Do it Afraid (June 2017)
There are a whole lotta "what if's" going on in our heads right now. We have waded into the deepest "faith waters" of our lives thus far, and each day brings us closer to the BIGGEST step of faith we've ever taken. But God has said to do it. Are we scared? Yes, we are. So, what will we do? We'll do it afraid.*
UK for Jesus is now officially a non-profit organization, and we'll be applying for our UK visas in just a few weeks. We have a zillion loose ends to begin tying up at our present jobs and in our personal lives and a lot of financial support to raise. The next 10 weeks will be intense and probably fly by much faster than we'd like them to. Once there, we'll take a few breaths then jump right in! Please read on for the exciting details of our MISSION in action, the eye-opening statistics that reveal the NEED, and the encouraging IMPACT it will have on the next generation.
OUR MISSION IN ACTION
We are called to SERVE, EVANGELIZE and TEACH. Most of our ministry work will be in the towns and villages throughout rural England where many young people are in crisis and completely unchurched.
We are raising a financial support base so that we can work full-time with the UK-based Christian nonprofit organization Oriel Ministries (www.orielministries.org). Ministry activities include:
- Public Schools Outreach Program: Everything from sharing the Christian worldview to addressing challenging social issues (anti-bullying, drug abuse, suicide, abortion) to providing vocal, dance and drama workshops.
- Training & Counseling: Equipping local churches to reach out to young people and providing access to Christian support and counseling for at-risk youth.
- Evangelism & Discipleship: Outreach events, concerts, youth programs, festivals, workshops.
- “Innocence” Girls Conference: Annual high-impact ministry event for teen and tween girls. (www.innocence.me.uk). Connie is greatly honored to be speaking at this year's conference in October! Click here for a quick promo video!
- Church Presentations: Raising awareness and building strong connections with local churches, recruiting volunteers and raising up leaders to support continued follow-up with locally impacted youth.
- Worship & Music Ministry: Leading worship at events and services, ministering with L.E.D Band at outreach concerts, and ministering through original music at concerts and events.
We will also do some additional ministry activities independently and in support of our home church Souls Harbour in Camelford, Cornwall. (www.soulsharbour.com)
These eye-opening statistics reveal the spiritual pulse of the UK, and the great need for an infusion of the TRUTH and HOPE of the Gospel, especially to the upcoming generation.
- CHRISTIAN HERITAGE IS ENDANGERED - Because the Christian faith isn’t being broadly handed down from one generation to the next, according to the UK Census, if trends continue the number of UK-born Christians will reduce to zero by 2067.
- CHURCH MEMBERSHIP IS DECLINING - UK Church membership has declined dramatically from 10.6 million (30%) in 1930 to 5.5 Million (11.2%) in 2010. By 2013, it had dropped even further to 5.4 million (10.3%). If current trends continue, membership will fall to 8.4% by 2025.
- INDIFFERENCE TO FAITH IS GROWING - A 2014 survey revealed the UK to be one of the world's most irreligious countries, with only 30% of those surveyed identifying as 'religious'; 13% said they were convinced atheists and 53% said they were not religious at all (i.e., indifferent to faith of any kind).
- YOUTH ARE IN A STATE OF HIGH RISK - Throughout Europe, British teens are more likely to act aggressively toward their peers, binge-drink, take drugs, and participate in sexual activities. Cornwall is further plagued with poverty and violence, with 17 areas ranking among the 10% most deprived areas in the UK.
- THERE IS A SUICIDE CRISIS - In the UK, suicide is the leading cause of death among young people between 10-34.
We are not suggesting this data is unique or that all is well here in the USA or elsewhere. But there is a great spiritual battle taking place in the UK and God has chosen us to be on the front lines. Therefore, we must go! (Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4a, 4b, 4b, 5)
Oriel Ministries directly reaches over 24,000 young people each year, resulting in countless inspiring, personal testimonies from teens whose lives have been completely and permanently transformed. These transformations then have a ripple effect in their families, schools and communities! That is how a generation – and an entire nation – will be changed and reawakened to the TRUTH and HOPE of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Oriel currently has only 3 full-time staff – who must also raise their own financial support – plus 2 part-time volunteers. With our family’s full-time help, Oriel will be able to further expand, reaching out even more broadly and effectively. Exciting new projects are already on the horizon!
To accomplish this Kingdom-building mission, we must raise 100% of our own ongoing financial support. We will regularly report the results of what God is doing and how the financial seeds you are sowing are producing eternal fruit. In the meantime, for updates and to stay connected to this exciting mission and all that God is doing, visit us at www.UKforJesus.com or at www.facebook.com/ukforjesusfb.
By partnering with UKFJ in prayer and financial support, YOU are…
- joining us on the mission field
- making an eternal difference
- bringing HOPE to the next generation
We must raise 100% of our own support. UK for Jesus is a non-profit organization, with 501(c)(3) status pending. Donations may be made to us directly by clicking here.
Checks made payable to “UK for Jesus” may be mailed to: UKFJ / Attn: Liz Heron, P.O. Box 351, New Waverly, TX 77358.
Donations may also be made through The Bridge Church in Bixby, OK by designating your cash or check gift to ‘The Smiths’ or ‘UKFJ’ or online at www.thebridgebixby.com/donate. (When giving online, choose “Other” and put UKFJ in the memo box).
Thank you for your support! Blessings and more to come soon!
-Trevor, Connie, Brooklyn and Lincoln Smith // UK for Jesus
For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him?
And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him?
And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?
And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent?
That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”
- Romans 10:13-15 NLT
*Inspired by the message "There's Something about Mary" by Christine Caine, guest speaker at Gateway Church on 5/13/17. Available on Gateway's official podcast.