Ali wanted to share the gospel with teenagers in his community who weren’t in church. Through his small step of faith, and your support, we were able to help him engage with his local secondary school. But God’s vision was far bigger…
‘In Castleford, where I live, teenagers face so many challenges,’ says Ali. ‘I know Jesus is the answer, but they don’t – most of them know nothing about him. I wanted to do something to change that, but I wasn’t sure what.’
He asked SU Development Worker Matty Hawthorne for help. Together, they prayed for God’s guidance. And their prayers were answered. A nearby secondary school, Airedale Academy, was advertising for school governors, so Ali applied. It gave him the opportunity to ask what his church could do to help the students.
‘Many of them had issues around mental health and self-esteem. Four volunteers from our church, Five Town Christian Fellowship, trained as mental health workers and now visit the school regularly. Students are referred to them by the school, and the team signpost them to appropriate further help and professional resources. It helped build trust with the students and staff.’
Then Ali asked if he could hold some events to tell the students about Christianity. ‘I wasn’t sure how open we could be about our faith,’ he says, ‘but the head teacher said it was fine to talk about what it means to us.’
Funded by a grant from SU’s Good News Fund, Ali arranged for Christian musicians Chip K and Amongst Wolves to perform and speak to students about their faith during lessons.
There was more scope to share the gospel fully outside school hours, so Ali hired the school theatre for an evening. Chip K and Amongst Wolves performed, Castleford Tigers rugby player Jesse Sene-Lefao shared his testimony and Mark from Amongst Wolves shared the gospel and invited students to respond.
"About a hundred students came to that concert, and sixteen of them chose to follow Jesus."
Ali says, ‘About a hundred students came to that concert, and sixteen of them chose to follow Jesus. That’s more than our church has ever seen in its forty-year history!’
Currently, Ali and his church are working on their next mission initiative, this time partnering with schools and churches to share the gospel with teenagers across the wider Wakefield area.
SU’s Matty Hawthorne says, ‘Mission doesn’t always start with a grand plan. Ali just took a small step of faith, and God blessed it – and the doors just keep opening.’
Make more initiatives like this a reality
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