British Pakistani Christian Association has been working hard to alter the way our local council interacts with the residents living in the London Borough of Redbridge.
Our main cause for concern were the lack of local events to help foster harmony within the community and create opportunities for community groups and charities in our borough promote their services and gain referrals, to help strengthen the community.
Our primary strategy was to create a new regular monthly community fayre – one with a difference, due to a heavy slant towards community engagement.
So, whilst an array of commercial stalls kept shoppers committed to being in our town centre and encouraged many new visitors, we also facilitated a regular community pitch area which at weekends included a musical event, free bouncy castle, face-painting and free children’s art workshops.
Even better all week working with a number of non-church-affiliated apostles, Ilford High Road Baptist Church and Palm Tree Ministries, we were able to hold a daily ‘friendship centre’ for visitors to come and receive some free drinks and have a conversation or counselling from the various volunteers. But quite amazingly many visitors realising all the volunteers were Christians started to ask us for prayers of healing.
At one glorious moment Pastor Magdalene from Palm Tree Ministries prayed for a Muslim who had a pain near his heart region for some longevity. So desperate was the Muslim man for prayer that when all three of our volunteers were busy praying for people he waited for 30 minutes to be seen totally trusting and believing God would heal him.
Fortunately, Pastor Magdalene intervened and prayed for him and right before us a miracle occurred as the man expressed complete healing. Sadly we only have very short footage of this miracle as all our volunteers were extremely busy. What you have not seen is how vigorously the man was able to move his arm waving both in a circular motion desiring to display God’s wonderful work to everyone. The visitor’s contact details were obtained and he will be followed up by volunteers from local churches with Jeremy and Simeon our visiting apostles.
Our community stall was extremely popular and people of different ages and faiths were able to share stories, have a chat or receive counselling for problems they faced. One man who was a nominal Muslim had been seeking God for sometime and felt God calling him to sit with us and have a drink and chat. When he discovered we were Christians initially he was uncomfortable and he asked many questions about the scriptures. Simeon deliberated with him for about 30 minutes sharing the good news of our Gospel and salvation through faith not works. After sometime the man turned towards Simeon and asked if he could give his life to Christ and immediately Simeon and Jeremy began to pray with him and with permission we were able to video the moment he gave his life to Christ.
Both men were congratulated on entering God’s family by all the participating Christian volunteers and will also be followed-up. Two other men also gave their life to Christ during the week one of them, an Irish man, had suffered brutal child rape and abuse in his youth and God called him to us to receive healing.
When we first planned the event, we had hope to use the community pitch to help churches and church groups minister the word of God. But the results are well beyond what we initially thought possible and we give praise to God for that. It seems as if Ilford is ready for God to reap a harvest and we continue to push for His kingdom to be established locally.
To really boost the project, we need some more volunteers and others churches to participate and true to form an answer to prayer was received during the week after we met an Indian Christian from a church called Oasis in Newbury Park. The young man has stated that he will get his church to coordinate with us for our next event at the end of July. We will also be joined by a Christian anti-gang charity. It seems the event has the support of God and we call on Christians to continue to pray for our success and to help by volunteering or donating to our work which includes the printing of Christian tracts in different languages and provision of free Bibles.
Wilson Chowdhry reflecting on these events said:
“Our events our becoming increasingly popular and participation from churches has steadily increased. We set up the Friendship Centre as a way for the church to unobtrusively engage with local community but numerous calls for prayer made us realise that there was no need to hide our faith.
“In total four people gave their lives to Christ throughout the week and we gained a sense of how powerful our God is. In His enabling of a small group of people committed to sharing the Gospel to reach lives in such a life transforming way, he taught us how even the most insignificant of us can do great things through him.
“This is more than we thought would happen when we created a space for sharing and neighbourliness, but we glorify Jesus Christ for the wonderful works he is doing.
“Ephesians 3:20 points out the universal response to these events is to glory to God who “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.
There are so many people in our community who are broken by the events of their lives and moments like this bind up these wounds. We had only hoped to foster kindness, but clearly God uses kindness to work his power.”
If you would like to support our outreach work which includes printing free tracts for churches and Christian groups across the UK and our specific witnessing programme in the London Borough of Redbridge, please donate by clicking (here)