The United Kingdom is blessed to receive hundreds of thousands of international students every year. Students come from all over the world, many from countries where it is very hard for them to hear the gospel. There’s an amazing opportunity for them to meet Christians while in the UK, attend church and hear about Jesus. One couple said: “My wife and I live near the local university and through a few friends at the Christian Union we have been taking international students to our church. Last Sunday we took two Chinese students, neither of which had been to church before, a student from the Czech Republic, who is an atheist, a student from Cyprus who is Greek Orthodox and a student from Japan who is a Christian!” Pray that Christians all over the UK would seize these sorts of opportunities. Pray that the students they encounter would be open to hear and respond to the Good News. (Friends International) Taking teenagers on a short-term trip that forces them to leave their comfort zone can be a great way to give them a real heart for global mission. Dave Hartwell helped lead a team of 14 people to Ethiopia over the summer. Dave said: “We knew the young people would encounter great poverty almost as soon as they left the airport in Addis (Ababa) but we didn’t want this just to be a humanitarian aid project. We wanted to show them as much about mission as possible and to show them that everyone’s greatest need is to hear about Jesus.” Three of the young people are now putting mission at the forefront of their lives as they plan their futures. Pray for more of the UK’s youth to get a heart for mission and for lasting fruit from short-term trips. (Serving In Mission) UK universities are once again full of international students who have come here from all over the world. Many of these students come from countries where it is not possible to hear about Jesus – so their short time studying here may be their best chance of encountering a Christian or hearing about Jesus. Please pray for the international students in your local area in the UK. Pray that these students would meet Christians, be invited to church, hear the Truth presented and ultimately come to know who Jesus really is and what He has done for them. (Friends International) (Friends International) Manchester is a large multicultural city in the UK. The tragic terror attack at a concert in May by a radical Muslim, shocked and upset the nation. But on the ground, followers of Jesus have quietly continued their ministry of compassion to all their neighbours. Our ministry team in Manchester are intentionally meeting the social and spiritual needs of Arabic-speaking Muslims who arrive on their doorstep, many from conflict zones. Some are starting to notice the love of Christ shining through. Please pray for the Muslims being reached in Manchester to powerfully hear the good news of the kingdom, seeing Jesus’ love spoken through powerful acts of kindness that overcome the barriers of language and culture. (Arab World Ministry of Pioneers) During the summer many thousands of individuals come from all over the world to study English at UK language schools. The British Council estimates 400,000 students study English at language schools throughout any given year, many of whom come in the summer months. Please pray for these students, who may have a first encounter with a church or a Christian. Pray for the Friends International Summer Teams, who will be operating in eight different cities, to befriend and witness to these students. Pray that these students would encounter Christ and the truth would be revealed to them. (Friends International) (Friends International) Operation Mobilisation's ministry in the UK is not a new thing, the difference is that we are now focussed on seeing ethnic minorities such as Somalis, Turks, Pakistanis, Syrians and Chinese, not just finding Christ, but becoming a part of a local church that can continue the work of evangelism, discipleship and training among second and third generations. We are living in a wonderful period of UK history but many communities do not have a vibrant fellowship because they are isolated by language or culture or ethnicity. Pray for the British Church to begin responding to the mission field that has come to the UK. Pray for people to have a passion to reach out cross-culturally, so that we in turn can send out a new generation to the rest of the world. (Operation Mobilisation) The non-Christian Welsh community use the phrase Iaith y Nefoedd as a joke. Roughly translated it means ‘everyone will speak Welsh in heaven’. It celebrates the Welsh language, while remembering its Christian history. Nathan Ogle works for Greater European Mission in Caernarfon, a Welsh port town with 10,000 residents. "There aren't many mission organisations reaching people through the Welsh language," he said. Though "recently I got to see two people baptised. One of those people was a direct result of our engagement in the community through a basketball camp." But he needs people to come serve the Welsh community and asks for prayer support for perseverance. Pray that many Welsh speakers will be found in heaven. (Greater Europe Mission UK) Agapé recently celebrated 50 years of ministry in the UK. Over that period many resources have been developed in the crucible of talking with non-Christians about faith in Jesus. One such resource is called Soularium designed to connect with the highly visual culture of young people raised on social media. It contains a collection of 50 photos, and the images are accompanied by questions like, “Which image best describes how you want your life to be?’” or ‘”Which image best describes your view of God?’” Pray that God will continue to use this evangelistic tool to help people explore their preconceptions of the bigger issues in life and help them on their journey to personal faith in Jesus. (Agapé Ministries Ltd) There are over 430,000 international students in UK universities. These students come from all over the world and present a real gospel opportunity for UK churches. With Easter just around the corner this can be a key moment for these students to hear the eternal truth of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. Many of these students will have come from countries where it is not possible to hear the gospel preached openly. Their short time in the UK may be the best opportunity they have. Pray that Easter this year would be a time of revelation for many international students and that their eyes would be opened to who Jesus really is. (Friends International) In Europe there is a huge amount of humanitarian aid but very little gospel outreach. Yet there are many opportunities to take the gospel to those who have never heard it in emerging migrant communities. In Italy, most migrants are African, but there is great gospel need. There is enormous potential for sports ministries, teaching and practical training. In Athens also, there is a huge need for Arabic speakers to connect with migrants; however the Greek Evangelical Church is small and under-funded, existing in a climate with a total ban on evangelism in official centres. The only way to reach people in these communities is through unofficial ministries and programmes. Pray that many migrants may hear the gospel in Europe while we have this open door of opportunity like never before. Pray for the budding Christian ministries that are joining together to help bring Christ to refugees. May the Western Church also be open to the evangelisation and blessing Christian migrants bring. (Serving In Mission) Journalists are often told to ‘leave their faith at the door of the office’ in Britain – which can mean that world events are reported without religious awareness. Pray that people will have their eyes opened and for liiberty to speak deeper truth. (Lapido Media) Please pray for people living with sight loss across the UK, particularly those who feel alone, left out, or no longer able to take part in things they used to enjoy. Pray that the network of support for people in these situations will continue to grow wider and stronger, reaching more and more people. Often what people need most is companionship, friendship and adequate provision of tools that will enable them to participate fully in all areas of life. Pray that through such friendships and partnerships people will discover Christian faith and lead fulfilling Christian lives. (Torch Trust) Pray for ongoing fruit after the Forum conference, that those who have been equipped will continue their ministries with boldness, strength, and wisdom to the student community.
(IFES) People with visual impairment are four times more likely to experience difficulties with access outside the home, a third more likely to face restrictions with going on holiday, and twice as likely to be unemployed and face economic hardship. Unsupported, a diagnosis of sight loss can mean isolation and loneliness. Pray for services around the UK, such as Torch’s accessible Holiday and Retreat Centre in Sussex, offering fellowship and pastoral care through residential short breaks and holidays for people at any stage of the sight loss journey. (BMS World Mission) Each day across Britain, 100 people learn that they are losing their sight. It is not unusual for people to experience loss of sight as something like a bereavement. Diminishing sight can make it hard to get out and about. Loneliness and depression are a real risk. In response to this large and growing need Torch Trust has launched Journeying With, a distinctively Christian befriending service which brings Christian volunteers alongside people who are struggling with sight loss. Torch is currently in the process of setting up more local schemes across the nation and prayer for this service would be greatly appreciated.
(Torch Trust) Torch Trust provides accessible Christian literature to people with sight loss via its free postal lending library and large catalogue of books for purchase. Torch is continually seeking to broaden its available catalogue and is working with Christian publishers and bookshops to achieve this. Please pray for these partnerships that they may flourish and serve those who need them. Pray for the readers for whom reading material can be a true lifeline and a link to the world outside. (Torch Trust) Word Alive is a Christian holiday week away in North Wales. Word Alive features a dedicated series of seminars just for international students - which helps explain and explore the Christian faith. Hundreds of internationals go to Word Alive every year and it is always an enjoyable and fun week away! During the weeks and months after Word Alive, international students will face challenges of living out their faith especially often when they return home. Pray that what they have learnt would not be lost and that they can build on their spiritual growth. Pray for those especially that will become Christians as a result of attending Word Alive. Pray that young faith would be protected. (Friends International) The government estimates that over 2 million Muslim women in the UK do not have the ability to speak, read, or write English. This can prevent them from integrating, remaining isolated and under the control of male relatives. David Cameron goes so far as to assert that this can contribute to radicalisation. In addition, thousands of refugees shall be arriving without enough English to fill out forms and read labels, let alone build relationships. Please pray that many ordinary believers will get qualified to teach English through courses like TESOL, in order that they may provide a much needed service whilst building lasting friendships. But even more, pray that Muslim women and refugees would be positively integrated to life in the UK. (YWAM) Over the Easter period many international students in the UK will be invited to Easter events including re-enactments, Good Friday services and Easter Sunday sunrise celebrations. We pray that many would take up these invitations and that they would see the event as more than just a cultural experience. May they come to know the true and eternal significance of Easter and what Jesus has done. May they realise that Jesus did it for them and that this truth would be made evident throughout the Easter events. We also pray for that local Christians would be faithful in inviting students and showing hospitality. (Friends International) Please pray for our students this Easter break as many have joined with mission organisations around the world in order to serve alongside the Church in local community based projects.
As part of the training here at All Nations, students are encouraged to go on Block Placements so that they can apply what they have learnt in the classroom to real life, cross-cultural situations. Students join in with various forms of cross-cultural ministry that can be challenging as well as fruitful.
That students will experience God's peace and protection as they travel.
That they will have the opportunity to put into practice what they have learnt so far.
That great lasting relationships will be established and that people will come to know Christ through All Nations students.
That students will grow through their Block Placement experience and arrive home safely, feeling invigorated for the summer term.
That their experiences will shape their future ministries as they seek God's calling upon their lives (All Nations Christian College) Over the Christmas break many international students in the UK will not be able to return home. They can often experience loneliness and isolation, especially if they are one of the only students left on campus. Pray that friendships with local Christians would mean that these students would not have to face Christmas alone, but will know the warmth and welcome of friends. Pray also, that over this time they would come to see what Christmas really means and who Jesus really is. (Friends International) For the first time since 1975, doctors are lining up to strike in response to government changes in the NHS. “We need to respond compassionately to our colleagues who may well be in turmoil about their futures. We have a tremendous opportunity to speak of the security we have in Christ, that even when all is stripped away we can still be supremely satisfied in Jesus.” Pray for Christian doctors throughout the UK to display Christ at this tumultuous time. (Christian Medical Fellowship) As the Christian Unions begin a busy term of outreach events and all of the evangelistic opportunities that Christmas brings, please pray that the Lord’s hand will be over all that they do and that through the Christian Unions, many would hear the good news of the gospel. Pray for students to be bold and courageous as they speak words of truth into the lives of their friends and coursemates. Pray too for the staff workers who support and encourage them. (UCCF) Torch Trust provides accessible Bibles and Bible-related literature in a range of formats such as braille, audio and giant print. Pray for the people receiving this literature, pray that it may help enable them to pursue active, independent Christian lives. (Torch Trust) During September hundreds of thousands of international students will come to the UK to start studying at language schools and universities. Many of these students will come from backgrounds where it is almost impossible for them to hear about the good news of Jesus. Please pray that while these students spend months and often years in the UK they would meet and be befriended by Christians who can introduce them to the Good News. Pray that they would return home as a child of God and with the desire to love the world. (Friends International) Pamela Sikahall is a Guatemalan working with Latin Link in Norwich, serving among the large student population there. She says: “I have started a home group for international students every Thursday. We have been meeting for seven weeks. We have at least six nationalities represented and most are not Christians. It has been special to build friendships and get to know them. Pray for friendships based on God’s love, for salvation and commitment, and that these young people come to know Jesus.” (Latin Link) People with visual impairment are four times more likely to experience difficulties with access outside the home, a third more likely to face restrictions with going on holiday, and twice as likely to be unemployed and face economic hardship. Unsupported, a diagnosis of sight loss can mean isolation and loneliness. Pray for services around the UK, such as Torch’s accessible Holiday and Retreat Centre in Sussex, offering fellowship and pastoral care through residential short breaks and holidays for people at any stage of the sight loss journey. (Torch Trust) A diagnosis of sight loss can mean isolation and loneliness. Positive feedback from the Torch Journeying With initiative piloted in Northern Ireland suggests that people losing their sight find a trained volunteer befriender is – quite literally – a Godsend. The befriending service will now be rolled out around the UK. Following training, a befriender gets alongside someone newly diagnosed for up to six months. He or she helps as someone deals with the emotional, social and physical impact of sight loss on their everyday life, supporting them as they make adjustments. (Torch Trust) There are a number of radio stations in the UK serving the Asian community but very few of these ever broadcast programmes with a Christian flavour. One group of radio producers in Yorkshire are trying to reverse this trend by producing creative programmes in Urdu and Hindi covering major Christian festivals such as Christmas and Easter. Pray for Whistling Frog Productions and their on-going campaign to bring the name of Jesus onto local Asian commercial radio stations and for listeners to respond to his life-changing message. (Reach Beyond) Eleven million people in the UK have a life-limiting long-term illness, impairment or disability – that’s one in six of the population, and the number is rising. Society often pushes disabled people to the margins - but are they any better represented in our church congregations? Disability Sunday – this year on 6th July or any convenient Sunday following – is an annual opportunity for churches to consider how they reach out and involve people with disabilities. A free resource pack is available from Churches for All, a network of Christian disability organisations. (Torch Trust) Caleb came from Cameroon to study in the UK. He came as a Christian, and while in the UK had the opportunity to be discipled and taught Bible handling skills. He then returned home a strong and confident believer, and even started a teaching class for his church. Thousands of international students arrive in the UK each year, some come from countries where it is not possible to speak openly about Jesus and others from countries where the church does not have strong Biblical teaching. Pray that these international students would encounter God in the UK. Pray that those who arrive as Christians would be equipped and encouraged, like Caleb was, so that they may return home and have a positive impact for Christ. (Friends International) Hundreds of thousands of students come to UK universities from all over the world. During February many Christian Unions ran weeks of events and talks that offered opportunities for international students to hear the gospel for the first time. Pray for the students that took the opportunity to find out about Jesus, that God would open the eyes of their hearts to the truth of what they heard. Pray too for effective follow up and for new Christians to be discipled and connected to churches. (Friends International) God is doing a new work in an English city where 25% of the population of this city are Muslims, with immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and North Africa. A small group of Christians who are committed to reach their Muslim friends with the gospel is regularly meeting to encourage each other, worship and pray together. Please pray for fresh vision to reach Muslims in the UK - for new strategies and resources and for more believers with a heart to reach them. (YWAM) Loneliness is as harmful to your health as 15 cigarettes a day. And 800,000 people in England say they feel lonely most or all of the time. These statistics, reported by the Campaign to End Loneliness, have added poignancy for organisations working with blind and partially sighted people such as Torch Trust. People with sight loss are more likely than sighted people to live alone. Pray for new and ongoing initiatives aimed at countering the isolating effects of sight loss. (Torch Trust) A small team of trained ‘befrienders’ has begun meeting one-to-one with people in the Southern Trust area of Northern Ireland who have recently been diagnosed with sight loss. This pilot project aims to support people through the difficult or even traumatic stages of early sight loss, helping them resource all they need to lead a fulfilling life and to connect to others, avoiding the social isolation so prevalent among blind and partially sighted people. Pray for this Journeying With project which will be rolled out in the UK from 2014. (Torch Trust) Whilst the BBC continues to produce religious programmes both nationally and locally, the world of commercial radio has almost completely turned its back on such programmes. In the past, these stations had to broadcast religious programmes by law, but since that law was abandoned in the 90s many of the 340-plus commercial stations keep well away from anything to do with Jesus. One group of radio producers in Yorkshire are trying to reverse this trend by placing creative and entertaining Christian programmes on commercial stations. Pray for Whistling Frog Productions and their on-going attempt to bring the name of Jesus back onto the mainstream airwaves. (Reach Beyond) The news that seven members of a prolific undercover sex-grooming ring have been convicted of abusing six girls aged between 11 and 15 in Oxford, over an eight-year period, has left many with a sense of shock. The details of the girls’ ordeal, made public after the trial at the Old Bailey, makes difficult and disturbing reading. There were sustained acts of physical and sexual violence, drug-taking, and one of the girls was forced to have an illegal back-room abortion aged just 12 years old. Girls were trafficked into prostitution to other parts of the UK. Pray for police forces in the UK and around the world as they work to free those caught in human trafficking operations. (Viva) There are an estimated 3.5 million children living in poverty in the United Kingdom - more than one in four children in the country. Sadly, with the current economic problems, there are fears that this number will increase unless something is done. Pray for children and families living in poverty, that they will be able to find strength and comfort in God, as well as have enough for basic needs. Pray that the parents will not take out their frustrations on the children as they look for opportunities to provide a more stable situation at home. Pray for wisdom for the government and that they will consider the likely impact on children when making decisions. Finally, pray for Christian organisations and churches to be effective in helping and supporting those in need. (Viva) Danial (not his real name) is a UK-based Iranian whom God is using to reach fellow Iranians. What originally began as business trips to Iran have now become opportunities for him to talk to people about Christ. Danial says, “It’s as if the Holy Spirit is sending me. With everyone I speak to, God says, ‘Speak to this person – this is my son, this is my daughter.’ And they are very open to Jesus.” One man rang Danial a few days after their meeting. He said “I have news for you. From the first day I believed in Jesus, everybody was shouting at me at work. They didn’t know I had come to Jesus, but I prayed and after a few days they said, ‘You are changed. What’s happened? Your face is so shiny!’” (SAT-7) A new shelter set up by a mission partner has helped keep 17 homeless and hungry asylum seekers off the streets this winter in Glasgow. They were able to take in asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Libya, Zimbabwe, Palestine, Uganda and Tanzania. Pray as they follow up with them and show Christ’s love, and for F, an asylum seeker from the Middle East who recently decided to follow Jesus after attending Bible studies. (Church Mission Society) With almost 100,000 international students in higher education, London is clearly a highly favoured destination for prospective international students. This is an amazing position for London to be in but there is a deep need for churches to be active in engaging this people group. Please pray that there would be unity and an increased urgency amongst churches to reach out to international students. Pray also for the students that they may encounter Christians and hear the gospel in their short time here, especially as many come from countries that are closed to the gospel. (Friends International) Prayer is needed for Christian international students who have returned to their home countries having studied in the UK. Many students return to cultures with intense work ethics and long working hours, for example China, and face huge pressures in balancing work and life. Some of these former students who get a job in their home country are torn between glorifying God in and through their work so as to be a witness to their colleagues, and church ministries; when reality hits home the sense of failure in juggling it all is acute. Please pray that Christians in this situation will withstand these pressures in God’s strength. (Friends International) Surprisingly, scriptural literacy is often lacking amongst Orthodox Jewish communities. Please pray that those living in Orthodox areas of London who have recently received offers of the Bible in a number of languages, including Hebrew, on CD will request copies of the disks and that the entrance of God’s word into their lives might bring true light. Please also pray for success in upcoming opportunities and outreaches that are taking place over the summer months to Orthodox communities and individuals across England and Wales. (Christian Witness to Israel) With an ageing population, it’s becoming increasingly common that people are receiving a diagnosis of sight loss at their GP surgery or local eye clinic. Many of these people receive this devastating news without support or counselling of any kind and frequently return to an empty house to grieve. Although sight loss is akin to bereavement in its effects, the care offered is often minimal. Pray for Torch Trust, traditionally known for its services to long-term blind people, which is now developing new strategies to meet people at their point of greatest need, as they begin their sight loss journey. (Torch Trust) Hundreds of years of persecution and perceived anti-Semitism within Christianity has resulted in the development of a deep distrust of Christians within Jewish communities the world over. Christian work to build relationships with Jewish people, as well as to share the gospel, can present a variety of challenges. These difficulties are particularly felt by Jewish believers in Christ, who are often opposed or rejected by their own communities or families. Please pray for the bridges being built by Christian workers (both Jewish and non-Jewish) with Jewish communities in London and across the UK. (Christian Witness to Israel) As the new academic year begins, tens of thousands of international students will begin their studies at universities across the UK. Friends International runs a meet and greet scheme at Heathrow Airport to welcome students from all over the world and assist them on the next part of their journey. As a result of this early contact, many students look up Friends International when they arrive at their university and get involved in the local activities. Pray for the Holy Spirit to open the hearts and minds of these students. (Friends International) Total area: 243,610 km2 Population: 65,648,000 (2016) Literacy: 98% Official languages: English GDP (PPP) per capita: $42,514 (2016 est.) Life expectancy: 80 years Religions: 43% Protestant, 41% Agnostic or Atheist, 9% Catholic, 3% Muslim, 1% Hindu, 1% Eastern Orthodox, 2% other religions