Snow is ‘a go’ for ministry in England!
Although Birmingham, England, is farther north than Quebec and just as far north as some of the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, CMF team members Jeff and Megan report that significant snowfalls are uncommon. But a recent snowstorm led to building some important bridges with the neighbors in the family’s new neighborhood!
“In January, we had a snowfall that our neighbors called, ‘The most snow we've had in years!’ Before you get too excited, that snowfall was no more than 3 inches,” said Jeff.
Yet with some accumulation and the weather staying cold enough to allow it to remain for the day, children and adults throughout Jeff and Megan’s neighborhood got the chance to play in the snow and build snowmen.
“Ian had the chance to play in snow for the first time in his life,” said Jeff. “As we walked down the footpath, other families came out to play in the snow, as well. Between two homes with members from the same extended family, we met about eight other people, with two children very close to Ian in age.
“We had great conversations with the adults and learned a lot about the community,” Jeff added. “It is common here for adult children to move into a home very close to their parents' home. Our neighbors shared how they did this very thing, living about 20 feet from their parents' property.”
The women described fun activities they do with their little ones in the warmer weather and invited Megan and Ian to join them.
“This made Megan especially happy, as she has missed spending time with other moms with small kids,” said Jeff. “Additionally, in a community that is disproportionally young, connecting through children's activities is a strategic way to reach our neighbors.”
In Jeff's conversation with one of the neighbors, the couple learned that while the neighbors are Pakistani, they have family throughout the world, including in the United Arab Emirates. The diverse relational connections in this community means that befriending one household opens another on Jeff and Megan’s block, others in the larger community and connections to family in multiple countries!
“We even learned that one of the women shares a birthday with Ian,” said Jeff. “So on their birthday, we took a large piece of Ian's birthday cake over to her house. We were able to talk with her family and build upon our relationship.
“We are so thankful for the snow and the opportunity it gave us to spend time with our neighbors,” said Jeff. “Please pray that we can continue to deepen these relationships and share Jesus despite ongoing pandemic restrictions.”