21st January 2016
One of the many benefits of being part of a movement such as Newfrontiers is that we get to meet some fantastic people from all over the world. Scott and Claire Marques from Harare, Zimbabwe are two such people, true heroes of the faith. Since Deb and I first met them many years ago, our friendship has grown and we have had the privilege of visiting Zimbabwe and working with the churches there on a number of occasions.
Scott leads the multi-site River of Life Church in Harare, and is also the apostolic leader for the Newfrontiers world in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and neighbouring countries. He somehow manages to combine these roles with running his own businesses in Mozambique - he is a remarkable man with an infectious love for Jesus and seemingly endless energy! Zimbabwe has many challenges and I have huge respect for Scott in his desire to see the church flourish, as a leader, and for his motivation to serve the poor in that nation and beyond.
In 2012, Deb and I were in Zimbabwe for our second visit, this time with our three boys. As well as some sight-seeing and safaris, we spent some time just outside Bulawayo (Zimbabwe’s second city) at the Ebenezer Agricultural Training Centre. This is a fantastic project, supported by the churches, which trains young adults in farming techniques, business skills, literacy, maths and Christian discipleship. After two years, successful graduates are equipped to return to their communities and set up their own sustainable farming plots. The centre is run by Renee Cunningham, an impressive woman with a passion and calling to serve young people in Zimbabwe.
Although Zimbabwe and the UK are vastly different countries, our churches have a great deal in common. Apart from being united in our desire to see Jesus proclaimed, both River of Life and King’s are diverse, multi-site, city communities. Whenever we visit River of Life, we feel immediately at home! Scott and I are keen to develop the relationship between our churches, which is why I am extremely excited to have both Scott Marques and Renee Cunningham with us at King’s this weekend. We are hugely fortunate to have such gifted and busy people make the time to serve us in this way, and I would therefore urge you to make every effort to be there on Sunday. Scott will be preaching at the Catford and Lee sites and Renee will also be there to tell us more about the work of Ebenezer.
Following this Sunday, we have the privilege of welcoming Mike Pilavachi, who is coming to speak at the last of our current series of prayer and celebration evenings on Wednesday 27th January. Mike is an engaging and entertaining speaker and I promise it will be well worth being there. On this occasion we will be meeting at the Lee site at 7.45pm.
As always at King’s there is much to be excited about and much going on! I look forward to seeing you this Sunday and the following Wednesday.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
Steve Tibbert leads King’s Church London, with sites in Catford, Downham and Lee. Over the past fifteen years the church has seen continued growth, both in size and diversity. Steve is also involved in Newfrontiers and regularly coaches other lead elders. His book, Good to Grow, was published in July 2011. He is married to Deb, and they have three sons.