As you know, the mandate of BTBAB is to go to the developing nations, however, during 2020/2021 … Covid said NO, but we believe that God said “GO on outreach here” in the UK. So, following many weeks of prayer and seeking God, a team of six ladies from England, Ireland and Scotland came together. Despite Covid restrictions causing some delay, the date was set for the first week in June and we were able to connect with Jo Foster, our host who worked with the refugees and asylum seekers based in Coventry.
On Sunday, we met Gui and Lorena, who ran a gospel service for refugees and the World Food Hub at St Marks in Coventry. We participated in the service by doing a mime drama to support the message about trusting Jesus and also to pray for a man’s young son suffering with malaria in Cameroon – praise God, we have since heard that the little boy is making a good recovery.
Some of the team helped out at the Carriers of Hope Food Warehouse and the World Food Hub, which was specially set up – by Christians – for Muslim refugees and asylum seekers providing halal food and a choice of items they recognised. Having raised £500 for our mercy ministry – to help the poor & needy – the team were able to donate £170 of this towards the World Food Hub.
We were able to help the group which were running the English lessons, with it being half term, they were short staffed. The beginner and advanced classes both had about 18-20 people turning up, which was too many for inside, so we were outside on the grass, teaching the students how to fill in application forms, days of week, months, seasons, and parts of the body. The students were from Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Angola, El Salvador, Cameroon, Eritrea, Turkey, Georgia, Bulgaria, Yemen. One of the guys from Yemen had just received his refugee status, which meant that he would be able to search for work or studies. It also meant that he had only 3 weeks, to find a place to live and furnish it, apply for Universal Credit etc.
Good weather enabled us to evangelise in a local park with drama, singing and engaging with passers-by. We were able to witness the volunteers working tirelessly to support the refugees and we had an opportunity to join their weekly Mahabba, which is specific prayer for the Muslims. We were privileged to visit some families in their homes and share God’s love with some gift bags as part of the mercy ministry.
On Thursday, we were humbled to share an amazing day serving the homeless people at Birmingham City Mission. Steve Bagnall, manager of the Care Centre was a great host for the day; he has such a heart for the homeless and a powerful personal testimony. As well as friendship and support the centre provides a meal, clothing, shoes, toiletries and bible study for the guests. We were invited to cook the meal that day and serve the guests.
Finally, the team led by Esther Price from BTBAB, with Cathy Miller from Hereford Baptist Church, Lou Brooks from Oasis Church, Hereford, Silvie Jelinkova from House of the Open Door, Jenny McCurry from Kilmarnock Baptist Church and Tina Falvey in Ireland would like to express our immense thanks to God, who blessed us with such an awe-inspiring week and to the many people who supported us with prayer and finances, without whom, none of this would have been possible.