Mission Spotlight: Mike & Rachel Hill
As part of our ‘Riverside Story’ blog post series, this post specifically spotlights mission that Riverside is helping to facilitate here in Birmingham, the UK and around the world; supporting our vision to bring LIFE to every generation in every commuity.
Mike & Rachel have been part of the congregations of St John’s, Harborne and then Riverside Church over a number of years. We championed their time in Cambodia with Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF) between 2001 and 2015, and after returning, they felt the call to work strategically amongst international students coming through Birmingham. Since 2016 they have been working as Friends International; creating community, welcome and spiritual challenge for the thousands of students from all over the world who choose to study and learn in our city.
An Impossible Demand?
When we recently caught up with Mike, he told us about their recent lodger (name changed for privacy reasons).
“From a young age Louise had felt called to become a pastor in her home country; one which was known for persecuting believers.
You could say that Louise was demanding, or that she was a woman of great faith: when she got the chance to study overseas, she told God that she would like to stay with a Christian family, but also with her own self-contained apartment, and at a reasonable price. Her coursemates on her summer English language course invited her to join in their house share and told her that she was being completely unrealistic. After many days of this, she spoke to her mother overseas and they debated whether she should give up praying. They decided to keep going for now: they would continue to trust their great God to provide for Louise.
Meanwhile, the Lord has given us a ‘granny flat’ attached to our home and every year we pray for the Lord to bring the right students to live with us. The same day Louise spoke with her mother, one of Louise’s classmates came to a garden party at our home and said, “I think I may know someone who would be interested in your apartment”.
When Louise came to see us, her first question was, “Are you Christians?” When she heard the answer her heart leapt. God had answered her prayers!
We have enjoyed having Louise live with us this year. She is now determined to train for ministry before returning to her home country. She has been told that the Home Office will not give her a visa for this. So we are praying with her for the Lord to make it possible. Is she being too demanding? Or, once again, putting her trust in her great God?
Mike and Rachel would very much like everyone at Riverside to join them in prayer:
“Please join us in praying for Louise and her Visa. Also right now as well as Louise we have two graduates staying with us, both of whom have been studying the Bible and going to church. Please also pray for God to be at work powerfully in their lives”.
To find out more about Friends International or the work that Mike & Rachel are doing you can contact them via: e-mail: email@example.com.
If you are a member of Riverside you can also find their phone contact details via your ‘My ChurchSuite‘ account.
Main Website: https://www.friendsinternational.uk/
Friends International Birmingham: https://www.isbham.org/about-us/