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Cross-Cultural Ministry Gets Local and Personal

Cross-Cultural Ministry Gets Local and Personal

How God Uses All His People to Reach All People

Sometimes, we think sharing the gospel with least-reached people is for trained professionals only. We give and pray to put Christar workers in critical places to reach those who don’t yet have access to the gospel. But that’s only one part of the story. The other is how God uses everyone in His Church to build His Church.

When thousands of asylum-seekers poured into a corner of the U.K., a local hotel closed in cooperation with the government to house hundreds. People from least-reached places like South Asia, North Africa and the Middle East flooded the community.

Some had been forced to flee for their lives and left behind families and friends without saying goodbye. All are in limbo, enduring the long wait for permission to rebuild their lives. Grief, loneliness and confusion grip them while they wait, often within earshot of people questioning the legitimacy of their pleas. And many would need to learn English to begin a new life.

Scott and Andrea,* Christar workers who minister among South Asian immigrants in this community, had already been teaching multiple English classes to build relationships and share truth with asylum-seekers. Following the COVID shutdown, Andrea used her extra time to earn an ESL (English as a Second Language) certificate. Scott also acquired special training in helping people from Eastern cultures explore faith in Christ. They had no idea how God would use these newly acquired skills to fit an upcoming ministry like a hand to a glove. They also never imagined how much they would need the people God had placed in their church to help them.

More than 20 volunteers emerged to assist with classes in English and discussion times and to build relationships with the least-reached people who had become part of their community. Though few of these believers have formal ministry training, Andrea shares that, “All those who faithfully volunteer demonstrate God’s love through service, prayer and chit-chat.” Several would later marvel at how God used their life stories and even personal pain to prepare them to befriend least-reached people in their town.

Selene is a volunteer who knows what searching for answers is like. As a newer believer, she can remember facing questions about the identity of Jesus and the authenticity of Christianity. When Selene joins immigrants in Scott and Andrea’s English class, she relates to their longing for meaning in a world of uncertainty and their doubts about faith. She can offer a friendship that is steady through a journey of unknowns.

Unlike most of the other volunteers, Ben was a trained cross-cultural worker and had served among least-reached people in North Africa. He hadn’t expected to be back home in the U.K. when the wave of immigrants arrived, but a sudden tragedy had prompted him to return. Ben soon realized that he’d been through a version of what every asylum-seeker experiences: being forced from the place they call home without much time to plan, gather and reclaim the life they once had. And as Ben served them, he saw how the pain he had endured helped him relate to and empathize with others.

In contrast, Adel has been firmly grounded in her community for many years. When Andrea mentions her name, she smiles—perhaps to match Adel’s smile, lived out in service to a wide range of ages and cultures. Adel, a mother whose daughter’s health concerns drove her toward a deep trust in the Savior, can encourage immigrant mothers with empathy that bridges the language gap. She’s seen how God takes care of the weary, and He has placed her in the presence of weary people searching for answers.

“The dreams we have in this world often leave us disappointed,” Adel explained, “but Jesus gave up everything for us. Because of His death we are guaranteed an eternal home in heaven with Him and our Heavenly Father ... It’s a truth I long for everyone to know, especially those who long for a home to belong to.”

Each volunteer brings unique perspective, and the Lord works through their willingness to help people who’ve been displaced experience His compassion and goodness. God is using them, together, to build His Church among the least-reached. Thanks to them, Andrea says, “We have such strong foundations for community and growth.”

God’s work through people like Selene, Ben and Adel demonstrates just a tiny sliver of the ways He can use and redeem our experiences to introduce others to Him. Every personal story becomes a gateway of grace for someone else when we share Christ.

Participate Through Prayer:

  • Pray for asylum-seekers who participate in classes in the church where these volunteers minister to them. Ask God to provide residency, jobs and a new life that includes a walk with the Savior.
  • Ask the Lord to grow this group of volunteers, both spiritually and numerically, so that Jesus is known and worshiped among least-reached people searching for peace.
  • Ask God to use your entire life as a light for neighbors next door and halfway around the world, wherever you are.


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