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4 August 2017

Making friends from around the world

Biddy Taylor (2013) Biddy Taylor Internationals
Global Gathering

In our all-age service on Sunday morning, we looked at the beginning of 1 John. As 1 John 2:2 tells us, Jesus didn’t just pay for our sins when he died on the cross; it was for the sins of the whole world. That’s why I was a Sent Mission Partner in Indonesia for over 20 years. I believed that God wanted me to go to help the Christians there tell other people the good news about Jesus so that they too could become friends with God.

I’ve now been back in the UK for several years. If you look around Southampton you’ll realise that the world has been constantly changing. Now the world has come to Southampton! There are people from all over the world living here in our city. I want to encourage others to help people from all over the world discover the good news about Jesus. Many of these people come from countries where they will never hear about Jesus.

You don’t have to be a great preacher to do that. We can all help internationals just by being friends with them. Here’s just one story of the impact that friendship can have.

Becky (Vietnam) with Rosemary and Aly
A few years ago, a young woman called Becky came to Southampton from Vietnam. Two ladies within Above Bar Church, Rosemary White and Aly Moon, invited Becky to go to their homes. They didn’t preach to her, or say great things to her about God. But Becky knew they loved God from things like the fact that they said thank you to him before they ate meals. And this obviously sowed a seed in Becky’s mind.

Becky went back to Vietnam. Then just before Christmas last year, Rosemary had a wonderful email from her. Becky wrote, ‘I have recently joined a church and I am just a new kid of God.’ And then she sent a photo from when she was baptised.

Becky (Vietnam)

It’s a great story of how showing God’s love and friendship to people can help them discover God’s forgivenesses and to become God’s children.

We can all do what Rosemary and Aly did: make friends with international people. Families can invite international families and befriend them. It’s not hard. Within Above Bar Church we do a number of things for internationals, including the English Language Holiday Club that has been running this week and our ongoing English Language Café. Things like this aren’t enough in themselves, but they provide a context for people to make friends and it is befriending international people which is crucial in them coming to know Jesus for themselves.

Can you befriend an international living in Southampton and show them the love of Jesus Christ in action? Jesus paid not just for our sins, but for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2).

If you are an international and would be interested in our activities such as English Language Café, visit the Internationals Page.

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