Sheela BurrellSheela Burrell told her story to Revelation TV viewers

How a woman from a Hindu background converted to Christ, married an Englishman and moved to the UK

Marrying across Borders

By Sheela Burrell

Available in paperback and Kindle

Sheela and Malcolm Burrell
Cross-cultural challenges: Sheela and Malcolm Burrell photographed by Gordon Pettie in Revelation TV’s UK studio

Sheela Burrell grew up in Malaysia, in a home where the Hindu gods were worshipped; there was a god for every occasion.

Once Sheela reached her teens, her parents sought the best school available, which meant sending her to a Christian missionary school. “After all,” thought her father, “the Jesus they speak about is only another god, similar to Krishna.”

The religious teaching Sheela received challenged her. One day, unbeknown to her parents and family, she dared to attend a local ‘Christian’ church, but the news quickly spread through her Hindu community.

Her father was furious at the shame she had brought on their family and banned her from ever going to a church again

Her father was furious at the shame she had brought on him and their family and banned her from ever going to a church again.

Fast forward a few years and it was time for university. Sheela chose one as far from home as possible and began attending a local church. One day, a tall good-looking Englishman walked into the church she was attending. Today Sheela and Malcolm Burrell are married, and they live in England.

‘Marrying across Borders’ tells Sheela Burrell’s story. As well as her experiences growing up in a Hindu home and discovering the truth of the Christian Gospel, she relates the story of her marriage to Malcolm and moving to the UK. There is inevitably heartache in uprooting herself and leaving her ageing parents behind, then learning western culture and western forms of Christianity.

As Christians we have so much to learn about welcoming international travellers into our churches. This book will challenge and help you understand how difficult it is for people from other nations, not only to settle in a new country, but to arrive in a new church, feel welcome, and find a role.

Inspiration from evangelist Andy Hawthorne

A Burning Heart

By Andy Hawthorne

Published by The Message Trust, Manchester

Many years ago, as the pastor of a large Baptist Church in south Manchester, I got to know a guy called Andy Hawthorne who had recently given up his business, to fulfil a calling to evangelism.

As a young evangelist he came to my church several times with a team of musicians, with drums and guitars. During the week he would hold daytime meetings in the local secondary schools and as even allowed to take assemblies and lessons.

evangelist Andy Hawthorne
Fire and zeal: evangelist Andy Hawthorne

At the end of the week he would invite all the pupils to a Sunday night event in our church. We would hand the meeting over to him, hundreds would come and many made decisions for Christ.

Years passed and I hadn’t been in touch with Andy until I read this book by him. I am so glad to discover he has lost none of his fire and passion for Christ.

Today he leads ‘The Message Trust’, operating out of Manchester.

Rev Nicky Gumbel (of Alpha fame) writes in the book’s foreword: “Andy has an extraordinary track record of ministry among some of the most deprived and vulnerable young people in our society. I commend him to you wholeheartedly”.

This is the kind of book to inspire you and make you think “Well, if Andy Hawthorne can do those things, there is no reason why I cannot.”

We would hand the meeting over to him, hundreds would come and many made decisions for Christ

The book is based on the messages that Andy delivered over a 12-month period to his Message Trust team and they are all based on Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. I love the way he has illustrated his teaching with real life stories from his surroundings and the work of the Trust.

Each chapter builds to a challenge with a suggested prayer at the end.

Listen to these words from his chapter on 1 Corinthians 13:

“I test a lot of things at the Message as chief executive. I test the prayer temperature regularly – I want to know, are we stepping up in prayer? Are we growing in the discipline of prayer?

“I’ll test salvations. I want to hear the stories. I test the regular giving to the Message. I get reports every month. But as I read Paul’s words (in 1 Corinthians 13), I ask myself how often I test the ‘love temperature’ at the Message. How good are we at loving and forgiving and serving and blessing? I actually think the greatest hindrance to revival is Christians’ lack of love. There are many prodigals out there who still love God but hate his Church …”

In need of some inspiration? I recommend this book to you.

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