As an internationally-qualified taekwondo instructor, Samson could be lining his own pockets. Instead, he’s chosen to use his skills to reach out to his neighbours in Birmingham, running taekwondo classes in a local church hall. The classes, combining martial art skills with aerobics and core strength conditioning, are proving very popular, with more than twenty students attending most sessions.
‘They have to keep coming back if they want to improve,’ Samson explains. And improve, they do. In the three years the programme has been running, Samson has seen no fewer than seven black belt students come through. ‘Those are my disciples!’ he smiles.
The majority of locals are Muslims, but Samson is quite overt about the biblical values which underpin his teaching. As soon as students enter the hall, they are confronted with a banner, setting out the three key tenets of the class:
No pain, no gain. No discipline, no crown. No death, no life.
‘Everyone sees it and memorises it,’ Samson tells me. ‘We shout out the tenets as part of the class. It works as an encouragement when the students are feeling physically tired. And they begin to learn what these things mean and where they come from.’
After class, the group relax with cups of tea and coffee. It’s at this point that views are shared about Christianity, Islam and other worldviews. Samson has the chance to share more of his own beliefs. They will even sometimes read a Christian book together. ‘There have been some good discussions,’ Samson reflects. ‘And we could see some real results in the future.’ It’s clear his students are becoming stronger in their fitness and technique. It seems they are growing in their understanding of God, too.
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.