Manchester and Edinburgh Summer Teams - Report
Manchester International Outreach (MIO)
We had a great MIO team of 25 including 5 from the USA, 1 from Japan and 1 from the Netherlands. The commissioning service at Holy Trinity Platt was very inspiring and motivating. The team gelled well and worked hard as they learnt from seminars each morning, invited students in the afternoons and ran the café each evening.
During the first week café numbers were quite low but we had about 45 guests for the BBQ and over 50 for the ‘Food, Science and Faith’ dinner and talk on the Friday. There were similar numbers for the second week including the dinner and gospel talk on the Friday.
There was a good atmosphere each night with several conversations about the Christian faith taking place around the room as well as with those who went out to the Bible studies.
92 people from 16 countries registered as coming to the café for the first time, although there were many more who came but did not register. Of these:
33 wanted to know about churches
25 wanted to join a Bible study
37 wanted to be hosted
So far, only a few students have attended the guest services being held each Sunday throughout the summer but the first of the 10 MIO Extended social events (each hosted by a different church) has got off to a good start.
Edinburgh International Outreach (EIO)
After struggling with recruitment, we were thankful to God to have a great team of 15 people for EIO this year. They all got on well together and were excited about learning cross cultural ministry and reaching international students in Edinburgh.
We had a number of regular students coming each night which allowed for friendships to be built up. One student from India had been feeling very lonely and enjoyed the warmth of atmosphere and the welcome he received from the team. Even on nights with lower numbers, we always had a Bible study run and great conversations happening.
‘S' from China came to the café a few times and one night she went to the Bible study. She had read the Old Testament before in her undergraduate study but didn't know anything about the New Testament. After the Bible study she really seemed to grasp the gospel message and one of the team prayed for her. Later that week she text this team member: "I really learned a lot on Thursday evening. Before that, I didn’t know why people respect Jesus, but now I think Jesus is like a bridge who links humans and God." Pray for 'S' as she continues to learn. She is planning to go to church with one of the team this week. And pray for her friendship with this team member to grow deeper.
In the final week of EIO we enjoyed a variety of different fun café events including Scottish dancing, pancakes and talent night. Through the cafés, the international students felt welcomed and friendships began to grow with the regulars, and we also had new people joining us on some of the nights. The team members learned a lot over the 2 weeks and are heading back to their Universities and Christian Unions to get more involved in reaching out to international students.
It's been amazing to see how God has been working, even in ways we can't see. Thank you for partnering with us through your prayers.