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Have the help of HOPE this Christmas

Sharing the gospel through the written word this Christmas

I was about 10 years old when I wrote my first magazine. Together with two friends we authored an indignant front-page story about plans to build on the open space near our homes, which would flatten the gang hut we’d built under a tree. We made copies by hand and sold them to neighbours to raise money for charity. 

Nearly 50 years later and I’m still writing magazines and working for charities. My dream has always been to produce magazines that put faith into words that non-Christians understand. Habakkuk’s prophecy really inspires me: Write down the message I am giving you. Write it clearly…Then a messenger can read it and run to announce it.”

So, I trained as a local newspaper journalist to learn to use everyday words, not Christian jargon, to reach people in language they can understand. As soon as I qualified, together with friends from Ashburnham Place, I began plans to launch a free magazine called Free For All, to go to every home in East Sussex where I live. The aim was to drip-feed’, not drown, people with the good news of Jesus.

In the run-up to the launch of Free For All, I worked freelance for Campus Crusade for Christ, as it was known then, to create a Hope magazine to go to every home in Northern Ireland. Local churches of every denomination were involved, including some Catholic churches, which was revolutionary at the time.

Hope Christmas Cover

Like many publishing ventures Free For All ran out of funds. But I learned a valuable lesson from the Hope magazine in Northern Ireland and the East Sussex venture. Print is a useful tool to leave people with something of the Christian message to ponder, but it has the most significant impact when Christians are praying, working together and using the publications as a way to start conversations.

This Christmas is the third year that HOPE and Hope for Every Home will publish a Christmas HOPE magazine, to help Christians share the gospel with people and welcome them into their church. I love HOPE’s emphasis on churches working together. When I read Jesus’ John 17 prayer for His disciples, I see it is an emphasis Jesus loves too.

I’ve found that non-Christians aren’t interested in what denomination we belong to. Keeping the focus on Jesus and using words from the Bible keeps the message simple and to the point and reunites people with God. 

Find out more about Christmas HOPE.

Cath Butcher is communications director at HOPE.

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