Wednesday, 30 December 2009
This is an interesting thought and I am inclined to agree I often find that their own fraternity of scientist are often embarrassed by their evangelical fervour, and fundamental attitudes, however I have had emails from very highly qualified scientist saying that they would like me silenced forever. I also listened to a radio 4 science programme, where one scientist was asked if a scientist believed in God, what did he as an atheist scientist think, his reply was that he could not be a real scientist?
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
Friday, 18 December 2009
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Paalam International School also held a Netball tournament for the girls aged 7 years plus. This ran hand in hand with the boys Cricket tournament. And it also aimed to encourage unity and team building amongst the girls by teaching them a new sport which that had never played before.
The qualifying games for Netball Tournament were held at New Living Flame Church Grounds on the 3rd of December, with many parents coming to support their children, and their children’s teams. The girls across the school were divided into 4 teams; Holy Stars, Debora, Rachel and Hannah, each team playing 3 matches in a hope to make it to the finals. The Finals were held alongside the finals for the Cricket Tournament on the 4th of December, at Nayakakanda Church Grounds.
Similarly to the Cricket, the Netball girls, were also able to compete to win individual awards such as ‘Player of the Match’ and ‘Player of the Tournament’ and the teams competed to win the final.
Sunday, 13 December 2009
After seeing the success of the children’s Sports Day, Paalam International School decided to further the children’s sporting opportunities outside of their Physical Education lessons, by creating a Cricket Tournament for the boys aged 7 years plus to take part in. Through this the staff aimed to encourage unity amongst the children, teambuilding and to identify new non academic talents which the school could encourage.
This Year Paalam International School’s First Cricket Tournament was held on the 4th of December, at Nayakakanda Church Grounds. With the senior boys across the school split into 5 teams; J Stars, Helmet of Salvation, Team of Victory, Warriors of Heaven and Soldiers of Michael. Each team played 4 matches in a hope to make it to the finals.
At the start of the day, the Junior children performed a drill, to show their support to the boys. This was enjoyed by all the staff, children and parents. The Cricket Tournament was enjoyed by all who supported it, with a large number of parents attending to encourage their children and their children’s team which created an encouraging atmosphere for the children to play in, and strengthened Paalam International School’s sense of Community.
To round up the day, an award ceremony was held to congratulate the teams who had made it through to the final, and of course, the winning team. Special awards were also given to ‘Man of the Match’ and ‘Man of the Tournament’.
The Winning team
Man of the Match
The runners up team captain
Sunday, 6 December 2009
When I first started a Christian school some 30 years ago I was part of a denomination. Having got the operation of the ground and very quickly some 160 children being educated with us, I was naive enough to believe that if I could do this, lots of other would too. My thinking was that me who only has a Road Safety colouring certificate can do this what could others who are clever than me do.
Picture my horror when I discovered that my biggest critics where my ‘supposed Christian friends’ and colleges.
One national Christian leader said to me “how foolish to THINK that you can have Christian Maths or Christian grammar in English”
The problem for me was that I had a foster child who had moved from our Christian school at 16 to do English Grammar at a local college, she showed me her homework one night, innocuous enough, she had to punctuate and put capital letters in some sentences, The first sentence read, “on arriving home I was disappointed to find that my boy friend was in bed with another girl – correct the sentence Never, never underestimate that hidden curriculum!
HOW WISE ARE WE THAT CALL OURSELVES CHRISTIANS?
"The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light!”
I continue to hear the comment that I am sure many of you that run Christian schools hear:
You are brain washing them – and everyone else is of course ‘A’ moral, and has no agenda!
You are not making them aware of the real world – which is just the same as the Genesis statement “you will know good and evil”
Your children should be salt and light in school – just like you were when you were young?
You will produce hot house children – and of course we should allow our 3 year olds to cross the road by themselves?
And other such nonsense phrases that I hear, actually more from Christians than those who do not follow Jesus.
What we fail to understand is where the battle is joined.
Some love to sing those songs of victory, like ‘onward Christian soldiers’, but where are we going to fight?
What is it that God uses, and asks us to use to make us different
He tells us how to change whenever I ask this people say all sorts of things like, love, repent, read the Bible, and go to meetings regularly. Well they might help but that is not what Scripture tells us to do:
It says, put on the mind of Christ, Renew your thinking, whatsoever things are good, honest of a good report, and think on these things. In other words THE BATTLE IS IN THE MIND FOR THE MIND.
Those who sort the overthrow of what was formally Rhodesia understood that well, they attacked what in that country, where did they take the fight, I know I lost a friend who was clubbed to death, I very rarely get a correct answer to this when I ask people. Actually they attacked the schools, they took the children across the border into what was called the front line states for as they said ‘re- education’ they understood that to win a generation, and change the future, you have to change the minds of the current generation, you have to have them thinking. I want to put good thinking into the minds of the children that I can influence.
The Battle is for the Mind, and I want people to be in their Right mind!
24th October 2009
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
It is amazing how much we misunderstand the process of refugees and asylum seekers.
I work for a company called Phoenix Community Care, this is a not for profit company that works with people in need. So we work with young people age 16 and 17 years old who are in the UK but have no parents or guardians here. They actually come under the care system as looked after children, as you are considered by UK law as a child until you reach the age of 18 years, the problem for the care system was that in real terms most local authority agencies for foster care where overstretched before the wars in so many areas started supping refugees out all over the world. Places like Afghanistan, Kosovo, Darfur, Somalia, and Iraqi. On top of that there are localised wars like in Congo. Then on top of that there are internal wars in Sri Lanka. Add to those problems the problem of persecution which still excises in countries like Vietnam, and Cambodia.
If your life was threatened would you run away, would you try and protect your family and loved ones?
As a company we are housing young people from most of the above countries, we then have young people from China and Iran, why Iran, no war there, well no, but if you are a Christian or a Jehovah witness, then life is almost impossible. Then there are those from Ethiopia, why do they come, many say to me well my father speaks Amharic but my mother is from Eritrea and no one want you then.
I am sure there are bad apples, some few I have met, but most of the stories I hear would make you wonder why they are not mad, and some because of the extreme pressure actually are and need good psychiatric care.
Sadly I often hear from people, it is not fair, they are steeling our houses and jobs and being paid large amounts of money. I work in the sector and what I see does not fit those newspaper nonsense headlines, I see youngster’s just about surviving, roof, small amount of food money and some help with language. Many of these people are ambitious and keen to work and contribute to the country that has given them refuge; often the law doesn’t allow them to do that.
We are only a small Island, other countries should help!
Where do asylum seekers in Europe come from?
The four main countries of origin of asylum seekers in Europe in 2002 were Iraq with 50,058 applications, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia with 32,656 applications, Turkey with 28,455 applications and Afghanistan with 25,470 applications UNHCR Asylum Applications Lodged in Industrialised Countries: Levels and Trends, 2000-2002).
And who does help, well of course the UK does and many think we are doing more than anyone else, but look at these statistics which is based on the population for the country, per 1,000 and who in Europe does take the most refugees per head of population, have a look:
Which European countries have the highest number of asylum applications?
When the number of asylum applications are compared with the total population of the state in which the applications are made (i.e. applications per 1000 inhabitants), in 2002, out of 25 European countries, Austria was the European country with the highest ratio of applications to population with 4.6 applications per 1000, followed by Norway (3.9), Sweden (3.7), Switzerland (3.7), Ireland (3.1) and Liechtenstein (2.8). Germany had 0.9 applications per 1000 inhabitants and the UK 1.9. (Source: Table 1 UNHCR Asylum Applications Lodged in Industrialised Countries: Levels and Trends, 2000-2002)
The thing is that the UK can use asylum seekers to the benefit of the country as well as help very needy people. The UK has ageing population, many who have paid into pensions, never mind the national pension. Pension funds rely on the working population paying into the fund, which then pays out to those who no longer are in work. Of course if the amount of people working falls to a smaller and smaller amount the ability to continue to pay those who are no longer in work becomes more difficult, hence in the UK the moves to increase the statutory retirement age.
The state pension age is set to increase to 68 by 2050 with anyone aged less than 47 facing a longer working life, the work and pension’s secretary, John Hutton, said.
Only those born before 1959 will be unaffected by plans to phase in a higher retirement age over three decades, outlined in the government's white paper on pension reforms.
The interesting thing is that most refugees / asylum seekers coming to the UK are of working age. Maybe they will help your pension!
Asylum seekers and refugees will often when given the opportunity create jobs for others, become entrepreneur’s that will benefit the economy and indirectly benefit all of the current population. We need to open our eyes to the benefits as well as the perceived problems; Benefits in our hospitals, in our transport system and in our building programmes.
My view, well some of these young people with tragic stories and terrible life experience can be of great blessing to all of us, we need to see it and help them to do it.
Friday, 20 November 2009
SRI LANKA REPORT: by Cicely-Lisa
The school here is going very well at present we have 84 students, and 9 members of staff. The majority of whom speak a good level of English and are passionate about serving the young people. The school at present has 4 classes with ages ranging from 5-14yrs old. Next year we will have about 104 students. It is amazing just how much the school has grown God has really blessed us in this area. We have a good reputation in the local area what sets us apart from the rest. Interestingly people have even moved from other areas just to put their children in our school.
Staff wise and where you might be able to help us, we, (Paalam Project) are looking for staff who have a good knowledge of English grammar as well as spoken English. We need people around who speak good English We are advertising locally in mainly Christian magazines. please pray that God brings along the right people.
One of our aims for next year is to build on land next door which we already own, as by September 2008 we will have outgrown our building.
Paalam Project is also looking for more people from abroad to come and invest a bit of time here into what is happening. Next year we have, Tony Carla Mayer and their three children coming for 3mths to work in the school which well be great. Then we may have a coupled called Paul and Lynne Day, they are coming out here for an indefinite period of time. Then there is a young lady who will be here for a year and again helping us in the school. Please pray that God has His way in all of this things and that we get people out here who know their calling from God.
Personally this has been a real time of growth for me. I feel as though the first few years I was just a kid learning how to be. Now I have allowed God to show me things which has opened my mind to the BIGGER picture. I think a lot of the time I was thinking about what I want and the vision that I have rather then looking and seeing what God has been using me for. Also I have had to apologise to God for thinking and speaking negatively about Sri Lanka. It is an amazing place with some amazing people and God has really got his hand on this place. Now I can see that I am a small part in the vastness of what God is doing. I know that God has really blessed me in being here and that I need to be here; more than I am needed here. God is really raising up the young people in this country making them available to His call. I can see now that my small part in the school is to help these young people realise that God wants them; as they will change the course of this nation for the glory of God.
Recently I have been thinking what would I do if I was told not to come back here, I know it would break my heart as I really love these children, but I also know I need to be obedient to God.
Please pray for Sri Lanka that God brings peace and unity to this land and stops the innocent bloodshed.
"GOD'S PEARL SRI LANKA"
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
We launch a new Training Programme
This was my sixteenth visit to Kenya; I went to launch a Leadership Training Programme. During the next two years, every two months, for three days, we will train leaders in theology and practice. Many trainees will be local people who have received no training. We hope that this programme will have a profound effect on those who attend, giving them new perspective and ethos. Plus ease some of the problems that can ensue from having untrained leaders. Long term, this will benefit the church
and the wider Kenyan community.
Jackie’s Vital Input
I was accompanied by Jackie Oliver from Generation Church base in Ewell Surry and Executive Director of ‘Through the Roof’ a charity supplying wheel-chairs worldwide; one of the distribution centres is in Kenya. Together we delivered the first three days of the training programme. Jackie lectured over 40 students on the Theology of Disability Showing how God treated people with disabilities, such as Moses, from Scripture, using lectures, workshops, discussions and videos. The generator rebelled and refused to operate the projector, so the PowerPoint presentation was not used. I used a similar roll-out on the subject of
What have we done so far?
We have been working in Kenya for sixteen years alongside our partner Sammy Nawali. To date, along with the help of many others from the UK and the USA, we have been able to assist in funding the following:
• Orphanage - mainly boys, girls are placed in safe homes
• Garage - giving space for vocational training for street boys and orphans
• School - currently teaching 130 pupils and growing
• Church building - the congregation continues to grow
• Sure 24 - twice weekly feeding programme
We are still faced with many challenges; the ongoing school building work; implementation of a clean water programme, we hope to have a bore-hole installed in November 2009; food for the orphanage and the school, each child receives a midday meal, often this is the only meal they get. My passion is to set standards that others can follow, and that our investment will have a much broader impact.
The country continues to improve. Our route is along the road from Nairobi to Nakuru, it used to take 3–4 hours due to pot-holes. A Kenyan pot-hole is something to behold, some of them are like driving down one side of a mountain and up another. The road is now completely resurfaced and pot-hole free! It reduced the travel time by half and instead of concentrating on holes in the road we were able to take in the views of the fabulous rift valley.
There are still issues regarding IDPs, Internally Displaced People as they are euphemistically known. Many remain in camps, afraid to return to their original homes due to the violence they have experienced. I visited an orphanage in Molo, Western Kenya, the results of violence was obvious; destroyed homes, deserted streets, parched land and withered maze. Maze is the Kenyan staple diet and as we viewed the devastation Sammy said, “The rains have been reducing for the last five years, looking at the brown fields makes my stomach turn over, lean times lie ahead.”
In the orphanages we visited, we were saddened to find that the staff did not know where the children were from, all trace of their relatives were lost.
One Saturday Jackie’s hotel room was burgled, so we spent a morning at the Police Station, whilst Jackie completed the paperwork, I browsed the notices peppering the walls. Many were from the Red Cross aimed at IDPs who are desperately searching for their missing relatives.
Chickens and Goats
I continue to be encouraged by the progress of the various projects, especially the ‘Sure 24’ feeding programme. Friends in the USA have provided funding which has been used to purchase chickens, goats and even cows. I met five of the goats and one of the cows who has been christened ‘Reverend’! These animals are vital in providing milk for the children.
I saw a few chickens scratching at the bare earth, but Sammy informed me they were “…just visiting…” They need further funding in order to purchase some more hens, the first batch died of chicken flu.” I hasten to confirm that this should not be confused with bird flu. Sammy explained the demise of the chickens was bitter sweet; no possibility of eggs, but every time a hen died, it provided a hearty chicken supper for the children. The boys were always delighted when the head of a chicken began to droop, they knew it was flu and they knew that in the evening their tummies would be full.
Molo orphanage has three chickens; I was keen to know how many eggs they produced each day. After Sammy stopped laughing he said “They need food and water before they can do that, they can just about keep body and soul together on what they manage to scavenge.”
Water is vital to the survival of these projects; the bore hole must get installed as soon as possible.
I hope this update gives you a flavour of what we are doing in Kenya. If you would like to sponsor one of the children in the orphanage or school, come with us next year to visit Kenya, or buy and chicken or a goat, then please get in touch.
Monday, 16 November 2009
I was at a wedding recently in Kenya, two men came up to me, old friends of mine, they said “Hi,” and then asked me if I had realised that I had been coming to Kenya for 11 years. I hadn’t realised. They reminded me of the first time we met which was on my first visit to Kenya 11 years previous. I remember and laughed, they had turned up to a seminar that I was running but one that people needed to have pre booked for, they hadn’t done so, because they didn’t know it was on. We made special arrangements to include them anyway.
The two guys went on to say do you realise that 11years ago you changed our lives. I laughed, well it did sound a little over the top I thought. They said to me “you don’t understand do you”, I admitted that I didn’t quite think I was on the same wave length.
These two friends of mine went on to explain that by coming to what I had been doing 11years previously this had changed their thinking and because of their changed thinking they had changed their actions and because of changed action they had gone back to their village and the village had changed, and because the village had changed they where able to help the village next to them to change. I felt very humbled, realising that actually what had happened was that I had been able to be a catalyst or conduit introducing many others to these friends who had provide water, business enterprise, opportunities that had ultimately changed the way that their village worked for the better, providing water storage, education, and greater food security, and a different way of thinking.
Most of us, like me underestimate the power of influence. Yet actually that is often the most valuable thing that we can contribute to this world. At least we could be a good influencer, persuader and world changer or we could be a bad one.
The thing about good persuading, is not just the words but the ‘who you are’ do your words match your actions, are you acting with integrity, does the way you speak, influence, persuade match the medium that you use to do it.
It was Marshall McLuhan in the 60’s who coined the phrase ‘The medium is the message’ meaning that the form of a medium imbeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived, creating subtle change over time. The phrase was introduced in his most widely known book, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, published in 1964. McLuhan proposes that media themselves, not the content they carry, should be the focus of study; he said that a medium affects the society in which it plays a role not only by the content delivered over the medium, but by the characteristics of the medium itself. Winipeg the free online Encyclopedia
So what does that mean in practise? Well in real terms if I say believe the Bible when it instructs us to love strangers amongst us, but then I were to constantly quote Daily Male articles that tell people that Asylum Seekers and refugees are really crooks and scroungers, what is happening is that my actions drowned out my words and the message conveyed is the Daily Mail one and certainly not the Bible one.
Again in Kenya, a young man came to me one day after I had delivered a talk in a church meeting and asked me “are you telling me that you can be a Christian and not have to wear a suit”. I looked surprised as this had nothing to do with what I had been talking about. Being my usual causal self I had turned up in blue jeans and a tee shirt to do this particular talk, and had not really consider my bad dress sense. I thought the question was some sort of joke but then looking around I realised that all the men where in suits. I am sure no one had told him to wear a suit to be a Christian but the medium of church there made sure that one conformed to this particularly social requirement, unless you are insensitive like me!
I have often had discussions with people concerning style, style or the way of being or doing things can often be interpreted as our medium. So the way of ‘doing’ church our preferred style becomes the medium by which things are expressed. So for example when we invest large amounts of money into an ornate building which we say is for worship of God, what we are really saying is that the building is more important than people are, and it does not matter how much we say that of course people are more important the medium tells the story, makes the point!
Like wise the style / medium of our meeting will often give messages and tell stories that we sometimes is different to our words. We could for example talk about relationships being very important but the medium / style of our coming together will convey totally the opposite, especially if we have everyone sitting in rows looking at the back of the neck of the person in front, very un- relational!
So persuading and influencing is very important, and we are all doing it all the time and sometimes the medium we use will be saying the opposite to what we say we believe. We are all aware of the way things are said as well as what is said. The medium is the message!
In the best possible way the Good News of Jesus is to be conveyed in the best possible way, the medium is the message. God does it by incarnation or in Bible words from John 1:1 and then verse 14 in the New Testament this is from the NIV version: Verse 1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And then verse 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
What is actually happening here is that God is using words, the words of Jesus but he is incarnation those words so the words become not only words but medium / style, the very message themselves. That is why Jesus is the Word, not just saying the word, and of course that principal is still very much the way the Good news of Jesus should be told, by incarnation, medium, style, words, message all in agreement and not contradictory. That way we can effectively change what needs changing and make a difference for good.
We can do it, we can be incarnated, we can become both message, and medium and with non contradictory style. I guess that means that we do things with integrity. In a recent article I noted that I’m often invited to speak on a subject that I don’t like speaking much on as I think its somewhat of a non starter, but end up talking about it anyway, evolution that is with people like Richard Dawkins, the Teachers Channel, More 4 News and the like. Then again a phone call the other week from a very nice young lady who said she wanted to interview me. I said “oh yes, what about, let me guess for TV and its on evolution.”
“Well” she replied “it is sort of on that subject, but it’s more than just the subject that we have reason to want to interview you”. I asked the obvious, “What channel is it.” Oh it’s not a channel she replied this is a (1).special market research. “Market research on evolution,” I responded incredulously. “Well yes sort of” she replied, “so why me I asked.” “Well because” she said “our company concentrates on the sort of research that eventually produced reports for public use. These reports could be used by anyone, this one is funded by a public theology think tank and we specialise in finding people that we know are thought –leaders, or opinion leaders.”
Well it is nice to be thought of as an opinion leader, or thought leader. Particularly as I know that thinking is the beginning of all action and if we want to change action then we need to change thinking, so do I want to do that, you bet I do!
What do I want to change, what do I want to influence. Well I would like to change how we look at Refugees for a start, how social services works, how people treat asylum seekers in the UK. I would like to change those young people who think that they can not effect change in the world in which they live.
Influence is a very powerful thing, often time’s people on committees and boards and things say to me not sure what I do hear, I am not as active I just attend. The thing is how much do you persuade, are your plans good, what level is your integrity, do you make things possible for others. Are you a door opener?
In other words how much are you affecting change by just being? By just creating new thoughts new ways of doing and being, being a pioneer being a thought leader and opinion maker in stead of just a follower. Good thinking right thinking out of the box thinking.
You could even be an incarnation style message with the right medium that really makes a difference. Why not?
North London UK
Sunday, 03 August 2008
(1).The research is part of a programme of research commissioned by Theos
The ‘Public Theology’ think tank and funded by the Templeton Foundation,
ESRO has been commissioned as independent researchers to carry out the work.
As with all research that ESRO conducts, we will be adhering strictly
to the ethical guidelines laid down by the
Association of Social Anthropologists (ASA):
Dr. Robin Pharoah
Saturday, 14 November 2009
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Nina Teggarty reports on how in some schools the battle for teaching evolution is far from won.
LINK TO THE VIDEO JUST CLICK:
MORE 4 NEWS - Richard Dawkins - Teachers Channel
All on the Same Subject – Adrian Hawkes Comments
While recently doing a two minute spot for channel More 4 news I thought to myself; actually this piece is only two minutes long, around half an hour of interview edited down to two minutes. In fact, I thought, the subject is quite important, important to our freedom of speech and freedom of thought! Let me explain.
As I am part of a Christian community that runs 4 independent sector schools I often get asked to do programmes like this, and it is always about the same subject, Evolution. It’s as though as a Christian and one that believes in the schools that I am involved with, the only thing we ever talk about is Evolution. Not Maths, English, Computer Science, Social Studies, Citizenship to name but a few, but rather evolution. Oh I know that this latest programme was because we were at the 150th year anniversary of Charles Darwin’s lecture that started all the talk, but it does seem to go on and on.
An interesting thing about the programme for More 4 news was the gentleman who came on and said, “what we need to understand is that Evolution and its teachings are not an attack on Faith”.
The thing is that each time I go on one of these programmes; I usually get emails, post and the occasional phone call. The Evolutionists write and tell me what an idiot I am. The Christians write and nicely tell me I was not strong enough in my presentation and then guide me with literature to better my opinion. I think that in the middle of it there must be a public that is bemused.
Why am I saying that I think this subject is important? Talking with Richard Dawkins for his programme and listening and reading some his work, I conclude that actually it is not just about Evolution, the big issue is that there is no God, and any thought that there is, is dangerous to society. Furthermore the attitude seems to be if I can stop people like you, from doing or saying anything to suggest that there is a God, I am going to stop you.
Listening recently to a Radio 4 programme from the Cheltenham Science Festival in Gloucestershire, Professor Peter Atkins stated that as a ‘believer’ in evolution, he had the truth. The program host asked what he thought about people with whose view is that there is a designer/creator God? He simply replied that they had some sort of mental problem and could not possibly be scientific much less a proper scientist.
What we really have is a kind of Religion from these proponents, it’s a religion without God and one that propounds with evangelical fever, “there is no God!” I said that on Mr Dawkin’s program, which I think somewhat annoyed him, but that comment, of course, lies on the cutting room floor.
After one of these TV occasions, I am not sure which one, maybe it was from my time on the teacher’s channel on which I was quizzed on the same subject. I had an email from one of these people that write to me after such occasions. He basically accused me of being a child abuser for believing that there is a God and teaching children such.
And this is what is so worrying about this particular lobby. For although the nice man on More 4 news said “this is not an attack on Faith”, nevertheless the people who I found are the vocal lobby for evolution, are the same people who are aligned to the ‘there is no God’ lobby. So does it matter, in the name of free speech, that they express that opinion? Perhaps not, providing they allow me the same courtesy of speech and thought; but not if they want to go down some Orwellian state line that prevents me from speaking, or thinking for that matter.
I am not surprised that the TV channels talk to me, I at least will talk, it seems that the Muslim schools were not willing to express their views on the TV, neither were most of the Christian Schools.
I have to say that when I have agreed to go on these programmes, many of my friends phone me and say “do you think this is wise? They will make you look very stupid!”. Oh well, maybe I do. Even if I do, it still worries me when I hear statements like those coming from Professor Peter Atkins, who I think would silence any opposition to his point of view if he could. Then there is Richard Dawkins, who believes that Religion is the root of all evil and should be outlawed, and don’t forget my emailing corrector, who said and I quote “I honestly believe that what you are doing is mental child abuse, and we are working very hard on trying to once and for all outlaw your type of brain-washing propaganda. There is no god. Move on.”
He pointed out to me that he was a BA (hons) MA,
What I notice from all of these people is there is an almost Taliban fervor to marginalized my opinion, keep me silent and make sure I am outlawed!
God help us if they are allowed any kind of legislative power!
Wednesday, 02 July 2008
Sunday, 8 November 2009
Jaffna Internally Displaced People Camp Report from Paalam Project
From March we received funding from numerous donors to assist the Paalam Project with aid into the Welfare Camps in the Jaffna District. Our aim was to assist the Kopay Camp in particular as the Paalam Project and New Living Flame Church has its main base in Kopay. In the Kopay camp we have been assisting the 200 families consisting of 483 individuals on a weekly basis.
Thanks to the funding from our donors we were able to provide bed sheets and towels to every person in the Kopay camp. We were also able to purchase clothing for each of the babies in the camp and clothes for the children and teenagers.
We are also working into the Kodikamam Camp where there are 389 families and 1,176 individuals whom we have provided sheets and towels to, along with clothing for the babies in the camp.
On our initial visits to the camps it had been very difficult to get permission to take teams into the camps. We had to write letters to the Government Agent (GA) at the main City Council office (Katcheri) in Jaffna and once we received their approval then take this to the Ministry of Defence for a clearance signature from the Brigadier. This was very time consuming and difficult with our requests often being turned down.
After we received the funding from our donors we went to the Kopay camp with all our permission letters and still we were told we could not distribute the goods needed in the camp. So we asked to speak to the person in charge of the camp. At first they were not willing but after much persuasion the officers put us through and our senior Pastor Jenny Sinnadurai spoke to the Colonel in charge of the camp, explaining that his staffs were not permitting us to enter the camp despite having received permission letters. The Colonel arranged with us to come back to the camp in two days time. That Tuesday we returned to the Camp where we were met by the Colonel who escorted our vehicle and team into the camp. The goods were checked by the army and then we were able to prepare to distribute them. Prior to this we had requested to have a small service.
We had with us a team of 13 people consisting of two youths from our church in Switzerland, two youths from our church in Colombo, myself from New Zealand and others from our church in Kopay. We sang two songs in Tamil & Sinhala and then Jenny our Pastor spoke to the crowd that had gathered. We had an opportunity to pray and speak to those who wanted prayer which turned out
to be most of the camp people. It was such an amazing opportunity for us to share the love of God and the gospel with those in need. We were able to give 30 bibles to families upon their request.
Following the service we distributed sheets and towels to each person in the camp. The Colonel also assisted us in doing this. Some of our youth gave out sweets to the children, which was a real treat for them.
Normally we are not allowed to take photos in the camps, but this day the Colonel requested that we take photos as he needed some for his records and as he didn’t own a camera would we take photos with our camera and give them to him. We requested to use the photos to send to those funding the work and he agreed for this. By God’s grace we were able to take as many photos as we wanted.
Since this first encounter with the Colonel he has been in constant contact with us. We no longer need permission letters to enter his camps. He will call us on a weekly basis to inform us what is needed in the camps and then he will meet us at the camps and escort us into the camps. We are no longer checked and the goods are no longer checked. We are able to freely run services on each visit to the camps and we are also permitted now to speak to individuals, pray for them and counsel them as requested. God has given us an open door into these camps. Really we have been amazed at God’s grace in granting us the privilege of entering these camps so freely.
Since we began working in Kopay camp we have been praying for the release of the people back to their relatives or their own land. In the last two weeks 72 people have been released from the Kopay camp back to their relative’s homes in the Jaffna area.
From the Nelliyady Camp one elderly couple and their daughter have been cleared to leave the camp but as they had no where to go to they refused to leave. The Colonel contacted us regarding this family and we offered to provide the daughter with employment at Paalam Children’s Home if the Colonel would provide accommodation for them out of
Neliyady Camp family in the camp still.
the camp. This family has now been resettled in a house outside of the camp and their daughter is working full time for us. This family is now attending the New Living Flame Church each Sunday. The opportunity to work with the Ministry Of Defence to assist such families could only have come through doors that God has opened to us.
Our ministry teams are visiting the Kopay Camp, each week and the Kodikamam and Nelliyady Camps monthly. At each visit we are running a 20 – 30 minute service where we give song sheets to those attending and encourage them to take part in the singing of songs in Tamil and Sinhala. The children really enjoy this time taking the opportunity to sing at the top of their voices. Ninety percent of the people in the camps attend these services. We have had the opportunity to pray for almost all people in the camps. Most are Hindus or Catholics.
In the Kodikamam camp there is a Pastor who is running a church in the camp. Initially he had 20 people attending services. After we started to visit the camp and pray with people and distribute Bibles his congregation has grown to around 40 people. We have been able to support his work by providing him with tracts and Bibles in Tamil & Sinhala, along with a tambourine and bongos for the services.
Many seeds are being sown in the lives of those living in the camps that we are visiting. Our ministry team is able to talk with, counsel and pray for people on a weekly basis and we believe that as people are released from the camps that they will seek churches to continue to receive this input into their lives. We have taken the opportunity to expressly share with people about the need to forgive and forget the past and move ahead into a new future of hope. We believe that by planting these seeds of peace, people will not desire to go back to their old ways of war.
Neliyady Camp Family outside the house provided by the army.
Saturday, 7 November 2009
From: ASSISTNewsfirstname.lastname@example.org on behalf of ANS@Assist-Ministries.com
Sent: 29 May 2009 20:47
Subject: Ministry Couple in South Africa Attacked, Robbed for the second time
Friday, May 29, 2009
Ministry Couple in South Africa Attacked, Robbed for the second time
By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
MTHATHA, SOUTH AFRICA (ANS) -- A couple ministering to orphan children with AIDS has been attacked and robbed at gunpoint in South Africa for the second time in a month.
According to a report from Rainbow Churches, based in London, United Kingdom, on Sunday May 24, Clive and Zoliswa Bartlett and their family returned home after church, their children were playing in the garden, and Clive and Zoliswa were chatting with her sister and brother when burglars arrived.
"This is just a month after the last robbery, and they were once again after money," said Margaret Templeman, field director of the Timothy Mission to African Townships (TMAT), in an e-mail to ministry supporters.
Clive handed them the 200 Rands he had in his pocket and explained there was no more, she said.
Templeman continued: "Since the last burglary they had decided not to keep such large amounts in the house.
"So they hit Clive on the head with a gun, presumably hoping he would cave in (to their demands) and then shot him through the bottom. A neighbor drove him to the hospital and he was later transferred to a bone specialist hospital in Mthatha (Bedford) where he is currently recuperating."
The robbers took a lap top, printer, Clive's wallet, and the family's 4 x 4, having forced him to hand over the keys.
"This was a traumatic experience for the whole family," said Templeman.
Templeman said Zoliswa and the family will be staying with James and Nomzi, friends with whom the Bartletts stayed prior to moving into their own home.
"Of course, Clive will join them when discharged from hospital. Their furniture is being stored at James and Nomzi's home before going to Zinduneni where they were due to move on June 9," she said.
"I have spoken with Clive and he says that the doctor is concerned that as the shot that hit him was fired at close range, and the bullet went through his body, it may have caused damage to other organs.stomach and bowels. Another surgeon will have to check this out. He has to have complete bed rest for the hip fracture (he sustained). He has been told that he may be in hospital for at least a week and possibly up to six weeks," said Templeman.
She said she received another call to say that the vehicle had been found abandoned near the next township.
"The wheels had seized up and the robbers couldn't drive it any further. The police have taken it to the pound and today it will be transferred to Park Road. The robbers didn't leave the keys!"
Templeman added: "The last 24 hours have been hard for Bartlett family including those in the UK, and also their many friends. The church family at Mthatha have been extremely supportive, particularly to Zoliswa helping her to move and driving her around Mthatha."
Adrian Hawkes of Rainbow Churches told ASSIST News: "We have known the Bartletts a long time -- Clive was part of the Eldership team here at Rainbow Church for many years, he went originally to South Africa as part of a Links International team -- they send teams out to work on medical training in villages and remote areas.
"They do training for people in these villages and often cut down real problems -- for example in one village, the 'death at birth' rate dropped dramatically. Usually they take Doctors, Nurses and Opticians to aid them in the training. Clive is a trained nurse and went with one of the teams a couple of times; there he met Zoliswa, who came then on holiday to the UK where eventually they married, then Zoliswa worked in the church nursery and also joined the leadership team here."
Hawkes concluded: "They have always had concern for South Africa and went back with another organization to establish a children's home and particularly care for orphans with aids.
"The last burglary they had I think the burglars took a laptop and money; this time I think they where angry because they asked 'where is the safe?' and they don't have one. From there it escalated," he said.
Friends of the Bartletts are asking US Christians to please pray as you feel led by the Holy Spirit.
"We have much for which to give praise as well, that they are all alive. We have already seen many answers to prayer. How great is our God!" said Templeman.
"God bless you all as you support us in prayer," she said.
If anyone would like to contact Templeman for any additional updates, please do not hesitate to telephone +44 (0)1702 548803.
Friday, 6 November 2009
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
From wrecking cars in London to building a garage for mechanics in Kenya
By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
ROEHAMPTON, ENGLAND / KENYA, AFRICA REGENERATE is a ministry formed in 2000 out of a realization of the social and spiritual needs of young and old on a British housing estate.
That realization led to dreams of a changed community, "where the gospel was demonstrated as well as spoken about," according to its ministry website.
"The needs were huge. Being one of
Over the years REGENERATE'S work has developed. It has run projects for both young and old including -- mentoring schemes, football clubs, outings, children's church, lunch club for the elderly, a visiting service to isolated elderly, drop-in youth center, residentials and trips overseas.Now REGENERATE is in the process of building a car mechanics garage on the outskirts of
The vision for the garage came from Luke Clifford who first visited
On the next trip in February 2008 the garage will have its official opening, with Luke being able to see the dream become reality.
"It took me some time to persuade my friend Andy Smith to visit Kenya with me, as I felt his church needed a third world focus as well as the great work he was already doing in the Roehampton Estate, which is one of the larges council estates in Europe," says Adrian Hawkes the London-based leader of a ministry that plants churches, works with asylum seekers, and provides aid to children in Sri Lanka.
"Andy was a little squeamish about coming with me to
That was in 2004. The following year (2005) Andy decided to go again, this time with some of the young people from Roehampton including Luke Clifford, who was famous on the estate -- or rather infamous -- not only because he had dropped in to the Regenerate club but also because he took a liking to stealing Andy's car and rolling it down hills into brick walls.
"Just for fun you know. Seemed a bit surprising to me that Andy was still willing to take him with him, but he did," said Hawkes.
Hawkes continued: "He came back from that first visit and told us he had found God, more than that he was determined to help young people there. From his own small wages he gave Andy money each week and made it quickly possible to buy land and prepare for his dream of building a garage for the youngsters there."
Last February, Luke won the Anthony Walker Memorial Prize, the top Champions of Respect award from the Evangelical Alliance in the
Local press and Premier Christian Radio in
Back in Roehampton, Luke has now stopped trashing Andy's car and is helping to facilitate all the other good work on the estate there, such as the Juice bar, drop-in site, the Bus program, and the many, many other things to change the people's thinking on the estate.
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Sent: 30 May 2009 21:32
Subject: Government Camps for the Internally Displaced from the Conflict in Sri Lanka Request Assistance from the Church
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Government Camps for the Internally Displaced from the Conflict in Sri Lanka Request Assistance from the Church
By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
VANNI, SRI LANKA (ANS) -- An outreach of the church in Sri Lanka has been approached by the government there to help provide assistance to Internally Displaced persons (IDP) as a result of the long-running conflict which recently ended in a government victory over the rebel Tamil Tigers.
According to an e-mail report, obtained by ASSIST News, from Karen Dey who heads up New Living Ministries International: "In March our church ministry team in Jaffna had a desire to provide aid into the IDP (Internally Displaced People Camps) in Jaffna, but at that time the Sri Lankan Government was not allowing anyone to visit the camps. In March there were just four camps in Jaffna, but as the conflict was increasing, the amount of people fleeing from the conflict zone increased."
Dey says that by April the camps in Jaffna "were not able to cope with this sudden influx of the large amounts of people arriving.
"We were contacted by the local authorities in charge of the camps requesting urgent assistance into the camps. There are now 12 camps with between 200 - 1,700 people in each camp," she said.
"We began taking teams of seven people from our church ministry team into each camp. On visiting the camps we were requested by the army and the people in the camp to provide essential items that the army was not able to provide for them.
"Many of these people have been hiding in bunkers for months and are traumatized, exhausted and severely malnourished. The camps are severely overcrowded and unable to meet the basic food and shelter needs of those who are arriving. Most of the camps are without decent water and sanitation facilities. Those detained in these camps, which are surrounded by barbed-wire fences, are denied their liberty or freedom. They are not allowed to leave the camps, and visiting is severely restricted. By God's Grace our church has been able to enter many of these camps now."
Dey goes on to say that many children have witnessed terrible scenes as they escaped to safety.
"Some saw their parents killed or were separated from them during the journey. These children will need intensive counselling in the near future. The sense of fear amongst those in the camp is strong, unsure of what the future holds," she said.
"For the past month we have been visiting the camps on a weekly basis providing families with such items as babies milk bottles, milk powder, flasks for hot water, Nestamalt build-up for children, supplementary food items, medications, milk powder for adults, soap, babies' and children's clothing, sarongs for men and saris and dresses for ladies."
Dey says that many war victims are also in the Jaffna teaching hospital and other local hospitals in Jaffna.
"Most are suffering from severe burns, bullet and shrapnel wounds. Our teams have been visiting these hospitals and providing the patients affected by the war with meals, and any medications requested by the hospital. We have also assisted to provide to the hospitals with such things as vitamins and food supplements, waterbeds for burns patients, burns clothing, colostomy bags, replacement glass eyes, and Jaipur Limbs."
Dey said that New Living Ministries International is at present working with two children in the Jaffna hospital, Mythili, a 9-year-old girl, and Subashkaran, an 11-year-old boy, who have no parents or guardians.
"When they were escaping out of the Vanni area their family was catching a boat together when shelling started. The children were pulled into the boat but their parents were left behind. We are not sure if their parents are alive so have requested that these children to be released to our care once they are discharged from hospital. Both are being treated for bullet and shrapnel wounds."
Dey explained that the A9, the only road into Jaffna, remains closed to private vehicles.
"So the only way to provide these essential items to the camps and hospital is by purchasing them from the shops in Jaffna. Each time we visit a camp we need around £800GBP ($1,295USD) to purchase the necessary goods to distribute to the camp people.
"To date we have managed to do this thanks to donations from our own churches in Sri Lanka, and abroad, but we are now seeking financial help from other sources so that we can continue this work into the IDP camps and hospitals in Jaffna."
|** Michael Ireland, Chief Correspondent of ANS, is an international British freelance journalist who was formerly a reporter with a London (United Kingdom) newspaper and has been a frequent contributor to UCB Europe, a British Christian radio station. Michael has traveled to Albania and the former Yugoslavia, Holland, Germany and the former Czechoslovakia, Israel,and Canada. He has reported for ANS from Jordan, China, Russia, Jamaica, Mexico, and Nicaragua. Michael's volunteer involvement with ASSIST News Service is a sponsored ministry department -- Michael Ireland Media Missionary (MIMM) -- of A.C.T. International at: Artists in Christian Testimony (A.C.T.) International where you can donate online to support his stated mission of 'Truth Through Christian Journalism.'|
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Monday, 2 November 2009
I will be there in November 09
22A, 1st Lane, Palliyawatta, Hendala, Wattala, Sri Lanka. Tel: (011) 2946444
Paalam International School is registered under Paalam School (Guarantee) Limited GL 2056
Paalam International School - Building Project
Paalam International School was opened in September 2003 with the purpose of providing children from underprivileged families from the Wattala district with an opportunity to study.
Many children in this area do not attend school. They are instead sent out to work so as to help their families to meet the needs of day to day living. Most of the children’s parents are in the very low income earning bracket. Some children’s parents are drug addicts or alcoholics so spend all their income on their habits leaving the families with little finance to live off. In the school we are not only looking at the children’s educational needs but we are also overseeing many children with food assistance, medical care, provision of uniforms and shoes, transport, and social assistance. The Paalam Project has also built new housing for five of the children’s families who were previously living in shacks made from cardboard boxes, plastic and anything that they could find to provide shelter.
The school has a total of 145 children ranging from the ages of 5 – 17years. Twenty five of these children are fully sponsored into the school. We currently have 14 full time teachers all of whom were previously unemployed.
For the past six years the Paalam International School has been using the New Living Flame church building to operate the school in. The school has grown so big that we no longer have enough places for any further classrooms.
The Project and church owns some land adjoining the Wattala site and we are now desperately seeking help to build a new school building. Applications to various organisations for grants to assist with the building work have so far been unsuccessful due to the past war situation in Sri Lanka. However the war has now ceased giving us a great opportunity to construct the much needed school building. Without building a new building we remain very restricted in how many children we can take into the school and with the activities that we can provide for them.
Paalam International School
2007 /2008 Classes
Paalam International School
22A, 1st Lane, Palliyawatta, Hendala, Wattala, Sri Lanka. Tel: (011) 2946444
Paalam International School is registered under Paalam School (Guarantee) Limited GL 2056
We are presently working on an architectural drawing with a local architect and once this is completed will be seeking a quotation from local contractors.
The new building will be three stories high and provide us with a further 6 classrooms, space for a library, computer room, store rooms and a medical room. We estimate that this new building will cost approximately £99,000.
If you or your organisation would be willing to assist us to construct this new school building which would help the lives of many young children and provide them with an opportunity to change their future and the future of their families please do contact us. We would greatly value all contributions towards the Paalam International School building Project.
We are seeking 100 Business people to Donate £1,000 each!
This will enable the Paalam Project to raise £100,000 to
Build the new school building!
Picture Rainbow class Paalam International School
Sunday, 1 November 2009
Phoenix Academy, Base ‘6’, Beehive school and Nursery, Open Doors ESOL college banquet
Some 28 years ago, a couple of Educational Drs one from Texas and one from Fleetwood in Lancashire asked if they could hire our building to put on a conference to explain to local church leaders about Christian Education.
We hired them the building and I got the job of unlocking, putting out the 100 or so chairs for those who came and making sure that as we had hired them our building it all was ok. So I stayed for a meeting that I otherwise would not have gone to.
I think that probably would have been the end of it except that many of our parents in the church in North London at the time where having problems with their children in secondary schools and came to me and said please don’t dismiss this, this may be an answer to our needs.
At that time though I had seen and heard about Christian schools in the USA, I was certain it wouldn’t work in the UK! I was surprised therefore to discover that one had started in Fleetwood Lancashire. Because of pressure from the parents in the church we arranged to visit the only English school and see for ourselves what it was all about. I didn’t want to be but I was impressed, mostly by the children. Two years later we opened our own Christian School in Finsbury Park, Islington. We have moved many times since then to various sites, but have never stopped. I think with good success, seen in the lives and success of former students both in careers and college success.
We currently have a few students who are 12, 13 and 14 years but look like completing the equivalent of high grade GCES. This is with the ICCE Board.
We have in the past had students who where years behind academically, then having study with us they were able to go on to university. One such student sent word via his mother to say “I am here because those people (our staff) they where the only people that ever believed in me.
One of our past student now married with children and mortgage says “I use the life skills I learnt in the Christian school every day of my life, how to set goals, how to finish things and how to break things down so that I accomplish good thing”; she is now a qualified lawyer.
Currently we have around 15 children in our Islington Primary school 20 children in our Islington Nursery, 20 students in our Enfield Senior school with 3 students in our 6th form college.
Three years ago with European funding money we started a college for ESOL Asylum / refugees and currently have around 30+ studying with us.
This recent addition to our education programme is really important to me I like to see what we have been able to do for those most marginalised of people, asylum / refugee young people who really have nothing.
At our recent banquet The audience where surprised and pleased when one of the students stepped forward and in great English thanked the of eBase teachers and all other staff, for providing such a resource for them as students of English, in good English she explained that “she came to the college not understanding the language and was now standing here to deliver a speech on behalf of them all to say thank you for the possibilities that had been given them” This student has already been accepted at college for further training.
This was the first time the rest of the student where able to hear one of their number making a speech in English to say thank you. Its great knowing that 6 months ago she had no English knowledge, that I think is very rewarding.
These student come from most of the war torn areas of the world making our school banquet, (number climbing to around 100 this year) in the Wood Green Indian restaurant almost like United Nations with students from Afghanistan, Angola, Albania Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Gabon, Guinea, Kosovo, Mauritania, Romania, Sierra Leon, Iraq, Iran, to name just a few.
At the Banquet Adrian Hawkes gave a speech explaining that we are all important people and one person can change History, and one person with a God element changes the negative to the positive and make us people who look self confident, although in reality its God confidence. And even if you have come to the country from a frightening situation and feel really at the bottom of the pile nevertheless you can make a difference, be somebody that make an effect on the world for Good.
Our banquet evening was rounded of for us all in with an exciting mini concert by Tekiva who not only presented the certificates to all the successful students but gave us great music too.
It is exciting to see people that others have written of becoming potential future leaders and history makers.