Service In Southall
Glimpses of a typical week here in London
We are now almost two months into our time here in Southall. It has been one of the hardest, yet most blessed times we have ever spent as a family. We are still adjusting to life here in many ways. The kids have started school and our house is finally coming together into a real living space. This has taken longer than we had planned so our music school is slow to get the wheels up. We are working hard now to make that a reality.
We wanted to share with you what a typical week of service looks like here in London. Obviously, every week brings it’s own difficulties and opportunities, but this glimpse into our lives here while serving with the team at New Life Masih Ghar should help to paint a picture of some the great things that we are a part of and that the church is doing in this amazing, multi-cultural community.
This is our busiest day, of course. We arrive at the church around 2 pm to set up the instruments and PA system. We then rehearse until 4, when Sunday School starts. The service starts at 5 pm and usually features several Western worship songs and several Asian worship songs. Temple and I recently led worship and directed the team, which was an exiting opportunity for us. I have been playing drums mostly, but switch to bass or guitar as needed. The service is followed by a fellowship dinner which is open to the community and features some amazing home-cooked Indian food. Our family usually makes it home around 8:30 or 9 pm, tired and blessed by the busy day and the connection to our church family here.
Monday mornings the team meets at the Mount Ave. studio for it’s weekly team meeting. We debrief on the Sunday service, including going over a list of visitors to reach o
ut to, as well as prayer requests that need to be addressed. This time of prayer and connection is followed by lunch and a “Book Table” set-up, either in Southall or Hounslow. Volunteers hand out tracts about Jesus and talk with interested people about our Christian faith and our beliefs. Many connections have been made through this outreach in the community.
Tuesday morning features the NLMG Mom & Toddler Group, which Temple has been serving with. This group is attended by local Moms & their kids and gives them a chance to get out of the house and enjoy a time of fun and fellowship. This group is often attended by ladies of Hindu, Sikh & Muslim backgrounds and allows the NLMG team to serve them and their children through fun activities, fellowship and music.
On Tuesday afternoon we take the kids and serve with the Heston Kid’s Club at the church. This after-school activity is for the younger, school-aged kids and features fun activities, such as football, crafts, Legos as well as a Bible lesson. This outreach activity has brought in many kids from different backgrounds and religions. Recently one of the kids attending the group was given his first Bible to take home.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY
Although we don’t serve directly on these days, they are still busy days for us. A typical morning during the week means getting up to catch the bus by 8 a.m. to get Aria, Aja and Koa to school. Aria’s commute is 5 minutes by bus, and we sometimes walk it down. Aja & Koa’s school is further away and that means a 15 minute bus ride and a ten-minute walk, including crossing over one of the busier motorways in the area. That trip is repeated every day at 3 pm to get the kids back home. The kids are settling in at their schools, but your prayers are appreciated for all three of them, as this transition has been pretty huge for them. Their schools are very large and mostly Asian. They are the only American kids in their schools, and very much a minority as Christians, being surrounded by mostly Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs.
On Friday evening Aria and I attend and serve with the Heston Youth Club. This group is for teenagers and features fun stuff like group activities, pool and table tennis, popcorn, Wii games and a Bible lesson. This outreach activity usually includes 15-20 kids and gives the teenagers a fun thing to do on a Friday night at the church.They are exceptional kids from the community and we are looking into the possibility of starting a music group with some of the folks. This is just another special way in which NLMG is sharing the light of Christ in a tangible way in a community that very much needs to see it.
Hopefully, you now have a better look at what our life is like here in Southall. We are busy most days, either serving with the church or emptying boxes and trying to organize our lives here. There have definitely been struggles and more than a few tears, but the Lord has blessed us in many ways and shown up for us more times than we care to count.
We want to thank all of you for supporting us and allowing us to serve in this wonderful, diverse community!
– Please pray for our kids and their adjustments into the schools here. This has been difficult on many levels. Especially for Koa, as he has been home-schooled up to this point. Pray for peace for them in the transition and that they would make some good, close friends soon.
– Please pray for our efforts to start our music school here and generate some income. This is a vital component to our staying here on the ground and it is taking longer than we had originally planned. Please pray that the details come together and that we can start classes soon.
– Please pray for peace for our whole family. This time has been very stressful for all of us in different ways. Pray that God will grant us rest as needed and peace for our family through the adjustments.
– Please pray for the good work being done at New Life Masih Ghar to continue and grow. The church is a beacon of the Light of Christ in a very dark place. Pray that the light will reach people and pull them toward a relationship with Jesus.
PRAISE: A word of praise and thanks for the prayers for Temple. Her jaw problems have almost fully healed and she is able to sleep much better lately. This is a huge thing for us, as it was very painful and distracting for Temple several weeks. God is Good!