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Bishop Ellis Catholic

Voluntary Academy

I have come that you may have life - life in all its fullness (John 10:10)

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Week 3:

Lesson 1: Remember Paul used to be called Saul.  He had witnessed the death of Stephen before his conversion to Jesus Christ while he was on the road to Damascus.  Timothy was one of the people who accompanied Paul on some of his journeys.  He was the son of a Jewish mother and a Greek father.  He became a companion and assistant to Paul in his missionary work.


In one of Paul’s many journeys, he met Lydia, who was a successful trader involved in the business of purple cloth, the imperial colour of Rome, worn only by the emperor and those of rank and authority.  Read Paul, Luke and Timothy met Lydia below (.God’s Story 3 page 139).  Lydia was a successful business woman.  She would have been well known in the city.  She listened carefully to Paul as he preached the message of the Good News of Jesus Christ.  She invited Paul and his companions, including Timothy, to stay at her home.


We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony.  We remained in this city for some days.


On the Sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there.  A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth.  The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul.  When she and her household were baptised, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.”  And she prevailed upon us.

Acts 16: 11-15


In Acts 16:40, it is mentioned that on their release from prison Lydia welcomed Paul and Silas as well.  She was a woman proud to be associated with the name of Christ.  Like Paul himself, she witnessed to her faith in Christ, even though it might have been a risk to her business. She put her faith before all else.

  1. Why do you think the women were meeting outside the city for a time of prayer?
  2. What do you think appealed to Lydia in Paul’s preaching?
  3. What do you think is meant by the phrase ‘the Lord opened her heart’?
  4. How did Lydia respond?
  5. Why is it important that Paul and Timothy spoke to women as well as men?
  6. Why do you think Lydia invited Paul and his companions to her house?
  7. What do you think were the risks that Lydia took in witnessing to her faith in Christ?

Under the image of Lydia’s baptism below write a pen portrait of her, describing her life, actions and faith.


Lesson 2 Modern witnesses

Paul, Timothy, Stephen and Lydia were witnesses to the Good News of the Gospel in the early days of the Church.  In today’s world, there are those who, with the power of the Holy Spirit, are prepared to be witnesses to God’s love.


Mrs. Maricho is a witness

Mrs. Maricho is a modern missionary, who grew up in the capital city of the Philippines, Manila.  She had a good job in the city, but she wasn’t completely happy.  She remembered that, as a young girl, she had been part of an organisation called Mission Together, and she remembered its motto of ‘Children helping Children’.  As an adult, she thought about this a lot and decided that she still wanted to help children. So, she gave up her job, trained as a teacher, and moved to an island called Natandol where many of the children needed help.


On the island, you will often see children and women around, but not many men.  Some of the men have travelled overseas to work, while others are fishermen and are out at sea during the day.  The island is very green, with lots of trees, so the people can grow some fruit, but not enough for everyone.  There is no electricity or fresh water supply on Natandol.  Men from the island go by boat to the neighbouring island to collect water, and it is then shared around the island by a man on a bike.


This is the school on the island where the children have all of their lessons.  Mrs. Maricho is the only teacher and there is only one classroom.  The children attend school in shifts.  Around 600 children go to school here, so they have lessons for about forty at a time.  There are three shifts per day (7.30- 10.30, 11:00-1:00, 2:00-5:00) and each child might only attend one shift per week.


A group of missionary Sisters helped Mrs. Maricho to set up the school.  Mrs. Maricho and the children make everything in the school themselves, from their toys to the posters on the classroom walls.  The toys are often made from rubbish the children find on the island.  It might not have many resources, but before Mrs. Maricho came to the island, there was no school at all.  Mrs. Maricho gave up everything she had to help others and is truly an inspirational person.


  1. Discuss the words ‘modern witness’. What do you understand by this?
  2. What impressed you most about Mrs. Maricho?
  3. How is she a witness?
  4. What would be the most difficult thing Mrs. Maricho would have to cope with?
  5. What difference has her courage and witness made to others?
  6. What do you think gives Mrs Maricho their courage?


Do you know any modern witnesses e.g. family member, parishioner, celebrity (e.g. Marcus Rashford)? Write a report on their work and what makes them a modern witness.  How are their actions shaping lives?