Cathy*, an OM UK worker, runs a mother and toddlers’ group for a majority-Pakistani community in England. The area has almost no Christian influence, so the team aim to be distinctive by their love for God, the community and each other.
“They know our unity is a God thing,” shares Cathy. “We’ve had people on the team from all over the world, and there’s always been unity. It’s a testimony to the women who come here.”
The group have been meeting every week for years, and although the friendships didn’t come easily, there have been some incredibly encouraging developments.
“A lot of the mums started out unconfident, not opening up or speaking English,” Cathy recalls. “There’s such a difference now — they hug us and text us their family updates and introduce us to their friends.”
The team share the love of Jesus with the Pakistani women by providing a safe community and leading weekly informal Bible studies. Most of the women are from a Muslim background, so they often have different ideas about concepts like grace and forgiveness.
“We have to have good communication — I always ask them what they think first, so it’s more natural to share,” says Cathy. “When we started they wouldn’t even acknowledge us, but now we can have conversations about faith!”
The impact of this community doesn’t just end with the women. Husbands go out of their way to let the team know how pleased they are that their wives attend the group: “They come home really happy!” The team are blessed by the opportunity to start building relationships with the whole family.
There are no quick fixes here: this ministry is about investing in people and letting the light of the gospel shine through this Christ-centred community. Cathy’s long-term dream for the area is to see a church planted and led by a Pashto-speaking pastor. A community of Pakistani believers would also mean people could take the gospel ‘home’ to areas of Pakistan otherwise inaccessible for non-local missionaries.
“It’s not an impossible dream,” she says. “We know that prayer makes things happen.”
Pray for the OM workers as they build relationships with families in the communities. Pray for the women attending Bible studies, that they would encounter Jesus for themselves. Pray for God to raise up a Pashto-speaking church for the area.
*name changed for security