Sent: 29 May 2008 07:08
Subject: Adrian Hawkes, a true pioneer of multi-racial churches around the world
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Adrian Hawkes, a true pioneer of multi-racial churches around the world
By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
Pauline and Adrian Hawkes
LONDON, UK (ANS) -- I first met Adrian Hawkes back in the mid-sixties in Birmingham, England, when he brought his Ribbons of Faith outreach team to my father's little church, the Sparkbrook Mission, in Birmingham, England.
The female members of his team seemed rather glamorous for this rather dour area of England's second city, wearing colorful sashes and singing modern songs, and then Adrian brought a challenge for our church start going out into the community with the Gospel.
We were so stirred up by his sermon, that soon my sister Ruth and myself started The Messengers, which grew very quickly to about 60 members. We would go out each Saturday night to the local pubs and coffee bars with the Good News of Jesus Christ, and soon we partnered with the Ribbons of Faith, and other groups in Birmingham, to start the Late Night Special in the Lloyds Bank Building each Saturday night.
Then Canon Bryan Green, a liberal evangelical who was sometimes described as "the Anglican Billy Graham," invited us to start a Sunday night outreach in St. Martin's Church in the Bull Ring, Birmingham.
Adrian and Pauline on their wedding day. Dan Wooding is behind Adrian in the picture
Not long afterwards, Norma and myself, had become involved in working with drug addicts at All Saints Hospital in Winson Green, and this developed, with the help of some local businessmen, into the start of Hill Farm, Europe's first drug rehabilitation farm. We were Hill Farm's first wardens.
After we left the farm, our family moved to London where I became the chief reporter with The Christian, Billy Graham's newspaper there and shortly afterwards, Adrian and Pauline moved to Middlesbrough to run an Elim Church there. Then, in 1974 he and Pauline moved to north London where they took over the famous rock venue, The Rainbow, to establish a unique church there. The Rainbow had hosted hundreds of shows, David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust
David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust
In June, 1982, Norma, myself, and our two boys, Andrew and Peter, moved to Southern California, but Adrian stayed in London to pioneer a unique series of ministries, including those to asylum seekers in the capital city.
In a recent e-mail interview, Adrian Hawkes talked about his work with what is called Rainbow Church.
"At one time, we had at one time some 41 nationalities working as one church," he said. "Out of that multinational congregation came a natural interest from many in the affairs of their home countries.
"Rainbow church is part of an international network of churches called Pioneer, and for a long time I worked with Pioneer on their international program, however I became very aware that one of the good things that needed to happen was to see people of different nationalities working in teams together so that people would see different cultures working, and caring alongside each other.
"It does of course happen and one can see that as you look at things like Youth With A Mission and Operation Mobilization, but it was not happening in my neck of the woods.
"So, three years ago I decided to do something about it, so collecting all my connections around the world, I invited them to a meeting in Zurich Switzerland. Many said they didn't really know why they came, except that they knew me.
"The outcome of the meeting was that a church in Norway began to support a church in Paris with their international TV broadcast. The Tamil churches in Switzerland and France worked with the Norwegian church to try and plant a new Tamil congregation in Oslo Norway.
Delegates at the Norwegian happening in 2007
He went on to say, "Again, after our time in Norway, everyone wanted to meet again and so the next point of call became Paris France and next year it will be the UK.
"The whole point of the exercise it to continue to encourage different nationalities to pull together for international work. We need to demonstrate that Christians can, and do, do that. Often times (at least in Britain) we are encouraged to be tolerant of each others cultures, if followers of Jesus can not do it then no one can."
Adrian then spoke about the Paris gathering:
"For the third year running a group of people from various countries met this time in Paris France, to see what we have done together and what we could do and what we are going to do.
"Some of the good things that were done together were in Switzerland and Norway with UK teams and Norwegian teams. This year there are plans for the Norwegians the UK and Canada to all join and help out with the big Swiss Conference of Tamil churches young people joining in from all those countries and from France as well; it sounds like it is going to be great.
"During the year the group at the 'happening' had been in touch with some 21 countries. We had up dates reports on on work in Norway, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Kenya, Qatar, Germany, Zambia, UK, South Africa and the USA, to name just a few.
"All who attended felt that this was a profitable yearly event, and we all agreed to meet again next year at the same time that is Friday 1st May 2009 until Sunday 3rd May 2009 with arrangement for any who want to come a bit earlier or stay a little later.
"Our delegation was a little smaller this year because one of our team, Jenny Sinnadurai had experienced the sad loss of her mother had died and many attended the funeral in Sri Lanka from Switzerland, Canada, and New Zealand France and the UK, on top of that we missed Kenyan Sammy Nawali who, this time, had visa problems for France which was strange as he had successfully attended Switzerland, Norway, USA, and UK events recently."
Adrian Hawkes and his ministry are a perfect example of what a World Christian should be. After all, the Body of Christ is made up of people from all parts of the world and he is doing his part in bringing them together under a banner of God's Love.
To find out more about the Rainbow Churches, go to www.rainbowinternational.org.
|Dan Wooding, 67, is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma of 44 years. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS). He was, for ten years, a commentator, on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC. Wooding is the author of some 42 books, the latest of which is his autobiography, "From Tabloid to Truth", which is published by Theatron Books. To order a copy, go to www.fromtabloidtotruth.com. firstname.lastname@example.org.|
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