introduction to francesca's blog
Hello! So I thought I’d start by introducing myself. My name is Francesca Chin-Lewis and I’m 24 years old. I am many things… of which, those you might find most interesting are:
- A follower of Jesus Christ
- A Coordinator of an All Party Parliamentary Group based in the Houses of Parliament
- A former Parliamentary Intern for the previous Labour & Cooperative MP for Loughborough, Andy Reed
- A Masters Student at SOAS doing an MSc in Development Studies
- A coordinator of a Youth Evening Reception in Parliament with Christians in Parliament, SUSA and Christians in Politics
- A former Micah Challenge UK volunteer
- A member of Hillsong Church London… part of the Hillsong Universities Team… host of a Hillsong Campus connect group at the 02 Arena
I am sure there is more that I have forgotten! But for now, that will do…
I am inviting you to join me on my journey for a while via this blog! It will be narrative, I will be telling my story, introducing you to my world and some of the people in it. I hope that you will find this interesting and useful and I pray that God will use it for His Glory, His Plan and His Purpose on the Earth. I see where I am today as the result of wrestling with the idea that…
The Political Sphere can be a valid mission field for a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I suppose that I first began wrestling with this idea in the summer before my final year of university. I was studying for a BA [Hons] degree in International Relations with French and Spanish. I had just spent a year abroad in Quebec, Canada and I was finishing up by spending my summer working in a Christian Summer Camp in North Carolina, USA. I was trying to decide if God was calling me to be a full time overseas missionary or if I should continue down the political path. I felt challenged to lay down my own personal desires and my own agenda for my future, and pursue God’s will for my life, whatever that may be. It was extremely difficult for me and it still is because it is not a once in a lifetime choice, I have found, it is a daily choice.
‘‘Then [Jesus] said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?’’ ~Luke 9:23-25 (NIV)
I finally got to the point by the end of the summer during one of our weekly night-time communion services at our outdoor lakeside chapel, where I was so moved by God that I felt that I had to surrender to Him and confessed that I would indeed pursue a Missionary Lifestyle. However, I believe that as soon as I made that choice to be ‘a missionary’ as opposed to choosing to be ‘a politician’ that God actually gave me back my desires, but they had been refined and came with a completely new heart on my part. It wasn’t about me and my life anymore; it was about, politics as a mission field and Christians as missionaries in it… However, finding out what that actually meant would be a process.
When I came back to the UK to complete my final year of University, I prayed about what I should do next and it was then that I decided to go on from International Relations to focus on Development Studies, in particular, Poverty Reduction. I spent that year volunteering with Micah Challenge UK, a Christian Coalition, which includes Worldvision and Tearfund, and exists to inform Christians about the work currently being done around development, in particular the UN Millennium Development Goals, to inspire them to stand alongside their government and to take seriously God’s call to us in the book of Micah.
‘‘He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?’’ ~Micah 6:8 (NKJV)
However, in my own personal journey, I became frustrated with the thought of being a perpetual lobbyist, and I wanted to see what it was like to actually be the person who is being lobbied… an MP or a Peer. I reasoned that we spend so much time trying to change the hearts and minds of politicians, but what if God is raising up a generation of politicians whose hearts and minds have already been changed by Him? Who are ready to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly? What kind of impact could/do they have?
‘‘The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.’’ ~ Proverbs 21:1 (NKJV)
In my next post, I will tell you what happened next, when I began working with and for such Christian Parliamentarians!
For now it will suffice to say that when I was invited to do this blog by Andy Flannagan, director of the Christian Socialist Movement (CSM), I thought it would be an important cathartic exercise for me, as the question still remains: Is this really MY mission field? I also thought that perhaps this blog might help someone else catch a glimpse of, or become inspired about, what God may have planned for them!
‘‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’’ ~ Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
For anyone, I have invited to check out my blog that doesn’t know who CSM are, please check out:
And please remember that the Lord wants workers:
‘‘Then [Jesus] said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” ~Matthew 9:37 & 38 (NIV)
And never say that you are too young:
‘‘But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’’’ ~ Jeremiah 1:7 (NIV)
So, until my next post… May the Lord Bless You and Keep You! ~Francesca