Esther’s Epic Bible Project

A couple of months ago we got word that 18-year old Esther from Southport wanted to hand out Bibles to every single student in her College this Easter, and that she was working out ways of raising money to make it work. Now, we could stop right there and the story would worth telling…a young Christian decides to give of her own time, prayers, and MONEY (!) so that all her peers in college can have access to the word of God. Amazing!

But that’s not it…shortly after we found out how many people actually go to her college, and realised she wouldn’t just need a few hundred of the NTs (which, again, would still be a story worth telling), but that she was going to need 1700 of the things! That led to some quick sums on a calculator and the realisation that she would need to raise £4250 to be able to pull the project off! FOUR THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY pounds! In a couple of months! On her own! R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

We all admired her optimism and started to pray, but £4250 in a couple of months. Really?!

Well, those months have now passed and the day has arrived, and this morning, a few of our Teamers piled the Bibles (all 1700 of them!) and themselves into a couple of cars and left for Southport, where they’re currently attaching notes and ribbons, highlighting verses, and helping Esther get ready for the mammoth mass-distribution. One of our Teamers sent through the above picture just a few minutes ago, and I just had to post it.

So far around 350 thousand of these NTs have been produced in 8 languages and handed out in over 10 countries by young people like Esther, but to my knowledge, this is the biggest 1-person Bible Project in NG history, and it deserves a shoutout. What’s more, Esther even wants to raise another £750 so she can give 300 more of the things to all the staff and teachers at her college, totalling £5000 worth of fundraising, all on her own. If you want to make a donation and help her hit the 5K, send me an email at brad@newgeneration.co.uk, and please say a prayer for her as she puts her faith on the line and opens herself up for potential mockery and critique from people in the college, and pray that every Bible achieves what God intended and that people can meet Jesus through it’s pages.

To get some Bibles for your school, college or uni, go to our Everyone Needs a Bible site.

What If?

If you’ve missed our latest magazine then make sure to check out the online version here. The theme this issue is “What If?” …based around a talk I did a while back and some ideas that have been circulating my head and the NG office over the last few months. As usual, it’s packed full of ideas, stories, tips and resource spotlights…and the graphics are pretty smooth too. The Team have done a really good job on pulling the content together, and I think that along with our other 2 issues so far this year, this magazine is amongst our best. To make sure you get a copy in your letter box next time around, log onto www.newgeneration.co.uk and register as a member, or even better, a Supporter, and we’ll post one out free of charge every time we release a new issue. No brainer!

God + Money

I found this in an old journal the other day…

On the 4th of April 2002 I asked God for money whilst on a break at Bible School. Less than 5 minutes later I returned to my chair only to find an envelope that said “To Brad, I love you in Christ, be blessed”. Inside was 150 SEK.

It may seem like a small amount or a petty answer to prayer, but over the course of that year, I was given a total of 20K SEK, and 50 036K the year before. That’s about £6500 in 2 years.

It got me thinking about my level of expectation. I remember that back then, as a relatively new Christian, I was naively expectant that God would simply take care of me when I quit my well-paying job and left my cheap apartment in Örebro to move cities and attend Bible school for 2 years. I really felt that God had called me to make the move, and figured he’d foot the bill too. But it’s so easy to move on from this sort of simple trust and start to take everything into your own hands, in an attempt to take responsibility and move towards maturity, and those are things I still strive for and will continue to stand by, but a story like this stirs me to believe God for the unexpected again, and to both challenge my own level of generosity towards others and trust in God’s provision for me.

Right now we’re seeing some amazing growth at New Generation UK, with 2 new bases running this year and more people engaging with our online resources, our training days, bringing us to youth groups and conferences to deliver content and turning to us for help in starting CUs and school groups. We feel God’s urging us to respond and to give them everything we’ve got, and to trust him for provision, but we’re splitting at the seams and struggling to go beyond 350 schools simply due to finance for travel costs and resources. This is why we’ve launched our Change a School for a Fiver campaign, and whilst we’re working hard to find other avenues of income, individual sponsors are invaluable as a source of support for us, and I’m asking any of you who feel compelled to give towards the work we’re doing. We really believe it’s good soil, and we hear stories every week about young people who have been impacted by our organisation. If you think you can give to a good cause, be it a one-off sum or a monthly standing order of just £5, all contributions are hugely appreciated and will make a massive difference.

Click here for more info.

Thanks.

World Book Day One Week Away

World Book Day is just one week away. That means in one week we have a great opportunity to talk about the world’s most-read book: the Bible. If you need another excuse, it’s also the 400th anniversary since the first official translation of the Bible in English was published.

To celebrate the occasion(s) Sara and I plan to head down to Birmingham city/university and see if we can turn a few heads and have some conversations with downtowners and students. We’ll have a pile of New Generation NTs with us to give away to anyone interested, and are hoping for some good convo.

We’re also hoping to see a lot of young people handing out Bibles, doing assemblies and having conversations in school next Thursday too, and have created a Facebook group to get the word out. Just this afternoon we had orders come through for 101 (!) Bibles, and there’s a girl in Southport currently saving up £5000 to get 2000 (!!!) for her college. P-retty incredible!

Here’s a few links to Bible-y stuff for those interested:

  1. Everyone Needs a Bible
  2. iPad/iPhone ESV+
  3. Biblefresh
  4. Trusted
  5. NT Cash

Jesus Conference in Estonia

Last month I had the privilege of being part of an event in Tartu, Estonia called Jesus Conference. It was the first time I’d been to the country in almost 6 years, and it was pretty amazing to see how much has happened since I was there last…not least the fact they have free wi-fi everywhere from the local shopping mall to the airport to the night bus between Tartu and Tallinn! The highlight of the trip though was getting to meet our Team over there and plan and conspire together!

Over the course of the weekend I had 3 sessions in the Bible school, an afternoon session with the youth, the evening meeting on Saturday night and the Sunday morning service in the local church. The turnout was amazing, and it was great to see so many young people involved in everything from production to worship to on-stage interpretation. Saturday night was definitely the highlight for me…seeing so many young people respond to the challenge to live out the Kingdom of God in their schools and be light and hope to their friends and classmates. There’s nothing better, and everyone in the building really felt like something happened and the night was a significant one, which was especially encouraging for the Team over there who’ve been working hard for years to see young people engage with the New Generation model and the schools of Estonia changed for the better.

All in all it was an amazing trip, and good to be back in this great nation. To see a brief TV interview we did click on the picture above (if you don’t like what I’m saying, at least the subtitles are a laugh!).

To check out New Generation Estonia’s website, click here.

Change a School for a Fiver

I just got back from a great day in London meeting with people from a few different organisations that all do work in schools, and I have to say I’m humbled and generally inspired by how much is going on in the UK. Having said that, I’m also very proud of the Team at NGUK, and what we’re building. In just 4 years we’ve now got groups registered in over 400 schools, and we’re not even trying to start in new places but actually trying to slow things down so we can make sure to deliver quality support and follow up. That’s where the Change a School for a Fiver campaign comes in. If I’m totally honest, only about half of those groups (200 or so) are really actively reaching out and impacting their schools, whilst the rest need some more help and support from our Teams and some more resources and material. The only thing is, with 14 full-time volunteers, we’re still short of manpower, and with our limited budget, we’re still stretched financially. We’ve worked out that it costs us just £5 a month per school group to provide resources and regular visits, and we want to be able to sustain the 400 schools that are registered and maybe stretch that to 500 in the next year or so. We’ll still be a long way from the dream to see an organised and active Christian presence in every school in the nation, but I think 500’s a good start. Why not think and pray about whether you can help us to achieve that goal. You can start by visiting the site here.

Vocation Interview on Reflective Musings

Today an interview I did with US blog Reflective Musings went live as the 2nd installment in their current Vocation series. If you’re up for an interesting and insightful blog to add to your list, check it here.

Youthwork, YouthAlpha & Thoughts

This month I’ve had a couple of articles published on sites and in magazines here in the UK, as well as guesting on Youthwork the Podcast with my friend Amy Stock from schoolswork.co.uk and the man himself Martin Saunders. To check out the articles/podcast online or get copies of the magazines, check the links below.

Youthwork magazine
Youthwork podcast
YouthAlpha blog
Thoughts magazine

If that’s not enough and you want to know more about New Generation, then stop by our site at newgeneration.co.uk or drop us a line at hello@newgeneration.co.uk