Partnership with Hadath Baptist Church, Lebanon

Ben CollinsFrom Ben Collins, Chair of Living Stones

As you are aware we have been exploring developing a stronger connection with Hadath Baptist Church (HBC) with the potential for sending out members of St Johns to Beirut on short term mission trips.

Hadath Baptist Church

Following the initial discussions in the PCC / Living Stones Committee meetings there have been a number of discussions with Hikmat and Krista at HBC.

It has been decided that three individuals will head out to Beirut to visit HBC at the end of January, 21st to 25th, on a fact finding mission to identify ways that we might support HBC and also work more closely with them.

The itinerary can be viewed here.

The three individuals who have kindly volunteered to go are Steve Foster and John & Bev Reynolds. This team is intentionally a mix of staff team and members of the congregation with a range of experience of global mission and ministry areas in our church.

The key aims of this first trip are as follows:

  • Relationships – To strengthen the bond between St Johns and HBC by developing friendships and connections at a number of levels and sharing experiences.  The team going out will be taking gifts with them (including the Christmas offering) as well as a video message from Antony as a more formal greeting from St Johns to HBC.
  • Learning – Before developing this connection further and any further potential trips it is important to understand both the needs of HBC and also the environment that people would be flying out to. In addition, this trip is an opportunity for HBC to learn more about who we at St Johns are and our heart for partnering with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
  • Partnership – The body of Christ is global. The vision is for St John’s as a whole church to experience something of the inter-connectedness, inter-dependence and life that can flow across cultures and countries through a deeper meaningful church to church relationship. Our hope is that as many members of St John’s as possible, at all levels, will eventually be a part of this initiative in one way or another. The anticipated end goal is a partnership with HBC, with regular trips involving individuals from both churches as well as other methods of support.  Refugees and immigration is a major issue for Lebanon and something that we as a church can connect with here in Birmingham through links with Restore and other organisations.

On their return John, Bev and Steve will provide a report to both the PCC and the Living Stones committee before a dedicated service to feedback to the Church at the 6:30pm ‘Open’ service on 13th March.

An Exciting opportunity.

This is an exciting opportunity and God has already been acting in enabling this trip to happen. Steve Foster and John and Bev Reynolds recently had the unexpected opportunity to meet with Philip Halliday of the Baptist Mission Society (Team Leader Middle East and North Africa, responsible for partnerships and personnel in the Middle East). This was an invaluable opportunity to discuss the current environment in Beirut and key precautions that need to be taken.

In planning this trip it is impossible not to notice what is featuring on the news each night. To that mind Antony and Steve spent considerable time consulting with HBC, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Lebanese embassy, and individuals with current knowledge of Beirut to understand the situation.  A thorough risk assessment has been made.

Your prayers are requested

The church is asked first and foremost for their prayers for John, Bev and Steve as they fly out; but also for the families they are leaving at home during the trip. Would you pray for safety and also that God would open their eyes and ears to what He wants to say to them and how He wants to use them whilst they are out there. This trip will be a focus of prayer time at the Call to prayer on Tuesday 19th February.

The PCC have formally approved the trip.

Thank you for your support.

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Resourcing mission to reach the world

19th Jan 2016 Posted in: Hidden Posts by Stella Jennings 1

One Response

  1. Chris Dinsdale says:

    EXCITING!

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