Josh Thompson, from Northern Ireland, has been attending LCPC while completing London City Mission’s City Vision Gap Year programme. Part of his year was spent working at Husk Coffee & Creative Space (an outreach cafe in Limehouse) where he helped to run English conversation classes. This article about Josh’s work was originally published in Changing London magazine and has been reproduced here with permission:
It was a big class of nine or ten people from Chile, Spain, France, Slovakia, Holland, Hungary, Brazil, Italy, and a volunteer who’s half-Canadian. The only thing that seemed to connect us? Not one of us was English! To get the conversations going, I’d set questions out – ‘Tell me something you love’ ‘Tell me something you hate.’ Family and travel were loved. Interestingly, injustice was the most popular in the ‘hate’ category.
So I asked what injustice meant to them. We talked about laws and rules, why we have them, what’s right and wrong. One Roman Catholic lady asked, ‘What is truth?’ One person said, ‘Whatever is your truth.’ So I asked, ‘What makes the truth, true? What’s your truth and my truth?’ Someone said, ‘It’s like cappuccino and flat white. To me they are just both the same.’ We discussed this. Are they the same? How would you find out? You’d go to someone who would know – a barista.
We discussed how to discern truth – ask an expert in the field, research and explore, look at both sides. We discussed relationships, religion, Islam, Hinduism, doing good works, right and wrong, higher power, and tolerance. As the conversation progressed, the words on the whiteboard increased.
Afterwards I thought, ‘What just happened?’ In an upper room in a café in London, we built relationships and had meaningful conversations that crossed cultural barriers. The classes are meant to be a service to the community – to help people hear English and converse in English. But, that day, the conversation got deeper – I’m excited to see what God does next.
PLEASE PRAY For the team at Husk to continue building relationships and have meaningful conversations that cross cultures and develop into gospel conversations. Please pray that people from all the different cultures in Limehouse are saved and brought into God’s family.
Do you, or someone you know, want to do a Gap Year with London City Mission? Find out more by visiting LCM.ORG.UK/GAPYEAR