He Is Our Peace
It has been a very long time since my last blog post! A lot has happened in my life, in politics and in the world… I have completed my MSc in Development Studies with Modern Hebrew at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. If you are looking for a university that specialises in the Near and Middle East, Africa, Asia, Development, Gender, and Globalisation etc. then do check SOAS out! They also have excellent language courses in Hebrew, Arabic, Farsi, Urdu etc.
For my research I have been focusing on poverty and on Israel/Palestine. Recent events in Israel/Gaza have caused me to write an entry on my thoughts at this time for CSM. Even though I know this is as difficult to discuss as it is to research! I would like to firstly encourage Christians to pray for Israel/Gaza at this time, for peace in the region, for wisdom in negotiations and for an end to the current conflict. Perhaps meditating on this scripture which talks about how only Christ reconciles us to one another and brings peace…
‘He is [Himself] our peace (our bond of unity and harmony). He has made us both [Jew and Gentile] one [body], and has broken down (destroyed, abolished) the hostile dividing wall between us, by abolishing in His [own crucified] flesh the enmity [caused by] the Law with its decrees and ordinances [which He annulled]; that He from the two might create in Himself one new man [one new quality of humanity out of the two], so making peace. And [He designed] to reconcile to God both [Jew and Gentile, united] in a single body by means of His cross, thereby killing the mutual enmity and bringing the feud to an end. And He came and preached the glad tidings of peace to you who were afar off and [peace] to those who were near.’ Ephesians 2:14-17 [Amplified Bible]
It comforts me to know that this is God’s plan for peace.
He [Jesus] is our peace…
Politically speaking, I think that we cannot abdicate from our responsibility to engage with what is happening, but perhaps the most important thing we can do is encourage the Israeli government and the Hamas administration to make decisions based on the good of their people, especially their youth and children, and to appreciate their duty to leave them a legacy that enables them to live in peace and to prosper in life.
Francesca Chin-Lewis, 20/11/2012
Never Too Old... Or Too Young
This month I’ve included an interview with Dr David Landrum who I mentioned in my last blog entry. There are more interviews to come because I want to give you the opportunity to hear from these inspiring people, firsthand! I hope you will take the time to watch them and recommend them to other people and I pray that what they say will impact you in the way it has impacted me!In his interview Dave mentions a few organisations, so I am posting the links to their websites so you can find out more about them:
I am very excited about an event we are having in Parliament this month for Youth Pastors and Youth Organisers to talk to them about what God is doing in Politics and how they can get involved… because I am a Young Adult and I have a heart for Youth! The word God gave me about this event is:
‘But the Lord said to me, Say not, I am only a youth…’ Jeremiah 1:6 [AMP]
Jeremiah, Samuel, Jesus - all called by God from birth, or at a very young age, for His divine purpose. God is still in the business of calling us in this way today, irrespective of age and I really believe we have limitless potential in Christ to achieve unimaginable things.
‘All things are possible with God…’ Matthew 19:26 [AMP]
In particular, we are always talking (or singing) about changing the world and I feel that the rhetoric has to be accompanied by the resource and that is what SUSA is about. They have produced ‘Youth Resource Packs’ and they have also started off on a SUSA roadshow, which will take them across the UK to speak to congregations about missional politics and God’s perspective on Government. So please do try to attend one near you!
If I am honest, I feel that most of us are not too young but too old! I feel we wait too long to pursue what God has for us…And I don’t want to alienate anyone who doesn’t consider themselves to be Youth! God has a plan for each and every one of us. Moses led the Children of Israel to freedom in his latter years, Isaac was the son of Abraham and Sarah’s old age and Anna was probably more than 100 years old when she finally saw the Messiah, the promised one, when Mary and Joseph brought the baby Jesus to the Temple.
I hope that encourages you as much as it encourages me! I know that while there is life in my body, God will find a use for me, for His Glory and His Cause.
Next blog I hope to feature an interview with my former MP, Andy Reed. After 9 months in Andy’s office with Dave and John, the May 2010 General Election was held and I went up to Loughborough to help with the Campaign. I was responsible for the Student Campaign and it was an intense period for everyone! I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be involved in such an epic moment in political history, or to support Andy, and to go back to where it all began for me, Loughborough University, where I got my first degree in politics!
So, you will find out all about my experience of the May General Election Campaign 2010, the results and the transition that followed in my next post. Until then, may the Lord bless you and keep you! ~Francesca
Francesca Chin-Lewis, 08/03/2011
A WHOLE NEW WORLD...
A big thank you to everyone who has been reading my blog! I have been greatly encouraged by your feedback and support. This month, I have been filming some interviews with inspirational colleagues, which I hope to post on my blog over the coming months. For now, I will continue where I left off!
After finishing my first degree, I had no idea what I was going to do next. I did worry about it, but I tried to remember that I should…
‘Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.’ ~Matthew 6:33-34 (NIV)
I had to sign on for Job Seeker’s Allowance while I tried to find a suitable graduate job. In the end, I was only unemployed for two months! It felt like an eternity though… By September, I was the new intern for the MP for Loughborough, Andy Reed, in his Westminster Office in the Houses of Parliament. I could not believe it! Especially as Loughborough was the only constituency in the UK that I had lived in, apart from the London Constituency in which I was born and raised. To top it all off Andy was one of a group of Christian MPs who were passionate about living out their faith in Christ and encouraging Christian Engagement in Public Life.
Entering Parliament was like entering a whole new world. It is like a city within a city. Every MP has an office with a few members of staff. Some MPs share offices. Each office functions like an independent unit. In my new office, I found myself with John Powner, Andy’s Parliamentary Assistant and Dr David Landrum, the Senior Parliamentary Officer for the Bible Society and Administrator of Christians in Parliament, the All Party Parliamentary Christian Group for Christian Peers, MPs and Staff. I felt like God had pre-prepared the perfect place for me to spend my first 9 months in Parliament, because my time there was so wonderful!
John showed me how to do the practical day-to-day tasks associated with working in a MPs office and Dave took it upon himself to educate me in the concept of missional politics! Dave lent me books about Christian Worldview and afternoons in our office would often end in long theological debates between the three of us… The conversations I had with Dave and John and with other members of Christian in Parliament helped me to grow in my understanding of politics as mission.
At the same time I was in my first year of attending Hillsong Church London and the preaching series that my pastor, Gary Clarke was focusing on helped to compliment my experience in parliament. Gary would often talk about how we should be open to the idea that God could desire to use us for His Glory in one or more of the dominant spheres of influence in today’s culture, such as: politics, business, education, media, sport, etc.
It was so important for me to understand that the gifts and talents that God has given us can be used in these areas, and that God’s light and God’s glory can shine through us in this way, as much as if we all decided to pursue leadership in the local church or become missionaries in the traditional sense!
‘No one would light a lamp and put it under a clay pot. A lamp is placed on a lampstand, where it can give light to everyone in the house. Make your light shine, so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your Father in heaven.’ ~Matthew 5:15-16 (CEV)
‘Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.’ ~Daniel 12:3 (NIV)
In my next post, I will tell you what happened next, but until then, I’d love for you to follow me on Twitter as FMChinLewis and introduce yourself so I can follow you too!
For more information specifically on Black and Ethnic Minority involvement in Politics please see:
So, until my next post… May the Lord Bless You and Keep You! ~Francesca
Francesca Chin-Lewis, 03/02/2011
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
Francesca Chin-Lewis, 17/12/2010