Thursday, 11 August 2011

Responding to Riots

I am sure that you, like me, watched the news on Monday night with a mixture of shock, disbelief and sadness. It seemed unreal to see London in flames, crowds recklessly looting and destroying high streets and to witness such anger and aggression against our police force.

We have since seen these scenes repeated in other major cities across our nation. It is clear that something in our society is not right. Our Prime Minister has said the same as he acknowledged that ‘It is clear that there are things badly wrong in our society,’ and as Ken Livingstone, former Mayor of London, states, ‘Something’s changed in the last 30 years. We’ve got to find out what it is.’

How do we respond to such scenes? For those of us who are parents, how do we talk with our kids about these things? Many have felt fearful as they have observed a nation out of control. Others have felt angry. As a Christian, I need to do what the writer to the Hebrews encourages us to do - fix our eyes on Jesus. Our God is not surprised by the events that we have seen, they have not caught him off guard or unaware. Our God is sovereign and in control and Jesus is still building his church. 

Of course the events of the last few days have highlighted significant issues in our nation. Many social commentators and politicians are talking about issues of respect, family, community cohesion, opportunity and hope. All of these themes are central to the Christian gospel.

In fact, it is in moments like these, that the church has an incredible opportunity not only to speak out but also to bless and serve. The central heartbeat of scripture to 'Love God and Love your Neighbour' is utterly relevant for the UK today. We do not have an outdated or irrelevant message, the gospel is the hope of the world and the church is God's chosen vehicle to display his wisdom. 

One caution I would share is that we do not allow this to become an opportunity to demonise young people. I, in no way, am seeking to defend the actions of those who have caused such fear and destruction. However, it is clear that men and women in their 20's, 30s and 40s have been arrested in connection with the violence and looting. Our news reports regularly refer to this as being an issue with "youths". Yes, the majority of those involved were young people - but we have to ask who are the instigators and the role models. Hearing that an 11 year old has been arrested only raises the question in my mind of who he is following. 

There are many young people in our society who are making a positive contribution. We need to be careful that the events of the last few days do not allow us to bracket "youths" together as one group. We need to guard ourselves from the attitudes that some of our national papers project, assuming that any young person who wears a hoodie is looking to loot a shop. And we need to ask the bigger questions of young people's opportunities, parenting and role models. These are the issues that need tackling. 

Finally, let me suggest a few things we can do in response:

1. Pray
This Saturday morning (13 August), at 7.30am, at The King's Centre, Burgess Hill, members of TKC will be gathering to pray for our nation. It is essential that we pray. Not only when the news is bad, like the last few days, but continually. And we need to pray for our nation's leaders. It is very easy to find ourselves entering into the rights and wrongs of decisions made by those in power. The Bible urges us, because of the cross, to submit to and pray for our nations leaders. Let's be people of prayer.

Also, let's thank God for the fact that events like these are rare for our nation. In the majority, our nation is one of law, order and peace. Many people around the world live with the threat of violence and war every day. These scenes are shocking to us because they are rare for us. But we must not forget those who live in our word for whom this is an ongoing daily reality.

2. Serve 
What an opportunity there is, in the wake of such violence and destruction, to offer an alternative to our local communities. To be people who serve, cultivate and create rather than trash, destroy and loot. The church can lead the way, as it has done through history, in the way that it contributes to our communities. In September, at TKC, we have an opportunity through TKC360 (see link below) to serve Mid-Sussex in very practical ways. We hope to have scores of volunteers serving in areas of our community that need support. Why not sign up to get involved?

3. Pray for and bless our police force
Our police men and women are rarely thanked or encouraged for the amazing work they do. Let's be different. If you see a police man or woman in town, why not go and speak with them and express your appreciation for what they do. Pray for those who serve in the police in our church and encourage them. I heard a great story of a family in London who went to the local police station in Peckham with a tin of home baked cookies - small acts can communicate alot!


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Easter 2011 - 24/7 Prayer, Baptisms and Joint Celebrations!

Easter is only 5 weeks away. There are some exciting things happening in Mid-Sussex, not only is TKC having an Easter Sunday Celebration with baptisms but there are some other things happening in partnership with local churches.


We will be celebrating Easter Sunday with worship and baptisms. We will be confidently declaring that Jesus is alive and reigning today. Our gospel choir will be involved in the morning celebration and we look forward to hearing many stories of lives changed by Jesus as we baptise people in both meetings. Join us at either 9.30am or 11.30am at Clair Hall, Haywards Heath.


In the week leading up to Easter Sunday we are joining with other churches in Burgess Hill in a week of 24/7 Prayer. From 7pm on Sunday 17th to 7pm on Sunday 24th, we will be praying non-stop at The Park Centre, Burgess Hill. People can book in for 1 hour slots throughout the week or come to some of the prayer activities that will be planned. We are delighted to be joining with St Andrews, The Point, Mid-Sussex Christian Centre, Gateway Baptist, Sheddingdean Baptist and the United Reformed Church on this new ventrure. More info coming soon.

Sun 24 April

The 24/7 Prayer week will finish with a celebration at The Triangle Leisure Centre, Burgess Hill (6.30pm). We will be joining with the churches listed above to worship together. Matt Redman will be leading worship and Will Kemp (The Point) will be preaching.


Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Another drought……….Another crisis

I have just received this email from Edward Buria regarding the current crisis in Kenya.  This Sunday we are taking up a special offering at TKC to send to support the crisis fund.

Another drought……….Another crisis

My big question

The last one month and two weeks of February 2011 have been a very difficult and trying time as we find ourselves in the midst of another severe drought / famine. I have found myself asking God why another drought that has led to another crisis in our Nation as millions find themselves with no food, water and vegetation for their animals?

God speaks

In the midst of my questions that seemed to have no immediate answers, God clearly and powerfully spoke to me through dear friends from far lands and my own teams. 1st was a long telephone conversation call with our dear brother and friend in Germany, Bob Hatton. We spoke many things about the current situation, as he ended his call, my heart was greatly ministered to by this statement “……Edward, God is with you as He has always been”. Then on 20th January I received an a mazing text from my friend Nigel Ring and this is what the text said “… reading this morning from Psalms 46: 1 God is our refuge and strength, a very pleasant help in trouble; 2. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. 10. Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! 11. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah. May He strengthen you all today! It was also such a blessing being re-assured of much prayers and love by our dear brother and friend R.G.Hardy from Baltimore, USA. Also, a long telephone conversation with Mick from Healthfield was such a great encouragement to me. Despite the fact that we were facing such a major crisis, I found myself struggling so much in whether I should share once again the plight we were facing, especially with our International friends. I kept on thinking that it’s just been too many problems for the last six years, but Mick’s statement to me during the long telephone conversation was such a relief – Mick said the following “………Edward never forget that God’s heart is for the poor” and ended by also telling me that our problem was not a man-made, and as such, I should not shy off sharing everything just like it is.

My quick action

Immediately it dawned on me that we were facing another severe drought, I called our emergency / crisis team and some pastors to a time of prayer and planning. We were able to meet on 11th and 12th January 2011 at Kambakia, Meru. In this meeting, we narrowed down to the following urgent and important decision:

(1) That around 650 families in Wamba & Maralal (in Samburu) will require to be supplied with relief supplies for the next 7 months (This represents around 5200 persons altogether)

(2) That around 450 families in / around the Eastern regions of Kenya were in very dire need of relief supplies (This represents around 2700 persons altogether)

(3) We agreed to keep our focus on the 1100 families at the moment because of the very limited resources that are available at our disposal

(4) That the supplies to be issued will include the following:

(ii) Beans
(iii) Unimix for children under 5 years
(iv) In small quantities sugar and cooking fat(to booster energy)
(v) In Samburu, supply clean drinking water(either by tankers, Jericans or Botled)

(5) All the above to be accompanied by a monthly mobile medical clinic in the affected areas

The situation as I have seen it.

We have made extensive trips into Samburu West and East with any available relief supplies we have been able to get. I have been encouraged by the local response from our churches and friends who have either watched our TV programmes showing the conditions of those affected, and others who have heard us sharing in different places about the suffering of the affected.

Within the Mt Kenya region, I have also travelled extensively seeing thousands and thousands of acres of farms full of what would have been a bumper harvest, all dried up. We are already having a number of families in lower Eastern region being sustained by relief food. I am also so shocked that even the places like Western Kenya have also not been spared by this drought – They too have serious food shortages.

In Samburu, we have observed something we haven’t seen even with the last drought/famine (e.g.) families that have travelled from deep Samburu, camped at our Centre in Wamba for days waiting for the next time there will be relief supplies. It is still in Samburu where I have witnessed hundreds of people who have been trekking for kilometres under the scotching heat, looking for water as all rivers have dried up. It is in the same place where you see all vegetation dried up resulting to hundreds and hundreds of animals dying. The situation in Samburu is so grave!

The situation in the Upper and North Rift Valley is more the same as that in Samburu. The situation remains bleak in some parts of the Coastal and Central Regions. The need in the areas of our outreach is more than we can bare. I have all the same instructed John and his team to concentrate with the 1,100 families that we are currently assisting. Once we have more resources at our disposal, we can then increase on the number of beneficiaries.

Long term solutions:

My team and I are very keen on seeing a few sand dams built in Wamba and Maralal (Samburu), also a few more water reservoirs built within the lower Eastern region all aimed at harvesting rain water during rainy seasons.

We will also be forced to issue many families with planting seed in the month of March and April when rains are expected, as a way of increasing on food security from harvested crops in June / July.

Prayer points:

(1) For sufficient resources ( our weekly budgets are in hundreds of thousands of shillings)
(2) For wisdom, strength and grace for my teams and I
(3) The Government to respond and do something about a situation that is becoming worse by each passing day
(4) For sufficient rain in March / April 2011 (Please pray that rains come in end March / April and NOT NOW!)
(5) That the affected communities maintain peace and harmony ( come against inter-tribal conflict for the reason of scarcity)
(6) That the Kingdom of God will expand as people encounter the love of God and churches planted
(7) For our economy that is not good. As I write this email, I have just received a text to once again say that fuels will go up tonight (14th February 2011). This is the third time fuels have gone up in the last one month. Any time fuels go up that affects everything else
(8) For our protection as we get deep in Samburu


I find my heart greatly blessed by reading through Psalms 107: 1… When facing a situation like the one we are facing, the best we can do is to sing with David and say, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good and His love endures for ever and ever…” He has done great things in the past, and He will do even greater things in the future!

I feel God as yet given us an opportunity to express His love and compassion to the affected, an opportunity of expanding His Kingdom through practical gospel and an opportunity to see many churches planted. Like we have always done together, let us do it together yet again!

God richly bless you all.

With much blessings,

Edward Buria

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Evangelism and Predestination

Last Sunday I preached at The King's Church Mid-Sussex on the subject of "The Mystery of Predestination".  As the great Dr Martin Lloyd-Jones said “Here we are face to face with a great and profoundly mysterious subject”.

One of the questions that often gets raised when it comes to predestination is this: "If God has already chosen those who will be saved, what is the point of evangelism?" It is an understandable question. 

Though this is in no way a comprehensive response, here are a few pointers for us to consider.

1. We are on mission and do evangelism out of obedience to Christ. The Bible is clear that we are to go and make disciples (Matthew 28 v 19), that we are to be Christ's ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5 v 20) and that we should not be ashamed of the gospel (Romans 1 v 16).  Though we may not fully understand how sovereign grace and human responsibility work together, the Bible is clear, that Christians should live out and declare the gospel of Jesus Christ. So firstly, in obedience to Jesus, we should give ourselves to evangelism.

2. God is the Alpha and the Omega - the beginning and the end.  He has a plan for salvation and he also has a way to carry out this plan. The Bible is clear that his plan is that his wisdom be made known through the church (Ephesians 3 v 10) and that he wants to make his appeal through us (2 Corinthians 5 v 20).  Somehow, we get caught up into God's eternal salvation plans - he chooses us to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to people.

3. Knowing God has chosen people for salvation should increase our zeal and passion for evangelism.  The Apostle Paul believed in the doctrine of predestination but was also a fierce evangelist, church planter and missionary. This was because he believed that there would always be some fruit because of God's eternal plans, as Wayne Grudem says "It is as if someone invited Paul to come fishing and said 'I guarantee that you will catch some fish today - they are hungry and waiting'".

4. Being on mission connects us with the heart of God and therefore is vital for our own sanctification. God's heart is that none should perish (2 Peter 3 v 9) and he is a God of perfect love. If we back off from declaring and demonstrating the gospel, we disconnect ourselves from the very people whom God longs for. As we get involved in evangelism and mission, we stay connected with God's heart for people and in doing so, we become a bit more like Jesus.

If you want to dive deeper into this subject then let me recommend to you "Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God" by J I Packer.

If you would like to listen to the message "God chose us...the mytsery of predestination" than go to