Update from Birmingham, England

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My name is Austin Browning. I’m from Wetumpka, AL and I attend the University of Alabama. I am in the business school at Alabama studying MIS (Management Information Systems).

I was first introduced to this trip through Kim, one of the Campus Ministers at Alabama and she just told me to pray about possibly going. I knew the Lord was calling me to go on missions but wasn’t sure where to. So when this opportunity presented itself I thought this might be what God was telling me to do. Long story short I decide that indeed I wanted to spend the beginning three weeks of my summer in the British Isles learning about their culture and sharing the gospel to a group of people who have very hardened hearts to the gospel.

I knew coming over here that we would see a very different but very beautiful part of the world and that this would be a different type of trip. I would be challenged to share my faith in Christ more than I ever have before. Every other mission trip I’ve been on up until now has been mainly service oriented where physical labor was required and we showed God’s love torwards his people by meeting their physical needs. But this would challenge me to be more vocal about my faith and engage people directly about Christ.

I started specifically praying that God would teach me more about persecution and what its like to suffer in the name of Christ. In my studying of scripture I have seen that we are to take great joy when we are faced with trials and persecution.
One example of this has been this past few days of walking door to door in the city and up the streets at High Street asking people to fill out surveys for a new Christian Community Center located among High Street where the people would barely even give you a second look when going up to them for the survey.

This was definitely a new experience for me and being one on one with someone is out of my confort zone. I’ve learned that God definitely answers prayers quicker than I’ve expected. Not to say I didn’t have faith in God but to say it’s been more
prevalent on this trip. I understand that this is not anything like what Christians around the world experience but for me it hurt my pride and I realized that is what bothered me the most. Dying to myself means dying to my pride even when it causes me discomfort or makes me uncomfortable. For the sake of the gospel I am called to do whatever is necessary putting my life on the line so that others
may know my Savior.

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From Left to Right: (Jez Deering, pastor of Short Heath Community Church; Kenny Dubnick, IMB missionary; Austin Browning; Shannon Hughes; Brittany Kent; Allie Rash

We loved our time in Birmingham, England and are now blessed to call our brothers and sisters in Christ at Short Heath Community Church friends. Join us in praying for:

*the new opportunities that a store front space on Erdington High Street will bring through a cafe and community center

*SHCC community groups and their leaders as they reach their surrounding neighborhoods for Christ

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