Food Builds Community

At the end of last year, some workers Esther had known in the Middle East came to visit us for the day. They mentioned a couple they knew who had recently set up an intercultural church nearby. We visited and very quickly felt at home, recognizing that the church would be an ideal place to bring along our friends and contacts from the community. The church already has members from Pakistan, Hong Kong, Iran, and parts of Africa. One thing we really appreciate is that every Sunday we have a shared lunch together. In the cultures among which we work, food is important, and eating together brings a sense of community. Some believers from a Muslim background have been cut off from their families; others have come as refugees and are separated from their families due to distance. It is important for the church to be able to provide a loving community for these people to grow in their walk with the Lord. We explained to one of the regular shop customers, Mr. M, about our involvement in the church and told him that he was welcome to come and visit. We were somewhat surprised when he did. Around the same time that we got involved in the church, an old hotel nearby started to receive refugees, and there are now several hundred housed there. We have been helping on alternate Fridays with a men’s English class for these refugees, and about 12 men from Sudan and Chad have been coming regularly. We invited these men to come to the church service, and for the last few weeks a group has been attending regularly. Esther has also translated the service into Arabic for these men. We know that they appreciate the sense of welcome and community that they can enjoy at the church. Please pray that these men become open to the truth of the Gospel as they spend time with us.

Matthew and Esther with Neighbours Worldwide in the UK

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