WorldVenture History in United Kingdom
The work of WorldVenture in United Kingdom has a dual focus: reaching out to the Pakistani and Gujarati populations of London.
The Gujaratis are a nation of ancient travelers hailing from India’s westernmost province. By the time Britain took control of India in the 1700s, the Gujarati flag flew over 84 ports, 23 of which were on the Gujarat coastline. Through hundreds of years of Muslim and British domination, Gujaratis have kept a strong loyalty to their language and their gods. Jesus has been considered to be the Englishman’s god and less than one percent of Gujaratis are Christian. WorldVenture workers with the Gujarati emphasize evangelism through building friendships and music. Many Gujaratis feel alone and isolated; discovering they can praise God in Gujarati styles of worship is exciting as well as challenging.
Evangelism among Pakistanis and other South Asians is the second focus of WorldVenture’s team in United Kingdom. The multicultural environment in London requires workers to cope with several different languages and ethnic mixes at once. The inner city context of the work brings further challenges such as dealing with domestic violence, homelessness, refugee issues and unemployment. In the past, short-term workers devoted time to prayer walks, outreach efforts, physical labor and construction projects.