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Bringing HOPE to the local community

Hope team 2013For three days near the start of July, a dozen of us crossed cultural boundaries by engaging with the community around Balsall Heath, Spark Hill and Sparkbrook. For many of us, reaching out to the multi-ethnic but predominantly Muslim people of these neighbourhoods seemed daunting if not impossible. However the things we learnt and experienced together gave us confidence that God can use us right here in our community to break down barriers in bringing Christ to the nations.

Hope Twenty 13 allowed us to give and receive: whether it was listening to the Imam during a visit to the local mosque, or listening to the testimony of a Muslim background believer; learning to cook a balti and buy our first ‘jalaba’, or teaching children to care for gardens and ensuring their safety during a carnival parade. We are especially thankful for the generous donation from Near Neighbours that was able to meet many of the costs of the program and to God for those who were challenged and empowered to see Muslims the way God sees them. Our prayer is that next year, HOPE Twenty 14 will once again encourage people from Riverside and other churches to engage in the mission on our own doorstep.

 “You’ve shown me what being a Christian really means” – Abdullah, Community leader of Balsall Heath Forum

“HOPE Twenty 13 has helped activate in me what I knew I have to do” – Andy, HOPE Twenty 13 participant

Markus Kappers  449 2290