Pirlo’s penalty – what could have been…

Ok, so it was an amazing penalty against Hart, and if we are honest Italy deserved to go through, but those penalties don’t always come off, it could have been so different…


Sharing Jesus in Manger Square Bethlehem

As an ex-CMS missionary I receive regular news and updates from current and former Mission Partners. This story appeared in the latest edition of Mission Update and caught my eye. It tells the story of a young woman coming to faith in Christ thorough the witness of a CMS Mission Partner Mary Fairfield.

Two things encourage me and challenge me about Mary’s story. The first is her commitment to be faithful to the end. Each week she travelled to Manger Square and sought to share the Gospel. She does the same on her last day in the country. I am not sure I would have the same commitment. Too easy to settle into ‘tourist departing mode’, but Mary is faithful to the end, and God honours her faithfulness. The second challenge is the way Mary approaches the visit, she prays that Jesus would be exalted in Manger Square and then looks with the eyes of faith to see if God will answer her prayer, and by his grace he does, through answering the prayers of a young woman seeking Him.

Read the story and be encouraged and challenged as I was:

I want to tell you about my last day in Bethlehem.

Since we first arrived, I’ve made weekly trips to Manger Square to share the truth and love of Jesus with tourists and locals. I’ve had some interesting and wonderful encounters and conversations. On my last day in Bethlehem I wanted to make one final visit.

I entered the church there and prayed that Jesus would be exalted in Bethlehem. Muslims respect Jesus as prophet, teacher and miracle worker – they actually have more respect for Jesus than your average secular British person who uses his name as an epithet. Yet, I prayed that people would get a bigger picture of Jesus as redeemer.

Then I prayed: “Please Lord, could this last time be a bit special in some way to confirm your interest in this tiny bit of work for your kingdom?”

After I exited the church, I saw a young Palestinian woman on her own and I asked her if she was interested in faith matters. Her reply astonished me.

“I was just in the church, praying God would send me someone to talk to about him!”

We went to a cafe and had a long talk about Jesus. Then we went back to the church to pray together. I showed her a prayer of commitment to Jesus and asked if she would like to pray this prayer and begin to follow him. As she read the prayer she began to cry and said yes, she wanted to take this step. Praise God!

I’ve put her in touch with someone at the college so that she has someone to talk to now that I’m gone. Please join me in thanking God for this amazing last day in Bethlehem and for all the opportunities I’ve had to share Jesus with people of different faith backgrounds during my time here. Please pray for this young woman, whose name I’ve withheld for security reasons – that she will grow in her faith.

Thanks be to God.