In Luke 10:2 we are told to “pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.” (Luke 10:2) During my time with UFM, it has been thrilling to have a front row seat in seeing how God continues to send out workers into his harvest.
You know how certain lessons linger in the memory? I recall a sermon just after I moved to the Midlands to work with Christian Unions. I don’t remember the passage, though it could well have been Mark’s Gospel. Instead of trying to recruit us to follow Jesus by describing how amazing Jesus’ teaching was, the preacher simply wanted us to listen to Jesus’ own words and follow him.
Radicals approached the shopkeeper and complained that the New Testament was prominently displayed in his shop. Although he is a Muslim, he told them in no uncertain terms that he would continue to display the Injeel prominently.
I had just reached the stage of being able to have primitive conversations and the language was starting to make sense. Then all mission workers were withdrawn, with danger from Islamic militants growing ever closer and more severe.
Hindu mobs wielded rods, tridents, swords, guns, kerosene and even bottles of acid. Adorned with Hindu militant headbands, they shouted slogans such as, “Jai shri Ram!”, (Victory to Ram, the Hindu god) and “Jai bajrang bali!”, a tribute to another Hindu deity.
“Let’s get one thing straight. Your Italy and our Italia are not the same thing. Italy is a soft drug peddled in predictable packages, such as hills in the sunset and olive groves. Italia, on the other hand, is a maze ... you can go round and round in circles for years.”
With winds up to 280km/h leaving 1.5 million displaced and ruining 711,000 hectares of crops, Cyclone Idai grabbed the headlines earlier this year. It caused an estimated $1bn damage to infrastructure across Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
I have been living and serving in Romania for six years and it has been such a privilege to be used by God in this time to reach people with the gospel message and to bring the only true hope to people often without any hope.
The Wild Atlantic Way is (in the words of the tourist board) an “unforgettable coastal touring route” that takes tourists along the West Coast of Ireland “to enjoy breathtaking scenery and exceptional experiences”.
In April 2016, we arrived in Istanbul to spend two years focusing on learning the Turkish language and culture with the longer-term plan of working alongside a national church in a smaller city elsewhere in the country.