Hello, I’m doctor Richard Hawes, and apart from writing the church small group bible study material and doing biblical research, my other area of ministry is working with internationals. This includes teaching English as a second language. We get between 11-17 students each week of mixed ability, from international University students who wish to improve their conversational English, to migrant workers who have lived here for a number of years, but who speak virtually no English at all.
The classes that we teach focus mainly on the aspects of living in Britain; for example going to the shops, and transport and so on.
Our aim of the international work is 3 fold:
Firstly, to teach the internationals English.
Secondly to make them feel at home in the UK, and offer a friendly point of contact, and we also hope to introduce them to the outreach events that take place at St Johns. But ultimately our aim is not to create church attenders who simply enjoy our family life, but to introduce the foreigner and stranger in our midst to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
To this end, we have also started an international home group, where we can study the same material as the rest of the church in a comfortable and accessible way, building up one another in their new found faith in Christ, praying in their own heart language – a foretaste of heaven where every tribe, tongue and nation gathers around the throne.
I am also responsible for overseeing the fortnightly teas shop event known as pop-in, which is open to everybody, but on the whole, it is the internationals who come to practice their English conversation, and meet warm, friendly believers over a cup of tea and a slice of cake.
So pray that this ministry would continue to reach out to the foreigner and the stranger with the good news of Jesus Christ, many come in from countries that are closed to the Gospel, where no missionaries can have access. Give thanks to the Lord that in his sovereignty that he has brought them to Hull for such a time as this.
Pray that as the Lord brings the foreigner and the stranger into our midst in Hull, that we as St john’s would continue to open our hearts and our homes, sharing the Gospel with them, so they might be wonderfully redeemed for works of righteousness.