In March 2019 over 250 Barnsley school children got the chance to explore the Christian faith as they learned about the life of James Hudson Taylor, who was born in their town.
Lifepath Barnsley is part of a Scripture Union project to help Christians engage with local schools and is now in its sixth year. The Lifepath event is run by an ecumenical team of volunteers and aims to give junior school pupils the opportunity to explore the Christian faith. This is done through exploring the ‘life path’ of a well-known historic Christian with a link to the location, which is used as a springboard to encourage pupils to reflect on their own lifepath.
The day ran at Emmanuel Methodist Church in Barnsley and explored how Hudson Taylor followed God’s call to China. Radically, for a missionary of the time, he learned and adopted the language and dress of the local people in order to share his faith. Hudson Taylor founded the China Inland Mission, now OMF International – one of the largest Christian mission movements in
Learning about his life in England and China gave opportunities to explore cultural differences. Students took part in a tea ceremony and dressed up in traditional Chinese clothes. There were also chances for them to be creative as they made fans and sculpted a Chinese tea bowl; to learn new skills – perhaps using chopsticks for the first time and writing in Chinese calligraphy; to pray and reflect on faith and one’s own lifepath in the creative prayer journey and worship.
Interspersed with songs, quizzes and stories, Lifepath Barnsley was a fantastic day that schools really enjoyed bringing their Year 5s to.
Lifepath Barnsley 2020 is currently being planned. For more information, please contact Kirstie Hall or Heidi Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org
Medics in Action
In summer 2019, I spent a month shadowing a Christian doctor working in East Asia.
It was a huge eye-opener for me, having mainly spent time working in the healthcare systems of more developed countries. I benefited hugely from spending time with Christian workers there – hearing their stories and learning from their experiences in life as well as watching them live out their call to share Jesus in day-to-day life. I also got lots of opportunities to spend time with local people and build relationships with them myself, mainly through daily interaction with colleagues.
I was reminded from this experience that we are all witnesses for the Lord wherever we are, with the same call to make disciples of all nations and the same God helping and directing us. While it may be costly and unglamorous, this was the same pattern of ministry our Lord told us to expect.
I’m thankful for the chance to have seen mission in action from such close quarters, and to be encouraged in my own mission.
A short-term worker from Singapore
London Chinatown Prayer Walk
About a year ago, our Bridge Asia volunteer mobilisation team was wrestling with how we could involve busy young Londoners in our prayer meetings. We realised that if we wanted to do so we must be creative, involve technology, do something energetic and include good food.
Lo and behold the Chinatown Prayer Walk was born. Low key, approachable, informative, relational, altogether it’s a great experience that is gaining momentum. London’s Chinatown gives us a taste of Asia, not only because of the food, but also the colours, the people, the decorations and the whole atmosphere. Especially for people planning to go short-term to Asia or who want to keep being involved after their placements, the prayer walk is a great opportunity to connect with like-minded young people, helping each other in our journey of discovering what God is challenging us to do.
After finding one another in the crowd and a short introduction, we split into small groups that are free to walk around wherever the Sprit leads them. A PDF on their phones provides prayer requests and thought-provoking questions. So far, no two walks have been the same, sometimes you actually walk a lot, some other times you spend more time standing (or sitting) praying and are deep in thought or intercession.
We pray for the people and situations we see as we walk and ask God to give us a burden for the people and show us his heart of compassion. We pray for the impact of our intercession and presence to be seen in conversations with people around us. At the end of the walk, we regroup for food, to share our thoughts and enjoy fellowship. We pray for things that the Lord has been highlighting to us as well as for situations in each other’s lives. One prayer-walker commented:
It’s always a good idea to pray but the prayer walk around Chinatown was a memorable way to do it. Prayer walking places in your mind the very people and places that God loves. Rounded off with a meal at the end, which was a lovely time with brothers and sisters.
Please join us! We meet every second Wednesday of the month from 18:00-20:00 at Newport Place near Jen Café (postcode WC2H 7JP).
Please let us know if you are coming, it would be great to get to know you and pray together. For more information please contact:
email@example.com or call 07402 873 654
OMF London Area Representative