I give thanks to God for all of you. Let me also thank the many of you have supported me and the relief work in Payatas with your prayers, with your encouragements and with our donations. I have been asked how things are going. Here is my response. Things continue to be extremely busy. We have now distributed around 47,000 relief packs to about 12,000 families and the work continues. I am seeking to encourage everyone to remember that although this is a very active ministry it depends on prayer and we need to seek to keep prayer at the centre. We begin with prayer time everyday, we live-stream praise and worship and the Eucharist everyday, and we have continued prayer and adoration going on in the afternoons until 4 pm. Tomorrow the quarantine in Manilla will be downgraded from Modified enhanced community quarantine (MEHQ) to General Community Quarantine (GHQ). I am still seeking to know what that might mean in terms of people in Payatas. I am not sure how many will now be able to start work and when they will get their first salaries. I think that very many will still not be able to work. We are needing to think and pray about HOW we end the relief phase of our COVID-19 Pandemic response and start to move on to the rehabilitation and development phases of our work . One issue in particular is whether we have a staggered end or whether we finish our food distribution all at once, there are pros and cons to both approaches. As well as the “how”, we also need to think about WHEN we should end our relief phase and start move on to the rehabilitation and development phases of our work. I would imagine that, even if there is no return to a stricter lockdown, that the relief phase of giving out food will last for another 2-3 weeks at the very least, but we shall see. We also need to think and pray and clarify more about WHAT we aim to do in the rehabilitation and development phases of our work and FOR HOW MANY PEOPLE AND FOR WHICH PEOPLE. We also need to pray that donations still keep coming in and even increasing (there has been an extremely big drop in financial donations recently) and to think and pray about our part in this. I think our part should involve some sort of fundraising and partnership development strategies even as we seek to rely mainly on prayer. There is also the very big and important issue of how we can help the tens of thousands of people we have served, and whose trust and respect we have gained, to come to know the Lord better and to become or grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. This for me is actually the most important issue. Once again thank you for all your support. I keep all you friends and supporters in my daily prayers. There are many of you for whom I pray for individually when I have my daily morning offering and intercession times. I wish you all a most BLESSED feast of Pentecost. May you experience a new Pentecost every day of your lives!!! May you allow the Holy Spirit to convince you of God’s love, convict you of sin, lead you to deeper repentance and faith in Jesus, transform you to become more and more like Jesus, and empower you to live lives of holiness and mission. May you increasingly receive God’s love, love God back and love others, including those who hurt you and especially the poor and suffering.
Your brother in Christ
Fr. Paul Uwemedimo MGL
Preparing for Pentecost with the Catholic Charismatic Renewal
NSC Chair Maria Heath encourages us to actively wait in the upper room for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit as we approach the feast of Pentecost. We invite you to listen to Maria as she shares some thoughts on how we all might prepare for Pentecost -
Some things we can do
1 - Pray the Novena to the Holy Spirit between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday, praying for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit for ourselves, the Church and the world. One possible way to pray the Novena is at and will be available from Thursday, Ascension Day.
2 - Join people from around the world for a Pentecost Vigil on Saturday 30th May at 9 pm led by CHARIS. This will be on the CHARIS International You Tube channel. The invitation is at:
3 - Join the CCR family in England on Pentecost Sunday, 31 May: the NSC is partnering with One Hope Project for a special Pentecost event at the earlier time of 5pm on YouTube. This will include, praise and worship, a talk by Jenny Baker, and an opportunity to pray for and receive the Holy Spirit. We will provide the You Tube link next week.
Preparing for Pentecost
Arthur spoke to us at the Antioch Meeting about preparing the ground for the Holy Spirit in our lives. Here are the areas he addressed and invited us to pray deeper into. This time presents an opportunity for us to be changed, for spiritual transformation in our lives:
1. A deeper desire and fervency for prayer, and particularly for intercessory prayer, which focuses on others, not on ourselves. Forgive us Lord for looking at the world with dry eyes. 2 Chron 7:14
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land”
2. A deeper awareness of God in our lives – we want God at the centre of our lives and our community because we value His presence. The Holy Spirit in our lives gives us access to God in a new way, not as servants or employees who are busy with His work, but strangers to His presence, but as sons and daughters. So, let’s take this time to know “Abba, Father” who dwells with us.
3. Conviction of sin in our lives – As a result of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we are changed. And so, we want to grow in a desire for personal holiness, a deeper understanding of what sin does, how it separates us from God and His forgiveness. It’s easy for us to make excuses for sin, or not even recognise it. Ask God to refine you, so you’re in right relationship with Him. You may find it helpful to pray Psalm 51.
4. A deeper revelation of the goodness of God – He is good and His love endures forever. What can God do with me, I’m not a Billy Graham or a Paul Uwemedimo? It’s not about us being good enough, but that God’s grace is enough. He wants to reconcile families, restore marriages, feed the poor, heal the sick. This comes about by his goodness, not our efforts. Isaiah 61:1 “His name is Restorer”. The gifts, fruit and wisdom of the Holy Spirit are for the transformation of the world for the glory of God.
Update from Payatas
Dear Friends, What can I say except thank you, thank you, thank you and thanks most especially to God! I have been astonished at the flood of love, heroism and sacrifice that has been unleashed in response to the suffering and pain caused by the COVID pandemic. There has been so much confusion, fear, and panic. There has been so much pain and suffering. One of our PNA trustees, a beloved friend, died a few days ago. The father of one of my religious brothers died just yesterday. Vast numbers of people are sick, have lost their jobs and so many are hungry. Here in Payatas there are hundreds of thousands of people and the majority of them have been going hungry in these last three weeks. But so many people have been quick to respond, with care, compassion and commitment. I want to thank all of you who have joined in this tidal wave of love, generosity, sacrifice, and service that has been unleashed in this present crisis. We here in Payatas have found ourselves under this tidal wave - and how we need this flood of practical action when tens of thousands of families, hundreds of thousands of people, are hungry - many of them desperately hungry. Through the generosity of our friends , we in Puso Ng Ama (PNA) started to feed people who were desperate with fear and hunger. Three weeks ago we gave food packs to just over two hundred families, two weeks ago we gave food packs to three hundred families. Then as the situation worsened, as more and more and more people became more and more hungry, we reached out for more help and you responded so readily in spite of the fact that many of you have also been so badly affected by this crisis. Many you are short of money, some of you have lost your jobs and other sources of income, and yet you have continued to give. Thank you! Your giving has not only provided physical nourishment to people going hungry. It has also provided hope and encouragement to people who feel they have been forgotten and neglected. Through your help, we have now given a weeks worth of rice to around two and half thousand families and we have given slightly more substantial food packs to over one thousand families. Through your generosity we have now fed around three and half thousand families in Payatas. However, it has now been announced that the lock down will continue until at least April 30th. I would not be surprised if it goes on longer. This means that the hunger will increase. With such vast numbers of people to feed, the government has not been able to cope with the great need and this need will now increase. We cannot simply leave it to them. We in PNA have therefore decided to step up our efforts even more. At 4am yesterday I felt we should aim to feed 10,000 families. I started messaging some people to tell them this belief at around 5am. Throughout the day I asked people people to pray that we would be able to feed 10,000 families. Then yesterday evening 10,000 cans of sardines arrived at our door step!!!! This to me was a sign and confirmation from God that we are indeed being called to step up our efforts even more. And so I would ask you all, my dear friends old and new, to continue to support us. Please pray for us, pray for the people of Payatas, pray that we in PNA might feed ten thousand families and more. Pray also that when this crisis is over we may continue to help with the work of rehabilitation and development. Please also ask others to consider supporting us . And, if you are able , please continue to give financially and /or to give rice and other non-perishable foodstuffs. Even very small donations are a great help. On our part, we in PNA commit ourselves to provide relief to many thousands of families during this crisis and then to help as many as possible afterwards though the work of rehabilitation and development. Once again THANK YOU my dear friends. Please be assured of my prayers for you. May GOD BLESS YOU in his love, mercy and grace.
Fr. Paul Uwemedimo MGL (PNA Chariman)
Eulogy of Chale Mantica
Dear brothers and sisters of the Sword of the Spirit, Through this message we communicate to you that Mr. Carlos Mántica, has reached the place of honor for which he strained all his life. God, in his infinite mercy, has called him into his courts and he is enjoying His presence forever. Chale – as we fondly call him – died yesterday on April 7th, 2020, at 84 years in his beloved Managua, Nicaragua. Chale was a valuable pioneer of our communities and of the Sword of the Spirit, he was one of the founders of “La Ciudad de Dios” alongside other great brothers. He was also President of the Sword of the Spirit in highly critical and important times of our history. He helped the formation of many communities in the Ibero-American Region, he wrote countless talks, books and courses and he also gave and ran innumerable conferences, retreats and preachings all around the world. He is a very beloved and respected man by his family, his community, the region, the Sword of the Spirit and, of course, his beloved Nicaragua. Rest in peace, Chale. May God have him in his glory. We will remember you kindly and carry you always in our hearts. We would like to share this eulogy written by Jean Barbara, president of the Sword of the Spirit, available in our website. Please feel free to share it with members in your communties as a way to honor our brother.
Jean Barbara (President of the Sword of the Spirit) José Luis Carretero (President of the Ibero-American Region)
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14
Payatas Update - April 5th 2020
Three weeks ago we gave food packs to more than 200 families including those of our PNA scholars. The week after we gave food packs to the same 200 families plus one hundred more. Last week, the crisis became worse, more and more people were becoming more and more hungry. We responded to this situation by starting to reach out to a far greater number of people. Today, in order to reach more people more quickly, we had three distribution points instead of one. At the PNA Center, we continued giving out as we have been giving in the past, but we also used the front entrance to give and we also used our other building. In addition, this afternoon we took 120 food packs with rice, cans squash and monggo beans to a small evangelical church in Payatas and gave them out from there in partnership with the pastor to a list of people identified by the Purok leader and the Church. More exact figures can wait but we have now given 4kg of rice to more than 2,000 families. In addition we have given food packs which included at least 4kg of rice to around 700 families. I expect that in the next few days we will have given rice to more than 3,000 families. I hope that in the next week we will give food packs (which include rice) to at least 300 to 1000 more families. I would hope that we will have given food to at least three to four thousand families by the end of next week. We have not yet made the decision of whether we will then increase the numbers of families we have fed by giving to more families or whether we will concentrate on simply try to feed again the thousands of families that we have already fed. During this time we are continuing to take special care of the families of our scholars and some other families for whom we in PNA have a more specific responsibility. In this respect, I should add that we have some donors who are trying to raise money to sustain a smaller number of families over a longer period. They are trying to raise money for a group of around 300 families on a longer term basis, for relief now, and then for rehabilitation and development afterwards.
Payatas Update and Prayer Request
Our 15 PNA Area coordinators went house to house today and identified about 1,900 families in our small area of Payatas that they say really need food urgently because they are going hungry. Please pray for wisdom as to what we should do in this situation. Do we stick to 300 families saying we will not have enough money to sustain thousands of families? Or do we try to feed about 2,000 families? One idea I will pray about is giving just rice, maybe enough for 3 days, to the 1,900 or so families, telling them that we do not have enough money to continue doing this for so many and asking them to pray that by 3 days time the government will have been able to give them some help (maybe we can to try to find a way to facilitate the government to give these families help after our three days of rice). I think tomorrow we have to identify and give straight away to some most urgent cases. Almost everybody needs it, even needs it a lot, but not everyone is at the same level of need. Some need much more than others. Anyway I know God has a solution and he wants to guide us. So please pray we would hear him and be led by the Holy Spirit: firstly to make the right decision and then, secondly to execute that decision in a loving, faith-filled, and effective way . Thank you
(Click the image for more pictures)
Fr.Paul's appeal for Payatas
Please see Fr. Paul's appeal for the people in Payatas in the Philippines who are experiencing desperate hardship as they deal with the consequences of the Coronavirus which is compounding the problems they already have with poverty.
New songbook available - again...
And this has been updated for the late Feb songbook... Please click the accompanying picture to download the latest Antioch Songbook. Please note that these songs are made available for use under our CCLI copyright licence, so they can be freely used for Antioch events. However they should not be used for other purposes. Thanks again Anthony.
Kairos Weekend - Feb 2020
Over 100 young people, including some from our outreach, Koinonia, gathered in Vienna, Austria, last week for the Kairos Weekend! We were learning about the theme of Hope and what it looks like to bring Hope to our local contexts, there was lots of time for worship, teaching from an excellent line up of speakers and opportunities to meet our brothers and sisters from around Europe and beyond! God spoke powerfully to individuals and to us as a group and he renewed zeal for mission in Europe and particularly among students. He refined our call as ecumenical communities and our unity was displayed very practically as brothers and sisters from the European Network of Communities (ENC) and The Bruderhof joined us in Vienna!
It was a joy to be gathered together as us. Thanks for the worship, Dan, thanks Arthur for the talk on Philippians 4 and thank you Helen for your sharing. It is good to be reminded that God can sort out the loose ends in us when human options have run out. Click the picture to link through to the audio recordings.
Koinonia Life in the Spirit Weekend
At the end of January, Koinonia headed off to a sunny Northampton for our annual Life in the Spirit weekend, a weekend run for hundreds of millions of people all over the world. We had many students who were new to us but not necessarily new to faith, so it was a weekend where new friendships were built and God really blessed our worship and grew spiritual gifts in those who attended. We received many words from the Lord which was a great encouragement personally and for us as a community and these also led people into deeper freedom, healing of memories, Baptism in the Spirit and deeper conversion in their relationships with the Lord. This was also an excellent chance to train new leaders. Thank you so much for praying for us and supporting us. God has lots more in store so please keep your prayers coming.