Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Had a Broken Foot for Eight Days!

Actually, it was probably only broken for about 4 days, but the plaster was on for 8 days. I was playing football (soccer as the Aussies call it) before kid’s church and I stepped on the edge of a small stage and my ankle twisted very badly. I knew straight away that something was very wrong.

After mentioning it to Ali who replied by asking ‘Can you walk on it?’ well, yes I can, but just she followed up with an Ali version of ‘Well toughen up, princess, we have kids church to run’ I pushed thru and lead the kids church (including having to stand up the front and hobble on my foot for 15 minutes while Ali was in main church) and then helped pack up the kids church at the end of the service.

After going to the A&E (Accident and Emergency) at the Weston Hospital, I came home with a declared broken foot and my leg in plaster. The next day I had a phone call from the hospital from a specialist saying that my foot was broken and I would need to come in a get a ‘permanent’ plaster which would be on for 4-6 week. This was not good as it was the start of our six week holiday program with 6 programs including a Football (Soccer) coaching clinic and a four day holiday club program.

I got the prayer team from church to start praying and only four days later I was walking on my foot. I had to go to hospital on the Monday after while I was meant to be getting a new ‘permanent’ plaster put, I told the doctor that I could walk on it and proceeded to show him. He looked at the x-rays again and showed me the break, but I said I felt fine. So he said I didn’t need the plaster. I was playing volleyball two days later, and was able to play football at the clinic the week after as well as starting tennis again. It was an amazing miracle.

In other news, we have had an amazing first English summer. We had fantastic weather and some amazing events happen. We got to go to the annual New Wine conference with 12,000 other people. This is a week-long Christian conference that includes camping instead of going to a hotel. It was a great experience with great inspiration and revelational message and a great time getting to know other people from church while just relaxing between sessions.

Also our, six holiday programs went REALLY well. We had a ‘summer games party’, ‘make and bake, Samba Football coaching clinic, Indoor football world cup, ‘princess pamper party’ and our big one – the ‘Rock Star Kids Holiday Club’. It was great to see the kids come in and have a great time, but Ali and I were really loved the opportunity to minister with a bunch of great people over the summer. Over the summer we had about 80 people serving in different ways and not just from St. Paul’s but also from the H-Church (the AOG church here in Weston).

After all that, we are currently having a week off in North Devon. We are staying at a beautiful bungalow (‘House’ for the Aussies) and have done some sightseeing to some great English towns such as Clovelly, Ifricombe, Lynton & Lynmouth, Woolacombe, Bucks Mills, and many others as well as seeing some great beaches like Croyde, Saunton and Putsborough. It has been very relaxing and we love seeing the beauty that England has to offer.

But now, we go back to work. In the next few weeks we launch our weekly kid’s club afternoon, our lunch time program in a local school and new leadership training programs as well as continuing to build the Sunday Kids Church and ministry. We love it here and are looking forward to see what god has in store for us.

Please reply, email, comment, twitter, Facebook, Skype or even call us whenever you feel like it. We love hearing from our family and friends back home.

Bless ya!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Even in England - Jesus is Risen!

Well we have just had our first Easter in England. And what a weekend it was. I preached in the main service for the first time (the 11am service was a ‘family service’ which means the kids, youth and adults were all there. I love the Easter weekend because it gets back to just the pure Gospel message. It was a great service and that evening we had a very moving baptism service with 7 people being baptized.

We have had a great couple of months since my last post. We have started to bring some change to the kid’s ministry and are already starting to see some of the fruit from that. We are starting to get to know the team and have been blessed to have some great teenagers join the team. We have also started getting into the schools for assemblies. The schools have assemblies almost every day and so people are invited to come in and share. I am hoping to get the opportunity to go into more school in the next school term.

Ali and I have been out on some ‘Road Trips’ which have been very much fun. We have driven to Swansea (in Wales) to hear Rob Bell on his ‘Drops Like Stars’ tour. Have been to Bristol (the George Muller House and the Wesley Chapel), Taunton, Glastonbury, Birmingham (got to see the awesome Kirk and Tracee McAtear), Salisbury, Wells, Cheddar and since we have been blessed with our first Aussie invader - Ali’s mum has arrived, we have started planning some great trips to Scotland, Wales, Devon and Cornwell and of course London!

We are really enjoying it here. We are finding the pace of life really refreshing and are starting to see a lot of holes in the busyness we used to live in – there is a real lot to be said when you weigh up the whole ‘busyness vs. fruitfulness’. I would much rather prefer fruitfulness. It has also been great to see God in a different culture and the state of the church here. Although, like Australia, there are a lot of ‘challenges’ to the Church, the Church stills moves forward and does good in the world. The Church is still the answer and the greatest change agent when led prayerfully and with the passion and focus to bring Heaven to Earth.

A quick note for all the Aussies, daylight savings have started here and finished there, so we are now just 9 hours behind, so please feel free to Skype (brian.champness) when you get time.

Love to you all!

Bless ya!

P.S. I will try to be more regular in my updates! Sorry…

Monday, February 8, 2010

A very warm start in a very cold climate

Well, we have been here in England for about a week and a half now and we are growing more and more in love with the place and more and more confident that this was the right move for us at this stage.

We have been so welcomed by all we have met. The church has been so hospitable with gifts, furniture, food and friendship. We have almost a full house of furniture and the only thing we have bought ins a mattress!! We have had gifts of lounge chairs, full dinner suites, bookcases, fridge/freezer, breakfast table and chairs, crockery, cutlery and a long list of other blessings. It reminds me of the church in the book of Acts where it says that they all gave as others had need (Acts 2:44-45). It reminds me more of what the church is meant to be about – not judging people and pointing out their lack, but blessing people and looking after each other – God help me to understand this better.

The church building is beautiful. The church was birthed out the Welsh Revival at the turn of last century and was started as a ‘tin shack’ but it grew so large and so quickly that they had to erect a permanent structure only a few years in. It is the ‘old’ style’ stone church that would imagine. It has beautiful stained glass windows; beautiful stone carved pillars and an amazing atmosphere. We received a book about the history of the church. It is amazing to read.

Last Saturday, the 31st of January, we went to Gloucester for a drive – about one hour away. Once again, another great town with incredible history. We went there to have lunch at Robert Raikes’ House. Robert Raikes is the man credited with being the ‘Father of Sunday School’. It was during the 1700’s that he got concerned that so many children were just running around the streets and not getting educated. So he started Sunday School to not only educate them but teach them the Word of God’. It was great to sit in his house which is now a restaurant. A great day before we started as the Children’s Pastors of St. Paul’s.

The first day of work (Monday) started with a prayer meeting at 7:15am. It was a great start to my first posting as a full time kid’s pastor. There was also a prayer meeting at night where the church came together to pray for us again.

Yesterday (Sunday the 7th of February) was our commissioning services. The service where they officially pray for us, where we pledge our commitment to the post and they present us with ‘signs of the ministry’. It was a very moving service. We are so quick to turn away from ‘tradition’ or ‘ceremony’ but at the same time; sometimes it is a very powerful thing. The ‘Signs of the ministry’ included a Gourde of water (baptism), Bible (Word of God), Cup and Plate (communion symbolizing the body and blood of Jesus) and a cruet of oil (Holy Spirit). We now start planning our first Champness run kids’ church services for this Sunday (14th of February).

We are really enjoying being here in England. We are meeting great people and are quickly making friends. We are loving the weather (even the cold). This really is a great country. We are even more convinced that this is where we should be at this stage. We miss of family and Aussie friends, but this feels ‘right’ for this stage of our lives.

We miss you all and really enjoy receiving your emails. We still don’t have internet at home, so we have limited access through the church or McDonald’s. But as soon as we have internet we will get Skype happening and communicate more.

Bless ya!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Hotel in the Sky and Faith to Walk An Invisible Path

Well it is 12 sleeps until we leave this fine, sun burnt land that is the Great Southland of the Holy Spirit to migrate to the motherland for a season of a few years. It is a very nervous excitement. We are excited by the opportunity to see God in another culture, to see how He connects with people from another part of the world and to be available to be used by Him to bring the Good News, but it is a bit nerve-wracking to think about leaving family and friends and to step into the unknown.

We are flying with Singapore airlines in one of the new A380 Airbuses – It hold something like 800 people AND their luggage. How is that thing meant to get off the ground – it is like a hotel.

I have been thinking of the passage from Proverbs...

Proverbs 20:22 - A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?

It is incredible to think that there is this invisible path that we are all walking on that God has laid out for us. It is exciting to exercise our faith to step out and not fully know what ground your foot is going to land on, but just having the faith to believe that it is the right foundation for your foot of where God wants you at that time. It reminds me of the scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where he has to go through three challenges before reaching the cup of Christ. One of the challenges was ‘only a leap from the lion’s head, will a man prove his worth’. It is in our faith walk that we prove our faith – faith is not faith until it is tested. It is also humbling and encouraging knowing the God directs my steps and that He has a plan for me. I must learn to trust and believe more.

Anyway, I must go and help Ali pack up our house/possessions/belongings and life. It is quite a cleansing experience. I am glad that God redeems our lives and the life is about people and relationships and not about ‘stuff’ and material possessions, because we are giving up heaps of material possessions for the sake of our relationship with God, the world and people.

I love being in a state of change and uncertainty…I hate it as well tho.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Learning to ‘send away’ before going away!

It has been great to ‘settle’ back in to Australia (even if only for another couple of months). There is something very special about this country and it will always be my home. But I am really looking forward to the opportunity to live in England for a couple of years.

Ali and I have been offered the opportunity to run a kids ministry in England. We will be employed full time to facilitate school programs, outreach services, holiday clubs, scripture in schools and of course Sunday morning kids church. It is a strange thought to think that what we have been ‘squeezing’ into our lives after work and on weekends, will now become our job. It is a surreal time when you passion and vocation collide. I am really looking forward to see what God does in me during this journey – How will I respond to my job being where my passion is??? I don’t know what it will look like, but I know it is going to be miraculous!

I preached on the weekend at both services on Sunday (Gateway Church – Lake Mac and Hunter Campuses) on forgiveness. It was a real revelation to me that the original Greek word used in the Gospel actually means to ‘send away’. It helps to understand that forgiveness is not actually as much about the other person as it is about me. To forgive someone is actually about me choosing to ‘send away’ the hurt or pain or blame or guilt or debt. It has little to do with the person who committed the offence but has heaps to do about the ‘baggage’ we carry through life. The more things I forgive or ‘send away’, the less weight that I am carry and therefore greater sense of freedom and ability to run. Well it was profound to me.

Anyway, must get going and continue planning on how I can forgive more people and also get ready to move half-way around the world!

Bless ya!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

OMG!! They have Ben and Jerry’s in dispenses like coke dispenses – is this the Promised Land???

Well we have just arrived 35 degree heat!! What is that about?? We have gone from 10 degrees to 35 degrees and I am moving VERY slowly.

But the last few days have been great! We went to Westminster Abbey and saw the Queen and all the pomp and ceremony that she comes with. It was a great experience and it was great to hear the honouring that they give her.

After that Ali and I went to Weybridge to visit the Compassion UK office. That was great and it was cool to see that it is the same ‘vibe’ in there as it is in the Aussie office – a bunch of people who are committed to releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name!

After coming back to London, we went for a walk and introduced Hannah to Ben and Jerry’s – I think she has seen the light. We also could hear the young girls screaming at Zac Efron arrived at his new movie’s premiere.

Our last morning was spent visit the amazing building that was built for the glory of God – St. Paul’s Cathedral. It is such an amazing building with an incredible past. The building that was built to honour God really achieves its purpose. We then went to my favourite hamburger place in England which is right across the road from St. Paul’s.

We then caught the underground from King’s Cross station to Heathrow and that is when I saw it...the dispenser to beat all dispensers, a Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream dispenser – is there anything better? After that the trip was great and quick (as quick as a 21 hour flight can be). we are back home and moving very slowly but while trying to plan a dinner tomorrow night for 20 or so people and prepare for Emil and Holly’s wedding on Monday...Welcome back real world!!!

Bless ya!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Going to London to Visit the Queen…yes, actually!

It was an amazing service at Kings Christian Centre on Sunday. Great people and an amazing word on ‘Unity’ from THE Ps. Kirk! We then had a meeting with their kid’s team – kids leaders are the same all over the world – passionate, faith-filled and anointed. They are doing great stuff.

We then went to Oxford. A fantastic town with incredible history (like the whole country I guess…) We stayed in the Youth Hostel there and then went for a walk around town to see some of the sites, visited some old churches and saw a TV show being filmed.

After an eventful drive to Heathrow (my first English traffic Jam – not fun) to drop the car off, we caught the train into London to begin the last leg of our tour. We started our London experience with dinner at a pub and a walk to Piccadilly Circus for some Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.

The next morning, Hannah finally came back into our touring party (which was good because we missed her) we then trekked off to Trafalgar Square to climb the lions, then bussed it to the Tower of London and saw the Crown Jewels, then to Harrods (we just bought chocolates as that was all me could afford) and then back to the Hostel for a quick rest. We later headed out to Oxford Street for a spot of shopping – I didn’t buy anything, but it was fun.

Today we are going to Westminster Abbey and to Whitehall to wait for the Queen to come and open parliament. She will give a wave like she did two years ago – she always likes to come out and greet us when we come over. Then a trip to Compassion UK.

Only one more sleep left :(

See you soon!

Bless ya!