On 2nd June, a crowd gathered in a tourist hotspot in the centre of town. Armed with water bottles and brollies, they came to visit parts of London they'd not seen before.
But they stayed well away from the performers in Covent Garden and the shows of the West End. It wasn't Buckingham Palace or the Changing of the Guard they came to see. Though they ventured near Tower Bridge, the Crown Jewels didn't even get a look-in.
No. These people had something much more precious and rare they wanted to see. They had come to London to see how God is at work in the parts of the city no one visits.
They had come to see mission in action.
After an overview of why London needs Jesus, they set off in groups of 20-30 to visit Bermondsey, Vauxhall, Battersea, Waterloo and the Isle of Dogs, not traditionally tourist attractions but beautiful nonetheless.
They met the missionaries and teams who reach those on the margins of society and saw the love and passion with which they carry out their work. They walked the streets these dedicated men and women of God walk every day and heard about the spiritual and physical poverty of many locals.
They heard stories of people being changed and transformed by the power of God, of relational barriers broken down by the caring, committed and courageous work of our missionaries. Take Kelly, for example, who used to walk out of the room each time a Bible was opened. Years of faithful care from staff at the centre means she now sits in on the weekly Bible studies and allows missionaries to pray with her.
After a cup of tea and a cake, the visitors were thanked for partnering so faithfully up until now, as, without the prayers and support of dedicated brothers and sisters in Christ like them, people like Kelly wouldn't hear about the grace and freedom Jesus offers. They were also challenged to keep praying and supporting the gospel sharing work of London City Mission and to tell others about it so more of those on the margins of our society can know our wonderful Lord Jesus.
Once the tourist group shot was duly taken, they all headed home - a little footsore but full of encouragement that God is still alive and active, even in the unseen, less than glamorous places of our amazing capital.
If you'd like to be involved in a day out with LCM, contact us to find out when the next one will be held.