Simon & Nicola Neal
Simon and Nicola served as church leaders up until 2009 when they followed God’s calling and moved with their two children to Uganda, the Pearl of Africa. There they got to see life as it really is for those living in the slums of Kampala and became passionate about bringing the God-given potential to light in people’s lives. Not only through partnering with them to see change in their homes and families but by helping them encounter their heavenly Father. That’s how it all began.
Since then, Every Life has grown into the team of over 50 dedicated men and women it is today – working with Jesus, in communities to see lasting change. Simon and Nicola have now relocated back to the UK with their family, where they work with the International Office, guiding and overseeing Every Life’s mission bases around the world. Nicola regularly speaks at churches and conferences around the country.
What it looks like now…
When Simon and Nicola first arrived in Uganda they had very little resources to offer or work with. They spent a lot of time just sitting with those they met, giving their attention, a listening ear, learning what challenges people were facing and praying with them. Today, on a weekly basis, our teams invest in spending time with people. We want each person to know they have value and that we genuinely want to stand alongside them, doing what we can to help them flourish in their particular situation.
The Neals discovered that in many of the families that they met, anxiety, hopelessness and depression were heightened by the feeling of isolation people were experiencing the midst of extremely challenging life situations. Shame left them feeling alone and unable to talk to neighbours, friends or family and poverty left them with few options or opportunities. As a result, we love bringing people together in groups. It’s the best way to fight loneliness and isolation and an opportunity for people to learn skills to rebuild their lives and support their families. Not only that but it is a chance to build friendships and find support from others who have been through similar difficulties. It’s also a great place for the testimonies of Jesus’ goodness to shine – and he is the answer to all these issues!
Changed people change people
Simon and Nicola felt from the very start that it was crucial for the team to be comprised mainly of nationals of the country in which they were working. Not only for their understanding of language and culture but because people’s needs and issues could be more easily engaged with by those who may have come from similar backgrounds and even faced some of the same hardships. This has now widened to include residents of the communities themselves. We love to empower those who have been through so much, to share what they have learnt with the people around them. It’s got to be the most effective and sustainable way to see lasting change in families, neighbourhoods and communities.
it’s been amazing to see the dream that God put on our hearts over ten years ago unfold before our eyes. It’s a privilege to work alongside such a fantastic team, seeing God’s ways touch so many lives.
– Nicola Neal
Read all about it
Nicola’s book, ‘Journey Into Love’ describes their journey of moving to Uganda as they took steps towards trying to understand the profound depths of God’s love and of the unquenchable grace He pours into and through our lives. To buy ‘Journey into Love’ or Nicola’s most recent book, ‘Gold’ follow the link below.