The Friendship Centre is a community hub, based in a particularly diverse part of England. There are very few Jesus followers among the residents who hail from countries such as Bangladesh, Somalia and Pakistan.

John* and Riya* work alongside other Christian volunteers to run the centre, bringing practical support and a much-needed spiritual light to the community. Through friendships and training courses, they build connections with the community and take every opportunity they can to share about Jesus.

“We try to find out what the needs are in the community,” says John. “We survey door-to-door; it takes a long time actually, because they like talking to us. They all want to have a conversation.”

One of the ways the centre supports the neighbourhood is through training. A local Muslim lady teaches a sewing course, giving the women the skills to make their own salwar kameez (traditional Indian clothing). One lady, having completed the course, set up her own clothing business and is now able to make a living.

The centre also has computer facilities to host IT classes, and a comfortable seating area for English conversation classes. The volunteers incorporate a short Bible study and discussion into every lesson. Riya takes particular joy in introducing Bible stories that people may not have heard before, and is able to do that through the classes.

For cultural reasons, men and women meet in separate rooms. The team have found that while the women are sewing, their husbands are quite happy to sit with a cup of coffee and chat in an adjoining room.

“I’ve been having conversations and building friendships with the men,” shares John. “It can be difficult if they have limited English, but we just try to find links with people.”

The team have found that locals enjoy the friendly atmosphere of the centre, and some visit almost every day.

“As soon as I came to this place, I felt peace.” Ayesha* who came from an abusive home but found a safe place at the Friendship Centre.

A social worker volunteers monthly at the centre to provide as much support as possible for the community, but they are aware that there is still more work to be done. John explains that he’d love to see a sports facility in order to connect specifically with the teens.

“There’s no sports facility here for the early teens,” John explains. “We’d like to do something for them, but we’ll need more workers.”

The Friendship Centre is an investment into a community that needs to see the gospel lived out, and to experience the freedom and peace that only Jesus can bring.

“One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbour.” – Proverbs 12:26 (ESV)

Thank God that the Friendship Centre can be a neutral space for people from all backgrounds to meet, learn and have deep conversations! Please pray that the people who attend the Friendship Centre would encounter Jesus for themselves. Pray for someone willing to work with teenagers in the area.

*names changed for security

Share this Resource

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print

Leave a Reply

You might also like:

Kids ‘n’ Things Staff Member United Kingdom    Go & Live    As soon as possibleAre you gifted at working with children? Would you like to develop your abilities in a team which is focused on children’s ministry in UK schools and churches? Are you interested in working with others to design, prepare and present creative programs with a clear, relevant Christian message? Would you like to learn new skills that you can use to reach children with the gospel and help them on their journey to becoming Jesus followers?
Full Details
Youth Worker United Kingdom    Go & Live    As soon as possibleYoung people today are searching for what is real and what works in their lives. They are moving from childhood to adulthood. Some have already started a friendship with Jesus but lack a mentor to disciple them in their relationship with Christ, while others have never heard of Christ. Around the world, there is a tremendous need for full-time youth workers, who have a deep desire to see young people develop in their walk with Jesus. In many circumstances, creativity is needed to find ways to make connections and build relationships with young people. Do you share our passion to see young people discover who Jesus is and be built up to become men and women who follow Him? Consider joining us on this journey!
Full Details
TP Media House Volunteer Program United Kingdom    Go & Live    As soon as possibleTP Media House is an OM UK partner organization that is set up to share the good news through digital Media. At TP Media Studio we believe in developing skills and individuals so they get a professional experience on the skill side but also develop a passion for Christ and people they will be impacting.
Full Details
Creative Ministry Leader United Kingdom    Go & Live    As soon as possibleA melting pot of cultures; lots of young people; a venue – do you have the expertise to run a community outreach project?  Do you have skills that could bless a community and create a safe space for the gospel to be shared?  The community has typical inner-city social challenges, combined with immigrant communities from many nations.  You would be working with local churches and other partners to help vibrant communities be formed among the least reached in London.
Full Details
Outreach Developer London United Kingdom    Go & Live    As soon as possibleDo you have a passion for cities, the plethora of openings for the Gospel; a calling to London?  Do you have skills to reach the least reached?  Can you help immigrants learn English? Can you organise outreach to the marginalised, working alongside secular partners?  Or manage a hall for community outreach? Are you equipped to fulfil this portfolio role? You would be working with local churches and other partners to help vibrant communities be formed among the least reached in London.
Full Details
Diaspora Evangelist United Kingdom    Go & Live    As soon as possibleAre you eager to go to those parts of the community that are unreached?  London is a magnet for the nations in flux.  Migrants, refugees, asylum seekers all find their niche in this most cosmopolitan city.  Are you willing to seek to understand their culture and walk alongside them?  Do you want to get to know them, share the Gospel and disciple young believers?    Working with a church you will help this international community meet Jesus and be part of a vibrant community of Jesus followers.
Full Details