"My name is Sonny Simak, and I pastor Grace Church Southall in West London, UK. I was born in Punjab, India, to a Hindu family and moved to the UK in 2001 with my parents. The Lord saved me in 2007-08 while I was studying Chemistry at University in London. I married Sarita in 2012. Sarita too was born and brought up by a Hindu family in Southall.

I became involved in church planting in Southall in 2010 while I kept my secular job. I was able to leave my full-time job and took the role of an evangelist in 2013. The church plant then was constituted as the local church in late 2015. The church then called me to be their pastor in early 2016.

Southall is known as mini-India and has about twenty-eight thousand residents. It is one of the most religious towns in the UK. People come from various faiths such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other spiritual groups. There are several other denominational churches in Southall too.

Due to the ‘migrant’ nature of our town, therefore, Christians are often on the move in search of better jobs and living. The church membership is something most folks struggle to grasp.

We would, therefore, appreciate your prayers for the growth in both number and spiritual maturity in the life of the local church. We need mission-minded people who can understand the needs of this dark place and serve the Lord with much passion, love and boldness."

Update from Pastor Sonny Simak, September 2022

Greetings to you in the Name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

It has been a long while since I wrote to you.

We just concluded our expository series on the letter to the Ephesians last Sunday. We went through some selected studies from the book of Genesis and the parables of Jesus on Wednesdays. We look forward to starting a new sermon series on ‘The Sermon on the Mount’ on Sundays and the mid[1]week devotions from the letter to Titus on Wednesdays, which will take us through to Easter 2023.

We also have started an additional church service which takes place every first Sunday afternoon of the month at 4pm. Our hope is to add another Sunday evening service by autumn of 2023.

The church currently consists of ten members. A couple of folks must work on Sundays, but they do attend Sunday meetings when they are off work. They desire to be freed from working on Sunday. We have had a recent discouragement of seeing two of our members leave the church.

We have a new church treasurer in our church, and we give thanks to God for this dear sister in her willingness to serve the Lord with us in Southall.

We continue to hit the streets of Southall to reach the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A dear brother Tim from Home Mission has been assisting us on a fortnightly basis for our outreach work. We give thanks to the Lord for providing support and encouragement through him. A good number of people do engage both positively and negatively with us. We continue to seek the Lord to save many more people living in this spiritually dark place.

We have seen an influx of people taking on very difficult journeys running away from war and persecution mainly from Afghanistan and Iran.

We have a couple of Iranian brothers in their 30s joining us for fellowship for the past few weeks. We sit together on Wednesday late afternoon before our mid-week meeting and study the word. They are keen to learn the Word of God and have many questions about the Bible. Their English is poor, but we are able to communicate using a translation app on our smartphones. These men desire to be baptised and we have set an aim to be familiar with salvation, baptism, and the local church membership with these brothers.

We are planning to start the building project of building a new kitchen, a room for meetings such as Sunday School and toilet facilities in the back yard of the chapel and joining the whole structure with the existing chapel. The chapel itself needs a thorough repair and replacement of the old electrical wiring in the chapel. The Lord has helped us to raise about 20% of the budget for the full costs of these works. We have estimated these works to cost between 70- 80K. If all goes well, we could look to start the building work after the upcoming Easter Sunday.

Alongside the above points could you pray for Sarita and I as we learn to cope with the loss of Samuel and his future in long term foster care? Our hearts mourn but we continue to trust our Lord.

Since planting the church in 2010, we have not had a good long break to recuperate our energy for the ongoing work in Southall. We are planning to take a month off in March 2023 if the Lord wills.

Please pray for the ministry of God’s Word to increase and that we would grow more as a Christ-centric, Bible-believing and mission-focused church.

Please pray for the fruit for the ongoing evangelistic work in Southall.

Please pray that the Lord would meet all our practical church needs.

We would like to thank you all for your ongoing support and prayers for us in Southall. God Bless you.

 

In Christ,

 

Sonny Simak