“‘My son’, the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’“
Luke 15 v 31 & 32 (NIV)
Read: The beautiful story of The Prodigal Son which ahs inspired countless films, songs and operas – it is a timeless story – Luke 15 v 11-32
Remember: God has such a heart of love and compassion for His creation and welcomes us back with open arms!
The verse of the week is inspired by the teaching the previous Sunday. If you would like to listen to a recording of the service then head to:- https://downsbaptistchurch.org/sermons/
We started a new teaching series on Sunday 18th July 2021. This is the second series in three about Jesus.
We began with a series on Jesus Meets (check out the Sermon tab to hear these messages) and now we move onto His stories. Parables are simple stories with a central meaning.
Do join with us either in person at Woodingdean CP School or live on our FaceBook page
18th July – The Good Samaritan (Luke 10 v 29-37)
25th July – The Prodigal Son (Luke 15 v 11-32)
15th August – The Lost Sheep (Matthew 18 v 10-14)
22nd August – The Unforgiving Servant (Matthew 18 v 23-35)
29th August – Labourers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20 v 1-16)
5th September – Ten Talents or Gold Coins (Matthew 25 v 14-30)
12th September – The Invited Guests (Luke 14 v 7-14)
26th September – The Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16 v 19-31)
3rd October – The Persistent Widow (Luke 18 v 1-8)
10th October – The Pharisee and The Tax Collector (Luke 18 v 9-14)
17th October – The Weeds among the Wheat (Matthew 13 v 24-30)
24th October – The Heart of Man (Matthew 15 v 10-20)
Following on from the previous prayer news, there continues to be a struggle in Kenya, with the government wanting to introduce tribal practices on official occasions and give the tribal leaders a much bigger voice generally, abandoning any Christian influence. This despite the fact that such a big percentage of the population are active Christians. Daniel has been involved in groups which have made representation to government about this, though the government seem set on pushing it forward and have ignored them.
In order for the church to make its voice more clearly heard there have been meetings of church leaders in Nakuru County (Daniel as a key influence in this) who have decided the following strategy: to meet as leaders of the church denominations and to call all the pastors of the individual churches together with a view to arranging large meetings of many members of all the churches in Nakuru. The church leaders have already met. The meeting for the pastors is set for 14th July and they are expecting 2,000 pastors to be present. Each of these churches represented will then send at least 30 representatives (so upward of 60,000) to a large rally of fasting and praying (and giving – it will be sacrificial as they have so little anyway) from the 2nd – 8th August. The theme is “standing for our faith”. The aim is spiritual, but also to alert the government that it cannot just railroad in unpopular (immoral) legislation against so many people’s wishes.
So, please pray for these events and especially for Daniel’s involvement in them. The meetings will be good but very tiring and the general pressure that Daniel feels in this is considerable. He will be involved in many planning meetings to bring this about, but there is also the spiritual pressure/burden of responsibility as a shepherd of the people. So please pray for continued wisdom, strength, and authority for Daniel as well as keeping close to Jesus in all of this. There may also be financial implications, as at no time can they ask government for financial help. Galatians 6:2 says “ bear one another’s burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ” and v 9 “and let us not grow weary while doing good for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart”.
Thank you all for standing in prayer with our dear brothers and sisters in Kenya at this difficult time.
We are now able to meet in the school hall for our Sunday morning worship.
From Sunday, 25th July, we have the freedom to sing and to engage in open prayer from behind our masks. PTL!
Guidelines for Attending
Should you choose to attend the service you will of course be very welcome. Please do consider your choice carefully as the service will also be live on our FaceBook page and will be added to the website after the service.
We ask that in order to keep everybody safe, you:
We have long and strong links with the work of churches in Kenya. An opportunity to pray online with Daniel and other supporters in the UK was held on Tuesday, 8th June and some prayer points were published for our ongoing prayers.
Maria has kindly added some additional comments and explanations to enable those who couldn’t attend the meeting to pray more effectively – thank you Maria!
Daniel Gitau spoke at length about how the Christian faith is being challenged in Kenya. There is a drive to go back to believing in the spirits of their ancestors, not in the Holy Spirit of God, and to regard Christianity as a foreign religion. This cannot be accepted by Christians who say it is the Christian faith that gives us life with hope, not the native traditions.
Pray against the drive for traditional ancestor worship.
Faith in Africa as a whole
Nakuru – here the high officials and government are supporting this move towards traditional worship and the dedication of Nakuru as a city by traditional leaders and not church elders. Pray for church leaders, for wisdom as they speak to politicians ahead of the elections next year.
Joseph spoke about the progress made in the local school with many more children attending than previously as mothers want their children to receive an education. We give thanks for the excellent school results. Please pray for funds to build more classrooms and for the future of the school and its continued success.
Please pray about the challenge of the Covid-19 virus.
Joseph then spoke about the clinic in Dundori which the Ministry of Health says is one of the best clinics in the area.
Despite that, pray concerning the problem of staff turnover as the Government takes away the best workers. Pray that the clinic will be able to keep the new, good workers and that they can be paid appropriately.
That footfall will increase and that liaison with local schools will be successful.
For the facilities that they need and that God would continue to uphold the clinic, its outreach and the people who access its services. Particularly pray that the government health scheme would be forthcoming with the payments due to the clinic for work they have done and do.
Pray concerning 2 new Christian programmes that have been launched, praying for God’s favour and blessing on them:-
Finally, pray for the provision of a vehicle for Daniel, who is in desperate need.
The donations for the next few weeks will be sent to Yemen in the Middle East through Tearfund, a Christian emergency relief and development charity which is also a member of DEC (Disasters’ Emergency Committee).
There have been 6 years of conflict in Yemen that have left 20 million people without enough food or safe water. Millions of children are facing starvation and over 85,000 children have already died from hunger or disease since 2015. The health system has collapsed and coronavirus is thought to be aggressively spreading across the country. Yemen, therefore, is on the brink of the worst famine the world has seen in decades, and in the absence of immediate action millions of lives may be lost.
In spite of the unimaginable suffering of the people of Yemen, the UK government is cutting its aid to Yemen by more than half, a decision that the UN is calling a ‘death sentence’ for Yemen that will have catastrophic effects on the people. The government is also still selling weapons to parties involved in the Yemen conflict.
As well as donations we ask for prayer for the people of Yemen, for their protection from illness, disease and conflict, that there will soon be peace, and that the UK government will show compassion on these very poor people and restore spending on foreign aid to previous levels.
BMS works among some of the most marginalised and least evangelised people, in some of the most fragile places on earth. It aims to bring life in all its fullness through seven key ministries: church, development, education, health, justice, leadership and relief.
As a church we support their work and have signed up to their Birthday Scheme which is administered by Maria, one of our members. To find out more, head to https://downsbaptistchurch.org/community/mission-works/
Financial donations for 2020:- £225 + £15 extra gift aid = £240
Our gifts through the Birthday Scheme provide life-saving medical treatment and care to some of the poorest and most marginalised people around the world, for example, at Guinebor II hospital in Chad. Any additional funds are used in other areas of urgent need, such as development projects that are promoting positive health by providing clean drinking water or alleviating hunger.
G2 is a shining Christian light in the Chadian desert. Our donations enable staff at the hospital to keep providing quality healthcare to the local community and to keep praying for the patients as they introduce people to Christ. The staff includes an amazing team of midwives who are battling the fifth highest infant mortality rate in the world. For example, our money enables the hospital to provide life-saving Caesarean surgery for mothers during childbirth. Our gifts also help to upgrade wards at the hospital so even more people can receive the healthcare they need.
Our BS donations are also helping those who are suffering during the Coronavirus pandemic. They help to provide medical equipment and supplies. For example, they have enabled temperature screening in Chad and provided PPE in Nepal. They also help with the distribution of food to those who cannot find work and so cannot afford to buy food.
NOTE: Please pray concerning the instability in Chad at the moment, where the president, Idriss Deby, has just been killed in battle with rebel fighters. This Central African State has been a vital ally in international efforts to combat Islamist militants in the region.
Thank you to all those who gave via this wonderful scheme during the past year.