8th June 2017

"God wants to restore unto us what the enemy has stolen from us, including our joy. God can restore what's broken and change it into something amazing. All you need is faith", said Sabbath School leader, Veronica Joseph, during the Hackney Seventh-day Adventist church's Visitors' Day held on Sabbath 27 May 2017. Visitors attending the programme learned of individuals in the Bible who had been touched by God and restored into His image. The young people presented a play about Blind Bartimaeus who, after crying out to Jesus as He passed by, had his sight restored. Eileen Philip, an assistant in Personal Ministries, then shared her personal testimony through her gift of poetry about her overcoming an 8 year battle with depression to show that God is still in the business of restoring individuals to His image, likeness and life. The children left a vast amount of audience members in awe with their exciting Mime performance to the MIME-MinistriesGospel track, 'Grateful'.

In his sermon entitled: 'Bent, Crooked and Twisted', Hackney's elder, John Mathieu, shared how God restored the woman bound for 18 years with a muscular skeletal disorder. He said: "It takes 18 years before a child reaches adulthood, is able to vote, drive, join the army and have certain rights, but for the woman in this story, there was no change in 18 years – she was bent over so that all she could see was the dirt and not the beauty up in the sky."

For Elder Mathieu, many individuals find themselves in the same position as this woman – that is, they have been afflicted with some type of disability which prevents them from progressing in life the way God Visitors-Daywould have intended. "We often go through some experiences in life which can bend us out of shape and thereby cause us excruciating pain. However, the key to our healing is in our worship." It's when we worship Christ, in spite of what we're going through, that He will call us by name and speak the word of life into us that will make a difference to the circumstances life, at times, throws our way. Elder Mathieu said: "Jesus affirmed this woman's identity by calling her a child of Abraham. Also, after having spoken a word of life into her, he touched her and she was made immediately whole." Such was the dynamism of the preaching that as Michaela Mathieu-Marius sang 'You raised me up', many visitors, clearly touched by the message, came forward for prayer and a touch of God's restoring power in their own lives.

The church then went out into the community with the Pathfinders, delivering literature and leaflets, inviting people to Hackney's upcoming 'One Life' evangelistic campaign, which takes place on 3-17June 2017 with special guest health evangelists – James Luke and Natalie Nash along with the main speaker, Hackney's very own pastor, Joojo Bonnie.

[Darell Philip]


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