Found: a charity shop with good news


Found: a charity shop with good news


There is a charity shop in Harrow like no other. Run by Christ Church Roxeth and supported by London City Mission, it is a place that offers more than quality affordable clothes.

Thanks to LCM missionary Heba, who has partnered with the church outreach project, customers are walking out the door with the good news of Jesus Christ.

The purpose of Found is to connect with the community – offering prayer, practical help and most importantly the hope that only Jesus can bring.

Each morning before opening the doors, the team have a short prayer meeting asking the Lord to grant opportunities to love and serve people that day.

“We are part of people’s stories,” says Sarah, part-time manager at Found. “My heart and desire for this ministry is to see people come to faith.

“It’s amazing to see the conversations that Heba strikes up. Just watching her and how she approaches people and prays for them, she’s an inspiration.”

One such conversation was with a woman, Maali*, a recently arrived migrant who was finding life challenging.

At first Maali* was hesitant to open up, but she relaxed once she found out that Heba had grown up in Dubai like her.

She told Heba that since she arrived in the UK her family has been struggling – her husband is finding it difficult to find a job, and settling into a new culture has been tough for her son.

“She opened up quickly,” said Heba, “so I invited her to come back soon and see us at the shop.”

At Found, opportunities for remarkable gospel conversations can happen while customers are browsing the most ordinary things.

“Are you going swimming?!” Heba joked with a lady who had her hands full collecting all the bath towels she could find.

“No,” she laughed – Saleh* was gathering towels to send to people in need in Somalia.

Saleh* was a Muslim lady from Yemen, so Heba wondered about the connection with Somalia.

Saleh* went on to explain that she felt a great need to “do good” - “I’m doing good because charity will help me,” she said.

Heba, from a Muslim background herself, knew that Saleh* was trying to make up for her past sins by outweighing them with good deeds.

“But what about the bad that we do?” asked Heba gently. “Trying to make up for our past is such a heavy weight to put on ourselves.”

Heba shared with Saleh* how she also grew up as a Muslim, but she found Jesus who freed her from guilt and sin.

“I saw something change in her eyes when I told her Esa [‘Jesus’ in Arabic] took that heavy weight upon himself so we don’t need to try to make up for past sins,” reflects Heba.

“She had never heard this before.”

Heba gave Saleh* an Arabic New Testament which she gladly received.

“God orchestrated that,” says Heba, “I pray that wherever she is right now, she is reading the New Testament and discovering the hope that only Jesus can bring.”

For Simon Durrant, Vicar at Christ Church, Found is literally the shop window for their church.

“We want what goes on in our charity shop to reflect the Kingdom of God,” he says.

“We see our LCM partners as catalysts in helping our shop move towards that vision: a shop community on mission. Heba and others from the Harrow team who come and spend time in the shop model how this is possible.

“Through them, our staff, volunteers, and customers can see in front of them conversations being opened-up and faith being shared on the shop floor. This not only gives those in the shop a brilliant example to follow, but it raises confidence and expectation about what is possible.”

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