Inkosi Kids newsletter: July 2017

This is the latest update on the ECD school in Trenance, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe as sent by Samu the lead teacher. Communication has been very difficult for them as the telephone wires keep being stolen from the pastor’s house and others so there is no internet. But we have found that WhatsApp is a better option for them.

The school continues to flourish and the children are doing well. The teachers have started to implement the new government curriculum sent out in January and feel they are coping well with the challenges it presents. They have increased the teaching week from three to four days to enable them to cover the requirements.

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One of the major changes in the curriculum is the need to teach Heritage studies. With this in mind, the teachers used the opportunity that Africa Day presented to teach the children some traditional rhymes and songs. Parents also contributed with stories, poems and dances.

 
↑   A video of the parents singing a traditional song.

 
↑   The children performing for the parents.

 
↑   The children performing.

↑   Khulanis mum telling the children an African story and Tributes Mum telling a folk tale.

For the first time ever, the ECD students attended and took part in a local inter-schools sports. competition on the 31st of March and they came third out of seven schools. This was very encouraging for them and good for the children to mix with other children from different areas.

↑  The children who took part in the inter schools competition with Ma Phiri and Samu, their teachers.

Please pray for the situation in Zimbabwe. Life is very hard. Unemployment has increased and the economy shows no sign of improving. The children’s lives are very different from here in the UK.

This is a Facebook post a friend from Bulawayo who works in a different area running a similar ECD school wrote recently to give you an idea of just how different….

This is a smattering of what the Village ECD children (aged 4-5yrs) said they had done during the Half Term Break (Spoken in Ndebele, translated here in English):

….watering the vegetables; fetching water; mopping floors; chopping vegetables; carrying the dishes to the house; sweeping the yard; sweeping the house; helping to build a kitchen; playing in mud; fetching firewood; watering tomato plants; washing dishes. BLESS THEIR LITTLE HEARTS…..all said with a smile on their faces.

There is very little playing time for these children so the time the children enjoy at school is very precious! So thank you for enabling them not just to be educated but also to be able to just be children for some part of the day.

↑   This is what happens in Zim when the children can’t go to school. This little girl will spend all day on the pavement to earn a few Rand for her family.

The children enjoying a special meal of beans, sadza and cabbage.

↑   The children enjoying a special meal of beans, sadza and cabbage.


To find out more about our child sponsorship program in Zimbabwe visit our Inkosi Kids webpage.


Biblical Theology

The Biblical Theology Course was about going through the Scriptures, in order, tracing their major themes and emphases, and allowing them to shape and challenge our views of God, his gospel, his people, and his mission.

It was originally planned as a 12 part course back in 2014 but unfortunately only the first seven sessions took place, and no future sessions are planned.

Due to requests we have made the first seven parts available again here, with notes available for parts 8 to 12.



Our thanks to Rich Tutt, Liam Thatcher and Dan Hayter for writing several of the sessions.

Show Media

Introduction

 
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Pentateuch (Genesis to Deuteronomy): Part 1

 
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Pentateuch (Genesis to Deuteronomy): Part 2

 
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Conquest to Monarchy (Joshua to 2 Samuel, Psalms, Wisdom): Part 1

 
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Conquest to Monarchy (Joshua to 2 Samuel, Psalms, Wisdom): Part 2

 
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Division to Exile: Part 1 (1 Kings to 2 Chronicles, pre-exilic prophets)

 
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Division to Exile: Part 2 (1 Kings to 2 Chronicles, pre-exilic prophets)

 
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Exile and Return (Ezra to Esther, exilic and post-exilic prophets)

 
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Gospels (Matthew to John)

Parts 8 & 9: Download Notes
 


Acts, James and Paul (Acts to Philemon, James)

Parts 10 & 11: Download Notes
 


Church Under Fire (Hebrews, 1 Peter to Revelation)

Part 12: Download Notes
 

Gift Day 2017 — Part 1: Seaford

In September 2010 we launched a second venue right in the heart of Seaford. After six years of hiring places to meet, it’s time for our Seaford venue to set up home.

We’re excited to announce a fantastic opportunity to purchase the Cross Way Centre, an old Methodist building dating back to the 1890s. For over a century this building has been used as a place of worship, a place where the gospel is preached, a place where people have come to know Jesus Christ. This could be the first permanent home of Kings Church Seaford, a base out of which we can celebrate the message of Jesus and demonstrate its life altering implications for the world.

The Cross Way Centre will offer us many things. It will open up new possibilities for reaching Seaford. A place where we can run Alpha courses, cafés, youth hangouts, kids work and baby and toddler groups. It will give us visibility with its position right in the heart of Seaford town centre. And we can adapt and shape the building to suit our needs.

Watch the video above for the full story: our history and vision, and a tour of the church building.

How you can make this a reality

Our Seaford venue will need around £125,000 to act as a deposit on the building. We then need a regular income substantial enough to service a mortgage. There are four ways you can help make the purchase of Cross Way a reality:

  • Make a one-off gift
  • Consider giving regularly for the first time at Seaford
  • Increase your regular giving at Seaford
  • Offer an interest-free loan

We believe the purchase of Cross Way will be a fantastic resource and of great value to our Seaford venue as it becomes its own church in September of this year.

A note on our 2017 Gift Days

This year’s gift day will be split into two parts and cover two towns. While part one focuses on Seaford we are planning to have a second gift day in the autumn as we look to redevelop the Kings Centre in Eastbourne, equipping it to fulfil our vision of seeing one hundred families added to the church over the next five years.

The venue you attend at Kings will naturally shape your giving. Whether you’re part of Seaford, Centro or Hampden Park, prayerfully consider how you can give in both our gift days this year. We’re all in this together: we want to see churches for everyone grow in both our towns.

Ways to give

Sunday meetings: You can give at any of our venues on our Gift Days: Sunday 25th June and Sunday 2nd July. You can also give at any meeting thereafter. Simply put your gift into an envelop and mark with ‘Seaford Gift Day’.

PayPal: You can give online via PayPal. Please note that you do not need a PayPal account to use this facility:





Internet Banking If you would like to use internet banking, please use the following details:

Account name: Frontiers Charitable Trust
Reference: Seaford Gift Day
Account no: 00639745
Sort Code: 202791

Interest-free loans: If you are able to offer an interest free loan please email info@kings.church or sign-up at the Info Point on a Sunday morning.

Signs teaching series

14 weeks exploring seven key hallmarks of the Kingdom of God


The Kingdom of God was the theme of almost all of Jesus’ teaching and yet for many of us it remains a mysterious concept.

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The book of Isaiah lists at least seven key features of what it looks like when the Kingdom of God is at hand. Jesus did what he did, in the way he did it as an enactment of what it looks like when God is king.

Over the course of 14 weeks we want to encounter Jesus’ wisdom and power afresh as well as share insights on how we as the church can embody the life of the Kingdom in 21st century secular Britain.

Join us each Sunday, starting 30th April at all three of our venues, and online later at www.kings.church/teaching

This is about that

Marriage, Paul says, refers to Christ and the Church. This video has been produced by Kings Church Eastbourne to show at the beginning of our wedding ceremonies, illustrating how the symbolism of marriage reflects the Christian gospel.

There are two versions available. Featured above is the cinematic version which doesn’t feature a presenter and is more ambient in nature. The second version below does feature one (in the form of Andrew Wilson) which may better suit teaching contexts.

 

Buy online

Available through Vimeo On Demand.: vimeo.com/ondemand/tiatcinematic

Both versions are included and are made available to download in 4K, HD and SD. Purchase removes the watermark and the information slide at the end of the videos.

Share the preview

Please feel free to share/embed the watermarked preview videos online. The URLs to the videos are below:

Cinematic preview: vimeo.com/213717865
Presenter preview: vimeo.com/213720278

Easter 2017 baptisms

We had an amazing weekend celebrating Easter through the baptisms at our Hampden Park venue. Stories of how the death and resurrection of Jesus has brought new and everlasting life! Welcome home.

Timings: Oriana 06:28; Becky 08:04; Nathan 10:37; David 13:42; David 16:22; Laura 18:24; Beth 20:11; Sophie 22:17

Trapped behind the glass

Mum didn’t have much money on benefits with five kids. More times than I could remember we would sit around the table at dinner, with nothing on it. Mum would say grace, and then there would be a knock at the door, and someone had brought us food. No lie!

Mum had a great faith for this sort of thing. She would pray about a bill she couldn’t pay and the exact amount would get posted through our letterbox. It was just part of life.

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Seeing all these little magical things that God did for us I thought ‘he’s just so good’. When I was 14 I asked Jesus into my life, and got baptised. But I didn’t know much about the relationship side of things. I sort of thought ‘God’s just going to make me perfect now, my sins are gone’. But it’s not that easy.

I was at school in Harrow, West London. Being dyslexic I found school hard, got in lots of trouble and was put down a year. I found it difficult not having a dad around to guide me, to show me the way and how to get things done.

At 15 I was introduced to marijuana. School was hard. Half the time I was bunking, and it was just something to do.

At 16 I was smoking cannabis every day and later went on to speed, ecstasy and a bit of cocaine. I started several courses at college but dropped out, not being able to concentrate because of the drugs I was taking. At 18 we used to sell pills at Camden Palace in London making £10,000 on two nights work. But we’d be eating them like Smarties and one night I landed in hospital.

“You don’t realise when you take heroin that it grabs you and there’s no way out.”

I got married to Joanne at 21, but she didn’t realise the extent of it — how messy it was when I went clubbing. One night we came back and I was rushing off my face. My brother and his friend had some heroin, which does the opposite to ecstasy. After rushing all night at the clubs on pills they would use it to relax back down. So that was my first encounter.

Heroin is incredibly addictive. After taking it for three or four days in a row you become hooked. Your body stops making what the heroin is giving you, which is endorphins. And without them you just feel ill. Within a few months things changed, from going clubbing to sell pills to just “I need heroin, I need heroin…”

Things kept disappearing from our flat as I’d take them down Cash Converters. I got nicked a number of times for shoplifting, where I would sell items on to punters. After about a year of marriage Joanne legally separated from me. I got kicked out of the flat and lived in a shed for six months, and then slept out of my brothers old car. I did a lot of sofa surfing and went to rehab about six times. But I could never get more than a day through cold turkey.

I wasn’t a comfortable heroin addict, if that makes sense. Because I’d been baptised and seen God’s goodness, there was a real conflict and struggle within me. It was like the drugs and the addiction didn’t fit. But I had got into something I didn’t know how to get out of.

“I’d seen people overdose so it wasn’t unfamiliar. But I put it in my arm and nothing happened. Nothing at all. I should have passed out.”

You don’t realise when you take heroin that it grabs you and there’s no way out. And if you’re sleeping in a freezing shed with the rain pouring, half the time you need heroin just to help you crash out, to get you through the day.

Life got very complicated and hard. One time I got very low and decided I’d had enough. Normally you would put £10 worth of heroin in your arm, but this time I put £50 in to see what would happen. I thought ‘If I go, at least I’ll go high.’

I’d seen people overdose so it wasn’t unfamiliar. I knew this was good stuff as I’d been using it for the last few days. I knew it worked. But I put it in my arm and nothing happened. Nothing at all. I should have passed out. I know that something should have happened. I can’t explain it — and there’s been a few other occasions since where God’s just blatantly saved my life.

Because I got so desperate and was in such dire straits, the Drug and Alcohol Service in Harrow said that if I stayed off heroin for two months, and just took methadone, they would send me to Ealing Hospital where I would be medically detoxed — a very expensive treatment. So it was my one chance.

I managed to stick with it, but it took months before my body recovered. I felt like a baby, my body was so weak.

From there I went to rehab where you talk about ‘issues’. I talked about how I hadn’t had a dad to bring me up, but soon realised the extent of other people’s problems. Like backgrounds of abuse and violence — some very major stories — and you think ‘grief, I’ve got no excuse for being here’.

The question came: “so you’re a heroin addict, at the same age as your dad when he left your mum with five kids… what makes you better than him?”. And I realised history was repeating itself. I had become just like my dad.

“All through the drugs it was like I was trapped behind a pane of glass. I could see God but I couldn’t get to him.”

I knew I couldn’t go back to Harrow, because all I knew was drugs and addicts. So I packed my bags and went to work in Scotland at the Abernethy Trust, a Christian outdoor centre where my sister worked. I worked for two years on general jobs: cutting hedges, mowing lawns, that sort of thing, and then learnt to cook in the kitchens.

Every morning they would have a prayer meeting, and we would have to take it in turns to say something. So that got me closer to God and I would say that it was there that I started having a relationship with him.

When the drugs had cleared it was like God said “there you are”. All through the drugs it was like I was trapped behind a pane of glass. I could see God but I couldn’t get to him.

I stopped worrying about not having a dad around, and realised that God would be my dad instead. As soon as I made that link it transformed my life.

When you realise God’s your dad, you realise he feels just the same way as you do about your kids. Whatever they do, good or bad, you love them anyway, and you pour yourself out for them.

I was eventually reunited with Joanne, and we went on to have our two daughters and also foster other children. I’ve always loved kids, and I’ve been helped so many times that I thought ‘let’s help some others’.

When I was 14 I believe my faith was real and I was a Christian. But you’ve got to take that next step, to ask for the Holy Spirit and develop a relationship with God. That’s what changes your life and gives your faith that depth.

One of my favourite verses is Matthew 18:2-4, that we must become like little children. The people Jesus used weren’t great scientists, mathematicians or anything. They were very normal blokes and the gospel is a very simple story: Jesus died for you, for your sins to be forgiven, so you could walk with him and have new life.

Joe West

Jesus is a nuisance

Jesus is a nuisance inasmuch as he’s hard to ignore and he isn’t easy to categorise.

Call him a ‘nice man’ and you’ll read about him cutting an opponent down in a discussion or insulting someone of high standing. Call him a ‘cruel man’ and you’ll find him including outsiders and healing helpless lepers. Instead if you insist that Jesus is a normal man, with a mix of good and bad like the rest of us, you’ll overhear him making claims to divinity.

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Jesus believed that when he spoke, he spoke with the authority of God and when he acted he acted on behalf of God. He told people to forget their dead, give up on their family and follow him instead. We might call him a ‘religious nutter’, but then what about the wisdom he spoke with and the care he extended to people? The claims Jesus made and the impact his followers have had on the world are simply too big to be ignored or pushed aside.

What shall we do with Jesus?

The historical existence of Jesus is widely attested to. Not only are his life and death documented in the New Testament but non-Christian historians acknowledge his existence as well. In around 93AD the historian Josephus records for us:

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks.

— Book 18, chapter 3:3 of the Antiquities

No credible historian today would doubt the historic existence of the man Jesus of Nazareth. So Jesus existed in history, but what was he like?

The historic references outside of the Bible tell us almost nothing about what Jesus was like. For this kind of information we need to turn to the Bible itself.

In the Bible the New Testament begins with four books, each of which is an eye witness account of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. They record in detail some of the things Jesus did, with a special focus on his death and supposed resurrection.

Can we trust the Bible?

Can we trust the Bible as a source of accurate information? The straightforward answer is a simple ‘yes’ and here’s why.

The New Testament stands in a category of its own among ancient documents for its reliability. We trust the authenticity of other documents written around a similar time despite having very few documents at our disposal.

Take, for instance, Julius Caesar’s recorded history documenting his battles in Gaul (modern day France). We have only 10 manuscripts documenting this, the closest to the original being 950 years after the recorded event took place. Yet with the gospels we have over 20,000 copies dating as close as 50 years after it was written (a partial document) and 270 years for a complete manuscript. We can assert with confidence that what we have in our New Testament is what was written in the first instance.

Did Jesus rise from death?

The claim of Easter Sunday, that Jesus had risen from the dead, if untrue is the most outrageous stunt and deception ever pulled on the human race. It’s become the cornerstone of faith for over 2 billion Christians alive today. Let’s consider it together for a moment.

The tomb that Jesus was buried in no longer held his body on the Sunday following his execution. So what happened? Because the precautions the authorities took to guard his tomb were so extensive, only five feasible options have ever been put forward:

1.
Fearing how Jesus’ followers might react to his death the authorities took the body and kept it for themselves. But when Jesus’ followers started telling everyone Jesus was alive, the authorities were unable to produce the body to quell the disturbance.

2.
The women who found the tomb empty went to the wrong tomb. As did everyone else, including the rich man who had recently purchased it. The original tomb was never found.

3.
Jesus was close to death but didn’t actually die. In the middle of the night he revived, rolled back the stone blocking the entrance to the tomb, over-powered the guards and then headed for the hills. Then, a while later he appeared ‘alive’ to his disciples.

4.
Grave robbers stole the body. But they left behind the only thing in the tomb of any monetary value, his clothes.

5.
The disciples stole the body. Grief stricken and not wanting to admit he was gone the disciples over-powered the guards (professional Roman soldiers), broke in to the tomb and took Jesus’ body. After which they spread the rumour that Jesus was alive and well, and the world’s true ruler.

The death and resurrection of Jesus is one of the most well-documented events in history. Because of this, these are the only options that offer any explanation; but there’s significant problems with each. There is of course one more, but it’s an option with dangerous implications. It’s an option that few of us are bold enough to entertain since it forces us to question what we’re living for. The final option of course is that Jesus rose from the dead and is alive. It’s an option that validates all of his previous claims to power. It’s an option that changes everything.

Jesus’ message

Jesus’ message was that you are loved by the creator of everything. You’re so loved in fact, that before you were even born he sent his son to die for you. We have all ‘sinned’ — there’s no shortage of evil, injustice or selfishness in the world. Jesus died on the cross to take all of the punishment we deserve. Jesus died to show you that God loves you. Jesus died so that you could be set free, released from the fear of death. He died so that you could know God as your father, and receive everlasting life.


To find out more discover The Alpha Course, chat to us on a Sunday morning, or find our online resources in the Exploring Christianity section of our website.