Holland Road Baptist Church

Lena Parle

United International Café

By Lena Parle

United is our community for international people, based around café on a Wednesday evening. This is usually visited by around thirty students from the many language colleges within the city, but it’s open to all international people living and working in Brighton and Hove. We have students from all over the world, covering a broad age range, though the majority of students are under thirty.

The countries most strongly represented are Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and Brazil, although we’re also joined by many students from Asia and other parts of Europe. It’s great to have such a diverse group and everyone gets to experience lots of different cultures and people!

The café is somewhere where we can connect with students who are only here for a short time, letting us bless them by giving them a safe place to come and spend the evening. It’s a relaxed place where people can practice English with us and each other. We also have games, such as table tennis and pool.

Every few weeks we have a themed evening. In November we had a ‘Brighton night’, learning all about Brighton; a ‘fireworks night’ with sparklers; and an ‘international pudding night’ where we all got to eat some wonderful desserts!

United is a place where people can make friends and, if they want to, find out about how to get more involved in church. One woman who has just gone back to Spain got really involved in the youth work. She said she was so grateful for how United introduced her to church and made her feel welcome.

For some people who come it is the first time they have been inside a church building and we are the first Christians they have ever met! It is amazing when we often see these people’s views of Christianity change for the better as a result of our service and love towards them.

We meet at 7:30pm on Wednesday evenings in the church hall and anyone passionate about serving international people can come along and join us!

Topics: Communities
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