Worship at home with the Thompsons during COVID-19

In the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak, the Thompson family took to Facebook live to stream worship from their home. Steve, Velveta & Esther connected with their Facebook friends in order to worship, pray and simply share encourage the viewers. With many having to self-isolate or simply navigating through the horrendous news reel and world perspective, the Thompsons responded by encouraging the listeners not to fear, but to remember that ‘… the earth is the Lord and the fullness thereof …’. 

After the live broadcast, the multiple phone calls, text and facebook comments reeled in relaying how encourage the viewers were with the timing of the online worship. ‘Mankind is in need of hope … Col 3:ff Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.’

Mission to Ukraine 2020

Each year, the Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary (UETS) host a worship conference ‘Music In Worship

7 – 9 May 2020 will be the seventh annual conference which sees multiple individuals from Ukraine and a few other neighbouring countries attending this vibrant event. Some of the delegates will travel over 14 hours to attend this 3-day conference. This year, Steve Thompson will again be attending this conference, delivering several workshops and seminars.

All the lecturers including Steve will raise their own support as Music In Worship relies on the regular financial support of friends, partners and other organisations. Even to run the Seminary itself, 25% of the school fees are paid by the students and 75% is covered by the generous financial support of donors, especially those from other countries.

The conference serves the purpose of developing, challenging, resourcing the growth of the attendees. Many would not be able to afford to attend the multiple conferences and events held in other parts of the world

so they are very thankful for all the diverse lecturers travelling to Ukraine to deliver world-class tuition, coaching, seminars and encouragement.

Would you please consider supporting BMI in its endeavour to partner with UETS.

How you can help?

BMI Mission to Ukraine 2020

 

Steve teaching in Ukraine

In May 2020, Steve will travel to Kyiv, Ukraine to make up an International team. The worship conference 'Music in Ministry 'has been established for ten years now. Steve will several keynote lectures and a few workshops.

During previous trips to Ukraine, hosted by the Ukraine Evangelical Theological Seminary the teaching has impacted many, musicians, singers and worship leaders' lives over the years. Such is the impact, UETS invites Steve back regularly to deliver specific training on Music Composition and arrangements (very similar topics he covers when teaching at London School of Theology). It was the conversation with the head of the Music Department at Seminary in Ukraine that triggered Steve's passion for continuing returning to Ukraine

Steve delivering a Keynote

As the economy is very challenging for many in Ukraine (each delegate pays about £8.00 for the entire conference), Each year, Beracahmusic Ministries International will finance these trips. We want to invite our BMI friends and partners to help support this venture on 7 - 9 May 2020. Steve will stay on for a few days to encourage the further activities of the Seminary.

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Mission trip to Serbia 2020

BMI Mission to Serbia 2020

 

Most of us are unfamiliar with the name ‘Roma’ also known as Gypsies. The response is often then, ‘Oh, these people!’ However, the gipsies themselves are the people who have given themselves this name. ‘Roma’ is the meaning of ‘people’ in their language. They were originally the lowest ‘Pariah’ in Northern India, which has been moving west for more than 1,000 years, Diaspora in different areas, and today around 1,2000 million have settled in Europe. There are novels or movies which often described them as a group of dancers, shows a portrayal of their lives across Europe. Though the people of Europe are impressed by the Roma, they will definitely say not to get close to them, beware of them stealing, abduction, etc. The impression of Roma to the world is generally negative because most of them are not integrated into the local areas, suffer discrimination and exclusion, live hard lives, low education, high unemployment, and generations are at the bottom of society. There was an article in the Christianity today 

news column, an article written by a Melody Wachsmuth in Croatia, The Title is “God among the Roma” (God is among the Roma). This was an eye-opener for many. Up until the invitation to travel to Serbia last year, I was totally ignorant of the term Roma, although the name, ‘Gypsies’ is known to most of us. Last year, 9 – 12 April, 2019 BMI took a team of worshippers to Serbia to facilitate a worship conference. Many travelled from far to be a part of this unique worship conference which drew Pastors, worship leaders, musicians and singers together. 

So, on 21 – 27 September 2020, Steve Thompson will be returning with our BMI Mission team to ‘The Hub’ (a Bible College established in Serbia). As well as ministering at the conference, they will also be leading worship in a few of the local churches in Serbia

 

PRAYERS FOR MISSION TO SERBIA

Even though the Roma lives are still suffering and being bullied by society, there is peace and joy in their hearts. BMI count it an incredible opportunity to support the needs of the Roma community and would appreciate your help. First by praying. Here are a few prayer points from one of the leaders:

Please, God – help us to further know the Roma people, with the God’s help – calling for the nation to return to God:

1. Roma is also created by God and are the objects of the Lord Jesus redemption. The Roma are with you and I – also created in the image of God. Many are born into the Roma community, not by their choice, but of God’s sovereignty, because there is no one who can choose the nation they belong to, as you and I are born as British, American,

2. Roma is a kind nation, they.. The Roma are from Northern India, who have been wandering around the world for more than a thousand years. In fact, after the second world war, the European State Map was re-organised, and they could have asked for statehood, but chose not to. On the other hand, the Roma have also been slaughtered by    Germany in the second world war, but today we only honour the massacre of Jews and little mention of the massacre of 500 million Roma.

3. Roma is an optimistic nation, despite being bullied by many. Many countries in Europe are eager to drive the Roma out of their countries, in fact, most of them are born in these very nations, and by law, they are nationals of the country, but they are not able to enjoy the welfare and treatment as nationals; however, they rarely fight, just.. They steal because there are no jobs for them.

4. Roma music talent is the grace that God has given them, and with this, they can entertain people. A few Roma get together, with their simple instruments and form bands, choirs. With minimal practice and little rehearsals, there is still a high level of performance, and it is a real envy of others! During a particular ‘Roma Dawa seminar’  there are many people who walked on stage, worked with the band and lead the congregation to sing ‘poetry’ and songs without any preparation. There is a real passion as they create their music.

 

5. Some Roma youth are also smart, but no one is willing to care about them and cultivate them. Most of the Roma are only in the fourth grade of elementary school. Because some public school teachers are not willing to have Roma in their classes, so this hurts their self-esteem and self-confidence and hesitation as in trying to enrol their children, as they do not want to go to school. Even on possibly graduating from secondary school, it is difficult to find a job because few companies are willing to hire them, leading to their inability to flow to the upper level of society.

The Roma needs the gospel, but also need us to help with developing their skills, improve life and providing food for their families. We are looking for to this particular mission, where we will be able to encourage the Roma Church, to launch long-lasting relationships with the brothers and sisters, even reaching out to other Roma communities in different countries of Eastern Europe. Please help us pray!

How can you help?

BMI Mission to Serbia 2020

£0 of £500 raised

 

Most of us are unfamiliar with the name 'Roma' also known as Gypsies. The response is often then, 'Oh, these people!' However, the gipsies themselves are the people who have given themselves this name. 'Roma' is the meaning of 'people' in their language. They were originally the lowest 'Pariah' in Northern India, which has been moving west for more than 1,000 years, Diaspora in different areas, and today around 1,2000 million have settled in Europe. There are novels or movies which often described them as a group of dancers, shows a portrayal of their lives across Europe. Though the people of Europe are impressed by the Roma, they will definitely say not to get close to them, beware of them stealing, abduction, etc. The impression of Roma to the world is generally negative because most of them are not integrated into the local areas, suffer discrimination and exclusion, live hard lives, low education, high unemployment, and generations are at the bottom of society.

There was an article in the Christianity today news column, an article written by a Melody Wachsmuth in Croatia, The Title is "God among the Roma" (God is among the Roma). This was an eye-opener for many. Up until the invitation to travel to Serbia last year, I was totally ignorant of the term Roma, although the name, 'Gypsies' is known to most of us. Recently, Mission Frontiers and International Journal of mission research also published two other articles of the Melody sisters describing 'Roma'.  In the past 20 and 30 years, there has been attention on this community as previously there so little attention to this ethnic group. The question was asked,  'why suddenly three major magazines covering the lives and conditions of the Roma?'

So, on 21 - 27 September 2020, Steve Thompson will be travelling out with our BMI Mission team to minister at 'The Hub' (Bible College established in Serbia). They will also be ministering in a few of the local churches

Alan Lin - Our main organiser & contact

Pastor Wang Wing, founder of the Grand Mission Center,  through the introduction of the Melody sisters and Serbian Pastor Viktor Sabo, has visited 8 countries in Eastern Europe and also contacted the Roma Christian leaders of more than 15 European countries. Thank God they have been accepted by the Roma leader who were all too also happy to share with them, the situation and needs of the Roma Church. Together, everyone thinks that only the gospel can change the poor self-image and self-loathing of the Roma. They expect that we can encourage the church of Europe to help and train Roma preachers who do not have formal theology training. This year, we will also be inviting a few ex-students from London School of Theology & Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary to join the team.

In the last five years, not only has the European Roma Contact network been established, but the internet has also been set up and several regional symposiums have been held. A Full-time Europe Gospel Seminary has also been established. There is no doubt that God is in the middle of the Roma. You can also play a role at the beginning of what is called the Roma movement. It is truly the grace of God.

 

PRAYERS FOR MISSION TO SERBIA

Even though the Roma lives are still suffering and being bullied by society, there is peace and joy in their hearts. BMI count it an incredible opportunity to support the needs of the Roma community and would appreciate your help. First by praying. Here are a few prayer points from one of the leaders:

Please, God - help us to further know the Roma people, with God's help - calling for the nation to return to God:

Roma working men

1. Roma is also created by God and is the objects of the Lord Jesus redemption. The Roma are with you and I - also created in the image of God. Many are born into the Roma community, not by their choice, but of God's sovereignty, because there is no one who can choose the nation they belong to, as you and I are born as British, American,

2. Roma is a kind nation, they... The Roma are from Northern India, who have been wandering around the world for more than a thousand years. In fact, after the second world war, the European State Map was re-organised, and they could have asked for statehood, but chose not to. On the other hand, the Roma have also been slaughtered by Germany in the second world war, but today we only honour the massacre of Jews and little mention of the massacre of 500 million Roma.

3. Roma is an optimistic nation, despite being bullied by many. Many countries in Europe are eager to drive the Roma out of their countries, in fact, most of them are born in these very nations, and by law, they are nationals of the country, but they are not able to enjoy the welfare and treatment as nationals; however, they rarely fight, just... They steal because there are no jobs for them.

4. Roma music talent is the grace that God has given them, and with this, they can entertain people. A few Roma get together, with their simple instruments and form bands, choirs. With minimal practice and little rehearsals, there is still a high level of performance, and it is a real envy of others! During a particular 'Roma Dawa seminar'  there are many people who walked on stage, worked with the band and lead the congregation to sing 'poetry' and songs without any preparation. There is a real passion as they create their music.

Roma Children

5. Some Roma youth are also smart, but no one is willing to care about them and cultivate them. Most of the Roma are only in the fourth grade of elementary school. Because some public school teachers are not willing to have Roma in their classes, so this hurts their self-esteem and self-confidence and hesitation as in trying to enrol their children, as they do not want to go to school. Even on possibly graduating from secondary school, it is difficult to find a job because few companies are willing to hire them, leading to their inability to flow to the upper level of society.

The Roma needs the gospel, but also need us to help with developing their skills, improve life and providing food for their families. We are looking for to this particular mission, where we will be able to encourage the Roma Church, to launch long-lasting relationships with the brothers and sisters, even reaching out to other Roma communities in different countries of Eastern Europe. Please help us pray!

Due to the lack of financial resources, BMI is sponsoring this trip and need your financial support of any amount you can afford.

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Donation Total: £5.00

NTA Singer’s Reflections

Grace Adelakun

        Grace Adelakun

Grace Adelakun writes …

So grateful to have been able to work with BMI, for the National Television Awards 2020. For me, it’s a experience that I will not forget any time soon. The opportunity to work with so many gifted artists – from diverse backgrounds and unite in sound was something truly special. I am very grateful to the BMI Executive Team for their constant encouragement, love and support of the choir every step of the way- everything from the communication, studio rehearsals to the actual musical arrangement was done with great professionalism and excellence. The experience was seamless from beginning to end and the clear focus from the very start, was that Jesus would be exalted in the opportunity and in our sound….The real high point of the experience was not the stage and lights (..albeit a phenomenal production), but working alongside people with a similar heart and mind- I am fuller and richer for that!

~ Grace   

Deborah Oso

         Deborah Oso

Debbie Oso writes …

I still can’t quite put into words what yesterday meant. But here goes. This moment was not about our few minutes of being live on stage and broadcast to 12 or so million people I believe they said. It was bigger than that. For some of us, buried confidence arose. For others it was the opportunity to rub shoulders with experienced vocalists. For most, the atmosphere of unity and getting to do what we love alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ, brought great joy and a reminder of the great privilege we had been given. What Uncle Steve and Aunty Velveta did was help create a come as you are atmosphere. All felt accepted, all felt loved and all felt safe in their hands to boldly use the gift that God had given them. Different ranges, textures and tones were all carefully chosen by their sharp ears (and I do mean sharp), to create a beautiful sound to minister far and beyond what was asked. For someone like me who is still till this day trying to understand what my voice can do and not be afraid of it because it doesn’t quite fit into someone’s idea, being part of this meant the world to me. Uncle Steve and Aunty Vel are SPECIAL. I have NEVER met anyone like them. They are the real deal! I am so thankful and honoured. For what they have poured out and continue to pour out, I pray they receive it back tenfold!

~ Deborah

     Assistant to Steve & Velveta

Sonia Lynch writes …

It was both a priveledge and pleasure to work with Steve & Velveta on the Admin and Operational side of this great project.  Behind the scenes there was a lot of emails and contractual work to to be dealt with but Steve and Vel handled all of this with professionalism and ease! I wasn’t able to get down to see the studio recording of the song on Saturday but when I heard it  – it was plain to hear the unified voices. I had to listen to it again, it sounded heavenly!   Each and every person selected for the choir was gifted, humble and in unity with each other – Steve & Vel’s selection was anointed!

I was excited when I arrived with Velveta, Steve & Esther on Monday the 27th for the first rehearsal day. As we were led to the dressing room it felt surreal!  The first rehearsal with Matt was about positioning all the choir members and working out the dance sequence!  The choir all looked so beautiful in their different outfits (the Stylist’s did such an excellent job as if they knew each person personally!). Tuesday 28th was the dress rehearsal and a run through on the main stage. Sitting watching  this I was thinking Wow they look & sound spectacular!

During the two day there was lots of time for the choir members to practice their singing, steps and turns! The most memorable times for me was when everyone was in the dressing room. There were lots of conversation and stories to share about faith and life; singing, joking and loads of laughter, there was much Joy (that real deep down Joy when you know who you are and you shine for Jesus!) and an overall peace.

 I guess the highlight for me was standing by the side of the stage with Steve, Vel and Jermaine (my son) watching the live proformance! The atmosphere was electric and I felt proud (not for the first time) of every single member of the choir, they looked and sounded so amazing and their professionalism was second to none.  Thoughtout the few days, Steve & Vel had time for everyone.  They encouraged, nutured, supported and prayed – what a pleasure & honour to be part of this journey with them. The key words throughout the few days was Unity, Joy and professionalism. Jesus’ name was definitely Glorified in all of this!

As one of the singers, Molly Baldwin reflected on her experience singing in the BMI choir, she painted the above picture.
I

Jemimah Paine

Singing for the NTA’s was an immense privilege! I am so grateful for the opportunity to sing with some incredibly gifted singers & share our love for Jesus together! Everyone was so professional, welcoming and encouraging! 

I

Arne T.

God blessed us with an amazing opportunity and fellowship so that we could bless the production team by shining His light and sing to His glory in this unusual and special place.

I

Sukanah Simpson

I had an amazing experience with the BMI choir and team. Happy for photos to be used and shared as BMI wishes to do so. 

BMI Choir perform at NTA 2020

BMI Choir perform at NTA 2020

For the second time, Indigo Television contacted BMI, commissioning them to create a choir, arrange and perform the song ‘You raise me up‘ for the opening of the 25th Anniversary of the National Television Award 2020. Immediately Steve & Velveta handpicked twenty-five vocalist from very different cultural, musical and ethnic backgrounds. The script was to create a ‘slick’ yet humorous performance. While the choir is singing, the idea was for the host for the evening, David Walliams to be hoisted-up above the choir.

Over three weeks, Steve consulted with Indigo Television and devised a plan to prepare the selected singers for a live performance at the prestigious o2 Arena. The end-results were phenomenal as the 25 singers surpassed and exceeded Steve & Velveta’s expectation, receiving high praises from the Executives and Producers of the Awards show.

You can read about the Singers’ Reflection, as they share their own experiences.

            Steve Thomspon – Director (BMI)

What an awesome privilege to work alongside so many gifted professionals all brought together by Indigo Television. We are thankful to Andy Bates, the senior producer who believed in my work over the years, in particular, the vocal arrangements for the 2016 National Television Awards opening with Gloria Gaynor and Revelation Avenue. 

In particular, we are thankful to Antonio Castle (Daughter of the late Roy Castle), a family which we have worked with and loved over the years. As the stage manager, and liaison personnel along with Producer, Lauren Gallen, she made our task so much easier and enjoyable with an eye for details. That is quite true of the entire Indigo Television team.

Again, BMI is thankful for the opportunity to collaborate and work to such high standards, learning so much throughout the entire project.

~ Steve Thompson

The BMI Choir

It has been a great honour, blessing and opportunity to be involved in the NTA ITV 2020 award show.
When Steve was approached to put a choir together and arrange a song for NTA, we had no idea the journey we would be on.

When Steve was contacted and to put a choir together and arrange a song for NTA, we had no idea the journey we would be on. First, we prayed about the choice of choir members as individuals needed to represent Christ by having a good heart as well as their gifting.

Well, this turned out to be the best representation of the unity of the body of Christ, as each individual’s personality & character spoke ‘volumes’.
From the recording studio staff to the stylists, the stage management, the Choreographer, Make-up team and stylist, they all commented on how easy it was to work with the team. Two of the stylist so enjoyed hanging out with the singers, after the choir’s performance, they stayed in our dressing room and came to our suite to watch the rest of the Awards. On leaving the suite, they hugged us all, expressing once again how blessed they felt to be around us.
This demonstration of unity is Christ in motion. To be a Christian is to be Christ-like.
‘We are the light of the world…’ is what the Bible says.
The BMI choir made heaven proud. Steve, Sonia and I, as the executive team, was overwhelmed at the fellowship and heart of our team. Thank you, BMI Choir!

~ Velveta Thompson

BMI Choir at the NTA 2020 VBlog