If you follow the work of Dignity you will know that we’re normally found in the remote villages of sub-Saharan Africa. We recently got to work somewhere very different…Manchester in the UK!
We were invited by Ivy Church Manchester, one of our partner churches, to work with a small group of people who find themselves as refugees in Manchester. The idea is simple; take our working model and apply it to the lives of this group of people.
Most of the group became Christians in a nation where it was illegal to follow Jesus. Hearing how they met Jesus in their home country is amazing and encouraging.
Their lives were now at risk and they subsequently had to flee. Upon arriving in Manchester they have started attending Ivy Church and are enjoying the freedom to worship as they choose.
Due to circumstances outside their control refugees are by nature transient. Be it for days, weeks or even years, many are moved about depending on housing availability. They are amongst us for a while and then many have to move on, some are able to settle and many hope to return home one day. We have a unique window of opportunity to equip these people with some skills and tools that they will be able to use to introduce Jesus to others in their communities and even back in their home country.
As ever, we started the day with Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV)…
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion –
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendour.”
Considering what we can learn from a very old oak tree outside Ivy Church
It is amazing to know that God plants us to be a display of his splendour. We believe he is at work planting this incredible group of people in his eternal garden! We are excited to see what grows from this little start. We will be meeting up again soon…