As we made our way to Brixton, London on the London mission trip, we were warned that Brixton was a hard place. A team the week before had become very discouraged at many dead ends they had found there for conversations about Jesus.

I felt hopeful though, nervous of course, but hopeful. When we walked up the tube steps, some of our team were immediately met by a man who had asked where we were from. “Texas! Dallas! You came all the way from here to Brixton?” He marveled, we felt encouraged and welcomed. I felt like Brixton was Maurice and I’s kind of place. Rich in African-Uk culture, it reminded me of areas in Dallas that have rich diversity that we appreciate.

We landed at a Jamaican restaurant for lunch, and we met our server. She was a lovely and very busy woman. The restaurant had a dining area and bar area across the corridor, and its kitchens and store front on the other side. The store front held a bakery and food line for customers to take their food to go.

As we walked into the dining room, two men were inside eating, the dad was probably in his late 60’s and the son in his late 40’s. [One of the men] encouraged us, before we ordered to go around to the front of the restaurant to check out the line up before we ordered so we knew what things were. We obliged. After we checked things out, we came back and thanked him and sat down again. [Our server] returned and offered to bring us three different meat dishes: sides of plantains, rice and beans, and meat pies, their version of empanadas. She also brought me a sample of something I had never seen, a very traditional Jamaican dish of ackee and salted fish served hot, so I could try it, after asking several questions at the store front.

Everything was spicy and delicious. [The man] seemed to gravitate toward Maurice, he kept asking questions from across the small dining room. As a native Jamaican, he came to this restaurant about once a week for its authentic Jamaican food. Before he left, him and his son shook our hands, going around the table, and we took ouropportunity. We asked if we could pray for them before they left. The son smiled uneasily but friendly like, the dad took a slight defensive stance. The son said quietly, don’t get him started. Apparently, they had just had an hour and a half long discussion about faith. The son, presumably a believer, but the dad was not. I believe God put us there as an undeniable confirmation of what the son has been trying to tell the father.

[He] started telling us that he prayed every night, but that he wasn’t religious. He said he was raised catholic, but he did not believe “all that stuff anymore.” He rejected most of the arguments that we threw out. The conversation was short, we did not want Victor to feel that he had been ambushed. We wrapped it up, assured them we would keep them in our prayers and how thankful we were to meet them.

We had just begun to eat, and as we wrapped up, we asked Lisa if we could pray for her. She went and got a lovely older Jamaican man who was the owner. He started this business 21 years ago as a food stand. Him and his wife cooked food at home and had sold it on the very corner that their restaurant stood on today. He identified as a Christian, also being raised in the Catholic church, but no longer active in church, but faithful nevertheless. He said Brixton is an area that needs some change and some hope. Before we went to Brixton, we learned that there was no church there and that Alex, who is a part of Kahaila, has been praying that one will be planted there. The owner’s name was Stafford or Sanford. He wanted prayer for all the things that we all want, provision, protection, favor, and we add, revival and a church for Brixton. He also said, “more cash in his pocket.” He joined us around the table, and we all held hands and prayed together. He spoke a blessing over us before we left, and we made a note to let Alex know, through Lauren, that this may be a place to start the conversation about a church plant. Maybe Sanford would help be a catalyst for that.