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HOTS March 2015
Every time we go out onto Edgbaston St, before we start distributing leaflets offering prayers for passers-by, we kneel down by the chairs and pray asking for God’s presence and his power to be manifested in that area. On March 7th we experienced his presence like a tangible wave of God’s Spirit. Despite of the business and noisiness of the place there was a sense of awe and reverence in the atmosphere as if every knee had indeed bowed down to Jesus. In this atmosphere we offered prayers for the following people:
As I write these prayers and as you read them they may seem detached with no power or they may not. However, I believe that when we go out onto the street and kneel down and bow down to Jesus an atmosphere of faith is created.
Mark Marx, the founder of Healing on the Streets ministry, puts it this way
‘I’ve come to the conclusion that there has to be an environment where God’s presence and his power are there. The Hots model has developed into becoming just such environment.’ (Stepping into the Impossible by Mark Marx page 135)
We are God’s children and as such we have the authority and power to create such an environment where God’s kingdom can operate here on earth as it does in heaven. We create this environment because of who we are in Jesus.
Revd Elsie Blair-Chappell
St Martin in the Bull Ring are pleased to be working with the very talented Photographer Verity Milligan to provide photographs for the Website and other church communication.
Verity’s work can be seen here
And her wonderful pictures of Birmingham
HOTS February 2015
We were greeted with good news in 2015. I never cease to be amazed of God’s faithfulness and unfailing love. Just read these two stories sent to me by email about who God is and what he does.
1. ‘I am the ‘lady with the long-term hip and back pain’ whose leg grew out in the training that day in December 2014 at St Martin in the Bullring. Three weeks on and my grown-out leg means I am so much more comfortable which is wonderful. Not quite pain-free yet but trusting the Lord for my complete healing.
I have further news to share with you. Last weekend I was ‘down South’ seeing my family and felt I should go to my ‘sending church’ on the Sunday morning. I’ve kept in touch with them but no-one knew I was coming that day. The priest/leader and the people are always very welcoming and on arrival I shared that I had a testimony I felt Jesus was asking me to share with the church. I didn’t know that it was an evangelistic Carol service planned that day. The leader graciously & prayerfully allowed me to speak after his ‘talk’. I simply shared what Jesus had done for me in the training and how we were praying for folk in the market-place and ‘doing’ Healing on the Streets that day, in God’s Name and Glory.
There was a shared lunch following the service, during which a man asked the Leader for prayer – his physiotherapist had told him one of his legs was shorter than the other and this was the cause of his pain in his neck, shoulders, spine, hips, knees etc. The leader came over to me and asked me if I would join him in praying for this man. This kind of prayer was new for both of us! I happily agreed whilst asking God to equip me and increase my faith! I tried to put the training into practice and as we prayed was so aware of God’s power and love for this man. We checked the legs like mine had been measured and they were indeed different lengths. We asked God to grow the leg and longed for it to grow and for Jesus to be glorified through this. We had to really persist in prayer and in between each prayer asked the man to take a little walk to see how things felt – this man wasn’t yet a Christian. Firstly he described tingling in his lower back and his hips were more comfortable, next the shoulders were ‘released’, and finally, eventually!, the legs became the same length! Praise God!
The man was thrilled, had experienced God’s peace for the first time but wasn’t yet ready to commit to Christ. Please pray for him too. He is very interested in Alpha which starts again in January.’
2. This is the account about N who was prayed for by M, one of the team members: ‘N first showed up at HOTS about a year ago – this was just after he lost his wife and he was all over the place emotionally. He had just moved to a flat in Wolverhampton and said he had nothing for it so after we prayed for him I took him to Argos that first day and got him some basics. After that he did ring me asking for money in some distress on a couple of occasions, but it was difficult to see him because he was still in Wolverhampton. I invited him to Birmingham to meet up with another Hots team member and myself but he didn’t show up. On the third occasion he told me he had moved to Highgate so I went down to see him (actually to check out what he had said about his circumstances, which all seemed to hang together – he had recently had a road accident and was on crutches and in a bit of a mess’.
N did not come back to Hots until October 2014 when he was prayed for by two different team members D and J. the story continues:
‘N was touched by ‘God so loved the world…'(John 3:16) which I gave him on a small card. He returned to HOTS in November and again in December. This time he talked of taking his own life, so I asked all the St Martin’s HOTS contacts to pray for him. I went to visits him with J in his flat in Highgate, shared the gospel more fully and led him in a prayer of commitment to Christ. N began to pray out loud himself. With changes in Disability benefits, he was without money for several weeks. We’ve sought to help him every way we can. After that N himself began to help homeless people (having been homeless himself for a while). He shows them where they can get food and tells them that he believes in God and is a Christian and taken them to church. He comforted his nephew after a family bereavement and he now has expressed the desire to become a Christian. N regularly attends Church now and wants to be involved in Christian activities.
These are two different stories demonstrating different ways God works through his people.
The first emphasises the power of telling and /or remembering what God has done for us. The act of telling our testimony is powerful. Bill Johnson in his book, ‘Releasing the Spirit of prophecy – the supernatural power of testimony’ says: when you remember God’s supernatural interventions in impossible situations, you carry in your heart the seed of yet another miracle.’ (page 89)
The second story emphasises what we read in James 2:15-1
‘Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.’
These three team members were indeed ‘a light shining out of the darkness’ when they prayed for N and ‘the darkness around them shone as bright as day’ because they fed, clothed and helped N. Their action, faith and prayer were not in vain. Another redeemed will enter God’s glory one day.
In February despite of the bitter cold of the day, we had many who sat on the chairs for prayer. Here are some of them.
1. Someone suffering from a heart condition. As the team prayed the person said there was a “plop” in his heart and he felt that his lungs received more air’.
2. Someone with arthritis
3. A lady recovering from cancer
4. Someone who is a refugee and was amazed that we offered to pray for her. She suffered from trauma and has HIV
5. Someone open to the gospel
6. Prayer requests for people with depression, bereavement, OCD, headaches, estranged family and to have a wife, looking for a job were offered too.
We trust that all these prayers will bear fruit in due season. Please join us in our continual prayers for those in need. Thank you for your support and for being faithful to God’s calling upon your lives.
Revd Elsie Blair-Chappell
9th March to 6th April
Open 10.00 to 4.30 daily
St Martin in the Bull Ring, Edgbaston St, B5 5BB
A thought-provoking photography exhibition showing everyday life in the village of Bil’in in the Occupied West Bank of Palestine as seen through the eyes of the children who live there.
Friday Lunchtime Concert Diary
12.30 – 1.00pm (some concerts may run to 1.15pm)
St Martin in the Bull Ring
Admission is FREE and all are welcome
13th February 2015 Ting Ting Yao Piano Solo
13th March 2015 Ting Ting Yao & Friends Piano Solo
20th March 2015 Lucy Morton Quartet
10th April 2015 Hannah Woollacott Classical Guitar
17th April 2015 Ruta Labutyte Unaccompanied Violin
24th April 2015 TBC
15th May 2015 Simone Damiani Piano
22nd May 2015 Alastair Wright Piano Trio
5th June 2015 Alison Loram Piano Trio
19th June 2015 Benjamin Hill Saxophone
10th July 2015 Anna Downes and Tony Bridgewater Violin Recital
17th July 2015 Clare Jones Piano
*Concert in collaboration with Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham City University
For more information contact the Parish Office
Photo: Crazybobbles, flickr
St Martins is one of 7 churches taking part in The Birmingham Churches Winter Night Shelter, which sees each church open up its building to 12 men each night to stop them sleeping rough on the streets. This is running from 18th January until 8th March. All the guys that come are given a hot meal as well as the opportunity to talk and make friends with all those who are volunteering.
We believe this is a great opportunity to show the love of Jesus to the people of Birmingham. If you would like to volunteer to help out at the night shelter please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the parish office on 0121 600 6020.
If you know someone who wishes to be referred to the night shelter, they are welcome to come along to our drop in coffee morning on Monday 10am-12pm to refer themselves or visit SIFA Fireside in the mornings during the rest of the week.
Please pray that our guests will be renewed and refreshed during their time with us. Please thank God for our volunteers and for equipping us to host our guests during this cold winter period in the city.
St Martin’s Healing on the Streets – August and September 2014
In September the team experienced God working in a way we haven’t experienced before – not in what God did but how he did it.
We normally hand out leaflets inviting passers-by to come and sit on the chairs to receive prayer. Well, we hardly needed to give out leaflets – folks would come to us and ask: ‘What are you doing?’ We would tell them we were praying for people. They would say ‘I want that, please!
The team did not stop praying for the two hours we were out on Edgbaston St. when it was time to pack things up we had to leave some chairs out because people were still coming for prayer.
During our prayer meeting before we went out to pray we read a story from a book called ‘Outrageous Courage’ by Kris Wallotton and Jason Wallotton
(ISBN 978-0-8007-9554-2) The book is a true story about Tracy Evans. Tracy was a medical worker in South Africa. One day she was driving an ambulance from South Africa to a clinic in Mozambique. Just before reached the Mozambique border she witnessed a miracle. She writes:
‘A dead woman came to life again before my eyes. Frankly, it was one of the scariest things I have ever seen’ (I emphasised ‘scariest’ because it was! If you went to read this account about the scary bit try to get a copy of the book. The account is on page 134.
What happened was a mini bus had a tire blowout. It swerved off the road and flipped over and over again. She stopped and started organising rescue and calling for more ambulances as other car drivers stopped. Some started helping the victims and others were just looking. Then Tracy shouted to those looking: ‘Everyone, listen!
What she said next is what I want you to make it memorable if you can.
“Start praying for these people. I want you to pray out loud over and over again”. ‘God, heal and preserve life here today, in Jesus name’. “Every time I look at you, I want to see your lips moving.”
Did you notice the prayer Tracy asked people to pray? That was the prayer we took out with us onto Edgbaston St on that day. Also we had a word given beforehand about forgiveness during our prayer meeting. Many who came for prayer this was an issue. Someone came to faith, a Muslim lady was prayed for and experienced pain relief. One of the team members said: We were all stunned at the end of the session and just knew that somehow ‘we had the ground’!
We continue to pray for:
Let’s go back to Tracy Evan’s story about the bus accident on the road to Mozambique (Extract from page 138)
‘Fourteen of the eighteen causalities were completely healed that day as we waited two and a half hours for the other ambulances to reach us from the town. Not one life was lost. (you have to read the scary bit about the dead woman who came back to life). Five unconscious patients with severe head injuries were all healed. Many of the healed patients had cell phones and called their loved ones for a lift. Since they were from farms in the area, many went home rather than riding back to the county hospital. I am sure the EMTs were a bit confused by the scent when they arrived, as it looked nothing like what they had been told. The Lord had already done the work!’
We not only just know that somehow ‘we had the ground’ on Edgbaston St in September but also we know the Lord has done the work.
Revd Elsie Blair-Chappell
In June we did a prayer walk from St Martin’s to Centenary Square. Despite being a wet day it did not rain continuously and we managed to stop several times to pray for the area, for various events and activities happening on that day and for folks as they walked around.
Our first stop was at the top of stairs leading to the Bull Ring Shopping Centre from St Martin’s. There we prayed for St Martin’s. Before we left the church we read the passage in Isaiah 2 about the mountain of the Lord. Verse 2 says: “the mountain of the Lord will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills and all nations will stream to it”. As St Martin’s stands right in the heart of Birmingham where many nations stream through it we felt appropriate to dedicate that place as the ‘Mountain of the Lord.’
Our second stop was by the Council House in Victoria Square. There we prayed for our councillors and other employees in the House. We prayed for events happening at that time and for people walking around the area. Later when we came back to do the HOTS session at St Martin’s, a gentleman came to the chairs to be prayed for. He shared with the team that he was standing by the Council House when he felt an urge to come to St Martin’s to pray! That was an encouragement to us and we felt that our prayers by the Council House were not in vain.
Below are some of the prayers requests during June and July:
The above list seems just a list of illness and conditions. However, behind each request there is a real person with a real need seeking for provision, healing or fulfilment for their empty lives.
Returning to the theme of the mountain of the Lord, I mentioned at the beginning, I think of the story of Abraham and his son Isaac. On this mountain God provided to Abraham everything he needed for his sacrifice of worship. On that day Abraham called that place ‘The Lord Will Provide’ (Genesis 22:14)
Why don’t you come to one of our HOTS sessions and see a place where God provides? We meet first Saturday of every month from 2 -4 pm.
Revd Elsie Blair-Chappell
Lots of schools come in to visit us here at St. Martin’s.
Here is a blog post from one group who visited recently…
Students from 3.2 and 3.3 visited the parish church of St Martin’s in the Bullring on Wednesday 11th June. The day began with a special welcome from Ollie Preston, education officer at the church, who asked students to be still as soon as they came in to the building and then write down or draw what they felt. Students were amazed by the size of the church, the quietness inside despite the busyness outside, the sound of running water inside a church and a calm stillness. Then went on to learn about who St Martin was and how his example of helping others is part of what the church does today. It was a great trip and students also learned about the importance of prayer, how Christians celebrate holy Communion and Mr Moss even played the organ for them! The students asked some great questions and really gave Ollie a thorough test of his knowledge. The visit ended with a quiet moment in the side chapel, where students were invited to light a candle if they wanted to and experience a moment of stillness. It was a really great day and the students represented Wilson Stuart school with the usual excellent standard of behaviour and hard work.
You can see the original post and more about Wilson Stuart School on their website www.wilsonstuart.co.uk.
If you are interested in a school visit please contact our Youth and Schools worker by contacting the Parish Office.