Report: Summer Teams 2017
2017 saw 11 summer teams in 7 cities across the UK & Ireland. Hundreds of volunteers came together to befriend, serve and study the Bible with international students.
"It is always a little nerve-wracking when you open the doors for the first event. So, you can understand my excitement as around 50 people joined us for our first evening, which included a traditional cream tea and a quiz about the Royal family. Numbers fluctuated through the rest of the week, but we seemed to have just the right number each evening, and a number of guests came back every night. Each evening a small group of students joined some of our team for a Bible discussion."
"Many of the students who attended the discussions were from countries where to do the same would have been dangerous or impossible. On the first evening, seven young men from Saudi Arabia joined the study. Later in the week we also welcomed students from Oman, Turkey, Chine, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Taiwan."
"In the past couple of weeks following it’s been great to see some of our guests continuing to explore more about Jesus. One student in particular from China has been to church each week, and to a number of mid-week meetings too, and she has been reading her Chinese Bible regularly. Please pray for her as she begins meeting regularly with a local Christian to study the Bible."
— Gareth Leaney
"It was a great 2 weeks at Canterbury Summer International Outreach! I met a Turkish student on the very first day and gave him a flier for our Summer Special events. He was so thankful he started coming to all of our events as he was hungry to find friends. On Wednesday he attended the Bible Study where he was given a Bible in his own language. He told us that he had met other Christians before but never opened up and read the Bible. On Sunday he came to international guest service at Canterbury Baptist Church and was really touched by the worship and the church service. Let us pray that he and many others who opened the Bible for the first time – would continue to investigate the claims of Jesus and would want to know Him personally!
The Canterbury team consisted of people from Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Philippines, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, UK, Egypt, Ethiopia, Slovakia, Romania, and Ghana. It was a privilege to serve with such an enthusiastic and servant-hearted team of volunteers!
We had Chinese students coming along to Global Café and church guest services, and young asylum seekers from Syria, Afghanistan and Egypt joining us for Egyptian evening at Global Café and some attending Bible studies for the first time. During the 2 weeks we encountered 22 nationalities and were able to share the love of God!"
— Baiba Strause-Kalmere
"The Edinburgh International Outreach teams were quite small this year but the outreach still went very well despite that. Good relationships were built within the team and with the international students coming to cafe. In particular, 4 Chinese girls came to cafe every night, and the cafe helped them to settle into life in the UK and make friends. One of the girls in particular was very interested in Christianity and had many conversations with the team about the gospel as well as taking Marks gospel home and reading it for herself. Her and a few others regularly attended the Bible study and asked very challenging questions as they sought to know more about Jesus."
— Joanna Manners
"Reading International Outreach was a great experience. One Chinese visiting scholar said that it was the highlight of her time in the UK and she came to every evening! The team we had were excellent, with UCCF and Friends International staff on hand. Wycliffe church generously offered location, catering and accommodation. Training was excellent each morning. Outreach in the middle of the day needed tweaking and developing as we learnt what was working. Cafés each evening were always worthwhile, with significant conversations and Bible study participants each night, though low in number; it may be important to look for a café venue nearer or on campus for next year. We are confident that seeds have been sown and watered ready for a future harvest."
— Joshua Luke & Alan Tower