Serving in Norfolk, UK
Testimony by Alex Milne
I would like to share what we are doing in the heart of rural Norfolk. We (my family: Astrid, Elizabeth, Esther, Elijah and Emmanuel) moved from East London to the village of Swanton Morley (population approx 2,400) just over 5 years ago. I grew up in Swanton Morley from 8-18 years old.
My family (except 16 year old Esther who about 6 months ago stopped going) attends a Church of England church called "The Fountain of Life" in Ashill (14 miles away). While we are at church Esther who I believe is a Christian hangs out with my parents who still live in the village.
I lead a small team / community which meets once a fortnight in our home. During our meetings we use the three thirds method of dicipleship:
About once or twice a month on Saturdays some of us go out on the streets of East Dereham a local market town (population approx 19000) sharing the Good News of the Kingdom. We adapted the 3 circle method of sharing the Gospel. With the help of my children I have recently put it on YouTube:
Some people have come to faith and we have gone on to do Discovery Bible Studies with a few. For example one man "J" who we shared with invited Jesus into his life. He is from a drug and violent gang culture and struggles to put God first. Please pray. In Discovery Bible studies we seek to as questions based on the word SCARS:
S- What does the passage SAY in your own words?,
C- What CAUGHT your attention?
A- What does the passage say ABOUT God/Jesus and People?
R- How will you RESPOND to the passage?
S- Who will you SHARE the passage with?
On other Saturdays we have been door to door in Swanton Morley looking for people of peace. As we visited we gave out a free Christian paper called "Good News", shared the 3 circle Gospel and offered prayer. A few months ago we met "P" from a Roman Catholic background. She invited us in and we shared the Gospel and have started doing a Discovery Bible Study with her. Recently her adult daughter "V" who lives in the same house with her husband "S", has started to join in. "V" would like her young son to be baptised and has asked Astrid and me to be godparents (we accepted the invitation). Our prayer is that "V's husband "S" would also join in the Bible studies and that "P's" partner "S" would also come to faith.
Fairly recently we have also started going door to door in Felthorpe a village about 8 miles away. The Baptist minister there invited us to go door to door with him and his wife. It is early days yet but we have found some people interested in The Gospel and have made some return visits. One man a "V" funeral director seemed genuinely surprised when I said death was not the end.
I work as a driving instructor and through this have had opportunities to share the Gospel and pray with people to receive Jesus into their lives. At the moment I am teaching "M" who appreciates beginning our driving lessons with prayer. Before I pray she removes her chewing gum.
People often appreciate prayer before their driving test. One of my pupils, Simon who is a Christian managed to pass without any faults. I sat in the back of the car during the test and explained to the examiner that Simon had some assistance. When the examiner looked puzzled Simon took the opportunity to explain how we had prayed and asked for God's help.
Recently I have started going into the local prison (HMP Wayland) and have recently joined Prison Fellowship. In my last visit I was part of a Bible study where about 20 inmates studied passages on the Holy Spirit and at the end we all laid hands on each other in a big circle and with heads bowed prayed to be filled with the Holy Spirit. In my heart I would like to see a disciple making movement initiated in the prison. I believe the ground has been prepared for such a move of God.
I have been inspired by a lot of the material and training that has come out of Steve Addison's website movements.net which describes movements that are occurring all round the world. We have been using the Four Fields strategy in our mission work.
My prayer is that God would help us to form a community that networks with other churches, Christian organisations and individuals to see a missional community planting / church planting / disciple making movement across Norfolk and ultimately to the nations. I believe God wants us to form teams that go to the nations. Already God is sending one of us to the nations in October this year as Elizabeth our eldest (18 years old) is planning and fund raising to go to New Zealand and nearby islands for a year on a medical DTS (Discipleship Training School) with YWAM. Please pray