Downs Baptist Church Woodingdean

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Christmas Tree Festival 2019

DBC had great fun participating in this year’s Woodingdean Christmas Tree Festival at the Methodist Church with the theme of Children’s Book Characters. We of course illustrated stories from the Bible.

There were 20 trees on display and it was lovely to see just how creative the participants had been.

This is a very popular biannual spectacle to get people in the mood for Christmas and also a good opportunity to be involved in what is happening in our community.

We have just learned that £660 was raised for Leo House who care for life-limited children and young people in Sussex.

Churches Together carol singing

Once again as Churches Together, a 25+ strong team representing 5 local churches braved the elements – strong winds, rain and sunshine to gather outside DBC Community Greengrocers on Saturday, 14th December 2019 to spread some Christmas cheer in our community by singing carols.

Footfall was quite light to begin with but it wasn’t long before there was a steady stream of people and cars and we waved to the passengers on the buses. A good time was had by all and we concluded by praying for our churches and our witness withing the community. We love working together! 

A big thank you to Gareth in the shop for supplying us with tea, coffee and mince pies.

Dean Wood Carol Service – Sunday 15th December

On the third Sunday in Advent, DBC decamped to Dean Wood Care Home in Woodingdean once again to conduct a morning service for the residents. Over 25 DBC members came to swell the numbers and around 60 people gathered for an hour of traditional carols and readings.

It was a happy time. One lady who said she didn’t want to sing, sang from memory most of the carols! It was lovely to see the joy on so many faces as they listened to the familiar passages and sang some of their favourite carols.

Sue Cunningham brought a puppet friend with her – Santa Paws – a shy cat wearing a Christmas hat! Together they showed us from a large box the things that make Christmas special for people like holly, mistletoe, cards, a tree nicely decorated with tinsel, baubles and an angel or star on the top, candles, crackers and food and presents of course.  Santa Paws left one item in the box which illustrated so poignantly the true meaning of Christmas.  It was a walnut. Our youngest visitor, Elliot helped to open the walnut and there was a surprise. Inside, instead of a walnut was a slip of paper and this is what it said….”Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you: He is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2 v 1. And this said Sue is the Christmas story “in a nut shell!”

25 Years of Living Hope Ministries

Living Hope Ministries is the work of Richard and Elaine Brunton. The work began in response to the call of God following a trip to Africa in 1994. As a result, they began this ministry to build the church through equipping and supporting pastors and leaders, both in the UK and overseas.

On the 19th October, Living Hope Ministries celebrated 25 years with a special service at Lancing Tabernacle and five members from DBC attended.

Maria writes:-

We all joined in rousing worship and then the Chairman welcomed overseas guests. Richard then spoke about the beginnings of Living Hope. He took with him a piece of paper to Africa with only ‘one name and one number’ written on it.  From this contact the ministry spread far and wide.

We then listened to the key speaker, a Nigerian, whose message was the word ‘Go’, including in his talk, Jesus’ great commission from Matthew 28 verses 18 and 19.

A series of interviews followed and Christian workers from Africa, Europe and South America spoke about their links with Living Hope and the support that Richard had given them.  They voiced their prayer requests and urgent needs.  These included:  Bible teaching and training for the leaders and pastors (Kenya);  the challenges of pastors in competition with one another, and of working with the evangelical sector of the traditional Roman Catholic church (Poland);  and of doors opening for working with Christians in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia (Bosnia).

Before we were treated to a substantial lunch, a further interview was held with a part-time pastor, part-time musician (Bulgaria).  He served God in the north-west, the poorest area of Bulgaria, and reached out to people through his music, as well as working amongst the Roma, immigrants from Romania.  We were also ‘entertained’ by the ‘Right Now’ choir, a lively choir from Nigeria.

After lunch a final interview took place with Chio Fordham (Peru) who served as a translator for Richard on some of his South American trips. A door has also opened into Ecuador and we saw a video clip of Antonio, a pastor and leader there who is helping Living Hope achieve its vision of reaching more of South America.  This recently resulted in a visit to Colombia by the South America team.

We all prayed for these countries and for the teams visiting them in order to build friendships, teach pastors and encourage and support the churches.  Richard handed down batons to members of these teams serving three continents as well as to some pastors.  The batons were symbolic of the continuation of Living Hope Ministries into the future when Richard would become less effective due to age, reduced energy levels and maybe health problems.  He also gave gifts to his wife and five sons (all present) in gratitude for all the many sacrifices they had made for the work of Living Hope.

In conclusion we heard Richard speak about the future of Living Hope in which he saw the media ministry playing a significant part.  As well as the radio programmes which are listened to worldwide, weekly tv programmes are being produced to be shown in Africa, India and the Philippines.  Podcasts can now be downloaded from the Living Hope website and there is a YouTube channel and substantial literature.  Prayer was made for the media team.

Another time of worship followed and a very generous offering was taken for the work in the media.  The day closed when Richard and Elaine cut the celebratory 25th Anniversary cake.

If you would like to know more about Living Hope Ministries then head to https://www.living-hope.org.uk/

“Encountering God” – a time of retreat

This group is continuing to meet at Wendy’s or Margaret’s home at 2pm on the last Monday of each month and has decided to keep the name ‘Encountering God’ as it seemed appropriate to our expectations from studying His Word.

We have been delving into a new book entitled ‘Here I Am’ by Andy Hawthorne.  The book encourages us to join God’s adventurous call to love the world and we will be drawing on lessons from Isaiah.

Please feel free to join us either regularly or when you’re able to drop in for a taster session. 

For further details, why not give Malcolm a call on 07505 118634

All-age Service

Family Fun – Sunday 11th August

Well we certainly had fun!

Malcolm took us through the story where Jesus calmed the storm (Mark 4 v 35-41).

To hear Malcolm read the passage with some thoughts to help us apply the story to our lives – head to our sermons page. https://downsbaptistchurch.org/sermons/

To help us we used a large parachute which we made into a boat. The children enjoyed sitting in the “boat” and singing songs and we all had fun in creating the storm with the parachute and on hearing those immortal words, “quiet! Be still!” the parachute came to a rest.

We thought about how scared the disciples must have been but then how amazed and excited they were to learn that Jesus had the power to rebuke the wind and calm the waves.

Check out the very short clip below:

We then moved the parachute over the chairs to cover all of the congregation to create a prayer tent and finished our session with the song – “with Jesus in the boat we can smile at the storm!”

Why not pop along to our Fun Day on Sunday, 15th September. We can assure you of a very warm welcome.

Family Fun Day

Kenya update

Update on the ministry of Daniel and Fennih Gitau following the visit of Paddy Taylor (Sheffield Fellowship) to Kenya in March 2019.  

Please continue to pray for the work in Kenya.  We have been supporting the project for many years and it is wonderful to see what God is doing and how the work is growing.

1. The Great Commission Medical Centre Dundori

  • As previously stated there has been a big improvement in facilities. The outhouse building is now used for physiotherapy and for housing the C.O. (doctor) who lives on site.
  • There is still need for equipment in all areas, including maternity equipment, dental and laboratory equipment.
  • Kenya has introduced national health insurance, an affordable insurance with which people can pay for health services.
  • A blood analyser has been bought for the clinic, and the clinic is in the process of raising funds for an incinerator.

2. The work in Molo

The street feeding programme has successfully come to an end, with all the street children being found homes, and many coming to faith.  This left the children needing sponsorship to obtain secondary education – so the street feeding programme has become sponsorship through education.  The cost of sponsorship for one child through secondary school is £25 per month for 4 years.

The long-term vision is to build a secondary school on land Leonard Mbae has acquired in Molo.

3. The Dolphin Academy School

There have been big changes in the teaching staff over the past few years.  The current teaching staff are very young and enthusiastic, but their salaries are not enough to live on.  Sponsorship is a new development and there is a growing need for a sponsorship scheme for bright pupils whose parents cannot afford the school fees.

In 2018 Dolphin Academy students were very successful in the national school exam (the KCPE exam).

New facilities have been developed in the last 6 years including new toilets for staff and pupils, a new classroom, and concrete flooring to several of the classrooms.  There is still a need for desks to accommodate the increase in numbers in the school.

The school has also acquired a new school bus which does 2 school runs each morning and evening.  However, not all pupils can afford bus fees.

4. An update on the churches in the area under the presbytership of Rev Daniel Gitau

They are vibrant, growing churches where the Lord is obviously at work, including:-

  • Dundori: a healthy church of about 250 people in a poor area, led by Joseph and Florence and Gideon and Beatrice. The new church building which they have been working on for years is now taking shape nicely (called their “cathedral”).
  • Nakuru Worship Centre (NWC): The only church which is self-supporting financially as many members have good employment in Nakuru. About 150 members.
  • Molo: a church of around 150 people pastored by Leonard Mbae and Mary.

5. Daniel’s work with other churches and in the political sphere

  • The God Bless Kenya (Prayer Movement): the church in Nakuru has been the prime mover behind this movement, especially the Nakuru Elders Council. This led to peaceful elections in 2013.  Daniel was instrumental in its formation and it works for peace in Kenya.
  • Prayer Breakfasts: Because of the high standing of the church in Kenya Government officials feel obliged to attend such breakfasts and subject themselves to prayer and messages of a Christian nature.
  • Prayer rallies: Daniel and the Nakuru Elders Council were also involved in organising prayer rallies. For example, following the problems around the elections in 2017, when it looked as though the country could descend into civil war, a prayer rally was organised of 250 thousand people who prayed for peace and reconciliation within the country.

6. The country of Kenya – challenges and developments

  • There is a distinct improvement in the roads, but they have been largely constructed by the Chinese who do not aid the local economy. Chinese industries in Kenya are very strong and this leads to Kenyan businesses losing out.
  • Corruption: the number one evil in Kenyan society. It is extensive and seems to infuse all levels of government.
  • Even in the church: William Ruto, the deputy president of Kenya who is a well-known Christian and preacher in his church, is currently being investigated for corruption. Lure of corruption is hard to resist in a country with great levels of poverty.

7. The Great Mission for Kenya (GMK)

This is a new charity being set up to take over the work of coordinating funds to channel to the ministry in Kenya.

Baptism Service

Well the weather wasn’t good enough for our beach service this year so we had a short service in the school hall before making our way down to Rottingdean beach for Rob Brand’s baptism.

It was a cool day and there weren’t many people about but it was a very happy and memorable occasion particularly for Rob and his family.

To hear Rob’s testimony please click on the audio link below:-

Help save the environment

Are you concerned about the amount of single-use plastic items you are using? Have you been thinking that you ought to do something about it? Why not pop along to our Greengrocers shop in Warren Way and check out the new refill station!

There are lots of good quality products to choose from and the prices are very competitive.

Sue Foster, the shop Manager will be happy to explain how it all works so stop by and take a look.

Why a cross?

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1 v 18 NIV

Hope you like our new video!

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