If HEART readers in Bexhill and Hastings ever wonder why their usual distributor, Martin West, hasn’t brought papers to their churches, it’s because Martin is responding to an even higher call
For years Martin West has made mission trips to Uganda, founding an orphanage and preaching the Gospel.
After his 21st visit in November with Through Faith Missions, he told HEART, “We saw over 4,000 people become Christians, with many miraculously healed and set free from demonic control.”
Despite public places being closed early due to the Ebola virus, Martin says: “The Gospel was proclaimed in schools, colleges, prisons and hospitals – and in police stations!”
They rescued 21 children from the streets
Those in poorer rural villages also heard the Gospel through open-air evangelism and early morning radio sermons.
Describing how he impacted the Ugandan Muslim community, Martin was surprised to be asked to preach on an Islamic radio station one Saturday morning and then be invited back to preach the following five days.
He described another miracle: “A Muslim lady in hospital got saved, healed of back cancer and now preaches the Gospel to family and friends.”
The orphanage, founded through Ugandan charity ‘God’s Grace Evangelistic Team’, is headed by Martin’s friend Bruno and this time they rescued 21 children from the streets. These included young Lamech, one of 11 who chose to be baptised on 15 January, who is now in anew home.
Martin and the team also gave out over 800 Bibles and New Testaments, but “there is desperate need for more.” Two security guards received New Testaments and became Christians.
Grateful families in need received “50 mosquito nets, 60 spectacles, four beds with mattresses and 700 food parcels”.
A free talk and slideshow of the mission are available, or you can sponsor any of the ex-street children.
Martin would appreciate prayer for future mission trips: email firstname.lastname@example.org
“I want to be a voice for those who have no voice”
A Christian occupational therapist wants to ensure no one is left out of church
Nobody likes to see parents having to rush their disruptive children out of a service, or say they can’t come to church because of disability.
But in a worldwide survey, 61 per cent of respondents said they avoided church due to conditions such as autism, ADHD or physical disabilities. Christian occupational therapist Anne Laure Jackson was horrified: “Anyone who walks into a church should feel that they belong and that there are strategies to help.”
She has spent years giving sensory advice to parents and professionals and has seen improvements in children and adults who struggled with clumsiness, poor handwriting or sitting still at mealtimes.
“Sometimes a child’s challenging behaviour stems from an unmet sensory need, rather than deliberate defiance. Simple adjustments, such as keeping worship music at an appropriate volume, or removing strong-smelling air fresheners, can literally mean the difference between a family attending church or staying at home.”
One grateful parent said: “My son had regular meltdowns and would frequently follow me around the home, screaming and hitting me… now he’s a happy, settled little boy.”
As a worship leader who was previously a vocalist with songwriters Keith and Kristyn Getty, Anne Laure is passionate about improving access to corporate worship: “I want to be a voice for those who have no voice, for those who feel left out.”
Anne Laure has also home educated her three sons, and is used to dealing with long-term conditions because her engineering husband, Ivan, has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. But she still believes that God heals, having seen lumps in her throat and ears disappear after prayer at an Elim church in Eniskillen, Northern Ireland.