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Reaching new neighbors

God planted a cross-cultural mission field right outside the doors of Our Savior, San Antonio, Texas.

Across the highway from the congregation is the USAA insurance complex, which has drawn many people from India for technology jobs. The Lord had plans using the varied membership of Our Savior, which includes a former friendly counselor to India; a former Pastoral Studies Institute (PSI) instructor; and John R., an Indian immigrant who is currently going through the PSI program to become a pastor.

Nathan Sutton, pastor at Our Savior, explains how the congregation has been seeing more and more young Indian families participating in the congregation’s annual community outreach events.

Pastor Nathan Sutton Indian Independence Day
Pastor Nathan Sutton chatting with attendees at Our Savior’s outreach event for India Independence Day.

“There is a high concentration of Indians within a five-to-ten-minute radius of us. With them already coming to some of our events, even if they’re not coming to church, they’re there; they’re showing up already,” says Sutton. “We can bring them onto our campus, build relationships with them, start those conversations, keep those conversations going, show love, listen well. And then we want to lead them to Jesus.”

Two of Our Savior’s more popular events are a basketball camp and an Easter event. The basketball camp draws many non-members in addition to the Indian immigrant families. The families spend time on campus watching their children, which gives members an opportunity to get to know them and demonstrate Christ’s love. In 2022, more than 250 people attended the family Easter event, with close to 100 being from India.

In August, for the first time, the congregation—spearheaded by John R.—held an event specifically for the Indian community: India Independence Day. Approximately 120 Indians attended.

“They couldn’t understand why a congregation of Christians, largely comprised of non-Indians, would invite them to come to a program celebrating India Independence Day,” explains Sutton. “We were able to get to know some of these Indian neighbors in a more personal way.”

He continues, “I know that it opened doors so that I could ask them questions not only about where they are from and what they miss about being in India, but I could also ask them about what religion they practice. I pray they will give John, me, and others at Our Savior the chance to follow up and ask even more questions, so we get the chance to share the hope we have in Christ alone.”

Looking ahead, the congregation hopes to offer more opportunities to reach Indian families in their area, including Indian language classes for the children in the families to learn the language. Sutton says, “The goal is to hold monthly classes in our school building so that Our Savior can continue to build bridges to the Indian community.”

Author: Forward in Christ
Volume: 109, Number 11
Issue: November 2022


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