouth and Torquay (way down south) to Fraserburgh (way up north in Scotland). They were cross denominational, with representatives from Elim, AOG, Anglican, Independent, New Frontiers and Baptist churches. However, each person carried the same spirit, were looking for something different, something new, wanting a progression and a change from the status quo.The aims and goals of Kidshaper UK were achieved – to be inspirational and informational – to facilitate an apostolic network of like-minded people, united by the cause of children – to promote and resource Kids ministry in Europe.

Overall, the first Kidshaper UK was a huge success in many ways, and we cannot thank the team enough for their enthusiasm, generosity and hard work in organizing and ministering at the conference. Well done!! Below are comments from some of the delegates:

“I feel like I have been injected with 100′s of syringes full of faith and I really can’t wait to see what God has got in store for my town!”

 ”An excellent opportunity to evaluate, reflect and move on! Excellent teaching, excellent ideas – very thought provoking – definitely ignition!”

“Very well organized in a laid back way!”

“Great! Different from the norm! Catering was the best!”

 ”It helped me to see there are certain steps I can take to make this ministry most effective.”

“Superb! Really valued all the speakers and I am definitely bringing the whole team next year! Good to have the emphasis on ‘hear what God is saying to you’ rather than ‘copy me’.”

“Kidshaper has given me more confidence and enabled dreams/visions I thought were impossible.”

 ”I feel totally inspired and regenerated to go back to church to continue to lead the children we have now and the ones who will follow.”

“Very encouraging and empowering – refreshing as a leader.”

Romania

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

Destination the Old City of Constanta, Romania
Why?  The goal of the trip was to assist Matt and Estera with their church plant and community work in whatever way they required, to be a blessing to them personally and to promote their mission and vision.
When?  Last week in October
Who Went?  4 nine year old girls, two 14 and 18 year old guys and 3 adults, including Christine (who co-lead the team) and Courtney (dancer extraordinaire)
The Results

  • Seeing elderly faces, at the Heart to Heart Day Centre, light up at watching the kids dance and play. Joining the old blokes in their rather competitive dominos and chess games. Coming together to pray for and encourage one of our team as he and his family prepare for future ministry in Uganda.
  • Walking alongside Matt through the Old City streets and having kids excitedly run out of their homes to hug him.
  • Being mobbed by about 40 kids and their families from a poor Turkish neighborhood as the team patiently painted their faces, and seeing many freshly washed faces appearing to be repainted, just for the attention and because someone was touching them.
  • Visiting multigenerational families, living in dark inner city one roomed apartments with one bed, one couch, one stove/heater, one saucepan, one light bulb and one outside communal toilet.
  • Participating in Kids Clubs, where kids are kids, to play, laugh, always have hope and seek to engage with you, regardless of their living conditions. Sharing with them the story of Joseph and that God loves you and has a plan for you.
  • Taking part in services at the Mother Church in Constanta and being able to encourage them in their support of Matt and Estera. It was our privilege for the whole team, kids included, to minister here.
  • Each person on the team did something for the first time – a dance, sharing testimonies, connecting with someone different, speaking what God put on their heart, praying with others.

What Next? The choice is yours! Anyone can support people like Matt and Estera in changing their community and planting a church. Pray for them. Give financially. Participate on a short-term mission trip. Promote them. Respond to what God is telling you to do and have the time of your life – we did!!