Tag Archives: evangelism

Why I Joined The War On Terror 

  Today marks 7 days since innocent holiday makers were shot and killed as part of yet another ISIS attack.

I woke up this morning and the air was thick with distinct rage and an overwhelming sense of despair due to the blood that was spilled on a Sousse beach in Tunisia. As the injured lose the battle for their lives in Tunisian hospitals, and the briefly missing are identified, we have watched the death toll rise, and with it, our outrage at the injustice of the attack. Most of us are caught between a rock and a hard place, as we desire to do something, anything, that will ‘help’ but there doesn’t seem to be a way for our wills to become reality. There’s no collection to donate to that will bring back lost lives, no clock that can be turned back to stop this all from happening, and no consolation we can give to those who have lost their loved ones.

Today, we will have a minute’s silence for all those who fall victim to the ongoing war on terror. 

I won’t deny my dissatisfaction! Yes, I will say a prayer for all the victims’ loved ones, that regardless of their faith, the Holy Spirit will be their comforter, but I can’t shake the feeling that I am not doing enough. I have never believed in purgatory (I can’t find evidence of it in my Bible) so I have struggled to come to finally accept that there is nothing I can do for the dead. Nothing. Since hearing breaking news on Thailand, I have spent my time pondering the shocking reminder of the transient nature of life, not paying attention to the fact that all those who have left us will either be resting in perfect peace with Christ or not, and now, from Earth, there is no way to influence where there souls will spend eternity.

People die every day. That is a fact. They are snatched from us by people claiming to be fighting ‘holy wars’, ill health, old age and by a heap of natural disasters. We can spend our time focusing on the lives that have been cut short, the opportunity withdrawn for some, to marry, have kids, or even celebrate their 18th birthdays, but we are ignoring the pressing reminder that in their passing, their fate for heaven/h… not-Heaven (just typing it gives me chills), has been finalised, and no amount of praying can change that.

Today, I will do something.

There’s a chilling finality to death, but death brings whole new opportunities if we come into contact with Christ before we pass. A lot of us Christians are shocked because the increasing death toll is the alarm bell ringing we don’t have the time to be ineffectual and lukewarm in our faith. Death is snatching lives all the time; will you fight for another life getting to see God when they pass? How much do we believe that God loves all, and simultaneously God hates sin? How much do we care that judgement is inescapable. No, we cannot prevent deaths, but there is a war to be had and souls are in need of being won.

Today I am ready for battle

What stands out amidst the terror that has been painstakingly revealed as victims recant their stories, is the courage shown by some, the determination to live and to protect the lives of loved ones. Sarea Wilson told of how her husband-to-be stood between her and three bullets so she could have the chance to escape. The lengths he went to to save her life are astounding.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13)

 I’m not suggesting you need to lay down your life for people to find Christ, but what are you willing to do differently? Oh, the plethora of cop-out excuses for why we can’t evangelise, which the thought of sends shudders down many a spine, but is simply sharing the  love of Christ. Evangelism has almost become a dated aspect of our faith that we’re ignoring until someone comes up with a full-proof method for minimal embarrassment, but, until then,  aren’t we just wasting time? 

When I speak to Christians about evangelism, they’re always emphasising that by living a Christlike life, they are evangelising, so they shouldn’t need to hit the streets with flyers and a soapbox. What did Jesus do? Yes, he developed relationships with people and evangelised through his lifestyle, but that didn’t stop him from speaking out in public, and gathering crowds of thousands of people to hear the good news. We use ‘actions speak louder than words’ to get out of speaking to people about Christ but our inaction of speaking up, has left the message of Christ’s love that we are trying to live out, almost inaudible.

What is stopping us from taking evangelism seriously?

If we say we love Christ, we must have a love for our others. How long will we stay mute because we don’t want to offend or because we don’t want to seem strange? If we don’t care to see the world come to Christ, or aren’t actively involved in spreading the Good News, the world can only question how great this God really is, that we claim to serve. Maybe it’s that we’ve strayed so far from God, telling someone about him is the last thing on our minds. Yes we attend church, we might even serve in a ministery, but have we lost that life-changing connection with Christ, that we once had? That connection that causes you to wake up excited to pray and makes you want to savour every second you spend in God’s presence. After all, how can you see the lack of Christ in someone’s life when you don’t notice the lack of his presence in your own? I can personally connect with that reason. Of course I’ve forgotten that the world needs Christ when I’ve forgotten that I need him too.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

 Today I will use every opportunity I can get

We become so self-centred in our Christianity, rating our growth in Christ by whether we can prophecy to our congregations and heal the sick, but the love we have for God has got to cause us to want to see the souls around us saved. Acceptance of others’ lifestyle choices has become silently watching, with the justification that everyone has their own belief, and we don’t have a right to make them feel like ours hold more truth than theirs. We cannot live this way anymore. Christ said, “I am the way, the truth and the light, no-one can come to the father except through me.” You might be surrounded with really lovely and kind atheists, but let’s not belittle their need for Christ based on our judgement that they are ‘good’ people.

Today, I am ready to fight for someone else’s life

I hereby declare that I will wear my Christianity loud and proud, fighting the war that has been waged with love and prayer, actively seeking opportunities to tell somebody about my King, my best friend, my main squeeze, the one who has kept me sane and loved me when I didn’t love myself.

Love Dani xxxxx

That Time I Was Recruited Into The Sex Industry

sex

I wish the title of this article were merely a ploy to get you to click the link and read our precious blog. Alas, it isn’t. I, Joy Johnson (that’s not really my surname) was approached and recruited into the sex industry.

My fear of strangers is a very recent phobia that can be dated back to 2013. I started watching a show called the Following, a show that follows masses of people who kill, well, for no reason at all. They walk up to passers-by, people in cafés, in homes, in CHURCHES and stab them through the chest with absolutely no remorse. As I watched this show, I realised that I wasn’t safe and I began to question my innate trust of human beings. How did I know who was a killer and who wasn’t? What stopped you, yes YOU, from stabbing me through the heart on any given day? Absolutely nothing.

My trust in humans was restored in March when I lost my ipad and a woman who I had never met stayed with me, reassured me, sought help on my behalf and hugged me when I found it. I realised that not all strangers were evil serial killers and perhaps Hebrews 13:2 could be something to live by:

Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!

Since then I begun to open my heart to strangers but this newly found trust was almost ruined last Wednesday. I was sitting down, waiting for a friend when a man walked past me. He paused and then turned around to speak to me. I was literally thinking ew, rolls eyes but then I remembered my new mantra:

LOVING JESUS MEANS LOVING PEOPLE.

He said I was beautiful. I thanked him and looked away because compliments are pretty awkward things to receive from anyone, particularly strangers. He then asked me where I was from and I responded that I was from Nigeria and he looked shocked; he had just flown in from Nigeria THAT morning. He asked if he could sit down and of course, I obliged. He introduced himself as Michael; he owned various hotels in Lagos which meant he travelled there quite frequently. This knowledge made me happy to engage with him. Does that make me a goldigger? Let me be clear – he wasn’t hot, he was older than me (by about 40 years), I was just genuinely interested in this Caucasian man who was doing the most, talking about palm oil this and  plantain that. I was impressed. He said he also owned businesses in LDN and although today was his birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICHAEL, I said), he was on his way to a meeting.

Sidebar: I know I am giving you a lot of details here but I want you to know that although I am naïve, his story was (kinda) plausible at the time. I didn’t just get up and follow a stranger. Well, I did actually.

The famous Michael (apparently that was his nickname) asked if I was available to join him for coffee. I was once again obliged; it was his birthday after all and my friend was nowhere to be seen. He told me he was turning 42 and small alarm bells started ringing (I know, I know, why did they take so long to go off?) because he looked just a few days older than 62. We went into the McDs across the road, we sat down and he asked what I did. I told him I was looking for a new job; his eyes lit up and he began to explain what his employees did. ‘His’ women gave massages and facials to supermodels in order to firm up their bodies (particularly their breasts), in preparation for any upcoming photo shoots.

Yikes. Ok. Another alarm bell. I didn’t ever want to touch anyone else’s breasts but my own.

But still I engaged with the famous Michael. He told me to take his number and as I was taking it, his phone rang again, and he said it was an Igbo woman called Titi.

RING RING RING RING RING. The alarm bells went crazy in my naive little mind.

I’m Igbo and have enough Nigerian friends to know that Titi is actually a Yoruba name. It took this subtle mistake for me to freak out internally and realise that this man was actually a psycho. But what could I do? He was about to give me his number; we were in the middle of Mcds and running away felt a little drastic. I told myself I had to get away. I painted my im-so-interested-i-care-what-you-think face on, nodded and took his number. Then he asked me to call him so he could have mine and my heart sank. I wanted to say no but of course, you guessed it, I obliged.

He asked me to work for him; training would be free because it was his birthday and I was Nigerian and he just loved my energy. You know what training included? A full body massage from him, which would require me to be naked. YAY. He told me I would enjoy it and if I worked for him, I could make up to £500 a day. Eventually he had to go to his ‘meeting’ and we parted ways.

(I blocked his number as I walked away and prayed I never saw him again)

Why am I telling you this story? It only shows how naïve and trusting I am, to so stupidly follow a stranger. But would I do it again? Perhaps. Let me tell you why:

1)The importance of evangelism

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Matthew 28:19-20

Yes, those Christians who shout on the high street can be a little extreme but I think they have got it right in some ways. Jesus’ last instructions on earth were basically RUN AND TELL THAT but how many of us are ashamed of our belief in Jesus or afraid that people will mock us if we speak of him? When was the last time you shared something about him on your Facebook/Twitter page or to a friend who you know does not believe? Jesus can’t just be Lord of our rooms when we pray daily, he should be Lord of our lives and that includes declaration of his great works. If we are truly following Jesus, speaking about him at every given opportunity is part of it.

2) It’s nice to be nice

It always amuses me when I see  Christians who read their bibles on the tube but simultaneously give passers-by the dirtiest looks if they accidentally step on their feet. How do we treat the people we don’t know? I for one, don’t even like sitting next to people on public transport. Do you know how much that conflicts with the Jesus in me that sought out the marginalised, the dirty, the infected, the broken and befriended them? Meanwhile we won’t even make eye contact with people on the tube and if someone pushes past us and we are ready to attack. It’s either we are like Jesus, or we are not.

3)Letting God interrupt my day

The main reason I spoke to Michael is because I decided a month ago that I wanted to let God interrupt my day. Even though I make daily plans, I want to be available and I want to used by him. I spend my day looking and waiting for ways to help people I don’t know. Let me be clear, it’s not because I’m a nice person, it’s because I want to look like Christ. I don’t think we should have to tell people we are Christians, they should feel his light from us radiating as soon as they interact with us.

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

Hebrews 6:10

One my best friends threatened to lock me up after I told her this story, but I would do it all again. I will keep talking to strangers and I will do my very best to be open because I want to look Jesus, my best friend, the one that saved me. If that means talking to the Michaels of this world, then so be it.

Now run and tell that!

All my love,

Joyyy xxxxxx

Ps: by the way, I realised Michael is probably a pimp and may report him to the police.