Sarah Adeaga, from Ecclesia Church in Lewisham, attended our Summer School last year, and wrote about it for us.
There were so many positive things that I walked away from the Summer School with. To name a few, I was immersed in a range of differing projects and it was beautiful to see the leaders’ passion for their ministry area. Furthermore, I was blown away by the magnitude of the differing ways that God is moving through our city and using London City Mission as a catalyst to pour out love on those in our varying communities. These were just a few of the many highlights that week!
I started off hearing about the week through my friend Marina, who works for London City Mission. As the end of an intense period at work was approaching, I knew the summer school was something I had to be a part of; a season of spiritual re-fuelling was necessary! The focus for the week was Cross-Cultural Mission, and my biggest fear was that it might be an intense week of lots of theories on how to ‘fix’ other cultures, from a stance of cultural superiority. It was far from it. The biggest thing I learnt was actually to challenge preconceptions, learn to love through building relationships and see the beauty of other cultures; it was refreshing to be part of such a well-structured and thought-provoking programme.
Each day was filled with a delicately-organised mixture of teachings, mini-workshops, personal testimonies and visits to ministries around London. In particular, it was really beautiful to hear about the huge ministry to homeless people and how it started with a simple commitment to hospitality. The ministry to vulnerable women in shelters was also powerful. Seeing videos and hearing stories from women in shelters and ministry leaders was a real challenge to my ignorance of the experiences of marginalised groups within my community. All these ministries challenged me to consider the vast amount of people that I’m surrounded by. I had to question how engaged I am in sharing the love of Christ with them.
Surprisingly, building relationships with others and investing time in them seemed to be the common thread that ran through the planning and delivery of the differing ministries I was able to witness or hear about. On a basic level, the Summer School challenged me to consider what I could do, as a member of my church, to help show love to others in these ways. I’ve felt a prompting to do many things at church, but often overlook them as they always seem so impossible or distant. So, starting small, I’ve been challenged to make more intentional efforts at hospitality and building relationships with some of the more marginalised groups in my church community… who knows what God will do with this!
Finally, it goes without saying that I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Summer School, and strongly believe it is something that churches across London should really get involved in. Not only does it give exposure to a wide range of churches, communities, cultures and sub-cultures, but there is also such a beauty in differing people, from differing backgrounds and churches, sharing and encouraging one another. We are called to be ‘salt’ and ‘light’, and to ‘spur’ one another on to good works. Let us continue to do good, not become weary and seek new opportunities to re-fuel! May God continue to help and strengthen us as we aim to do this. More importantly, I pray that God continues to bless organisations like London City Mission, that work so faithfully in the lives of others.
This year's Summer School runs Mon 15 - Fri 19 July. For more information and to register visit www.lcm.org.uk/summerschool.