Jesus Is Our Victory Zoom Group
Isolation during Lockdown can be incredibly tough for people of all ages. However, one small community group based in west London has created an online daily group that has not only benefited their lives, but also the lives of people across the world. This endeavour was recently reported on the BBC Asian Network programme The Big Debate.
The interview features Sophie Waghmare, a nurse from Harrow, who in March 2020 created a daily Zoom meeting with her husband Raij and a small group of friends. Most were from the Indian Christian Community at St John’s Church, Greenhill. The friends and family have met online to pray, study the bible and socialise. Through word-of-mouth, the online meeting soon involved families from across the UK, India, the Middle East, Africa and the USA.
Speaking to the radio host, Sophia recounts how this all came about.
“At the start of lockdown there was a lot of fear and anxiety, and uncertainty, so we got our family together online, and my husband shared the link. Before you know it, five families turned to be 50-60 families. We call our group, Jesus Is Our Victory, and we are called to share stories, to pray together, and share the word. We’ve been supported by a number of pastors and clergy from the London Diocese. Over the last three months, we have felt overwhelmed at all of the support from each other, when churches are closed. Elderly people, young people and kids all join in.”
Soon after, a weekly Zoom group was also held specifically for the young people. Nikhil Holkar, from the church young adult’s team, describes how this young person’s group came about:
“It was on my heart at the numbers of young people that we were seeing [in the daily meetings]. So I realised that we needed a platform for them to share the sort of issues that we all face … we do a weekly meeting on Friday, and it’s really good to see how the people are opening up and coming out of their shell.”
One of the young people on the weekly call, Neha Holkar, talked about how it has helped people in the group to develop during the isolation of lockdown.
“We’ve grown in our faith so much in this quarantine, more than we have for many years. We get to meet each other each week, and we get to pick a topic and learn what our faith, says about it.
“In terms of mental health, that has been huge. Because of these Zoom Meetings, we get to see people that we would have only at Christmas and Easter, but we see them every day. We have people who are in their 80s, and all ages in our group. If you have a love for God, you can talk about God and learn from each other.”
All three people in this inspiring BBC interview mention the role of faith, about coming together and helping people not to be lonely or isolated. They give concrete examples of how the shared experience has kept them going through a very challenging period. The interview can be heard on BBC Sounds at 2 hrs 33 mins. Copy this link https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000k9xl until Friday 24 July.