Impacting People Groups in the Suburbs
‘Amazing!’ rejoiced one believer at the Lord’s presence in our training meeting. In the last two years we’ve trained more than 50 Muslim-background believers. They in turn have shared their faith by phone, by internet and in person with others. One friend in Iran said, ‘Can you tell me more of these Bible stories?’ People from as far away as Washington DC have also caught the spark.
In the Wild West, cowboys gathered their camp fire embers in an animal horn and carried them to the next camp, a Native American tradition. Now we are seeking to carry the fire to the nations. Others have kindled fires in surrounding towns. One asylum seeker was moved first to Liverpool, then Lancashire. There he trains Iranians in an Anglican church. Our previous church, which prayed us out, continues training everyone they can.
The ‘Following and Fishing’ discipleship course produced by our Australian friend Steve Addison is being used with French-speaking Africans and has been translated into Farsi language for our Iranian students. We’ve recently started an English club. God has provided a free centre with meals included. So far people have come from Syria, Turkey, Iran, India and Portugal: Hindus, Muslims and Roman Catholics. Bible stories are the curriculum.
In the last 12 years we’ve seen over 80 nationalities pass through English classes. Manchester has 200 languages; it’s been called the language capital of the UK. One Iranian came to classes and then to church. Soon the work multiplied until 80 per cent of the church are Muslim-background believers. The fastest growing Evangelical church in the world is now considered to be Iranian. When we started classes 12 years ago, a Bangladeshi asylum seeker and his Russian wife came to English classes. We invited ourselves to their home, and they opened their hearts to Jesus. Now they have five beautiful children, refuge, their own coffee shop and are finding a spiritual home in a local church.
Keith Kelly has been a missionary in Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Malawi. He has worked as a journalist, schoolteacher and careers officer as well as planting and pastoring churches in UK and Africa. He has also held tent missions in Europe and Zimbabwe.
Keith has been with World Outreach for much of the last 30 years and is now based in Manchester, England where he and his wife Christine are running an active migrant ministry at their international church. Christine runs a free language school where over 75 different nationalities have come to learn English. Through this many Muslim Iranians have come along to church and expressed the desire to follow Christ.