The 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, provided a unique opportunity for the gospel to go forth. My team of eight was partnered with Wallace Well Community Church, a church that opened its doors in March in one of Glasgow’s least-reached neighborhoods.
Many of the adults in the neighborhood have a negative view of Christianity and do not want anything to do with a church. However, the staff at Wallace Well Community Church has been working hard to melt the hardened hearts of people in the community. They have demonstrated Christ’s love in action by providing many educational services and community events over the last few months and have seen great success.
We were leaders for a Holiday Club—like Vacation Bible School—in the mornings and worked at a walk-in youth café in the afternoons. The Holiday Club and youth café gave kids in the neighborhood something fun and safe to do. While most showed up for the games and activities, they kept coming back for a different reason. Many of the children kept telling us how we made them feel special and that there was something different about us.
Showing Christ’s love
While we didn’t see any kids come to know Christ as their Lord, there were several positive outcomes from the week. We were successful in showing Christ’s love to numerous children, teenagers and parents. We were able to plant seeds of the gospel that others will be able to water and, Lord willing, reap a harvest.
We gave the kids and their families a positive experience at the church and informed them of future events. Many parents expressed their gratitude for providing a safe activity for their children, and the children said they can’t wait for other activities the church has planned. We laid a foundation the local church will be able to build on in the future.
I grew close to one student named Nathan who had never been to church before. He was very hesitant to join some of the activities early in the week but became a leader as the Holiday Club progressed. Early in the week, we would help set up snack time and clean up after some of the younger kids; I was trying to show him what servant leadership looked like.
God at work
By Friday, Nathan kept asking me for ways he could help. For a boy at his age in that culture wanting to serve others, God surely is working on his heart! While Nathan is not a believer, he feels welcomed and loved at Wallace Well Community Church and plans to attend different church activities in the fall.
While I wanted desperately to see Nathan come to know the Lord as his Savior, I was comforted by the words of Jesus in John 4:35-38, “Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. … For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” I was sowing seeds of truth into Nathan’s life all week long, and one day, by God’s grace, another will come and reap the harvest I planted.
J.D. Thompson, a student at West Texas A&M University, served with Go Now Missions in Glasgow, Scotland.