Working with refugees

Working with refugees

Stories from Lebanon

Karen Priest, Lebanon

God has continually shown His blessing and provision to us, and the team we are here with, since before we started preparing to come out.

A Muslim refugee family known to us have 3 young children. The middle child has leukaemia which has also spread to his brain and has been receiving treatment for many years. Although registered with the UN as refugees, and partially supported by an NGO, the family constantly have to raise money to pay for the little boy’s treatment and the time that he has to stay in hospital. By God’s amazing grace, often through the generosity of their families, they have managed to pay everything. The hospital bills are often at least double the father’s monthly wages, and no-one else in the family works. Many times God has provided at the exact time the money has been needed. Now they have been granted medical asylum in a European country where all of their medical bills will be paid for.

At one point the boy had a blood clot on his brain which he received treatment for, although this was necessary it also delayed his cancer treatment. After this he deteriorated quickly, growing more and more lethargic, unable to run around, not even walking, sleeping lots and not really responding to anyone. The problem(s) in his brain had also been making him fit. One of the doctors at the hospital said that he wouldn’t recover or improve from this state but would only get worse and would soon become fully paralysed. The Dad didn’t tell anyone but, remembering all the love he and his family have been shown by believers, decided to go to a place in Lebanon where Christians go to pray, although he didn’t know where it was or what it was, because he wanted to pray to Jesus to ask him for help for his son. He slowly made his way there and sat there
for hours because he felt a deep peace and as though God was hearing his prayers, which he had never felt before.  He saw that there were oils for healing and asked about them, so they gave him a bottle, praying over it in the name of Jesus.  He went straight back to the hospital and covered his sons chest in the oil, leaving the bottle there for his wife to do the same thing the next day, before leaving and coming back to his house. Two days later the doctor came and saw his son.  She was amazed and said that she couldn’t believe how he was recovering! The little boy could move smoothly, talk with people, and was even able to stand a little on his feet and so she released him from that stay at the hospital! Since then he has got even better and stronger, he can now walk and run, calls out and talks with people.  The doctor said he should be getting worse but
he is getting better! His dad has told our team that he knows that his son is getting better because of Jesus!

Another family

The Dad of a refugee family we know had a problem with his blood, and possibly his liver, needing regular blood transfusions to alleviate symptoms and prolong his life. The time between these transfusions got shorter and shorter until doctors refused to do any more as they weren’t helping him and were costing the family a lot of money. They sent him home to die within the next few days. His wife had been attending a local church for aid and asked the pastor to come and pray with the Dad. The pastor came and prayed, but also insisted that all of the family should also pray with him, including the children. The family waited for their Dad to die, but he didn’t. One month later they took him back to the hospital where the doctors tested his blood. When the results came back they were astounded, not only was there no illness, but the Dad’s blood type had also changed. He had completely new blood!! As a result of this, the whole family have now chosen to follow Jesus.

Follow Commission

Get In Touch

We want to hear from you. Maybe you have a story to share about serving as part of Commission, or you need some specific information, or you spotted an error on this page. Whatever the reason, get in touch.

We will only use this information for the purposes of processing this enquiry. Your information is stored securely and not shared with anyone else. To see more about how we process your information please see our privacy policy.

10 + 7 =

WESTPOINT 2018

Thu 23rd - Mon 27th August

Discover our churches

Find the nearest Commission church across the world with our new Churchfinder.

April blog

Read the latest blog from Guy Miller.

Join the adventure

Find out more or sign up for one of our transformation teams.

Subscribe to the Commission Newsletter

One Way group

One Way group

Drop-in and support group

Harvest Church, Alton, UK

About 11 years ago, we were prompted to start this ministry because of unmet local needs. ‘One Way’ is predominately a Drop–in providing a place to be and somewhere to feel safe, receive practical, emotional or spiritual help, to set a direction for the future.

We do various activities throughout each day; CV writing, bidding for housing, form filling and administration, art class, craft, talks/testimonies, games, quiz time and jigsaw puzzles. We provide a hot meal for £2 on a Wednesday for those who require it. We signpost to other services including CAP and have an agency who work alongside us on a Wednesday providing professional support with housing and needs around benefits.

Many of the group members suffer social isolation, depression, anxiety, some have autistic issues, mental health struggles, learning difficulties and struggle to communicate effectively. A number have said that ‘One Way’ is the highlight of their week and is a place where they feel safe, accepted and valued.

We provide a drop-in between 10am to 4pm, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, for vulnerable people in the Alton community. We have an age range of 22-83 years old, with an average attendance of 12 plus 3 staff on Tuesdays and 16 plus 3 staff on Wednesdays.

  • We have seen 5 members of the group come to faith and be baptised
  • 3 others are attending Alpha
  • We hold a simple bible study each week which we have average of 4/5 attendees who take away hand out sheets.
  • One is now learning to cook with a volunteer chef and helps provide food on a Wednesday for those who require a hot meal.
  • One, who has major anxiety issues, is now volunteering in the Centre’s Café once a week
  • All attendees state that they feel safe and feel at home –it is like a family.
  • In 2016 the group grieved the loss of 5 members during the year.

If you are considering setting up a similar group, make sure you do your research, and communicate the project idea and consult with the community mental health team, doctors surgeries, support workers, social services, CAB and other local social housing support providers to find out what is the need.

Follow Commission

Get In Touch

We want to hear from you. Maybe you have a story to share about serving as part of Commission, or you need some specific information, or you spotted an error on this page. Whatever the reason, get in touch.

We will only use this information for the purposes of processing this enquiry. Your information is stored securely and not shared with anyone else. To see more about how we process your information please see our privacy policy.

6 + 7 =

WESTPOINT 2018

Thu 23rd - Mon 27th August

Discover our churches

Find the nearest Commission church across the world with our new Churchfinder.

April blog

Read the latest blog from Guy Miller.

Join the adventure

Find out more or sign up for one of our transformation teams.

Subscribe to the Commission Newsletter

Christmas Day

Christmas Day

Community lunch

King’s Church, Ringwood, UK

The original idea was to hold a lunch for 10-20 old folk that our home group visit a couple of times a year in sheltered housing. However a friend in church who is a chef agreed to be a part of it which meant we could go much bigger! It was advertised as friends of King’s church and was a community lunch in a local church hall. A lady from the URC church in Ringwood had had a similar idea and we joined forces. We had 62 people attend this free event (including helpers). 4 homeless people came as well as all generations. We had decided not to charge anything and were so blessed by people’s generosity from the town and surrounding area. The council also gave us money (more than we asked for) as well as Waitrose and Sainsbury’s. In fact we couldn’t spend all the money and have passed some on the the local food bank and started a new homeless project. Two ladies who do not attend church wanted to buy presents for everyone who went, and so Santa visited us with gifts for all.

Non church people also got involved and helped and so we have made connections with them too. We have also had a couple start attending our church as a result of the lunch. It was the most wonderful day and I could tell you so much more but you get the idea!

Follow Commission

Get In Touch

We want to hear from you. Maybe you have a story to share about serving as part of Commission, or you need some specific information, or you spotted an error on this page. Whatever the reason, get in touch.

We will only use this information for the purposes of processing this enquiry. Your information is stored securely and not shared with anyone else. To see more about how we process your information please see our privacy policy.

14 + 5 =

WESTPOINT 2018

Thu 23rd - Mon 27th August

Discover our churches

Find the nearest Commission church across the world with our new Churchfinder.

April blog

Read the latest blog from Guy Miller.

Join the adventure

Find out more or sign up for one of our transformation teams.

Subscribe to the Commission Newsletter

Bacon and Eggs

Bacon and Eggs

Breakfast Club

Life Church, Southampton, UK

6:15am on a Saturday morning. The alarm rings and I drag myself out of bed tiptoeing around the house trying not to wake anyone else up. I’d love to say I spring out of bed ready to go, but I’m one of those people who like their duvet too much and need a hot shower and strong cup of coffee before the day makes sense!

Life Church Southampton is one of four churches in Southampton who since 2012 take it in turns to serve breakfast to the lonely and homeless once a month on a Saturday morning. ‘The Breakfast Club’ aims to provide practically for a very real need of many in the city.

A faithful team of volunteers join me at The Life Centre where we ignite ovens, find the slow cookers and turn on the water boiler. We will open our doors at 8:30 and before then we’ve got sofas to move, rows of tables to set up, porridge to cook, cutlery to wrap and the components of a
good English breakfast to cook.

We are aiming to provide the best service possible for our guests that morning. As part of the welcome they receive on the door, we ask for and record names on tickets, so that when the servers come through with plates of steaming food, there’s a personal touch as they are delivered
to people we know with a name, rather than a number or faceless customer. Guests often stay for the whole morning drinking tea and coffee and having seconds of porridge – we don’t mind. Some use the warm and dry as an opportunity to have a quick snooze!

At the forefront of our minds as we prepare for Breakfast Club is to remember the poor (Gal 2:10). Listening is part of our remit. We spend a lot of our time simply listening to stories, understanding people’s lives, sharing in their joys and sorrows. It’s a delight to hear from one gentleman that he is engaged to be married, or that another has got a job. But how distraught it is to hear from one that their friend, a regular at Breakfast Club did not make it through an operation and passed away the previous week.

There is a real community amongst many of those who come to Breakfast. Everyone who comes in appears to be known by someone else, with many a cheerful and jovial welcome given as popular characters stroll in. Chairs are offered to mates once they’ve grabbed some cereal and it’s
heartening to us on the team to see the friendships. Very rarely have we experienced rudeness or anger from our guests – most are extremely thankful and grateful. Many we’ve seen each month for over five years, and we’ve slowly learnt their stories, shared in their joys and grief’s.
The depth of relationships we’ve developed over the years with many of our guests has lead us to be able to pray for them with much more clarity. Many welcome us praying for them, and a few ask us to pray with them – which is a real privilege. Over five years we have stood by and upheld many of our guests in prayer when the world has shunned them.

All we do is try to be Jesus to each and every person who walks through the door on a Saturday morning. I am constantly amazed, blessed and inspired by those beside me on the team who find a deep sense of enjoyment and reward from serving the homeless and lonely, those who also bear with the 6:15am alarm.

Follow Commission

Get In Touch

We want to hear from you. Maybe you have a story to share about serving as part of Commission, or you need some specific information, or you spotted an error on this page. Whatever the reason, get in touch.

We will only use this information for the purposes of processing this enquiry. Your information is stored securely and not shared with anyone else. To see more about how we process your information please see our privacy policy.

14 + 2 =

WESTPOINT 2018

Thu 23rd - Mon 27th August

Discover our churches

Find the nearest Commission church across the world with our new Churchfinder.

April blog

Read the latest blog from Guy Miller.

Join the adventure

Find out more or sign up for one of our transformation teams.

Subscribe to the Commission Newsletter