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Update on BMI Mission to Serbia 2019

Update on BMI Mission to Serbia 2019

Well here ends another BMI Mission trip – Serbia. Evangelism is such a key aspect of our faith as is the equipping of the body of Christ. 
Numerical growth cannot be the focus of any local church but getting involved in reaching a lost society and the communities we live in. Transfer of believers from one church to another does not reflect the true effectivity of evangelism or the growth of The church generically.
One of the days here in Serbia I was speaking on priorities and as part of my reflection as we now get ready to leave Serbia is this thought – when evangelism dies as a priority, the church has already begun to die. We as part of a local church need to be more outward intentional with our activities rather than inward.
My heartstrings again are being pulled with a passion not only for evangelism but the very reason I travelled to what is now my 115th country. I have had the privilege of travelling and serving with a most excellent team of equally passionate friends – to join the program of the second phase of church growth which is discipleship and equipping. What a joy to have spent the last few days equipping the brothers and sisters primarily from the Roma Community in the area of worship & mission. This trip mission trip has reminded me how linked Worship & Mission are to Evangelism. 
Great that we can all play our part using the incredible gifts, talents and resources God has given each of us. Looking at our own team members, each so very different, coming from diverse backgrounds but sharing complimentary gifting and abilities. 
This particular Mission trip, more than others has challenged me (actually all of us) – I need to do more in the Kingdom of God as we get the earth – all tribes, nations, communities, peoples – ready for the return of Jesus.

‘…the desolate places will be desolate no more…’

Thanks to the team members for joining us in pouring your love out on the Serbian brothers & sisters and the Roma Community. It has certainly been my honour. Thank you also to our Serbian brothers & sisters for opening your hearts and lavishing us with such an outstanding awesome hosting sensitivity. Thank you, Alan Lin, Sladjan Milenkovic and all at The Hub for your vision for this nation. 
Finally, thanks to Velveta for keeping a prayer watch on us all throughout the entire Mission trip. Our hearts for the nations ‘the desolate places will be desolate no more …’

HUB / Nedelja slavljenja

Kratak video o izuzetnoj nedelji iza nas! Short video of such a great week that we had!

Δημοσιεύτηκε από HUB / Hrišćansko udruženje Beograd / Christian Trust Belgrade στις Δευτέρα, 15 Απριλίου 2019
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Reflection From Jemimah Paine

A couple of things that stood out for me from last week were …. meeting the Roma community who had huge hungry hearts for worship and to learn more about how to exercise their musical gifting in a more excellent and sensitive way. It was also singing a mixture of Christian and secular songs in the cafe last week in order to bridge the gap for some people who may not have been Christians there. And finally, to really lift Serbia and Europe up in prayer and even cry for and with them for the freedom of their land and for a boldness of faith to rise up in the Roma and wider Serbian community 🙂

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Reflection From Grace Adelakun

I am beyond grateful to have been able to play a very small part in what the Lord is doing in Serbia.
In coming on the ministry trip I had in mind to pour out/serve and the Lord has allowed me to come back much richer and full, because of the hearts we came into contact with.
There is an undeniable move of the Lord happening in Serbia, hearts turning, songs being birthed and for me, joining in the sound of worship being released from the Nation is and always will be the greatest privilege.

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Reflection From Emma Worby

Significance of this trip for me: Bringing back a fresh understanding of leadership within the worship team back home, including the importance of instilling and nurturing the missionary calling and nature that all our ministry should have inside and outside the church.  Working as a team and learning to give others a ‘step up’ before favouring yourself by celebrating their unique gifting, character, experience, culture and revelation of God. Seeing them start to realise they have the power in and upon them and then, in turn, being encouraged to step out yourself. Sitting under the vision and leadership of more experienced pioneers and missionaries as well as leaders within the worship and church setting. Leaders with a heart and vision to reach the lost and see God’s kingdom come to the broken both inside and outside the church. Gaining a greater understanding of how, practically, we can further the kingdom in spirit, truth with all diligence. Learning the importance of understanding, patience, and wisdom from God. As well as being influenced by the unique work God is doing in Serbia, including, I believe a spiritual deposit that will change many lives and cause vision to be birthed and carried back into the UK and beyond. Also, I loved seeing the receptivity of people who don’t know Christ as they listened to the words of the gospel portrayed in speech and song at the cafe outreach. I sensed a real beautiful openness to the Spirit of God which was so encouraging to witness.

Romania 2018 Update

Romania 2018 Update

October 5th 2018 BMI for a ministry team and travelled to Romania to minister along with our good friend Pastor Gareth Sherwood and others who are joining us as part of the Romanian BMI Ministry team. We were joined by our good friends & lecturer colleagues from Ukraine Evangelical Theological Seminary (UETS) Myroslava Smetanyuk & Катя Симчук.

We delivered several masterclass, workshops and sermons. Our team also lead worship during the conference. This was an amazing ministry trip with quite a diverse team of very committed worship team members from City Gates and a few friends. (James Parker, picture on right googled is McDonalds before we left the United Kingdom 🙂 )

Esther passes her driving test

Esther passes her driving test

Esther passes driving test

Congratulations to our daughter, Esther Thompson in passing her driving test. Vel and I are so proud of her. Today, we also spent some time in the midi suite recording guide vocals towards her EP. We can see great development in all areas of her life. Passing her test is the rewards of her dedication and hard work. We now stand with her as she prepares for her final ‘A level’ exams.

Living a life of thanksgiving, prayer & worship

Living a life of thanksgiving, prayer & worship

Living A Life Of Thanksgiving, Prayer & Worship

Living A Life Of Thanksgiving, Prayer & Worship

Most of our friends and family members are aware of the incredible journey travelled by Velveta and I, along with our daughters and son-in-law. This was a very unusual journey where we had no time to ‘pack, prepare and get ready’ for a journey and route along the darkest lanes, lonely roads and what at times presented itself as cul-de-sacs.

From feeling sick after attending a birthday celebration (ministering in song by request), within 24 hours Velveta’s body was attacked with what eventually became meningitis, pneumonia on both lungs and micro haemorrhages on the brain. We would not have believed it if a prophetic word had alerted us to the fight of our lives we were about to face. Within a few days of being admitted to the hospital, Velveta was in a coma. (Very specific details leading up to the coma will be available in book form – more details to follow).

As Vel laid motionless on the hospital bed, like with many others in this situation, the enemy threw everything at us, mainly attacking our

Steve, Velveta & Pastor Gareth at the Thanksgiving service

inner thoughts and faith. For me, the worst moments were the first few nights when I would come home from the hospital. However, within a few days, after sending out a few more prayer request to friends all over the world, I along with the family moved into ‘Intercessory praise, prayer and worship’. In particular, we are thankful to a prayer group based in our local church, ‘The Watchtower‘. They swiftly organised a ’round the clock’ prayer vigil for Velveta. To be honest, I thought I understood the principles of ‘Intercessory worship’ having ministered on many occasions at meetings facilitated by powerful intercessors. But, there is something different about ‘fighting a personal fight‘ on behalf of your wife or someone close. It’s interesting how during these moments and seasons, the Holy Spirit reminds you of particular scriptures that are poignant for the time.

‘Blessed be the LORD, my rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle; My lovingkindness and my fortress, My stronghold and my deliverer, My shield and He in whom I take refuge, Who subdues my people under me.…’ – Psalms 144:1-2

At the risk of looking foolish and strange, I requested if I could bring my guitar into the Critical Care Unit (CCU) where I could play, sing, worship and pray over Velveta. To our surprise, the medical staff agreed we could do this, so along with my girls, we worshipped and worshipped, at times with great passion and zeal. As I tell friends now, ‘We did what we do’  🙂  I am reminded of a saying, ‘He who loves the life of thanksgiving is a noble person, he acknowledges and does not forget and good offered to him and expresses his thanks’ ~ H.H. Pope Shenounda III.

Even whilst the medical team gave us their daily report and prognosis,  we continued praying and worshipping over Velveta. On the second day in the CCU, I already started planning a Thanksgiving Service believing that God would wake Vel out of the coma.

 

There is so much more I would like to say, but will save this for another time (or even a book :), but as we began to speak prophetically over the situation and remember the prophetic words spoken over our lives,

I remembered once hearing that your life does not reach its end until the prophecies spoken over you have been realised. So, in faith we planned towards what we could ‘see’ with our spiritual eyes. A Thanksgiving service. Praise God!

There in the hospital, I was also reminded of the very familiar story of Jesus blessing the Samaritan. Along came ten lepers. As Jesus healed the ten lepers who were indeed cleansed, only one returned to Jesus falling down on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving Him thanks.

“Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?” “Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” (Luke 17:15-18)

‘Velveta, daughter of Zion wake up’

Thank God for His words which not only trains and prepares us for battle but coaches us how to respond instead of reacting negatively in really difficult and challenging times. This was our challenging time! BUT, as we worshipped and gave God thanks, I still remember one of the darkest night (or should I say, really early morning) when I received particular words to pray over Velveta, ‘Velveta, daughter of Zion wake up‘. This moment will be forever, etched in my memory. A prophetic moment translated by a good friend of ours, Helen Yousaf who portrayed this moment through a beautiful painting. (Painting on left)

This Christmas celebration of 2017, as you can imagine, has been a really special festive season as we celebrate life with my dear wife, Velveta. I love this woman so much and know that God has plans for our lives as he does yours. But, we simply must wake each morning with Thanksgiving in our hearts. Each day, we enter His courts with praise. We declare this is the day that the Lord has made and we will rejoice for He has made us glad. My heart is filled with much gratitude, praise, love and thankfulness.

Whatever you may be facing today, remember the encouragement from the Apostle Paul, ‘Giving thanks always for all things – Ephesians 5:20′ All Glory to God! At the end of the trial, the long night, perseverance, Jesus will be glorified.

May God help us to go beyond the formal rituals of thanksgiving. Every waking hour, I find myself pausing simply to pray and say to Abba Father ‘Thank you for Velveta, thank you for my family, thank you for LIFE‘.

So, this is how we intend to move into 2018 and throughout – giving God praise, worship and thanks for ALL things, even those arduous journeys of life we may not understand, for He truly does turn all things around for His glory. Would I want to go down those dark lanes again, no, who would chose that aspect of life, but should we have to face those lanes again, we will be reminded by the Holy Spirit, we will never be forsaken, as he walks with us along every dark road, circumstances or life-threatening situation as the one we had to face.

Velveta, you are my priceless jewel and I honour you as the Father honours us and our prayers. Forever grateful. Here we go!

~ Steve

Steve & Velveta on Premier Christian Radio

Steve & Velveta on Premier Christian Radio

What being in a coma taught me

Wednesday 20th December 2017 – 12:27 pm

Worship leader VEL THOMPSON and her husband STEVE joined Maria Rodrigues in studio to share about the challenge they faced as a couple this year when Vel ended up in a coma. Hear how singing praises to God affected the journey.