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Yeshua Explored

It happened in Devon – Part 2

todayNovember 1, 2021 13

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Then there was that wonderful, complex-yet-simple word, chesed, going beyond what is expected. God’s chesed was wonderfully reflected that week in the actions of His people. There were undoubtedly many stories of chesed in Sidholme; some will be told, some will remain private.

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)

Here are just three of them.

We made a decision as a leadership team to bring what we saw as a grave injustice to light. It concerned a beloved brother who has been relentlessly persecuted over the last few years by fellow Christians in the local church and in the Messianic world, through a campaign of gossip and rejection. In his earlier life he had given in to homosexual impulses, but had woken up, repented of this and put his past behind him. Unfortunately, others have chosen to judge him, have rejected him rather than seeking to understand him and have obstructed him in his ministry, despite his undoubted gifts as a communicator, organiser and evangelist. At Foundations we gave him the chance to publicly tell his story, right at the beginning of the week. It was a risk as the conference could have had its path deflected. But God blessed this endeavour and our brother was showered with love and acceptance all week and left us as a changed man.

A brother made a decision to give up much of his free time at Foundations in order to mentor two or three people through the fascinating activity of spoon making – creating a wooden spoon from a lump of wood, a process that took six or seven hours. He brought all of his tools along – including a set of axes and carving knives – and guided two people through this process. It was, for all three of them, a time of great blessing and fellowship.

During the Prophetic Art workshop, Rosie instructed people on how to create cards that could be used to bless people. These cards were given out during the outreach but also, at the end of the week, many people received cards with a specific message just for them. One elderly gentleman was such a recipient, given a sealed card by a young lady and asked not to read it until he returned home. When he did read it, the message spoke directly into his heart and his life would be significantly impacted.

Mishpocha, family, was probably the abiding theme of the week. It was the word that was spoken more than any other in testimony times in the conference room and in the assessment forms and in emails since the event. Foundations 10 was basically a family outing, with the newcomers, numbering around a third of the delegates, grafted in to a growing national family. We were a mixture of young and old, from the one year old, Elijah Stevenson to a whole gaggle of sprightly octogenarians. Each belonged to each other, cared for each other, prayed for each other. It was that sort of event. Church is meant to be family after all, as we have already seen, in the passage that leads on directly after the One New Man revelation:

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household (Ephesians 2:19)

It’s one thing nodding away in agreement at a heartening Bible passage, but a very different thing to actually live it out. The reason why a church family emerged so quickly and effectively was because we had created a safe place, a place of trust and acceptance. We rejected any hierarchical approach, any clergy/laity divide, with a team of helpers comprised of almost a half of the able-bodies available and with an ethos that encouraged everybody to make some sort of contribution, however small, whether a prayer, a story, a testimony (even our nine year olds gave their assessments of the week) a piece of art, a willing voice, through dance, drama, music, crafts or one of our immensely popular ten minute show & tells, where we heard of angelic encounters, stories from a taxi cab, unlikely evangelistic opportunities and the Von Trapp-Stevenson clan (all seven and a half of them) singing a song to bless us all, particularly the children.

This is an extract from the book, Shalom, available for £10 at

Finding lovingkindness and family

Written by: Miriam Emenike

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