Reaching the NationsBrook Hills
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations..."
The kitchen and a small dining table were in the basement. It was getting late and we were all sat around the table together talking: two Christian women and five Muslim women. We had just finished my first Iftar meal. This is the evening meal when Muslims end the daily Ramadan fast at sunset. We shared a love of music so we encouraged the younger girls to sing for us. They sang with all their might songs of their faith, then turned to my friend and I for a song in return. We looked at one another and smiled and started singing..."In Christ alone, my hope is found; He is my light, my strength, my song..."
As a Mid-Termer in London, I longed for introductions to the person of Jesus like that one. They came often, but they often came in unexpected ways. I didn't anticipate living in an area where on one side of the street was one of the largest concentrations of Muslims in the city and on the other one of the most wealthy and affluent areas of the city, yet that's exactly where I landed. I was working with a local church just East of Tower Bridge, and I found myself surrounded by people from every situation, faith and culture - a true fragment of London - a real-life concentration of "all nations."
As we welcomed our diverse community into our lives, I would watch amazed as Muslim fathers, mothers, grandparents and children would stream into the church for our families and toddlers play group. A Muslim mother would ask us to pray for her child that was sick, so we would pray in the name of Jesus. The child would begin to get well and the mother would begin to ask about Jesus and Christianity, so we would tell her.
We welcomed the community to try our evangelism course several times a year. It offered an opportunity to explore Christianity in a non-threatening environment - the local coffee shop. Women and men that came in curious, hurting, and full of skepticism about Jesus and the church would slowly begin to sing and share and ask their questions about faith openly. I had the honor of singing, sharing and asking questions right alongside them. Some decided to believe while I was there. Others are moving closer to Jesus daily.
I didn't expect the ways in which God chose to demonstrate himself in London. He planted me in a cross section of the world and gave me a host of opportunities to share Jesus.
You are a part of that, Brook Hills. You sent me to reach out to the nations and engage the lost with the gospel. You faithfully supported and encouraged me in that amazing season and I am so grateful.
As I explore returning to London Long-Term and many others explore going to make disciples of all nations, I encourage you to prayerfully consider what your role in reaching out to all nations may be.
Candice T. is a native of Mississippi and has been a member at The Church at Brook Hills for 4 years. Before serving as a Mid-Termer she co-led a small group and led vocally on our worship team. She recently returned to Birmingham after 2 years in London and is getting settled back into life here in Alabama.