We watch the news we can often feel useless. But, what can we do to influence the situation for good? Surely we must be compelled to pray for those in positions of power around the world. But does it stop there? Do you ever wonder how things might be different if those people had encountered the love of Jesus?
Amazingly, one in ten current world leaders studied at a UK university, including the presidents of Iran and Syria. I wonder whether they had any contact with the UK church, and what was their experience of Christians? Of course, it’s not just future heads of state that come here to study. Others in future positions of national influence are currently students: lawyers, teachers, politicians, civil servants, doctors, business chiefs. And as well as attending university, thousands also come here to study English, maybe even just for a few weeks or months.
These are the people that the United team are seeking to welcome. Through the café every Wednesday evening we want to provide a place that can be ‘home’ for international students whilst they are here in Brighton & Hove. A place to relax, to make and meet friends, to chat, ask questions, and share life. We welcome students from all over the world to share in our extended family, providing them with an opportunity to hear of Jesus and to encounter the love of God. As we talk, some express an interest to know more. Some may come to a Sunday service or to Alpha, or may simply meet one-to-one over coffee with a team member. Whatever their interest, we want to serve all the students by giving simple hospitality and seeking to reflect the love of God to them.
Living in a foreign country shapes a person, especially as a student. Their experiences here could help influence not only their own lives, but, through them, the lives of thousands of others, and even national policies. Whether they come to know Jesus for themselves, or simply leave with a more positive view of Jesus and His followers, Wednesday night in the back room of Holland Road Baptist Church could be shaping the world of tomorrow….
We trust you are praying as you listen to the news – keep doing that!
But if you’d like to do more, please get in touch with us. Perhaps you could:
- Bake some cakes or cookies once a month – or just occasionally.
- Host a student for Sunday lunch – regularly or as a one-off.
- Be part of a new prayer team committed to pray for the students (you could do this from home).
- Join the café team.
We’d love to hear from you! Please get in touch via the United web page, or chat to Tim Ison or Jenny Brown.