Revive September 2015
It was great to be at Revive after a break in August. Our theme for the evening was European Mission Experience.
We were thrilled to joined by three guests who not only shared wonderfully encouraging testimonies but also led powerful worship throughout the evening. Robyn Lewis, Charles Vickers and Peter Balsdon have excellent musical talent and have all had inspiring ‘Mission’ experiences this year.
The three students clearly seek to be guided by God, and this came across very well in the collection of stories that they shared. We heard how young people across Europe are finding there is something missing in their lives. Our guests went on to say that by sharing an environment of friendship, activities and support many young people become receptive to the Christian message. Robyn, Charles, and Peter have all learned to depend more on God this year, have all seen God do great things, and are all determined to go from strength to strength in their Faith.
We had a collective time of prayer before a final set of songs that created a very lively and positive atmosphere of praise, one that could have carried on well into the evening.
Below are short testimonies from our three student guests:
I travelled to Czech Republic for two weeks to volunteer at a summer camp with Josiah Venture, an organisation which seeks to make disciples among the youth of Central and Eastern Europe. Alongside teams from the US and Czech we taught English, played sports and games, climbed a mountain, danced, sung and talked about Jesus to and with a group of about forty-five Czech youth. It was amazing to have really meaningful conversations with some of the teenagers about God, purpose and faith. I got the opportunity to give one boy a Bible after he expressed interest in reading it; at the start of the camp he seemed very sceptical about God. I learned to trust God more and how much more alive it feels to rely on Him whilst stepping out my comfort zone.
God gave me a great opportunity to go to Serbia with a team of London students for a couple of weeks this summer. Whilst there, we were predominantly making friendships with our fellow Serbian students. As we got to know them better, God gave us great chances to talk about how Jesus’ story affects them in the circumstances they are in, whether they would already call themselves a Christian or not. I would like to praise God for all that He provided, for the opportunity to go and the friendships that we formed. I would also like to thank God for the generosity of people, enabling me to go on this trip.
• That the friendships I made will be ongoing (with technology it’s possible to stay in contact with people). Pray that I would keep up the contact and that more fruit can come from these conversations.
• That the ongoing work of the Christians in Serbia, in particular the student movement EUS (who the camp was partnered with), that there would be many Serbians who might believe that Jesus is the son of God, and accept his offer to be part of his family.
This summer I had the privilege and blessing to join a beach missions team out in Greece. Our focus was on the island of Paros, where we stayed in a camp site and used our location to reach out to travellers and those visiting the local beaches. I was amazed at the opportunities God gave us in talking to so many people and how open people were to talk about Jesus to us. A lot of Greeks identified themselves as Christians, but we were able to share the message of Jesus with them. The main thing I learnt there was that ‘seeds are growing things’, meaning that every conversation we had planted a seed. I trust in God that those seeds will grow and I look forward to seeing the fruit of that mission on the final day.
• That those we outreached and gave gospels and Bibles to, would continue to think upon the conversations that we had and that other Christians would come into their lives.
• That those from the team who are living in Greece would be encouraged and would grow in their relationships with God.
• Pray that they continue to reach out to Greeks who do not know Jesus.
Revive – July 2015
The event started earlier this month, and we were blessed with sunshine to enjoy a very tasty BBQ (thanks to Jeff Lewis and family). A great team effort served up a lovely social time during the BBQ, and then quickly transformed the set up to enable a memorable service to start on time with well over 100 people ready to worship.
Our two guest speakers were Tony Bartley from Wellspring, and his good friend, Neil Baldwin.
Neil was the inspiration for the Bafta winning “Marvellous”. Tony and Neil chatted through an amazing life story, from being a ‘clown’ to a ‘kit man’, chaplaincy to a friend to many. Underpinning every story was the simple dependency and trust in God that Neil has with every situation.
Tony introduced aspects of Neil’s life through video clips from “Marvellous”. Tony and Neil then discussed the topic and each time faith, prayer, and a sense of humour were very apparent. It was clear that Neil has had an incredible life, with God leading him through the ups an downs. Neil has a bible that has been signed by several well known people, but much more important to Neil is starting the day reading his bible.
The final clip summed up the impact Neil has had on everyone in his life, from students to the famous, footballers to community members.
Derek Balsdon then shared his thoughts on what we can learn from Neil with a message based on the total trust Neil has in God.
We concluded the evening with hymns that included Neil leading us as we sang ‘How Great Though Art’, a personal favourite of Neil’s. It was also fitting to sing ‘Beautiful One’, particularly with the line ” How marvellous, how wonderful you are’.
February 8th 2015
Hilary Balsdon opened our worship leading the band. We then had a time of open Mic and testimony, it was encouraging to hear two young(ish!) men share how God works wonders through testing times. There then followed another time of songs of worship and prayer, a more reflective set this time.
Brian Barber from the Potter’s House was our guest speaker. We started with a time of moving round the room , saying hello to someone new and this created a very pleasant and warm atmosphere.
Brian introduced his talk about ‘real prayer’ with a scene from the film ‘Bruce Almighty’, where God explains and teaches how to pray a really sincere and relevant prayer. Brian then shared a powerful personal testimony with great humility of how amazing and critical prayers, both for him and by him had impacted in ways that were inspiring.
We learned how Christian Youth Work was a big part of Brian’s life. Brian has worked with and supported young people from a variety of backgrounds. He has taken a number of steps to help young adults / children from vulnerable backgrounds. We were encouraged to really think about a young person in our lives who needs prayer, and really pray from in a focused and long term manner.
Finally, Philip Owens led a time of open prayer and blessing, thanking Brian for sharing his message and story.
January 11th 2015
January’s Revive included drawing closer to God through singing praises to Him, a team game, a drama, an explanation of the Holy Spirit leading us into God’s Truth, sharing with one another about how God’s Spirit has been working in our lives during 2014 and what we hope for in 2015. We incorporated a prayer tunnel. This involved everyone forming 2 lines facing each other, and as each person walked through the tunnel, those on either side prayed God’s blessing upon them. People experienced God’s overwhelming love, joy bubbling up, and heavy burdens being lifted. It was a wonderful occasion of meeting with God and allowing His work to increase within us. You are welcome to come along to Revive, and the next ones will be on February 8th and March 8th at 6.00pm.
December 14th 2014
An excellent cast provided an innovative Nativity that formed our Revive Christmas service. Jeff Lewis organised this wonderful service by interweaving original sketches about the birth of Jesus with traditional and newer songs, there was also the clever use of video clips featuring narrator and actor, Angel Gabriel. The efforts of the cast were rightly fully appreciated.
The sketches helped remind us about the perfect plan that God created for the arrival of the Saviour, and how God can use anyone, anywhere, and that we need to trust in him.
We rounded off a fantastic evening with food and drink to celebrate Derek’s 50th birthday.