Newsletter Oct. 25th 2020

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Dear Friends,

I wonder how many bibles you have on your bookshelf.

Looking along my own shelves I have several versions: The Good News Bible, The New International Bible, The New English Bible, The Message, The Street Bible and of course my favourite — The Cartoon Bible! (Which has provided endless ideas for School Assemblies in the past!). Oh, and I have lent my Greek New Testament to my son at Theological College in case he uses it more than me!

This Sunday is designated as 'Bible Sunday' and therefore will be the focus of our on-line service this week.
There are many amazing stories from around the world telling of the way in which people have been blessed through receiving a copy of the scriptures.

Here are two that the Bible Society shares with us.

A Story from AFRICA
There are about one thousand children at Nsungwi Church in rural Malawi. For Sunday school they split into classes with about 100 kids in each class.
This is church on a big scale ... until it comes to their resources. There may be a thousand children in the church, but there are just 40 children's Bibles. In one class, five children each week are allowed to take a Bible home. They must read a story every night and learn one by heart. One child loved the Bible so much he read 10 stories a night. Bibles are brought back to church the following Sunday.
Children's hands shoot up as they offer to retell stories they had read and knew inside out. Stories such as David and Goliath, Noah's Ark, Jacob and Joseph are told with pride, clarity and accuracy.
The Bibles are passed to another child. Children can wait around six months for their turn to take one home.
One child said, 'The Bible tells me about God's love.' Another said, 'We love the pictures, and the stories teach us good behaviour.' A very little boy added, 'We know these stories off by heart and they help us trust in God.'
Clapperton, who leads Bible Society work in Malawi, said, 'I remember one of the first churches we went to. We brought 120 Bibles, which we thought was quite a large number. When we got there, we found there were 750 children.
Almost every week, churches ask us for Bibles, and we can't say yes to them all. We are still just focusing on the cities because the need is so great. But we believe we are sowing seeds. We trust God the seeds will germinate and grow, and these children will know the foundation of God's word in their lives.'

A Story from CHINA
An elderly man approached with tears in his eyes at a church service in Beijing, Arleen, now China Mission Specialist at Bible Society, was telling the congregation about Bible mission in China.
After Arleen had finished speaking, an elderly man approached her with tears in his eyes. He said he had become a Christian more than 30 years ago, but it was the first time he had heard the story of how his copy of the Bible came to him.
He told Arleen:
'It's never been easy to be a Christian here in China. Your story really encourages me. Now I feel I am not alone, not forgotten. I now know there are brothers and sisters across the other side of the world who have been supporting us for so long.'
The old man then asked for the address of the Bible printing company.
Arleen asked him why he wanted to know this. The old man said,
'I just want to simply go there and do whatever I can to serve them. I want to show my appreciation ... but I don't know much. I am old and unskilled. But at least I can clean their tables or make them tea to show them how thankful I am for my Bible.'

News Update
Congratulations to Jayne Moore (Colbran, as was) has been awarded an MBE for her work at The Ridgeway School.
She was a Lieutenant in 2nd Alton Anchor Boys from 1994 to 2000 and is currently Senior Steward at Fleet Methodist Church.

Church Open For Worship
Alton: Sunday Worship — October 25th at 10am led by Rev Philip Simpkins with Holy Communion

Pause for Thought — Wednesdays in church at 11am for 30 mins. This week led by Rev Rachel Sturt.

Book by preferably emailing your name/s via altonmethodist@hotmail.com or ring Liz George by MIDAY on SATURDAY for Sunday Worship.

On-Line Worship
This will continue with this week's service led by Rev Philip Simpkins. To access the service go to www.altonmethodist.org.uk

A Prayer
Be with us, Lord, in our working and our resting,
In our laughing and our crying,
In our eating and our fasting,
In our travelling and our staying.
Abide with us, each day, each night.
(Jenny Child)

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