Millennials

MILLENNIALS, LEADERSHIP AND FRIENDS INTERNATIONAL

Ancestor worship, honour and shame, varying views on timekeeping: these are just a few of the many areas of cultural difference to which Friends International staff and volunteers, and others involved in international student ministry (ISM), are sensitive. We deal with them well, with the view that cultural difference is just that – different, but not necessarily always wrong or right. We have learnt to recognise our cultural bias and do our best to view other cultures neutrally, working to build healthy cross-cultural friendships.

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Brexit and your responsibilities

Global Connection’s raison d’être is global mission with our partners and members. Our primary responsibility under God is to keep global mission before God in prayer (Acts 6:4) and before the UK church. We are called to be focused on Jesus, and then the needs of the world, and not be side-tracked by important but secondary issues (Hebrews 12:1-3). A temptation in challenging times can be to lose our external, outward-looking perspective and become focused upon ourselves and our needs (1 Cor. 10:14). Church history offers plenty of examples to illustrate this point. I encourage you to keep our eyes on our primary calling to global mission – our horizons are and must remain global. Let’s encourage each other to look beyond our own shores and continue to call the UK church to global mission (Acts 1:8).

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A Call to Courage

The main problem I have with evangelism is fear of man. I heartily recommend and have benefited from training and equipping in evangelism but none of it can make up for being afraid of what people think of me. I’m convinced that it’s not mainly because we feel ill-equipped that we don’t share the gospel; it’s because we’re afraid. We need courage.

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Mission Agency Futures: The Present

Over the last few years, I’ve written a good deal about mission agencies, you can find the majority of those posts here. I plan to write a few posts which suggest possible ways forward for agencies in a changing world, but before I get to the future, I’d like to lay a foundation by considering what it is that mission agencies actually do. Then I’ll consider some of the issues which are driving the need for change.

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Remarkable Opportunity!

If Christians talk about international students at all, they usually talk about them in one of two ways: as a necessity for sustaining our UK universities or as a transient presence in our church communities which doesn’t really contribute anything lasting to the church. The first is true, so we are told by those who know about university finances and judging by how much international students are paying for their courses it is easy to believe. The second is not true and it is sad that this perspective means that some churches do not see the great and lasting benefit of investing in the lives of international students; a benefit to the local church but even more significantly, to the worldwide church.   

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No Christians

“Why should anyone hear the Gospel twice before everyone has
heard it once?”—Oswald J. Smith.

“I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light” — John Keith Falconer

The Punjab is the province known as the breadbas­ket of Pakistan. The word itself comes from two words, punj, meaning five and ab, meaning water or river. Therefore, we are talking about the land of the five rivers. Chiniot is on the eastern bank of the middle river, the Chenab.
This town was famous for its fish. Pakistani families by the carload would often come to Chiniot for the most delicious fish kabobs in the Punjab.

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Can You Take Young People With Additional Needs On Overseas Mission?

Going on an overseas mission trip can often be a transforming and life changing experience; offering an opportunity to serve in a very different culture and environment, challenging our worldview and our perceptions of our role in the world. Taking people on a short-term mission trip experience can equip them and inspire them for a lifetime of service, or at the very least cause them to think critically about the consumerist ‘it’s all about me’ culture that we live in.

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European Students in a Brexit World – Part 2

PERSONAL INSECURITIES AND CONCERNS

When European students are asked to describe their feelings, they range from excitement to intimidation. No one really is very afraid of Brexit, as current events don’t yet allow the drawing of concrete conclusions. But our European friends have a strong sense of connection and belonging to Europe. They are used to being able to move within the EU and some of them have plans to establish an economically secure life away from their home country, especially if they are from eastern or southern Europe. For most of them, an English-speaking country is the first choice after studying here. And so the potential of having to change their initial plans drastically is confusing their future hopes.

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Touch me

Jesus presented himself to the disciples. To Thomas he even said touch me – trust your senses and feel my wounds. 

There is a tangibility about how the evangelists talk about the resurrection. It is weird and wonderful. Jesus can apparently walk through walls, and like Bilbo Baggins, appear and disappear at will. And yet, unlike Bilbo Jesus is not confined only to the written page. There is more to Him than that. He is a real presence, not only a mythical being: he is that but much more – a genuine physical being, with his hands and feet and head and side marked with wounds, where ‘sorrow and love flow mingled down.’

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European Students in a Brexit World – Part 1

“Europe is very different from Britain. For instance, their windows open inwards rather than outwards, and it is almost impossible to buy Monster Munch in Bulgaria. No wonder we could not get along.”

I found this quote while strolling through a bookshop in Cambridge. There is some truth in it. Even neighbouring European countries are surprisingly different. Though we consider each other as Westerners, and even more, as young Europeans who have a sense of being a European first before anything else, we do currently face challenges. It is not only Brexit; there seems to be something changing in Europe, but it hasn’t yet been decided which direction will prevail – separation or stronger connection. For now, many Europeans are still using their chance to study or work abroad. They come to Britain, to study the language or to make use of the great educational system, with some hoping to stay for good and start a successful career[1].

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