Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgi and the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students
Stephen regularly visits the former Soviet republic of Georgia where he has been appointed honorary professor and teaches within the School of Elijah and regularly preaches in the churches within Tbilisi and its neighbourhood.
He is also involved in ministry with students, graduates and workers within the IFES movement in Georgia and nearby Armenia.
Evangelism and Training
Ferndale is only too well aware of the rapid changes which are taking place in the world of education, both nationally and locally and seeks, in a number of ways to bring a Christian focus to bear on influencing those changes.
The Minister, Dr Stephen Dray, is Visiting Scholar at Sarum College and is encouraged and supported in this work by the members of the Church. He is also actively involved in the Philip Project training two-thirds world students for leadership in their churches when they return home.
Peter Dray, is currently living in Doncaster, where he works for the universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship, which nurtures the spiritual lives of students in that area.
Former intern, Sarah Dawkins is also involved in student work with the UCCF and works alongside students in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Essex.
Another former intern, Gareth Leaney, has now moved from working for the UCCF in the Thames Valley to join the Michael Ots Evangelistic organisation; working among students in Britain and Europe.
Focus Media is a mass media and multi media agency based in the UK, specialising in creative ways to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with people today. Founded in 1976 to produce radio programmes for international evangelism, Focus Radio produced the news programme ‘World of Science’ for many years. It was broadcast all over the world. As well as scientific news, it included interviews with leading research scientists who were also followers of Christ, and comments on scientific issues (such as the ethics of Genetic Engineering) from the perspective of a follower of Christ.
Current Focus Radio output includes ‘Abundant Life’ - a series of training programmes based on the course of the same name published by SEAN - Study by Extension for All Nations. We have broadcast ‘Abundant Life’ in Russian, Latvian, and several other languages of the former Soviet Union, as well as in English. In September 2000, Focus Radio organised a partnership of radio organisations to send seventeen broadcasters and journalists to Sydney for the Millennium Olympic Games. They broadcast reports and interviews in nine major languages to hundreds of radio stations on all five continents.
Some years ago, Focus produced a DVD with Stephen to address some of the issues related to the Da Vinci Code. Now podcasts, over 750,000 hits have been made worldwide: with a high percentage coming from within the Muslim world.
Most recently, Focus has been developing a series of DVD’s to engage some of the major challenges to faith today. For more, details visit http://www.focus.org.uk
In response to the Tsunami, the Ferndale congregations decided to seek to provide ongoing tangible support to an orphanage in Chennai (formerly Madras) at the centre of the devastated Tamil Nadu region in south India. The orphanage is a charity run by Joseph Paul, and already housed 19 children. Joseph indicated a willingness to welcome other children who lost their families in the tragedy. Over 50 children are now in residence.
Susan and Gary Anderson
Susan Anderson is Ferndale’s Link Missionary from the Baptist Missionary Society. She is a primary school teacher who is working with her husband Gary at the GDQ school in Tirana, Albania. For more details, see the BMS World Mission website.
Sopot Baptist Church
Sopot is Southend’s municipal twinned town. It is a beautiful resort on the Baltic Sea with 40,000 inhabitants, near to the city of Gdansk. The area is mainly Roman Catholic in faith. Sopot Baptist Church was suppressed under Communism. However, in the 1990s it was re-planted under the leadership of Pastor Krzystof Osiecki. It has now grown to approximately 40 members of various ages. Among its activities it is involved in an annual outreach into western Ukraine where it supports the establishment of schools and churches in areas of considerable deprivation. A number of visits have taken place between members of the two churches. For more see: http://www.baptysci.com
Wesel Evangelical Church
Former intern, Rudi Drews, his wife Doreen and their three children now work in Wesel, Germany (near the border with the Netherlands). They are pastoral workers there and the church remains in on-going fellowship with them.