Mission Spotlight: Mel Lynch
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.
Locally in Balsall Heath, Mel Lynch helps spearhead a drop-in venue called ‘The Well’ that provides a safe space for women. Using craft, stories, cake(!) and other activities together, it’s a long-term relationship-building space in a building we have the privilege to use that has huge spiritual roots. The name ‘The Well’ comes from the desire for women to come and encounter Jesus (as the Samaritan woman did in John 4). She encountered Jesus and then told everyone she knew, and the whole village came to faith.
STORIES OF HOPE
‘Recently Mel told us about a local lady who came to visit. She revealed herself to be a survivor of modern slavery, exploitation and people-trafficking. Sadly she was struggling to settle into the community, as she was dealing with so much trauma. Over a number of interactions, practical support, much prayer, and a referral for counselling, her demeanour has completely changed as she has discovered acceptance, support, and freedom.
Another local resident took a day off from work in order to come and visit The Well and shared about her forced marriage and how she had escaped. The safe environment provided at The Well communicated patience, a listening ear, and a spiritual peace that encouraged her to openly share her pain and feel acceptance.
At The Well, the team always pray in the name of Jesus, when asked to pray, or when an offer of prayer is accepted. They aim to use the positive examples of Jesus’ relationship with women as a gateway to introducing how God sees women. They long to see local women become disciples of Jesus, and then become disciple-makers themselves.
Mel is a missionary, raising support, and has been seconded to Riverside from a mission organisation as a ‘Cross-Cultural Community Worker” for Riverside since 2007. Riverside has the unique privilege of being both her ‘sending’ and ‘receiving’ church – with other churches and individuals supporting this invaluable cross-cultural work.