Restoration of Hope

Tree of Life Church believes that the wonderful news of redemption should be broadcast to the ends of the earth. Here is some information about a couple that have laid down their lives in service of the kingdom of God. They are true heroes:

Restoration of Hope began as a dream in the heart of Donatien Nahimana (Honda). After working for 6 years with African Revival Ministries as a driver, administrator and house parent to orphan children, in January 2004 he established Restoration of Hope with a vision to help the streetboys of Bujumbura – the capital of Burundi.

Honda’s vision was to take boys off the street and to completely change their environment giving them a family, a home, an education and introducing them to a God who has a purpose for their lives – a God who longs to restore their hope!

The project started when Libby (Honda’s wife) was followed home by 3 streetboys looking for food. These boys were soon living in the Nahimana’s home and were quickly joined by many others who required help.

7 months later the first Hope House was opened which is now the home to 13 boys who previously lived on the street. The second Hope House opened in October 2005 and is home to a further 17 boys. Restoration of Hope currently cares for another 21 boys providing food, education and essential medicines in times of need.

Restoration of Hope is funded by individual contributions and is supported by friends and family all over the world.

If you are interested in supporting some of the orphan boys, use this link. Think about this: for just £70 you could pay the school fees of an orphan child for one year. James tells us that if our religion does not help widows and orphans it is not pure. In case maths is not your strong suit, £70 a year is merely £6 a month. You could change someone’s life for £6 a month. Think about that!

Obviously there are so many needs in the world, and in this information age we find out about so many more than we could ever reach, and we know you cannot help them all.

But we know the Lord loves a cheerful giver, so if while reading about the Nahimana’s and their wonderful work you feel happy to help one of the orphans then ask the Lord if that is not His way of letting you know it is a great time to make a kingdom investment.

Blessings,
Ben

Honda and Libby and familyRestoration of Hope, BurundiClass in Session!

Zipping Away

I am packing right now for a business trip that will mean that I will not be able to post on the Sower Sows the Word until Saturday. I do apologize.

Keep well while I am away and please start to add your comments and questions to the posts.

I will post a beautiful worship song and a teaching article before I leave to build you up and bless you,

Blessings,
Ben

The Sower Sows the Word (V)

The Deceitfulness of Riches

Mark 4.19 tells us that one of the things that will choke the Word of God out of you and that will stop it producing results in your life is the deceitfulness of riches. Today we will look at the deceitfulness of riches and find out what it is and how to stop it choking your prosperity and success in every area of your life.

Firstly, it is vital to understand that it not riches that will choke the Word. The Word working in your life and producing a harvest has nothing to do with how much money you have. A rich person can have the Word of God produce in their life and so can a poor person. A famous quote that isn’t even in the Bible is: “Money is the root of all evil”. The correct reference is “The love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Tim. 6.10). Even a poor person can love money. Money is a great slave, but a lousy master.

It is vital to understand this because a lie infiltrated Christianity that says that money is evil. It lead to many horrible situations and caused many dreadful things to happen. It has many faces that I simply cannot go into due to time constraints. Some Christians have even taken vows of poverty. This is ridiculous – God is a good God and a giving God. Poverty is a curse, it is a horrible thing to be in. But praise God, Christ redeemed us and set us free from poverty.

The problem is not having money, but listening to it. Even the world is bright enough to know that “money talks”, but what the world has failed to tell us is that money lies. You can have as much money as you like – prosperity is part of your inheritance in Christ – but just don’t listen to it.

Wealth is deceitful. You could say it this way: money lies. The main lie that money will tell you is that it is all you need. Money will lie to you. It will tell you that it will make you happy and that without it you will fail in life. It is a lie.

You might be in a situation where your boss wants you to tell a lie, and money will tell you to do it because otherwise you will lose your job and lose your money, so you break the Word of God because you listened to money. You ignored God to listen to money.

Money will tell you to accept a promotion several hundred miles from home when you know there is not a strong Word-teaching, love God love people church anywhere near there and you are part of a great church. You ignored God to listen to money.

Money will tell you not to spend time in prayer, in intimacy with the Father, but rather worry about how your bills will be paid or how you will feed the children. You ignored God and listened to money, and worried rather than meditated on the Word.

A young preacher is struggling to survive so at offering time he makes a long drawn out offering, highlighting Scriptures on giving and the benefits of giving.

The Scriptural truths might be true, but using them to manipulate people to give when the Lord loves people who are cheerful givers, not those who walk out the church feeling they just had a wallet extraction, is plain wrong. Money talked, and the preacher listened. And this goes on all across Christianity, even in major ministries. Here is a rule of thumb I have: I never give to a ministry that preaches faith for finances unless they appear to actually have faith for their own finances! And if they are begging for bread, they do not have faith for finances, simple as.

This is how the deceitfulness of riches works: it lies to you and makes you make wrong choices. Choices based on mis-information.

The solution is threefold:

1. to spend time in the Word of God. If you can hear the voice of the Lord clearly and know His Word, you will not be deceived by the lies of money. Learn the Scriptural truth about money. Find out what Jesus said about money, and study it out.

2. to cultivate a generous spirit. If you are continually giving money away, it cannot speak to you. Ensure you are generous to your local church and to Christians who are lacking or going through difficult times.

3. Speak back to money. If it says “if you give that in the offering you will go broke”, tell it to shut up. Tell it that if you give it will be given to you, pressed down, shaken together and in good measure (Luke 6.38). If the bill comes in and you cannot pay it, say out loud “God will provide the money.” You may think it is strange to speak to money, but I think it is a lot stranger to listen to it, and many Christians do.

Deal with this issue and you will allow the Word of God to multiply in your life and produce results. A life of victory and peace is on its way – so get excited.

Blessings,
Ben

Who Is Pastor Ben

Ben became a Christian in 1996 at the age of 16. He attended church as a dare, having never been to church in his life. He found out that Jesus Christ was a real person who died, rose again and that He was still alive today. Ben trained at Regent’s College in Nantwich for 3 years having a BA(Hons) in Theology.

He has preached across Europe, and in India and in Ghana. He preaches a practical message of how to live by faith in the Word. He has a passion for every Christian to know God’s Word for themselves and to move in spectacular miracles.

This is his retelling of his salvation story.  How he was water baptized and baptized in the Holy Spirit will be in a later post:

I grew up without any religious upbringing. One day in 1993 when I was only 16 years old, a girl from my school dared me to go to church. I had a reputation for never resisting a dare. So I did. I went to a Presbyterian church because that was the one I was dared to go to – I had never been to a church service even once before.

I was the youngest person in the church by a clear 40 years. I sat down at the back and two old ladies told me off for sitting on their pew. It was their pew – they bought it, and they threw me off it. I would have seated about 10 people, but it just sat those two. I had to go and find an unbought pew and sit on that. I was sitting there bored stiff through the out of tune singing of hymns I knew nothing about and cared even less about. I sat there watching the old ladies of both genders standing up and sitting down and thinking about how selfish the two old ladies had been. All my preconceived ideas of Christians were being fulfilled.

Then the preacher preached. He was old school and preached a very clear gospel message about how Jesus bore my sins. I was captivated. I went back not because I was dared but because the message about Jesus captivated me. Everything Jesus did and everything Jesus said fascinated me. For two months I went to two services a Sunday listening to the simple gospel.

After two months I became a Christian. I repented of my sins and decided to have faith in the gospel. Even though I was only 16, within three months my younger brother became a Christian because I changed so much in my attitude towards him.

I read the Bible voraciously. I loved reading about Jesus. I love reading about how He spoke, how He acted, how He treated people. I read the gospels and Acts over and over. I decided I wanted to be water baptized.

I spoke to my minister and he said that his church would not baptize me but would sprinkle water on me. Well – I wanted it the Jesus way, and I said so. The preacher told me I should find another church.

So I went home, opened the Yellow Pages and looked through Churches. Some churches were called Baptist churches. I thought I bet they will baptize me, so the following Sunday I went to the closest Baptist church.