Contact Us in the UK
- Phone: 01302 811319
- Mailing Address: 24 Elmfield Road, Hyde Park, Doncaster, South Yorkshire DN1 2BA
Contact Us in the US
- Phone: 202.468.4571
- Mailing Address: PO Box 5188 Wheaton, IL 60189-5188
In God's providence, our church is located in an ethnically and economically diverse area. It wasn't that way when it was established in 1857, but the world has changed quite a bit since then. Now we have huge populations of recent Asian and Latin American immigrants all around us.
There have been a few challenges that have made it difficult for our church to reach out to these groups of people:
1. Langauge -- Most of the people in our congregation are only fluent in English. Many of the people we are trying to reach speak little or no English.
2. Culture -- There are some basic cultural differences that we keep bumping into. Many Latinos here work more than two jobs in order send money to their families at home. They aren't here to find God, they are here to make money. In addition, it can be difficult to plan a time to meet up (to someone from America, a 6:00 PM meeting begins at 6:00 PM... for someone from El Salvador it starts sometime before 7:30 PM). There are different customs and expectations on all sides.
3. Tensions and Suspicions -- As you might imagine, the immigration wave has created tensions in our community. As a result, many of the people that we are trying to reach assume that Americans hate them.
But despite those challenges, we have seen the gospel grow. A few things have been particularly fruitful:
1. Partnerships -- We have located Spanish speaking church planters that we can send out and support. We have partnered with an Asian Indian church planter to see a church started for speakers of Hindi. We may not be able to speak the language of the people that they are reaching, but we can provide prayer, facilities, financial support and "muscle".
2. Providential people -- The Lord has placed people in our church who are perfectly placed to help with these ministries. There's a 75 year old Pakistani polyglot with a heart to help a huge Bengali family that just moved in down the street from the church. There's a Venezuelan man who owns a painting company and wants to see his employees come to Christ. These people have served as bridges between English speakers and the people in the neighborhoods.
3. Hospitality -- As members of the English speaking church have "caught the vision" for this kind of ministry, they have been more courageous in showing hospitality to folks who don't speak English.
Praise God for the opportunities to reach the nations in our own neighborhoods!
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