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CHRISTIAN LIFE IN LONDON | APRIL 2021 EDITION
FINDING PEACE IN NEWFOUNDLAND
CURRENT COMMUNITY STORIES
April 2021 Prayer Prompt
...around the table
The Churches of London Series
Village Green Community Church
London Christian Life and Witness Course May - June
BookMark - Healthy Gut Zone: Heal Your Digestive System to Restore Your Body and Renew Your Mind (BOOK REVIEW)
The Imprisoned for Christ Virtual Event – April 24th!
Register Now!
Integrity
The Greater London Celebration with Will Graham
Did You Miss the Virtual Celebration Launch Event?
Working from Home - 4 Must See Videos! (VIDEO)
Navigating Faith & Culture - Together
Faith Today magazine now FREE in Canada
Reel Review - Roe v. Wade (MOVIE REVIEW)
An Update from The London Child & Youth Network
I’m Drawing God! (HUMOUR)

Published February 2021
By Frank King


PHOTOGRAPH: COURTESY OF ELLA CHIRINOS

Growing up in the warm, tropical nation of Honduras, Ella Chirinos never imagined she would find her purpose among the rocky shores and Maritime culture of Newfoundland. But she did. And the 24-year-old St. John’s resident doesn’t hesitate to point to Jesus, working through the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada, as the One who made it happen.

In 2014, Ella decided to study behavioral neuroscience at Memorial University and was awarded an entrance scholarship. It was a long way from home for someone who had never travelled outside Honduras, but she took it and settled in with her mother’s help.In her last year of studies, she learned about a Celebration of Hope with Will Graham scheduled for St. John’s and decided to attend a Christian Life & Witness Course taught in advance of the 2018 Celebration.

While at the course, Ella spoke with instructor David Macfarlane, and he told her, “God brought you to Newfoundland to give you peace.” She knew God wanted her there, but she didn’t know why. “When I heard those words, everything changed,” she said.

Ella, who came to faith in Christ at age 10, had a deep need for peace. In Honduras, she developed obsessive- compulsive disorder (OCD). It made relations with her family very difficult and contributed to a two-year battle with suicidal thoughts. Ella was 18 when she arrived in St. John’s. She was still battling OCD, but she was “determined not to let it steal my dream of getting an education.”

As the Avalon Celebration’s outreach weekend approached, she decided to get involved. Ella looks back on the ministry with the belief that it was a divine appointment.

Besides helping her to understand why God put Newfoundland in her life, her participation in the Christian Life & Witness Course made clear the need to forgive her family.

Leaving behind her hurt and anger was difficult, but as David told course participants how he forgave his parents for a challenging childhood,“I knew God was speaking to me. I knew the only way for me to move forward was to forgive.

“Finally, I just said, ‘God, I don’t want to forgive, but I will in Jesus’ Name.’ That one moment opened the door for God to change my life. When I let the anger go, I realized that after everything He’s done for me, who was I not to forgive?”

Ella served as a volunteer for all three nights of the Avalon Celebration’s outreach weekend, playing her part as God brought almost 6,500 people to the Celebration’s outreach evenings at Mile One Centre in St. John’s. More than 21,500 other people from around the world watched online via live streaming.

More than 900 people responded to Will Graham’s invitations to commit their lives to Christ at the outreach evenings, online, and during evangelism training classes held in the weeks and months before.

Ella counselled three people—two children and an older woman. “What impacted me the most is I wanted the children to know that Jesus is a real person. One of the children had a stuffed horse, so I was able to tell her that Jesus loves horses, too.”

Helping others come to faith in Christ, and forgiving her family for her painful past, opened the door for Ella to overcome the OCD and despair.

“Jesus got me out of it,” she declared joyfully. “He told me, ‘I am strong enough to set you free. Will you let Me?’ I realized the only reason I wasn’t free was that I didn’t believe He could do it. So I let Him heal me.”

After the Avalon Celebration, Ella received emails from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, offering her ways to become involved with what God is doing through the organization. One of those ways is to join Search for Jesus, the online ministry that God has used since 2011 to bring almost 15 million people around the world to faith in His Son. Sensing the Holy Spirit’s urging, Ella prayed about it, then signed up to become a Search for Jesus volunteer.

After a month of training, Ella became an email coach, answering inquiries and participating in conversations with people searching for Truth online.

“This is transforming how I view people,” she explained. “It helped me to see that people have real struggles and are looking for answers—and if they send us an email, they’re sincere and want help. It’s very eye-opening.”

Even more important, Ella’s volunteer work with Search for Jesus provides opportunities to “Go into allthe world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15).

“When you know Jesus is real and can set people free, that transforms you, and you want to give that to others, too,” she said.

SCRIPTURE QUOTATIONS ARE TAKEN FROM THE HOLY BIBLE, ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION.

For more information on the Search for Jesus ministry, including opportunities to volunteer, to become a church partner, and to donate, please visit BillyGraham.ca/SFJ.