PRAYER CIRCLE
7-21 August 2017
Church leaders in Swaziland are excited about what it means for them to access a Swati Study Bible.
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Bible House

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Belfast

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t: 028 9032 6577

 

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Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change .  
James 1:17 (ESV)

Some scholars believe that this beautiful wording is taken from an ancient hymn. They certainly resonate with some on the hymns sung today. There is so much assurance in the knowledge that God only gives good and perfect gifts and that He does not change, he is perfectly reliable. None other could ever make such a claim.

The phrase 'Father of lights' is so powerful. There are so many types of 'light' that this could encompass - from the physical sun to the light of the Gospel, from the light of knowledge to the light of hope - our God is the Father of ALL light in this world. 

Praise Him for the continuing to spread His light to all people and thank Him for the part that we get to play.
Switi Study Bible trial 2017
Church Leaders are delighted to receive Swati Bibles and Bible Study notes on three of the Gospels.
First Swati Study Bible
Church Leaders in Swaziland are excited

For the last 6 years, the Bible Society in NI has been supporting work in Swaziland to produce a Swati Study Bible. This is vital as there are few resources to help church leaders teach their congregations.

We are thrilled to share that the New Testament is almost complete and that draft notes have begun on the Old Testament. 6,000 copies of Matthew, Mark and Luke's Gospels were printed with notes and distributed to Pastors and Church leaders earlier in the year and the feedback is wonderful, showing the struggles they face and the difference a Study Bible will make.

One minister said the following,  'The notes, maps and other illustrations in the portions of SiSwati Study Bible are very helpful. Before I can preach or share a verse, it gives me understanding of the setting, culture and background information concerning that verse, chapter or book.'

Another leader honestly shared, 'Having gone through a few books with the study notes, I regret some of the mistakes I made in interpreting and sharing the Word to people. The Study Bible enables us, to have a better understanding of the Scriptures even without much exposure to theology centre. Thank you to Bible Society.'

For us, Study Bibles are something we have in abundance; our main difficulty is in knowing which one is the best! Can you image leading a church without any help at all? Please continue to pray for the progress of this project. Praise God for the work already achieved and pray that the New Testament will be completed and printed according to plan by early 2018. Pray for all the teams involved in the ongoing work.
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Warehouse of Bibles were undamaged by the fire but distribution is being hampered.
Impact of Fire in Zambia 

You may remember back in February, we asked you to pray for the Bible Society team in Zambia. Their Bible House was completely destroyed by fire, forcing them to seek alternative space to work from. Naturally, they lost furniture, equipment and resources as the fire destroyed the building. At the time we were praising God that no-one was injured and that the stock of Scripture remained undamaged as it was stored in a separate warehouse. We have just received an update from the team in Lusaka, Zambia and they are really struggling to keep moving forward.
 
Please pray again for the ministry in Zambia and all those who are involved in working out what comes next. Pray that God will provide for their needs, that funds would be found to help them rebuild and that work will be able to progress. They have been advised that the building needs to be demolished and rebuilt as it cannot be safely restored. Naturally this requires huge resources which are not currently available. Pray that God will grant wisdom and provision.
 
Unfortunately distribution of Scripture has also been hampered through this as energy is being diverted elsewhere. Pray that God will encourage the team in the face of this seemingly unsurmountable trouble. May they know that God is able and that nothing can stop the plans of the 'Father of lights'. Pray for breakthrough, provision and peace as the team face a rather uncertain future.
Good Samaritan Workshop in Rwanda. Participants receive helpful, specially designed Scripture portions.
Good Samaritan Project - Rwanda
 
You may have received a letter from us recently sharing about the Good Samaritan Programme in Rwanda. This programme helps people who are infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. Sadly, there is still much fear and stigma causing families to shun their own loved ones. People who are infected often try to hide the symptoms rather than seek help because of the reactions they may face. 

The Good Samaritan Programme is running in 20 African countries in partnership with local churches, schools and other organisations. Many people infected with HIV are not at fault. If treated, people can stay healthy, they can continue to work and fully engage in their community and family life. Many churches are setting up support groups, helping people access medical care and welcoming them when they have been shunned. Praise God that He offers hope and restoration and welcomes the lonely, no matter what they have experienced.

One leader shared his thoughts after taking part in Good Samaritan workshops. "I have realised my responsibility towards infected and affected people... Now, I believe those who are infected, they can serve Lord like me and God loves them. Therefore, I am going to... encourage the upcoming generation to put into practice the love we read in Word of God and they will contribute to HIV eradication."

Please pray for this ministry which is drawing many to Jesus and having hugely positive impacts on families and communities in not just Rwanda but many African countries. Pray that God's love will pour in hope where despair has taken root. Pray for all those who manage the Good Samaritan programmes and the church partners who implement the ministry in their communities.

NEWS at HOME

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Bible Sunday 2017

We have been working on this year's Bible Sunday resources over recent weeks and it is all coming together nicely. The webpage with the resources will go live next week. 

The theme is 'ACTIVE', based on Colossians 3:12-17

Will your church join us for Bible Sunday? Why not chat to your minister about setting a Sunday aside?

Sun  29th October (Church of Ireland) or 
Sun  10th December (Presbyterian/Methodist)

Speaking Engagements, Events & Visits


COMING UP

NEW HORIZON: 5-11 August
We will have a presence at New Horizon this year as part of the Mission Exhibition. If you are planning a trip to New Horizon, make sure you pay a visit to the Mission Exhibition. We will be sharing the space with like-minded agencies working to extend God's Kingdom. Mission has been at the heart of this wonderful ministry week since it's beginning in 1989.

Tues 15th Aug, 7.30pm - Leah is visiting the Clogherney Walking Group to share a little about Bible Society ministry.

If you have any questions, give us a ring on 
028 9032 6577 or email i nfo @bsni.co.uk