Living God's Love Values - Generosity, Joy, Imagination and Courage
Living God's Love Values - Generosity, Joy, Imagination and Courage
SeeRound Online Oct 2018

Have you heard of the miracle of the blankets?

The Revd Rob and Katja O’Neill

Recent BBC research into the British public’s belief in miracles found:

  • 62% of the population believe some form of miracle is possible today, but almost half of adults say they don’t believe Jesus performed any miracles
  • Only 37% of people who attend church at least every month say they believe the miracles of Jesus happened as described in the Bible.
  • People aged 18 to 24 believe are more likely to believe some form of miracle is possible, although they don’t think it’s because of God.

but most strikingly:

  • 43% have prayed for a miracle and half of churchgoers say they have prayed for a miracle and their prayer was answered in the way they’d hoped.

Speaking on Three Counties Radio, The Revd Rob O’Neil from Caddington and Farley Hill, and Katja his wife spoke about miracles they have seen in connection with their lives and ministry.

Rob O’Neil believes the Risen Christ helps miracles happen today, especially when Christians pray to help others in need. He has seen healings during his life but undertstands that people can sometimes find it difficult to accept the stories of miracles in the Bible. One of the best ways of learning to accept miracles, he says, is to experience minor miracles oneself – such as seeing a small prayer answered for something that wouldn’t have happened if people hadn’t prayed!

Miracles of Provision – the miracle of the blankets
Rob continued: “Sometimes God operates at a practical level and miracles can be seen in his provision.” Some years ago, a few people from Rob’s churches went to the Jungle in Calais to take provisions. They asked the people in the warehouse what they needed most. it was cold, and the answer was ‘blankets’. As they drove back they decided to return in three weeks time with 1000 blankets. They put out an appeal but after a week, had just one donation: a swimming costume.

Slowly, donations and money came in and they bought just over 1000 blankets, taking them to Calais in a minibus, lent free of charge! When they arrived and were asked what they had brought they said: “1000 blankets.”

Amazingly, the warehouse had just had a call from the Dunkerque depot asking for blankets and in Calais the warehouse staff had been saying, “wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had a van and blankets to take to Dunkerque.”

So Rob and his team drove to Dunkerque, and were even somehow were allowed through a Police cordon at the camp which was turning back other vans and trucks. They were able to help keep people in great need warm. That was the ‘Miracle of the Blankets.’

Rob’s wife Katja also spoke about how God loves to provide in answer to prayer. About five years ago, Katja went to a conference and heard Rachel Warwick speaking about holiday hunger, also a problem in Caddington where there was 41% child poverty. Inspired, she knew they didn’t really have the means or equipment to help. Rachel said to her: “Do what you can with what you’ve got and God will give you the rest.” Katja now describes this as their motto. The next holiday was a half term and ten children came to the holiday club, they had set up, including a new kitchen donated by Luton Airport . Now 45 children come regularly to the holiday club.

Christmas Services of Lessons and Carols at St Albans Cathedral

The 2018 Lessons and Carols services will be held at the Cathedral on Friday 21 December at 7.30pm and Sunday 23 December at 6.30pm. Entry to these services is by ticket only. Tickets are first offered to the Cathedral’s own congregations and then the rest are distributed by public ballot.

Please send applications to Public Ballot, Services of Lessons and Carols, St Albans Cathedral, Sumpter Yard, St Albans, AL1 1BY to arrive by Friday 23 November. Please enclose an SAE stating which night you are applying for and how many tickets you would like (up to a maximum of four). Tickets will be posted out from Friday 7 December onwards. Other opportunities to attend carol services include Carols on the Hour on Saturday 22 December with Cathedral and local choirs singing from 11am to 4pm – no tickets required.

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