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40 Years of Transformation in the UK

The United Kingdom’s 42 magnificent cathedrals remind humanity of how vibrantly the gospel once thrived in that part of the world. But in recent decades, churches have closed while mosques have opened. The British population is viewing Christianity as more and more irrelevant while their country transforms into a stronghold for spiritual apathy. 

God desires a relationship with the people of the UK, so he’s been sending global workers there through Encompass for the past 40 years. Here are just a few samples of how God has been using Encompass global workers in the UK to draw people to himself.

Tom and MaryAnn have served in England for over 30 years. It was here they met Jieun, a Korean woman. Jieun had attended church when she was younger, but had since lost her way. When Tom and MaryAnn invited her to study the Bible with them, Jieun accepted, and God used that time to convict her and reveal her need for a Savior. Tom and MaryAnn baptized Jieun, and she now actively witnesses to her community in Bath, England. 

Jieun knew about God when she was younger—just like the UK knew him in earlier centuries—but they had both drifted away from him. God embarked on a rescue mission to successfully bring Jieun back to himself. Perhaps her story illustrates the way God wants to bring the entire nation of the UK back into relationship with himself.

Tom and MaryAnn also met Rachel, who didn’t believe in God and was actively promoting atheism. Tom and MaryAnn loved her with the same intentionality that Jesus showed humanity, and God used those interactions to eventually bring her to faith. Rachel saw the Holy Spirit living in Tom and MaryAnn and admired it so much that she even asked them to become godparents to her four children. Rachel now actively shares her faith with her community in Biggleswade, England.

Rachel had been so against God that she promoted atheism, but after encountering his Spirit living in his people, she couldn’t help but believe. The UK has become more and more atheistic in recent decades, but maybe Rachel’s story represents the way God wants to reverse that trend throughout the entire country. 

God used global worker Jason during the height of the pandemic when the number of ICU patients was surging. Doctors knew very little about the new disease at that time, but Jason risked his life to serve as a chaplain at the largest hospital in the region. God used him to meet people in their most critical moments and offer them prayer, scriptural truth, and a listening ear. 

God’s Spirit compelled Jason to visit the sick when they were at their worst, which is exactly what Jesus did during his ministry on earth. He sacrificed his own wellbeing in order to share God’s love with humanity when we were overcome with spiritual disease.

Jason’s wife, Crystal partnered with a charity that helps mothers and newborns who are especially vulnerable and isolated. Most of their clients have been victims of domestic abuse, homelessness, human trafficking, or crises that have forced them to become refugees. Can you imagine adding those extra layers of hardship on top of the already-challenging process of giving birth and raising a newborn? God used Crystal to help these women by providing baby supplies, taking them to appointments, cooking them meals, supporting them emotionally, helping with their newborns, and connecting them to local churches. 

God offers himself as a friend to the lonely, and as security to the vulnerable, and that’s what he did through Crystal. 

God’s Spirit is alive in his people, and he is moving through our global workers in the UK. God has been bringing life and light to dark places throughout the millennia, and that’s what he continues to do today. 

Would you commit over the next week to pray daily for God to move powerfully in the UK? Why not pray right now?

Adapted from a story that originally appeared in GraceConnect eNews, September 2022