Neighbours Worldwide is committed to seeing Christ known, loved and worshipped by unreached ethnic groups in the UK. The team works alongside existing churches to meet the specific needs of the communities in which they work. This includes discipleship activities, evangelism, literature production and training in cross-cultural evangelism.
Tom and Liz are Neighbours Worldwide workers, serving a church in Leicester. This church is new and still in formation, but is already pioneering outreach to asylum seekers.
Life as an asylum seeker can be fraught with uncertainty. The process of applying for asylum can take years, and, in the meantime, an individual is left in an unfamiliar country, far away from their home and community, with no real idea how long they will be allowed to stay. British culture is very rules-based, which contrasts with many other cultures which prize relationship above all. So, to a newcomer, Britain can seem cold and lacking in compassion. It’s also very common for asylum seekers to be housed in quite rough areas. As well as struggling to get to grips with British culture, they must also get used to some quite anti-social behaviour! This begs the question of how the church goes about serving people in this position. Liz enlightens us:
First and foremost, we show love in a practical way: helping them move house, going with them to legal appointments or helping with their children’s schooling – things like that.
‘We find this approach really opens people’s hearts. We’ll offer to pray for people as well, and they’ll almost always say “yes” and appreciate it. A combination of these things tends to create opportunities for us to discuss what we believe. Sometimes, we’ll give away copies of the film or invite people to study the Bible with us. But although talking is good, we find that actions speak louder than words, especially with Muslims. Demonstrating God’s love to them challenges prejudices they sometimes have towards Christians. It really breaks down barriers.’
Tom and Liz are also involved with outreach to overseas students, and aim to reach long-term residents of Leicester from Muslim, Sikh and Hindu backgrounds. ‘We’d love to do more of this,’ Liz says. ‘At the moment, it’s a matter of connecting with other churches and Christian groups who are already doing this, learning from them and looking for ways to collaborate.’
There is still a lot of work to be done, but Neighbours Worldwide are reaching marginalised and forgotten people with God’s love and acceptance. It’s a glimpse of the Kingdom of God.
Find out more about our Neighbours Worldwide ministry
The world is on our doorstep! In Britain and Ireland there is a thriving and growing population of people from areas of the world where the gospel is not easily heard. Although living here, most of these families still have no real knowledge of Christ or contact with the christian church. Neighbours Worldwide aims to serve these dear people in the UK and Ireland. Working alongside existing churches, Neighbours Worldwide teams teach English, lead Bible studies, visit families, give out Christian literature and do all they can to share the love of Christ in a relevant way.
We need you to get involved
If you want to build relationships with ethnic groups in your community email us.