Crossfya Mission

Last week FBC brought a band called CrossFya from Manchester for a Mission Week at Court Moor school. CrossFya are part of a charity called Make Jesus Known and they use a combination of rap music, testimony and sharing the Gospel in a relevant and exciting way, especially for young people who have never been to church. 

The band started each day with Assembly for different year groups - some of the teachers were as excited as the students and showed off some of their own moves! CrossFya, which consists of Tim, Josh, Rafael and Nana spent the rest of the days with Amy, our youth pastor, taking RE lessons unashamedly sharing the gospel in line with the current topics being covered in the curriculum. 

We have received fantastic feedback from the students - one parent said her two children were so enthusiastic about their lessons, she wished she could have spoken to CrossFya herself!

The teachers said that the students were engaged, excited, happy, awe struck, reflective, curious and more open! The head teacher said he noticed a difference in the atmosphere and that the students were energised. Relationships were formed quickly and Rafael was thrilled at how deep they went with their questions and discussions - they all said that Court Moor was the best school in the country they have been to in terms of friendliness. 

CrossFya gave their testimonies at YPF on Tuesday and it was lovely to have them with us at Cafe church on Thursday evening, where Tim gave his testimony.

At the end of the week the band put on a celebration gig at the school and 100 children said yes to Jesus! 

Praise God for opening the door for this mission and we thank him for his amazing favour through the whole week. 

Thanks to everyone for your prayers and please keep praying, especially for Amy and the FACCTS team who will continue to disciple the students and nurture the seeds that have been sown by God through CrossFya. 

- Alex Strowger

My South African Journey

My name is Dayne Smith I have been part of FBC for about 8 years. As some of you may or may not know, I am heading out to South Africa in less than 2 weeks. I am continuing my studies at Charis Bible college, the first year of which I completed in Birmingham year before last. So why Charis?

I have been deeply touched by Andrew Wommack's ministry of God's Grace and love and his teachings of practical Christianity. I went through about four years worth of seminars, sermons and audio downloads before ultimately deciding that I wanted to know even more. After I had finished my A-Levels I went on to Start at Charis Bible College Walsall; the best way to describe my time was transforming, I am not the same person that I was when I went and neither are my classmates. God's word has a way of changing us if we just give it the time and attention it needs to grow.

All that said, I am very exited to get back to learning more about God, but more importantly getting to know him better. So why South Africa? Well During my time at Charis I had an encounter with God during one of our morning worship sessions. I felt it impressed on me to start a bible college in South Africa. So I graduated my first year, started work and been saving since. This time has been challenging working two jobs for a year and a half but I am super exited to start the next chapter and see how God is going to work it all out. I can't wait!

- Dayne Smith

Dayne is raising funds for his time in South Africa through Just Giving.  Check it out here: https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/Build-a-Charis

5 Reasons I Love Children's Ministry

  1. I get to share the love of Jesus.  Matthew 9:37 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few." Children are hungry to understand the bible and are even more hungry for encounters with Jesus. It doesn't happen everyday that the lights go on and a child really understands that God is real, alive and wants to share life with us. When that happens and they want to make a life changing decision to accept the love, peace and joy of Jesus, I get to be there when they do. 
  2. We all have different learning styles, I have never been good with sitting still and listening. I learn while moving, singing and engaging. I have learned so much more of the Bible through preparing children's lessons then having to act them out, sing them and make crafts out of them. I really love the interaction that comes up in the lessons. Children have such elastic brains to think of quirky connections, they question the bible with honesty and curiosity.
  3. Working with children is like glitter - The crafts are fun and you keep on finding bits of shiny for days afterwards in unexpected places!
  4. As a parent I know how much I appreciate the other parents, grandparents and friends who volunteer every week. They help teach our children in another trusted voice of authority. We are not alone in our faith there are others out there. To help us to hold onto core values of honour and respect, generosity and gratitude. They learn that they are never alone but can always call on Jesus when they mess up and go wrong. These skills are so important for our children growing up in today’s fast changing world. They have a lot to cope with in life and they will need these solid truths to anchor them. I want lots of positive role models in my own children's lives.
  5. Creating an environment for our children to have christian friends. The Bible tells us not to stop meeting together for good reason. Sometimes children lose interest in church as they develop into their adolescent years.  I believe that we have a huge responsibility to create a healthy support for our children among their peers, so that they can go on to really fly and go deeper in their faith with their friends. Camps and days together are key and it is not only the children who need this. Some of my best friends are the ones that have been fostered out in the open watching our children having a ball.

So when I wake up on a Monday morning and see glitter in the bottom of my shoes, I am reminded of the fun that we had the day before. I am reminded that God is alive His word is living and active in my life and it has power to heal and break any chain that binds us.

- Heather Bailey

David's Tent

Relay went to David's Tent over the summer and here's what went down:

I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a long weekend in August than by camping out in a muddy field with a few thousand people from all over the world, enduring port-a-loos and worshipping God. Some of FBC’s young adults along with some friends spent the bank holiday weekend at David’s Tent, an annual event that has now seen its fourth and biggest year. It is an amazing and unique gathering where the sole agenda is to worship Jesus for 72 hours straight (that’s right, there was literally worship all through the night!) and to spend time in His presence.

People of all ages and denominations came together for this event held in the beautiful West Sussex countryside, with two main meetings taking place every day joined by speakers that included Heidi Baker and worship leaders Jonathan David and Melissa Helser and others from Bethel church. Inspired by the verse in Amos about rebuilding the tabernacle of David, the weekend was unlike other church weekends in the sense that there was no structure for teaching led by speakers but rather it was all about worshiping God in whichever way we are gifted as individuals – be that through singing or painting or flag dancing!

The opportunity was also there for people to receive prophecy or to spend quiet time in the ‘prayer garden’, while the majority of the worship took place in a big top.

It’s impossible to summarise the incredible things that God did for me personally over this weekend, but I suppose the most important lesson was how powerful it is when we put our focus on God and choose to worship Him despite our circumstances. I was astounded by how much was revealed to me during those times of being quiet and listening for God’s voice – this is by no means taking away from the importance of teaching from scripture but it served as a great reminder that God is the ultimate teacher!

- Liezl Bosch

CafeChurch with Angels

Last Thursday evening we met at our local Costa for Cafechurch and the theme this time was 'Angels.'

We had a great turnout which was really encouraging and the atmosphere was friendly and engaging.

After a time of chatting, Colleen and Kevin gave very powerful testimonies about their experiences with angels - Colleen has seen angels firsthand! We heard about how God uses angels as his messengers and Chris also added with his experiences and other stories.

We then had a time discussing our own experiences (or not!) and personal thoughts and beliefs.

It was a lovely evening and we would love to see even more people next time!

Our next meeting is Thursday 8th Oct and the theme will be 'God Heals.'

- Alex Strowger

Braai, Kayaks & Fire

Saturday 20th June saw the first major social event in our re-launched Men’s Ministry programme for 2015.  Over 50 men , came together to enjoy an authentic South African Braii and to participate in a variety of activities designed to encourage men to better get to know each other.

With a backdrop of a weather forecast suggesting storms and heavy rain, the afternoon and evening actually turned out to be relatively rain free with just a couple of showers during which  rain interrupted, rather than stopped play.

Throughout the afternoon 3 groups of kayakers took to the waters of the Basingstoke Canal. Two of the groups managed to remain in their boats, but a third group, thanks to the “encouragement” of Dayne decide to combine the Kayaking with a swimming lesson!

More sedate activities included a Treasure Hunt around Crookham Village, an archery training session and very gentlemanly (perhaps too gentlemanly)  games of Croquet.

The highlight of the evening was the superb food provided and cooked by our South African brothers including Boerwors sausage, steak, lamb and chicken kebabs ( I think there was some salad somewhere as well).

Another South African treat was Beer bread – I heard some people say that it was the nicest bread they had ever tasted.

Finally a traditional South African dessert was enjoyed, Peppermint Crisp.  Apparently South Africans do have other desserts that are popular, but we had 5 different varieties of Pepperment Crisp to choose from and it would have been rude not to try them all!

I think that everyone enjoyed the afternoon.  The highlight for me was sitting by the fire pit at the end of the evening, enjoying a beer with new friends.  Here is to many more opportunities to make and hang out with new friends.

- Mark Mabin

The Trattoria

A group of sixty women of all ages coming together to eat, chat and listen to some jazz, sounds like a list of ingredients for a great evening. What is there not to like? 

And we were not disappointed!  The women’s ministry team had worked extremely hard to transform the sanctuary into a beautiful Italian Trattoria the only thing missing was the warm summer breeze and a starry sky. Sitting and chatting over very tasty antipasti it was great to catch up with friends and get to know others better. 

The entertainment was provided by the very talented Emma and Beth Mabin, they sang a collection of old and new songs which added to the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of the evening.

Thank you to the women’s ministry team, Emma and Beth for a really enjoyable evening, it is good to remember how important it is just to gather together to build relationship and friendship.

- Alison Verrall

Oh yes and we had proper coffee too!

Rebecca Overton: May Update

Unbelievably, this is my final week at language school (although certainly not the end of my time learning Swahili; that will take a lifetime!).

The last month we have had some very varied lessons with a lot of conversation practice, including rehearsing difficult situations such as going to a police station or booking a hotel room, as well as lots of Bible reading and discussion. We’ve also attempted to learn the Tanzanian national anthem and the Lord’s Prayer.

This is a cloth we use for telling Bible stories (made by IMB - International Mission Board).

We have also had a few cultural sessions, learning to cook Tanzania-style (I learnt to make maandazi, very similar to doughnuts, with cardamom and coconut milk). Another time we chatted with some visiting Maasai, and learnt about their history and culture.

Computer: difficulties and praise!
The past month I have been having some difficulties with my computer, in that it was failing to charge. However, it has now been resolved - Praise God! I had suspicions that the problem was with the power cable; a colleague in Dar es Salaam was able to find a replacement cable, and another colleague brought it to Iringa. It’s such a relief to not have to try to replace the whole thing just yet! Also, the past month I have been very thankful for my phone which enabled me to stay fairly up to date with emails, etc.

Moving on, again:
This coming Saturday 9th May we shall be leaving language school. I shall be travelling with some of our group back to Dar es Salaam via a private coach - this should be safer and easier with all our luggage than one of the larger buses. Please be praying for our safety and for the driver on this journey.

I shall stay in Dar until Friday 15th May. I will then be able to fly to Mwanza together with my team leader. I shall then be met in Mwanza by my supervisor, after which we shall drive the few hours to Musoma. I praise God for the arrangements that have been made, which mean I shouldn’t need to travel alone.

I am very excited about reaching Musoma, meeting my new colleagues there, and learning more about my role there. Please be praying for the making of good friendships there, in particular my relationship with the lady I shall be living with for at least the first few months.

Nevertheless, I have really loved my time here in Iringa at language school, and am very thankful for the teaching I’ve received and also particularly for the friendships that have grown amongst our group.

With much praise to God, our protector and provider, and thankfulness for your love and support,

- Rebekah Overton

More information can be found here.

YPF and my Personal Faith

The vision of YPF is to empower young people in their relationship with Jesus and to create an awesome environment where everyone feels welcomed and accepted for who they are. It has been a huge encouragement to me personally in my journey with the Lord!

From the first time I came to the youth group at 14 years old, I have been amazed at how God can use young people and those who lead YPF to demonstrate the reality of His vast love for us. Our youth pastor, Amy, has an incredible gift of being able to get alongside every young person to nurture and enable them to both receive more from God in worship and make a difference in their schools and colleges. Her passion for mission is contagious!

I was not brought up going to church, so for me, this ministry has been such a blessing because it has revealed to me that a personal relationship with God is what Christianity is all about; a completely new concept to me at 14. When I started to go to YPF I was broken and was looking for answers in my life. Little did I know that God was setting me up for an encounter with Him through the people who were to support me in this journey I was just beginning.

Now, I am 18 years old with a passion to serve God as I know the price He has paid for me. That’s what YPF is amazing at: taking young people with a lack of identity and leading them into the embrace of our heavenly Father. Tuesday evenings with young people who share your same love for God is certainly a highlight of the week for me. I would describe my faith as a well-fuelled flame and I’m thankful that YPF has been a big part to play in this. I am so blessed to be involved in what God is doing in the young people of Fleet Baptist Church. It is truly amazing to be part of a youth group where you are constantly strengthened by those around you; as the Bible says in Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Thank you Lord for YPF!

- Tom Hume


You can find out more about YPF here.

Albella: May Update

The earthquake in Nepal this week was felt at the Albella Boy's home but thankfully no one was hurt.  This is an excerpt from the latest newsletter:

'Following the large earthquake in Nepal, Heshron has contacted me and let me know that apart from a few very minor cracks in the buildings at Albella no major damage occurred. In Siliguri it is reported that a building has collapsed and in Sikkim there are reports of large landslides. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of the region and we pray that aftershocks will not cause further damage.'

You can read more here.

- Alan Pickett