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Home > Home Articles > Features > Hope14 - mission momentum growing

Crossing cultures
‘You’ve shown me what being a Christian really means.’ That was the comment from Abdullah, a Community Leader in inner-city Birmingham after last year’s HOPE- ‘Bridging Cultures’ Twenty13 course in the city.
For three days near the start of July, a dozen people on the course learned how to cross cultural boundaries: listening to the testimony of a believer from a Muslim background, during a visit to a local church; learning how to cook a balti or teaching children to care for gardens. The HOPE logo on the team’s t-shirts were a starting point for conversations with people from different cultures: ‘What does hope mean for you?’ The local carnival parade was the climax of the course which is now in its sixth year, encouraging people from local churches to engage in cross-cultural mission. To find out about this year’s course, contact Roger Lynch.
Get into the rhythm of mission
Lent starts next week – the first major calendar moment in the church’s year as we prepare for Easter. HOPE’s dream is that churches will see these special seasons as an opportunity for mission. Planning a pancake party? Invite your neighbours as well as your church friends. Marking Lent? Do it differently with ideas from Love Your Streets #Do1Nice Thing and the 40Acts Lent challenge. Together our small acts of kindness and generosity can make a huge difference.
Join our Thunderclap about youth mission
The Big Weekender from 3rd-5th May 2014 will see hundreds of youth groups up and down the country putting creative mission plans into practice. To spread the news, HOPE Revolution has set up a social media campaign using Thunderclap. If you use Twitter or Facebook, you can back their campaign if you sign up here before 7 March.
Transforming lives and communities
Frances was very spiritual in a New Age sort of way. When she met some Christians who believed the Bible, she decided to check it out. She bought a Bible and a copy of John Stott’s book Basic Christianity which included a prayer that Frances prayed: ‘God, if you exist, and I don’t know if you do, and if you can hear me, and I don’t know if you can, prove to me that you are the God of the Bible, and I will give you my life.’ Over the next three or so years, Frances attended a local church, paying particular attention to the prayer meeting, on the basis that that’s where the action should be. She saw God heal people and provide miraculously in answer to prayer. After three years there was a moment when God made his presence felt and said, in effect, ‘Make your mind up!’ She said ‘OK God, you win.’ That was 36 years ago and she is still following Jesus.
This is just one of the inspiring stories in Sharing Jesus - a practical guide to putting the Christian faith into words, published by HOPE and Share Jesus International. Order copies here.
Café chatter
Ruth, a Nottingham church leader, runs a Table Talk group at a local café for a mixture of atheists, agnostics, Christians, and others ‘on a journey from belonging to believing’. The regular Tuesday night group includes 6-12 people, many in their 20s and 30s. ‘Our regular atheist, who would now call himself an agnostic, has begun reading his Bible from cover to cover and is writing his own questions,’ Ruth says.
Table Talk for Easter is an ideal Lent Course. Written in association with HOPE, the game explores six big questions: Can tomorrow be better than today? Why do some people do evil things? What does justice mean? Is forgiveness good for you? Why do bad things happen to good people? Is death the end? Find out more here.
We are praying that this Easter will be a fruitful time as churches embrace all the opportunities available to be Good News in their community. There are loads of ideas and resources you can use - and it all kicks off with pancakes next Tuesday!

Roy Crowne
HOPE's Director

Source: www.hopetogether.org.uk