Downs Baptist Church Woodingdean

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Wednesday Prayers

A prayer for today!

Oh Lord, You know my heart better than I know it myself. You know my struggles and You hold each hope and fear in Your caring hands. Teach me, LORD, to be still and to know that You are God. You are in Your holy temple; let all the earth, including my mind and heart, be silent before You, resting in Your sovereignty. Like Elijah, teach me to wait for Your still, small voice and quiet the earthquakes and blazing fires in my life.

Replace my restless doing with inner calm, and help me, like Mary, to sit at Your feet in quiet adoration even if there are a million things clamouring for my attention. Just as You spoke over the tumultuous sea and storms, so speak over my heart Your shalom. “Peace. Be still,” You said to them, and immediately they quieted. Teach my heart to cease striving and to know – to have an intimate and deep, personal, first-hand experience–that You are God. Help me cultivate a quiet heart, like a baby content in its mother’s arms, no longer coming to You with a “gimme” spirit but instead calmly nestling against Your heart. Help me find quietness and happiness in intimate communion with You. You will be exalted over all the earth, and You’ve got the details of my day covered. I can rest in You.

Verse of the week

Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.

Luke 10 v 41-42 (NIV)

Challenge: What distractions can you put aside this week? Welcome Jesus into your everyday life!

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/resources/sermons/

Wednesday Prayers

Kenya video

Pastor Peter, formerly the butcher, distributing food in Nakuru.

Wednesday Prayers

Kenya update – May 2020

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, pastor Daniel Gitau has been unable to visit the UK this month as planned.  DBC has been supporting his ministry and especially the clinic in Dundori for about 25 years now.  At the present time we are sending a gift to help during the ongoing crises.

The Church in Kenya continues to supply assorted food packs of maize flour, rice, sugar, cooking fat and soap.  The distribution is being overseen by the pastors/leaders of the various churches in Nakuru County who include Daniel and his wife Fennih as well as Gideon and his wife Beatrice.  Some people have also received cash for paying rent.  The churches are fulfilling their calling as the last place of hope and a safe haven to those stricken by any form of calamity.

Three calamities in Kenya contribute at present to the urgent need for the distribution of food aid to poor afflicted families who otherwise would die of hunger.  These are as follows:-

  • The coronavirus pandemic

The latest statistics tell us that there are 758 confirmed cases of the virus in Kenya, and 42 deaths. A night-time curfew rather than a full lock down has been enforced since the start of April with people encouraged to stay at home and practise social distancing.  Nairobi, the capital city is a Covid-19 hotspot where a travel ban has been imposed along with some other major cities.  The government is involved in the distribution of food packs to poor families who cannot make a living due to the restrictions.  There has been fighting over the food packs and consequent injury as people try to receive aid.  The government is also distributing funds to the elderly from its social fund as well as footing quarantine bills.

Meanwhile sections of the Church in Kenya have felt unfairly left out in the role of solution provider to the coronavirus predicament.  A group of pastors has appealed for the Church to be added to essential services allowed to operate.  The Church believes that faith is the best way to fight an unseen enemy and that while the churches remain closed, the country may be involved in a futile exercise to prevent the disease spreading.

  • The locust invasion

Desert locusts continue to wreak havoc in 12 counties, ravaging crops and vegetation. Food security is threatened for both animals and humans.

The Daily Nation newspaper claims that the government is monitoring the situation and that it is spraying chemicals to kill off the locusts. It has reportedly procured 90,000 litres of pesticides.  However, heavy rains in many parts of the country have threatened to completely halt aerial spraying which is the most effective way of controlling the pests.  Therefore, at the moment very little can be done.

The UN agency, FAO, in its latest update, has warned that the current situation in East Africa remains extremely alarming as more swarms form and mature in Northern and Central Kenya and in Ethiopia ( note that Nakuru is situated NW of Nairobi in the Great Rift Valley).  Daniel asks for prayer that this plague does not develop further and that crops are protected.

  • Floods caused by heavy rainfall

Floods have occurred in different areas of the country and especially over Western Kenya and the Central Rift Valley, including parts of Nakuru. People have lost their homes, furniture, utensils etc. and crops have been submerged.  Displaced families need food aid, shelter and clean water.  Some people have even been swept away by flood waters.  Contingency measures need to be put in place urgently to save more lives being lost and to avoid further loss of property.  Infrastructure has been destroyed including roads, bridges and a rail track in Nakuru County when the land beneath was washed away by floods.  Residents of Nakuru also woke up to a collapsed road which was destroyed after a heavy downpour.  Daniel says that in many ways this situation is more urgent than Covid-19.  The forecast warns of more rains and floods during the rest of May which are expected to continue into June.  Landslides over hilly areas and lightning strikes are also probable.

Nevertheless, Daniel and the Church remain strong in faith, committing everything to God in prayer.  He believes that the Church will overcome all these issues.

A word in season!

Dear DBC family and others,

You may remember at the start of the year, I was unwell and therefore unable to attend church or do much else. In the past when this has occurred, my Heavenly Father has used this enforced period of inactivity to speak into my heart, with words or visions to share with the church. This time was no different. Some weeks ago I sent through a picture that God had given me with the intention of coming up the front of the church to explain what I felt God wanted to share with you all. This didn’t happen because we are no longer able to meet together. Having had a few more weeks to gather my thoughts it seems imperative and pertinent to now share with you all.  It is with the blessing of the Leadership of DBC that I now have the opportunity to do so:

It will be helpful if you have a look at the picture first. I felt that God was showing me the path that we are meant to follow shimmering with light. This is the way we are supposed to travel in the light of His footsteps. None the less it was also clear that although it looks wide and bright it is not always the easy way. Many times along the way we veer off on our own agendas ending up on a winding torturous road from which it seems difficult to get back from. I felt God was saying that there is always a way back and that it is through Him.  He shows us signs, wonders and events which all lead back to Him (see the paths with the arrows with the clearly lit signs.)

If you are wondering what the black, blobby area is meant to be, this was I felt, God showing us that sometimes we go so far off the beaten track that we end up in the deepest, darkest place from which we convince ourselves that there is no way out of or no way back from and that God would not want us after we had been there! BUT NO! God was clearly telling me that there is always a way back to Him, to His arms and His love and forgiveness and that it’s through – JESUS! Amen

Dawn Wyatt

Greengrocers Shop

Just look how busy the shop has been?

Sue and her amazing team have been working flat out to keep the people of Woodingdean stocked and supplied with fresh fruit and vegetables.

Sue and Dawn have been re-ordering, re-stocking the shelves and making up orders ready for Roger to deliver.

All of the volunteers have seen loads of people coming into the shop and there is a queue most days while customers wait patiently respecting the social distancing regulations and 2 at a time in the shop restriction to keep people safe.

Thank you to our wonderful team and for the amazing effort of Shop Manager Sue.

Kenya Update – April 2020

The worst locust invasion for 70 years took place in January and February this year.  Swarms of desert locusts invaded farms in Nakuru County and destroyed the county’s main cash crop which threatened food security and caused a rise in prices.

In March the coronavirus pandemic reached Kenya but in fact Kenya is one of the last places to be hit by Covid19.  So far there are no cases in rural Kenya, but community infections could happen any time with people travelling from cities to rural areas often by public transport.  A week ago the number of coronavirus cases totalled 16.  The government set up a curfew to curb the spread of the virus and there have been complaints of police brutality as they used whips, batons and tear gas to implement it. There is also discrimination against foreigners in East Africa, including Kenya, who have been verbally and physically abused because Kenyans believe they may be infected with coronavirus.  As Kenya prepares for Covid-19 the government is worried that Kenya doesn’t have the resources to cope.  Daniel Gitau’s reminder is that God is firmly ‘in control’, and we should keep praying both for the UK and Kenya and for each other.

At the moment churches in Kenya as in Britain are not allowed to meet together.  One of the largest churches in the Nakuru area (more than 1000 people) has started broadcasting its services online and some viewers complained to the authorities that the church was operating as usual. On the first occasion,  the police turned up and just found the pastor, (a friend of Daniel Gitau)  his wife and those operating the video camera!  They left them to carry on!

Daniel Gitau’s planned visit to UK from May to July has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, or at least postponed possibly until next year. David Hurst’s trip to Kenya in March did not go ahead either as planned.  Meanwhile, Julia, a volunteer accountant, who spent 3 weeks in Kenya this year helping Daniel and Joseph to get the finances and accounting in Kenya to a better standard, returned safely and have produced an extensive report about the finances there.

School results were very good again in 2019, and sponsorship money is being provided for 2 excellent students.     Daniel’s work with Nakuru County Transformational Network continues, in order to bring a Christian influence on the workings of politics in Kenya.

DBC Greengrocers – new opening hours

Shop opening hours with effect from Monday 30th March are Mon – Thurs 9am to 1pm.

We have a 2 customer limit in the shop at all times.  Please respect social distancing rules to safeguard yourselves and the fab team of volunteers working very hard to keep the shop open.

Orders can be phoned through on 01273 300441 between 8.30am and 1pm. Initially, leave ONLY your name and telephone number and we will call you back for details of your requirements or you can email your orders to suedbcgreengrocers@gmail.com with your telephone number so we can call you with day of delivery and any items we are unable to provide. 

Please note that we can ONLY take one order per week – any more than this will be put aside till the following week.

You can also phone in and collect orders during the opening times provided to help us out.

At present we can only accept cash payments for deliveries but are working to try and accept BACS payments in the future. We will talk to you about this when letting you know the details re your delivery.

Thank you for your cooperation, support and patience through these unprecedented times.

Stay safe, stay well and STAY IN where possible.

A prayer for connection

Dear God,

Being alone is hard. We were created for community, not confinement.

But we’re grateful that no matter how alone we may feel, You never leave or forsake us. And, we’re grateful for technology that helps us stay in touch with each other.

Today, please remind us that this time of social distancing and isolation will not last forever.

Give us the strength to endure this difficult season, and deepen our connection with You and Your people.

Empower us with an extra dose of Your love, peace, hope and joy, because we need it. Remind us of Your promises, and please heal our land.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

All services and meetings cancelled until further notice

In light of advice from the Government and the Baptist Union of Great Britain, we are suspending all our public meetings, including Sunday Services, until further notice.

We will be moving Church Services online and will be live streaming on the church Facebook page on Sunday from 10.30am.

Wednesday Prayers will be streamed live on our Facebook page at 7.45pm.

Please continue to support the church shop and consider making extra donations to the food bank via the basket available at the shop.

At a time when all our sources of security are being shaken, and some toppled, be assured that God remains the one constant in all of this and that He promises to walk with us, especially in days like these.

If you have any specific need, or prayer request, please post it on our Facebook Page or email mdcchaines01@gmail.com

Thank you and God Bless,

Malcolm Haines, Pastor

Prayer points for the difficult times we are facing

God is our refuge and strength , an ever present help in times of trouble.  Therefore we will not fear! Psalm 46 v 1 – 2a

Reflecting on the world-wide situation, the Baptist Union has issued this statement:

“Each one of our churches has a vital part to play in being a Beacon of Hope at the moment. Our neighbours and communities need love, hope, peace and an eternal perspective and we can offer this in abundance, in the name of Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:18).

We want to call all our churches to prayer and to provide you with some words and ideas to help because we believe in the power of our collective prayers and actions at this time.”

So:-

Let’s continue to pray for all our brothers and sisters across the world who have been, and are continuing to be, affected by COVID-19.  We pray that all will know God’s overwhelming, steadfast love.

Pray for the countries currently suffering from the greatest outbreaks and for our own country as we see an escalation in confirmed cases of the virus.

Pray for those in our communities who may feel vulnerable and scared.  Pray that the love of God might be their peace.  That they may know that even in the darkest times, God’s love brings hope.

Pray for older people who are concerned about shopping, (particularly as there are shortages), regular hospital appointments and general day to day contact with other people.  

Pray for wisdom for church leaders to know how to keep people connected and safe especially now that churches have had to suspend meetings and services.

Pray for the medical staff on the front-line of care – pray that they will be sustained physically, emotionally and spiritually in the coming weeks. Pray that God will be their shield and their strength. 

Pray for our world leaders and for the leaders in our own country that they will seek the wisdom of God as they make decisions over the coming days. 

Pray for all those leading the scientific response to COVID-19 across the world. Pray for the scientists from across the globe as they look for ways to alleviate symptoms and as they seek a vaccine for the future.

Pray for all God’s people in this time of uncertainty and concern. That our eternal hope would make an earthly difference.

Pray for a sense of calm and clarity as well as strength to face what is ahead, that Christians will be ‘beacons of hope’ and ‘carriers of the message of peace’ at this time. May we be a people of hope in encouraging others in the face of crisis to lean on God’s sustaining presence and unfailing providence.

Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayers!

 

 

Wednesday Prayers

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