ISSUE 16 | SUMMER 2020
E R E H www.pioneers-uk.org Reach
CONTENTS 02 A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR 03 PIONEERS: WHO WE ARE IN 2020 04 MEET LAURA 05 A BOLT FROM THE BLUE 06 MEET KAREN 07 OOPS! CULTURAL FAUX PAS 08 CHURCH PLANTING MOVEMENTS 10 MEET THE MORRISONS 11 GETTING TO KNOW YOU 12 MEET DOUG 13 ONE OF US: SENDING CHURCHES 14 IT’S A JUNGLE OUT HERE! 16 MEET STACEY 17 HASTA LA VISTA 18 MEET THE NELSONS 20 MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE 22 SEND MARMITE! 23 ETC.
A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR In the weeks that followed the arrival of coronavirus in the UK, we at Pioneers HQ spent a lot of time brainstorming ways to weather the storm. We not only needed to find ways to keep the office running, but we also needed to look after our field workers, who are scattered across the globe, many of them in situations that are unstable under normal circumstances, much less so in the midst of a global pandemic. One of our member care team came up with a simple but brilliant idea to connect us with our field members. Each day we invited one of our missionaries to join our staff prayer time via Zoom. They took some time to share with us about their situation and to give us some points for prayer. We would then spend a chunk of time praying for them, and they would stay with us for our “normal” daily prayers. Now keep in mind that even as a home base, we very rarely get to interact with our missionaries as a full office team, especially considering that the staff are spread from Plymouth to Perth (not to mention our staff in Portugal and the Philippines). Praying together was a blessing for our field members for sure, but for us as a staff? It was nothing short of revolutionary. What a gift it was to be stuck in our homes and yet travelling (virtually) to a different country every day, to be able to interact with the people we serve, but rarely see “in person”. Having had that special interaction with each of our missionaries, I just couldn’t keep them to myself. I wanted you, our readers, to share in the blessing too, so this edition of Reach is all about our field workers, in their own words, straight to you. You’ll read about their ministries, their personal lives, their joys and frustrations, and their passion for the God who called them in the first place.
All photos are either owned by Pioneers or free for public use. The following photos were taken from unsplash.com: cover & p14-Pascal deBrunner; p4-Amy Humphries; p6-Theme Inn; p8-Patrick Hendry; p10Jeremy Bishop; p12-Honey Yanibel Manaya Cruz; p16Fallon Michael; p18-Rowan Heuvel; p20-Bruno Mira. 2
Make sure you read How to Read this Magazine on the page opposite before you dive in. Then find a comfy chair and away we go!
WE : WHO ARE IN 2020
SENDING BASES & OFFICES
PIONEERS MEMBERS WORLDWIDE
HOW TO READ THIS MAGAZINE This edition of Reach features six Pioneers UK households
I’ve grouped their answers topically. The topical pages are
around the world. Each household lives in a different country:
indicated by the tree graphic below. I have also included a few
one in Europe, two in Africa and three in different regions of
longer topical articles, which should be obvious.
Asia. Some live in very remote areas, and others’ jungles are more of the concrete variety. For their safety, I’ve done my best
Our field workers have been very honest and candid. I wanted
to keep their identity and location secret. To that end, they all
you to get to know them as people as well as hearing about
have pseudonyms and there are no photos. I also wanted them
their ministry. Some of what they say is very funny. Some
to be anonymous so that they could feel unhindered in the way
of it may be tough to see in print. My hope for this edition
they answered my questions.
of Reach is to narrow the gap between missionaries and “regular” Christians. I have the privilege of knowing them,
Each person is featured on one or two pages. This is where
and I can confirm that they are both more ordinary and more
you’ll get to know them as individuals. On the other pages,
extraordinary than I expected. I think you’ll find the same!
to grip onto power no matter what the cost, allying itself with the dictator and the atrocities and human rights violations committed during that regime, have created big barriers for the gospel and caused many to reject Christianity and the Church. Our challenge is first to pull down the barriers and then to renew and reshape people’s understanding of Christianity and what it means to follow Jesus.
aura joined Pioneers several years ago after having spent some time in Europe as a student. Now, as a 30-something, she’s returned to that country to help a multi-cultural Pioneers team reach the largely secularised younger generations through teaching English and running a local youth club. I asked Laura to tell us a bit about her country and the challenges of life and ministry there.
Our team’s ministry project of reaching non-churched young people involves working with local Christians from 2 different churches, so it is good to be able to work across the churches in that way. One of the obstacles can be that some local Christians don’t share the same approach as we do in terms of evangelism and so we have differences of opinion in how to do things and how to share Jesus, what is appropriate and when etc., which can sometimes be difficult to overcome. For instance, we had to ask one of our volunteers to take down an Instagram post saying he was a missionary and saving the souls of young people through our activities. It was just the kind of thing that would make people run a mile away from us and increase the suspicion they already have toward us because we have the name ‘Christian Association’ on our youth centre’s front façade.
LIFE ON THE FIELD One of the biggest challenges during my time here has been opportunities to meet people and make friends. If you have kids or a dog the opportunities are plenty - meeting other parents through your kids or other dog owners through your dog! I have neither and it has been hard to find the opportunities to meet people and specifically people with whom the relationship could develop into a natural friendship.
I think this country is a unique place for
gospel service because of its cultural-
The low point was probably the loneliness that I faced in the first 2 years of
historical context. It is still a relatively young
being here. Although this also had its positive side in that God really taught
democracy and is a country that experienced
me a lot and deepened my relationship with him as I leaned on him through it.
huge changes in a short period of time after
Conversely, the highpoint has been my Pioneers team in all its ups and downs,
the end of a dictatorship regime in 1975.
strengths and weaknesses. I am so grateful to be part of a team that works
The past dominance of the Roman Catholic
so well together, shares the same vision for ministry, a team that loves and
Church, the combination of its conservatism
supports one another and a team who God has so obviously brought together
(anything outside the RC Church is a sect
in a specific way for his specific purpose. The relationships run deep and it is a
and very suspicious) and its inordinate desire
privilege to be part of that.
A BOLT FROM THE BLUE CULTURE SHOCK Culture shock comes part and parcel with moving to another country - it brings up all kinds of thoughts and feelings, most of them not exactly pleasant. But it’s a necessary part of adjusting to a new culture. Here are a few of our pioneers’ experiences with culture shock:
or our family, reverse culture shock is always difficult. Leaving a developing country which you have functioned
in very comfortably and returning to a developed country presented many challenges for us. For instance, wearing shoes was so difficult for our jungle-raised kids. They HAD to wear shoes to school but protested greatly! Once we were at an ice cream place with friends and to our horror our kids were at the
or me, culture shock took the form of a gradual awareness
top of a lamp post; they missed climbing coconut trees! In our
that I was feeling out of my depth, followed by a deep
village it was very culturally appropriate to ‘burp’ out loud. We
loneliness. I missed my family and friends, I missed being ‘part
eventually learned this wonderful freeing art BUT in the UK it’s
of the crowd’ and felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere.
really not acceptable, as I once found out walking down the street in our town, burping out loud and getting all sorts of
ne thing I struggled with in the culture was the way of communicating. Everyone talks over each other and just
just thought I was incredibly shy and quiet, when actually I just
couldn’t get a word in edge ways!
people for longer than appropriate or expecting to say ‘hi’
to everyone are things that I realise aren’t proper. But I think
speaks more loudly and so as a polite British person they all
e + culture shock = a really nasty person. When I’m going through it I feel really frustrated and that many things
are ‘stupid’ or ‘wrong’ when the right way seems so obvious. Thankfully I am mostly able to suppress these feelings until in a safe place to laugh/cry it out with those that ‘get it’.
hen I have culture shock I struggle to get my bearings and don’t know who/what to turn to for support. It’s
confusing and disorientating. It’s awful.
oing small things like shaking and holding a man’s hand much longer than is appropriate in the West, staring at
the deepest issue for me is standing on the outside and questioning everything…
ne time when I was back home I opened up the glass cupboard and stood in awe at how many glasses we had
- how much luxury I had grown up in.
everse culture shock was very strong for me when I came back to the UK for the first time. I remember feeling
completely overwhelmed in the supermarket with all the
Most cross-cultural workers expect to experience culture shock. It’s reverse culture shock that takes them by surprise - the culture shock they experience when they’ve left the field and returned to their home country. How have some of our workers experienced reverse culture shock?
choices that were before me on the shelves! I also recall my reactions to my own culture as I saw it through different eyes for the first time — the extravagance of wealth, the expectation of no hardships, the apparent lack of interest in others, the lack of spontaneity in visiting people in their homes (I had forgotten that Brits prefer an appointment to be made). Reach
aren is a bona fide Pioneers veteran, having started with Pioneers UK when we were still Action Partners! She has served in various day-to-day roles during the last 20+ years in Africa, but her purpose has always been the same: disciple-making amongst Muslims. I asked Karen to share with us about what makes her country special, some challenges of serving there, and also what she likes to do to unwind.
A COUNTRY OF DIVERSITY My country is a fascinating mixture of so many different cultures as one end of the country is completely different to the other. The climate, language, food, manner of behaviour and dominant religion changes as you travel around the country. One of the most challenging and mind-blowing parts of
life that newcomers find is the quantity of languages that are spoken. Many
have faced is how the church tradition of
people I have met often speak at least 5 languages! The preservation of so
discipleship (which basically means people
many local languages, and cultural identities that align with these language
attend church services on Sunday) does not
groups, makes this one of the most diverse nations in the region. Personally,
meet the needs of disciples of Jesus from
I have only had to learn 2 languages to work here, which was challenging
a Muslim background (MBBs). Going to a
church building is deemed by the Muslim
The insecurity of recent years in this country has created an
One of the biggest challenges we
community to be one of the worst things a
increased sense of temporariness and ‘time is short’. For the last 6 years
Muslim could do, so whenever a new believer
we have known that we could have to leave the country at short notice,
joins the local church they are immediately
which creates an unsettled feeling; at the same time it creates an urgency
rejected by their community. This then
in the task God has given us to do, which is not a bad thing. We are working
means that they no longer have any access
towards leaving a viable disciple-making movement among the people
to share the Gospel with their own people,
group we are focussed on so we press on, assuming that we will have to
and immediately become dependent on the
leave in the not-too-distant future.
church community for all their needs. This
leads to frustration for the new believer and
When missionaries first came to this country, they focussed on
the non-Muslim people groups as they were the most receptive to the
the church community, which often leads
Gospel, so the church that now thrives is made up of their children and
to the MBB leaving as they struggle to feel
grandchildren. This means that outreach to Muslim people has been rather
part of the church family. Over the years,
neglected, the thought being that Muslims already have their own religion
we have talked to many pastors and church
and therefore don’t need to hear about the Gospel. The church generally
leaders about this issue and it has mostly
assumes that Muslims don’t want to hear about Jesus. I and my team have
been misunderstood. Even as we encourage
always sought to partner with the local church in our task of taking the
a closer look at the early church’s model
Gospel to Muslims but it has been challenging to find others with this vision.
of discipleship and the life of the church
We have found a few and it has been wonderful to work alongside them;
(eg,. meeting in small groups in homes), we
their near-culture experience of living amongst Muslims is indispensable.
have found it to be very difficult to present
an alternative way of ‘being church’ so that MBBs can stay in
my bike and cycle into the bush countryside to experience
their community and be a witness for Christ there. Over the
the green space (or dry dusty space if it is dry season!). There
last couple of years though, we have been encouraged to be
are some fantastic trails to explore where I live now so my
able to partner with more people from the local church who
trail bike gets lots of use. But the highpoint of life here for
understand this problem and are willing to try discipling MBBs
me is whenever I get to share the good news of Jesus with
outside of the church building and encourage them in a less
someone who has never heard or understood it before. It is
always a good day when this happens. Being able to pray with
someone to receive Jesus is the best day of all though. I live
As for how I unwind...I love to be outdoors and in
nature and, being in such a beautiful country, I love to get on
for these days!
OOPS! CULTURAL FAUX PAS
JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE IS A MISSIONARY DOESN’T MEAN THEY’RE IMMUNE TO LINGUISTIC AND CULTURAL BLUNDERS! HERE ARE A FEW OF OUR FIELD WORKERS’ BEST:
ome of our funny language mess-ups include us saying things like, “I want to eat your house,” or “My child is
was in church one day and I stepped on the foot of one of the elders by accident. I was so embarrassed, so I
getting washed with the laundry.” and the time my husband
said, ‘Oh, lo siento estoy muy embarazada,’ thinking I was
introduced me by saying, “My ex-wife’s name is Hannah.”
communicating my embarrassment when what I actually said
’m dyslexic so learning a language is challenging for me. I used to introduce my husband as, “This is my dog” instead
of “husband”. They loved it. They never corrected me; they just enjoyed me introducing my dog!
hen living in the village and learning language I spent a lot of time with my neighbour. She became my closest
friend and language helper. Her kids were rascals but I was very fond of them. I used to joke with her: “Your kids are so beautiful. Next one you have is for me!” Once during this
was, ‘I’m sorry I’m very pregnant!’ which as a single woman was a bit of a shocker!
n our country, when someone comes to borrow something from you, the word “borrow” in their mind is a “one-way
borrow”. They are taking that thing off you and they’re not going to return it. We had to learn that people don’t necessarily own a thing, but they share it with everybody who needs it. That used to be frustrating, and we’ve certainly made some mistakes with that!
straight to my neighbour to say hello. I noticed a burial site
and asked what had happened. She told me the baby she was
I tried to explain that one of the officers took me into a small
pregnant with was born prematurely and died while we were
room for questioning and made me nervous. My language
away. She also told me that baby was going to be for me! Yep,
helper leaned back, her eyes went so wide and she asked
you read it right, she took me very literally and was going to
me to repeat myself. Unfortunately I had gotten the words
give her baby to me! I didn’t EVER make that joke again!
‘pregnant’ and ‘nervous’ muddled up!
time, we left for a few weeks and when we returned, I went
nce in a language lesson I was telling my language helper about my trip to the Foreign Registration Office.
PLANTING MOVEMENTS: MYTH OR REALITY?
ne of Pioneers’ Core Values is church planting movements (CPM). Pioneers missionaries are on the mission field not only to share about Jesus, disciple people and start churches, but their ultimate goal is to see a church planting movement - an exponential explosion of indigenous churches that start churches that start churches that start churches. But how realistic is the goal of church planting movements from country to country, context to context, team to team?
realistic a CPM would be in her country, Laura speculated: “I guess it depends on the time frame being considered. My first thought would be to say it doesn’t feel very realistic here because growth happens so very slowly. A CPM would probably take many generations of work to get off the ground - if looking at it from my human perspective! Obstacles include the general suspicion people have towards nonRoman Catholic religion, the rejection of Christianity and Jesus with it, the need for a national church that is able to be relevant to the culture and not stuck in the past, and the need for a broader and more holistic understanding of mission by the national church.” In Laura’s country, as well as in much of Europe, a church planting movement seems, from a human perspective, nearly impossible. But even the hardest ground can become fertile again under God’s care. Take Karen’s African context, for example. The team had been ministering there for decades before the people started to respond, but just a couple of years ago, things started to happen. Karen writes, “We are only in this country for the purpose of seeing a CPM so we have to believe that it is realistic. Jesus has called us to do this and we believe that he enables and
Our field worker Doug in Africa has an interesting theory:
equips us as we keep in step with the Spirit. I believe we are in
“My part of Africa doesn’t need more churches in one way,”
the early stages of a CPM process as we see first-generation
he says. “It is one of the most ‘Christianised’ regions of the
believers leading others from their people group to Jesus.
world, although some people would disagree and say it
There is still a long way to go and our focus is on training and
needs the right sort of churches…! A lot of churches are
equipping them to be disciple-makers. This is what we live
tempted by the prosperity gospel. In my opinion, bringing
and breathe, to an obsessive degree! There are challenges in
Christian values/teaching into all domains of society in Africa
training others of another culture, in working with the local
is what would break the spiritual/physical divide that I see –
church, and overcoming indifference; there are also the
that God is relevant in the churches and spiritual places, but
agonising times when believers are persecuted, are facing
often not so present in business, work, family etc.”
financial troubles and isolation because of their faith in Jesus. We have found that prayer is essential at all times — personal
In secular Europe, however, the challenge is the opposite.
prayer, team prayer, getting supporters praying; sharing the
Not a glut of churches, but one church whose legacy has
joys and the sorrows together makes all the difference and
created barriers for the gospel. When thinking about how
then the ‘obstacles’ become learning opportunities.”
So even in hard ground, the church can grow. But what
church stand the test of time. According to the Nelsons, this is
about places like Stacey’s country, where Christianity is barely
exactly what’s happened in their country:
existent, but the culture is perfectly suited to a CPM? “People in this culture love to hear spiritual stories, and community
“I think CPM has already happened. When we arrived here in
is such a big part of the culture,” she says. “This all works in
the early 90s there was just a handful of believers and now
favour of CPM happening. When someone becomes a believer
there are 40,000. The first few years we were here, the church
you automatically have access to the sphere of their family,
looked like the first few chapters of Acts. Churches sprung up
neighbours and friends. Whilst they may be initially hostile,
overnight and divided after a month because they grew so
there have been many cases where sharing with the new
big. The local Christians are great at evangelism. What they
believer’s community is possible and an instant community of
still struggle with is discipleship, because there are no mature
new believers or those interested exists. Home churches have
believers in one sense, and so they’re all on a steep learning
been springing up quickly.
curve. The challenge is that it’s a church moving into the 2nd generation and therefore that generation needs to discover
“Yet the challenge lies in discipleship and leadership of the
a fresh vision for CPM. From a foreign missions perspective, I
church. There was one CPM that swept through the villages
wouldn’t say that this is a place to come to do church planting.
where I work. The model that was used appoints leaders from
It’s a place to come support what has already been planted and
within the community very early on. This caused issues as
needs now to be cultivated, and everything that goes along
these people had not been properly discipled. Whilst they were
with that. The local leaders are eager to lead. They say to us,
accountable to someone else whom they would meet with on
“We want you to come and stand behind the curtain.” So to do
a monthly basis, it wasn’t enough. Lying to save face is a part of
that we need to be creative, in that we’re not leading but we’re
the cultural fabric here and that doesn’t automatically change
in a supportive role. That’s hard work, but amazingly rewarding.
when someone becomes a believer. So, pastors beating their
When we see or hear the locals preaching or teaching and
wives, not having a willingness to disciple women, and sadly
enabling others, we get such a kick out of it.
sometimes even secretly drinking excessively have been some of the huge issues.”
“The pastor of the church we belong to was a teenager when we first came. He’d come and do his homework in our home
“Jesus has called us to do this and we believe that he enables and equips us as we keep in step with the Spirit.”
- and eat us out of house and home - which in those days was much more serious because there was a lot less food available. His now-wife was our language teacher, but they didn’t know each other then. To have known them all that time, to see what God has done in their lives... That’s a joy. But you know when people talk about CPMs they have these grand ideas of what they’re going to do and...it’s different. It’s nitty gritty, every day just being with people. But when you see God doing work in people’s lives it’s, “WOW”...is there anything to beat that? When
Even when CPM does happen, it comes with its own set of
you’ve invested somewhere on the road with someone and
challenges and field workers have to trust the Holy Spirit and
then you see that investment coming to fruition because of
keep investing in indigenous leaders to help the fledgling
God, then that’s satisfaction enough.” Reach
Coming from another field of service and having lived
there for quite a few years, we never thought we could love another people group again. So our fear in coming here was, “Will we be able to love these people like we loved before?” We really, really love being here and we love being back in missionary life. We
have only been in this country a few months so we don’t expect to love, really love, people as we did before, but we can see how the Father is allowing our hearts little by little to fall in love. I often catch myself smiling to myself when walking down our street after a language session or a quick chat with someone. It’s a lovely thing to
lthough the Morrison family have served as missionaries before, they only recently joined Pioneers and made their way to a new (to them) country in Asia in early 2020. I asked them to share their new experiences as well as their hopes and fears for their second time around.
be able to just smile, on your own, nobody to smile at, just smiling
FINDING A BALANCE
counselling and prayer to get me back to myself. Even still there
Something that has been on my mind and heart
counsellor taught me how. The longer we are here the more I feel
lately is the feeling of living a double life. We serve
that I am allowed to totally be myself and live and practice the
in a closed country so are technically not here as
gifts the Father blessed me with and not worry or stress. There are
missionaries. So when I’m learning with my tutor, for
things which I hope will be the same though and there is already
example, and she’s teaching me about her faith and
evidence of it happening. Relationships! We are full-on extroverts
religion and I’m drinking it all in and asking questions,
and we are energised by being with people. This is already evident
I sometimes feel like a fake. Because I can’t be
and here in this place we are embracing it full-on. We can love on
explicitly a Christian and discuss and even debate,
people and give and bless and embrace our gifts and abilities and
I don’t feel like I’m being true to myself. Of course,
its just wonderful! Our kids are now free to enjoy and embrace
we are well-versed and have all the right phrases to
national friendships. They are getting to be themselves and its just
use to keep our identity safe. But sometimes I want
so freeing. We all are!
to just blurt it all out and tell people all about Jesus
and that He loves them and that He is alive and that
life, fishing, sustenance living like the locals, hanging out with
He is enough for all of them. We knew ministering
people around fires late at night, helping where there is a need.
in a closed country had challenges as far as how to
Working alongside friends, neighbours and strangers, being willing
answer people’s questions and stay safe. BUT we did
to get our hands dirty, be sweaty, smelly because you’re right there
not factor in the emotional and relational challenges
with them, with the hope that one day that question will be asked:
that it presents. This is the real stuff, this is the heart
“Why?” and that barriers will come down as the Holy Spirit works to
stuff that we wish people back home could grasp.
bring precious people to Himself.
because . . . you’re happy. That is all and only from the Father!
HOPES AND FEARS Serving cross culturally second time round, there are things we hope are diffierent. We had an awful experience on the field several years ago and I totally lost my identity as a person. It took years of are small triggers which I have to work through but thankfully my
There are practical things we hope for again too, like ocean
GETTING TO KNOW YOU MAKING FRIENDS BY ITS VERY NATURE, A MISSIONARY’S ROLE PUTS THEM IN TOUCH WITH A LOT OF PEOPLE, BUT MAKING “REAL” FRIENDS FROM AMONGST THE LOCALS CAN BE CHALLENGING. SO HOW DOES A MISSIONARY MAKE A PAL?
benefit of having been around a while is that we have lots
I asked a neighbour up the street to cook some food (she
of lovely friendships. But there’s one friendship in the small
does this as her job). She was so happy to help out. I needed
town where we used to live that’s very precious because she
extra plates and cups and she told me not to buy them but
just accepts us, even with all the mistakes we’ve made in not
borrow them from her. That same week we attended our first
understanding the culture, she just loves us as her children
wedding. I didn’t have anything cultural to wear so again my
really. In our country, people put on a bit of a face in that they
neighbour invited me round and we poked through her clothes
try and give you a good impression, but there’s none of that
to find something for me to borrow. We have been told that
with her. When we stay with her, she’s just straightforward.
borrowing stuff here is very cultural and is another comforting
She’s not trying to be anything that she’s not. That’s very
sign of acceptance!
precious because often people want you to see the good side want you to think that they’re a good Christian. But she’s got
none of that. It’s just a good friendship that’s very strong and
it means to love and accept people. I guess ‘hospitable’ is the
precious. We know she would do anything for us.
word but it feels inadequate. This is not the hospitality that
of them, and particularly if they’re Christians because they
have made some really precious friends. These special people have HUGE hearts - they have taught me more about what
invites you for Sunday lunch, it’s a hospitality that seeks to y closest local friends have either come to the West and
adopt you as a family member. If I asked them, “Can I live with
seen both sides of the world and therefore understand
you?” they would say yes, be excited about it and be sad if I
some of where I am coming from, or are really open to the
ever left. To be hospitable for them is an inbuilt way of being,
differences and appreciate them too. A shared faith really helps…
t has been hard for me to find a true friend, one to whom I can pour out my heart, but I do have many local brothers
ur immediate neighbour has been great right from arrival.
and sisters whom I love deeply. I think my closest female
It feels like she just took us under her wing. She brings
relationships are with other women who are single for longer
us food, she shouts hello as she passes by and now she’s
than they wanted to be... As a single woman, I have been able
very comfortable with just coming right on in to our house
to relate to others in this situation and there have been many
and chatting. WE LOVE IT! The next layer to our friendship
times when I have been able to get alongside others who are
developed very recently. We had a birthday to celebrate and
trying to live a single life in difficult circumstances, which has enabled us to connect in a deeper way. Reach
oug and his family have been with Pioneers for over a decade now. They have grown from a family of two to a family of, well, more than that, during their time with us, and their ministry has grown right alongside their family. Not only are they team leaders, they also coordinate a child sponsorship programme, run a few businesses and organise several community development projects! With so much going on, I wanted to find out about the ups and downs of missionary life from Doug’s perspective.
FIRST THE DOWNS I get really frustrated when things break and don’t work…town
involved with from the beginning and put my stamp on, from
water can be off, electricity is off on a daily basis sometimes
the logo to the website to the way it is run. It will be something
for days. Poor roads that wreck your car. Bad mechanics that
we can be part of supporting when we eventually leave this
wreck your car. Funnily enough, although I grew up in a hot
country. There is a lot of potential with the project to help
place, I am not the biggest fan of the sun and heat especially
lots of kids and make a long-term difference which is really
when trying to sleep (water beds would be a great thing for
exciting! I have also been privileged to be in leadership and
African nights). Interruptions from people asking for things is
learn new skills on the job which has been a challenge and a
hard to deal with. The grinding poverty you see around you
stretch for me.
takes its toll and makes you feel tired…
playing Candycrush. I also love being out in nature far from
It can also be humbling not having a ‘career’, family
home and wage like my peers. Sometimes I feel I am letting
other people, either in the forest or in the hills overlooking a
down my wife… I can sometimes feel concern about not
beautiful view! A run makes me feel free.. and to work off the
having enough money to clothe everyone properly because I
Liquorice all-sorts. I also love watching a good film (Star Wars
have lots of kids!
for instance), or a TV series or travel programme.
As for the ups of my personal life...I admit that I love
I appreciate the simpler and slower pace of life in
THEN THE UPS
Africa. What is the point of chasing your tail, not seeing your
I have loved being involved in the team’s sponsorship project
vision that is not your own and whose directors you will never
because it has been so good to have something which I was
see? It is very satisfying to have more family time and flexibility.
kids and working your fingers to the bone for a company’s
ONE OF US SENDING CHURCHES AT PIONEERS, WE ARE BIG BELIEVERS IN THE FACT THAT CHURCHES SEND MISSIONARIES, AND MISSION ORGANISATIONS ARE SIMPLY THERE TO SERVE CHURCHES IN THAT PROCESS. I ASKED OUR MISSIONARIES HOW THEIR SENDING CHURCHES HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN THEIR MINISTRY, AND THEIR ANSWERS SPAN THE SPECTRUM!
from when I was praying about going overseas, they have
there, but things are changing slowly. There has not seemed to
been with me. I have always felt that what I do in this country
be a real interest in really knowing the needs of a missionary,
is an extension of my sending church’s ministry; I am there
stepping into their shoes. I would suggest that churches need
as my church’s representative so in that sense it is not ‘my
to be more professional about the way that they do support, so
ministry’ but ‘our ministry with Jesus’. My church still prays
that there is a system of care in place, from financial to medical
for me regularly in the Sunday services and at other times; I
to emotional, logistical, spiritual etc., so that no one ‘falls
have regular email contact with them; I have even had a visit
through the cracks’.
y sending church has been an incredible support to me for all the time I have been on the mission field. Right
from a team from my church, including the pastor. All of this
have been frustrated by my local church and the way it has supported overseas missions over the many years I have gone
to understand what I am up to. I could not have stayed here
for so long if my church had not been so supportive and
about the ministry we’re involved in. Even though I do my best
to communicate, they haven’t got much of a concept. We’ve
has helped me to stay connected and enabled the church
e have lots of supporting churches, which is brilliant, but most people are invested in us and don’t really know
had a couple of people come visit, so they have more of an
y church have been involved through prayer and linking
idea of what our situation is like. We work very hard when we
me with a church support group that helps keep me
visit home to spend time with them and help them feel like
sane! My pastor came out and visited me shortly after my first
they’re part of what’s going on here. But I think what we do,
year, and several church members have also visited me - in
our ministry of caring for and encouraging local missionaries,
fact, one family have visited me twice by choosing to holiday
is really difficult for people to connect with. It’s outside of their
where I am. I would like to organise a trip for a ‘prayer team’ to
understanding of what a missionary should be. So even though
come out to see the work for themselves and to pray with me.
we have lots of brilliant supporters, they don’t really know what
we do. I also don’t think they understand what’s happening in
y sending church supports me regularly in prayer and
the world of mission. Trying to communicate that to the British
finances. Their partnership in both these areas is so
church is really difficult. To realise that the people we were
important. We have talked about the possibilities of a team
sent out to ‘convert’ 100, 200 years ago...they’re the ones who
made up of the church youth and their leaders coming out
are going as missionaries now - people from South America,
to join us in a summer youth camp that we might run for the
Africa, Asia. To help people understand that is really quite
youth we are reaching out to.
Jungle OUT HERE!
(WHAT IT’S Really LIKE TO BE A MISSIONARY)
here’s something awe-inspiring about the idea of a
Does He NEED you? Nope. But He wants you. We are not
missionary, isn’t there? Some sense that missionaries
special Christians, we are just obeying. That’s it, plain and
have a special line to God, that they’re more holy, more
simple. If you expect a great expo of writing on ‘The Call’
committed to Jesus in some way. We think of them hacking
you won’t get it here! As a believer it’s simple. In the words of
their way through jungles, fending off wild beasts, and dodging
John Piper ‘Go, send or disobey.’ But what’s it actually like?
poisoned darts all for the privilege of sharing the Gospel. But
If you take out the leaving home part, it’s just doing life, in
is that really what missionary life is like in the 21st century?
another context, doing life.”
Thankfully, we know some real, live missionaries who can set us straight.
Those of us who are not called to leave home to share the love of Jesus can be tempted to think that missionaries are a
“I don’t like to call or think of myself as a missionary to be
different breed of Christian. We think that we’re honouring our
honest!” Laura says. “We’re all called to be salt and light, to
missionaries by holding them up slightly higher than the rest of
share the gospel, use our gifts and skills in the circles and
us. But what if that’s not helpful? In fact, what if our reverence
context in which God - who knows us best - has placed
of missionaries is harmful?
us, mine just happens to be in another country! Of course that means it comes with a different set of challenges and
According to Stacey, “It is an incredible blessing to be able to
opportunities perhaps but at the end of the day we’re just
serve as a missionary. It’s a privilege to be able to focus on
called to be obedient to God and what he wants us to be
kingdom work and to have the support of so many behind
doing, missionary or not, abroad or not - it’s all and only
you. People may think a missionary’s life is extraordinary/
through his grace!”
special/different but it is actually rather ordinary. For me what makes it extraordinary is not that I’m in another country
Doug agrees: “Being a missionary should be for everyone,
- plenty of my own family members have moved to other
not just those who travel overseas. It is about a lifestyle of
countries - what makes my experience extraordinary is
being intentional. Missionaries are normal people with normal
the support! My supporters, my church communities all
committed to praying for my ministry and for me! Most ordinary believers don’t have that level of support.
And the Morrisons are all too aware of their ordinariness. Mum Hannah writes, “God uses nobodies and anybodies! 14
“I’m human like everyone else. I have struggles, insecurities
and failures, and sometimes the ‘missionary’ word makes
“God knows the sacrifices people make to obey the call, and as
these feel heavier on me. Like, because I’m a missionary I
we look back we can say that He has more than made up for
should have overcome/dealt with these things already. Most
those sacrifices, for the things we’ve missed, for the things we
of that ‘heaviness’ I have put on myself, but I have been in
haven’t been able to do. God has blessed us. He gives you little
situations were it is clear that at home Christians have put
treats every now and then. Little things to enjoy that are way
me on a pedestal. I want people to know the real me. But
outside of what you could’ve ever imagined, that just energise
if you assume a missionary has somehow achieved higher
you to keep going. But it starts with that willingness to say, ‘Yes,
status, it’s hard. It puts distance between us. We are normal
ok, I”ll obey.’
people, when we get the opportunity to return home we want to belong and walk alongside the communities we
“You do have devastating experiences. There’s no two ways
were sent from. So, dear British Christians, please understand
about that. You do face enormous challenges. Three of our
what makes us special is you - we are not any better. We are
four parents have died since we’ve come to the field. Things
so ordinary - but YOU have allowed us to go overseas, YOU
like that are hard. Family relationships can be strained. You’re
have prayed for us to be able to be a part of reaching the
not as close. So there is a cost. But God always makes up for it.
unreached. That is what makes our experience special. God
What you give and lay down, he gives so much more back,
using ordinary people to accomplish His purposes. We are
so that you think, ‘Ok, Lord, I just want to go your way.’”
a part of that ‘ordinary’ just like you. The more you know us personally the more you will know that to be true, and the more you will share in the joy of, ‘Wow, look at what God is doing!’ Because there is no way that we could make that happen on our own.” So missionaries, then, are ordinary people. But what makes missionary life special? Is it extraordinary at all? The Nelsons think so: “It is a GREAT ADVENTURE being a missionary. We’ve always said God is an adventuring God. To see God at work, first hand, changing people, changing situations. It’s just amazing. You can’t beat it really. You get to have front row seats in watching God do amazing things. That’s one side. On the other side, it is so tough. You get to know yourself and its just AWFUL, the person you are. Because you live crossculturally, you’re out of your comfort zone and all the local people who are around you just squeeze you and all this horrible stuff comes out of your life. It’s devastating. You know such utter despair. And I think it’s through that despair that you find out who you are and who other people are, and you actually come to know God in a deeper, more meaningful way. I’m sure he’s got me in this country because he wants to work
Karen agrees: “In my opinion, there is no greater privilege than to be the messenger of the good news of Jesus to those who have never heard. This is the reason I am in this country. I don’t particularly enjoy being away from the UK, from my family and friends so much; I find life here to be rather challenging with the climate, my foreignness and the inconveniences, but these are all minor annoyances when I look at the eternal perspective. What’s it really like? It’s annoying, hard work, often mundane, and yet the most thrilling and privileged thing to be a part of. “British Christian, if you have any sense that you might like to find out if God is calling you to somewhere else in this world, then I would suggest he is already calling you! Nobody has random thoughts about going somewhere else to share the Gospel with others — the Holy Spirit put that thought there, so press on to find out what the next step for you is. God is already at work in the nations, calling people to himself, so come and join in. I don’t regret it and I believe you won’t either.”
in MY life. Reach
perspective you realise that the offensive smelly one with the bogie hanging out isn’t them but you! It is cringe-worthy to think of how I unwittingly broke their cultural norms and ideas of politeness yet despite this they chose to embrace me anyway!
ur world is constantly changing, and field workers in ‘creative access’ countries have to be flexible and innovative to find ways to stay on the field. Stacey has been with Pioneers for several years and has been involved in a variety of ministries, but her calling has remained the same: sharing the love of Jesus with the people of Asia. I asked Stacey to share with us about life in her country, and some of her highs and lows.
I love so many things about this Asian culture: the food, the history,
the depth and eccentric nature of life, but most of all what has touched my heart is the community way of life. One Sunday after church we went home to my pastor’s house. There were several of us there. We played Uno, joked and laughed together, ate together and then all napped ….. together. It felt so normal, but then as I was lying down trying to sleep the thought came to mind that this would never happen back home. In that moment I was lying in the same bed with the pastor’s wife, the pastor, his kids and another person from church, with everyone else sprawled around the floor in close proximity. That would never happen back home - it would be too weird - cross too many boundaries. But here those boundaries don’t exist. The strong community values have stopped any individualist notions like personal space (or private bedrooms!) from becoming a concept or desire.
One challenge of ministry, though, is that lack of mature leadership
in some of the churches has meant that there are some fundamental issues. This is especially true in the villages. Some of the local pastors were telling the ladies who work with us that since they were working for a business whose leaders were Christian they also needed to change their beliefs and be baptised, even though they weren’t yet believers. This was not the
MY PEOPLE, MY COUNTRY
message that we want to communicate to our ladies or the community. When we tried to address this issue with the pastor we could not get on the
The people in my country welcome you in such
same page. There have been so many other things done and said by this
an honest raw way. Not just a polite, “Hello how
local church that we don’t feel comfortable associating with them anymore.
are you”, but they make you feel truly welcomed
We seek to work alongside the local church as much as possible, but this
- like a friend you haven’t seen in a long time.
has proven to be rather difficult, and we have found ourselves having to
They are so happy to see you and they are
distance ourselves from some of them.
delighted to spend time with you. The amusing
thing is that many of the other cultural norms
partners from amazing church communities. I wouldn’t be able to do this
are so different, loud, and sometimes seemingly
work if it was not joining in on what they have already been doing.
However in the city it has been a bit easier. I work with national
unsafe that it causes a foreigner to want to run away. Turns out that friend who has been dying
to see you also has smelly armpits, a visible
bogie hanging out of his nose and sits way too
The lowpoint of life here has been seeing the persecution of my brothers
close! Yet, once you let go of your own cultural
and sisters and feeling helpless. It can be hard to believe that we have the
norms and start to see the world from their
victory when you are losing the battle. Cruel injustice can roar against those
seeking to see His Kingdom established, the enemy doesn’t
fight fair and even goes for blows against vulnerable children.
an exhausting experience, with the sweltering heat and lots
It can be a battle to keep the eternal perspective in mind. But
of noise. When I need some down time, it involves me alone
the highpoint for me has been seeing the reality of what I have
in my room with some music or Netflix, and lots icy cold
hoped for. I have longed to see the kingdom of God come into
drinks. Sometimes I go out and find a café but mostly the idea
and transform vulnerable communities. I never dreamt that I
of travelling out in the very hot and sweaty weather is too
would be able to see this happen, yet before God called me
exhausting, so I keep indoors. Where I live is very conservative
to be a part of this it was something he was already doing. I’ve
- I can’t wear sleeveless tops or expose my legs - even showing
been able to visit communities that have come to know Jesus
my ankles would be a bit risqué! So if I have some down time
in the unlikeliest of places, even in the midst of Asia’s biggest
I like to stay indoors and chill, and with curtains pulled, wear
red light district.
those banned items of clothing (shorts and a tank top). Being
able to do this makes me ridiculously happy!
And what about ‘me time’? Going outside can be
HASTA LA VISTA NOT SO FOND FAREWELLS
LIVING OUTSIDE THE UK FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME GIVES A PERSON THE UNIQUE ABILITY TO LOOK AT THEIR OWN CULTURE OBJECTIVELY...AND NOT EVERYTHING THEY SEE WHEN LOOKING BACK AT THE UK IS EXACTLY ROSY. WHILST OUR FIELD WORKERS MAY MISS A LOT OF THINGS ABOUT HOME, HERE ARE A FEW THINGS THEY ARE HAPPY TO HAVE LEFT BEHIND:
think one thing I don’t miss would be the way of
power or the voice it was 100 or even 50 years ago, and that
communicating in such an indirect way. People here are
presents a whole different set of challenges for the church in
much more direct in their verbal communication which I
how they do and don’t engage with society, and I think they’re
appreciate as you don’t need to do little dances around the
still in the midst of trying to work that out.
thing you really want to say. You can just say it and it doesn’t come across as rude.
he formality and schedules. I like not having to make appointments in advance to meet with friends. In most
don’t miss the long, cold, dark winters; the crazy busyness of
Western cultures we can get so wrapped up in schedules and
life that pushes out quality time for relationships; the ever-
everyone is in a whirl of busyness. Which means hang outs
presence of immorality in media; the busy traffic on the roads.
with friends can be short. I do get that people are overrun
he people of our country are bold, the Christians are bold, the missionaries are bold. One of our local missionaries
and too tired. But I think if there was a bit more space for the spontaneous it might serve to rejuvenate and refresh people.
- she would be sharing the gospel in really difficult situations
and we look at the church in England (and this is a blanket
Cold. The school principle! The need to have the newest,
statement; we know good things are happening in Britain as
latest, best, most up-to-date. It is soooo freeing to just BE! And
well) and it seems like the church has lost its voice. It’s not the
OH! I’m super happy to have left behind my iron!!!!
worked in North Korea - she’s now gone to be with the Lord
hings we are glad to have left behind: The fast pace. The time orientation. Endless red tape. SHOES!! Rain. Coats.
ith almost 30 years of service under their belts, the Nelsons are amongst our most dedicated and experienced field workers. In fact, they have so much experience that they now serve as mentors for Asians who have been called to serve as missionaries in neighbouring nations. With so much experience on the field, I was eager to hear anything they wanted to say about the joys and challenges of living and ministering in Asia. Here is just a sliver of what they shared:
THE BEAUTIFUL DAY-TO-DAY
We used to live in the countryside, and countryside life is a
and you get so used to how things work and run and you’re
whole lot more challenging than living in the city. But I think
much more accepting than maybe you used to be.
still, this is not an easy country to live in. Now, we have a
house, we have a toilet inside, we have running water, which
country, because if you go to the countryside, which is
we’re really thankful for, because in the countryside we didn’t
beautiful, then the living arrangements are fairly basic, so
have those things. But, practically, shopping is not easy,
that’s not necessarily always something that’s going to re-
medical care is not good. One of the things I notice when I go
energise you. Actual holidays are more challenging. Normally,
to England is that I can go to the supermarket, the bank and
we’d go spend a week with a friend in the town where we
the petrol station, and do that all fairly quickly. Here, that takes
used to live, because having lived there for 15 years we
a lot longer. It’s a developing country so the mechanics of
know that area really well. But there aren’t that many places
living are not easy. We’ve been here so long we’ve just adapted,
around here to go, because if you want down time, you want
It’s also a challenging thing to really relax in this
somewhere nice - somewhere that things work, with a toilet.
You know, you come to the mission field and you
Then with my diet, I have coeliac’s disease, wherever we go,
think, “Oh, we’re going to tell people about Jesus: ‘I’ve come
we’ve got to make enough food for three meals a day every
from Britain and I’ve got a message that you need to hear!’”
day we’re away, so it’s not as straightforward as just rocking
You come and you think you’re the one to do it. But you
up at a hotel or a campsite. Pioneers used to have gatherings
quickly realise that, first, you’re totally useless. You can’t even
of one sort or another in Thailand around Chinese New Year
speak the language. You’re worse than a baby! But second,
and we always took that as a break. Now, we tend to save up
you realise, ‘Hey wait a minute, God has something to teach
all our treats - birthdays, Christmas - for when we’re back in
ME here,’ and that, really, we’re learning together. The playing
field is equal. I learn from the local Christians and sometimes
A FEW THINGS WE’VE LEARNED
they learn from me too. We’re very much equals.
Because we have been here a long time, we have long term
them very spontaneous, and there’s a special attraction in that,
relationships with so many of the pastors.This gives us the
particularly for those who have come to the Lord in recent
opportunity just to encourage them, meet them every so
years. From a Christian perspective, you’re working with first
often for coffee, ask them how it’s going. When we first
generation believers so there’s just no baggage. And that works
arrived we prayed very heavily about which church to go to.
both ways. It’s good; it’s also challenging. If they feel God has
We didn’t want to be a token missionary or a token foreigner
spoken to them to do something they will just go for it, without
that just boosted them in the list of good churches. We
thinking through the implications of it, which sometimes leads
just wanted to be part of an ordinary church, and we feel
to problems. But there’s just a freshness about them. You could
very blessed. We’re just ordinary church members with no
put it down to their nomadic nature, but there’s something
responsibilities, other than we feel very committed simply to
else about them which is endearing, attractive. People from
pray for the leadership of our church. That’s how we interact,
other parts of Pioneers who meet them are like, “Wow there’s
really, through drinking a lot of coffee, hearing how it’s going,
something really attractive about these guys,” and I think that’s
and praying for people.
their spontaneity and flexibility, and they’re just willing to go
and try it out, to try something new.
We are in a really privileged position because when
The people of our country are nomads, which makes
we first came we were involved in a Bible school project,
which put us in contact with all the young people who
who have done well, and then something has happened and
were going to become pastors, so we have the privilege of
they’ve fallen right away from God. We live in an honour/
relationship in that most people know who we are. It’s the
shame culture, so when someone has done something wrong
building of those relationships (which takes time in an Asian
and it’s been exposed, they have to go and hide, and the way
culture), which gives you the privilege of being able to speak
back for them is not clear. We have many of those people
into people’s lives. We now work with local missionaries, and
who we think about daily, and we keep praying for them.
we’ve been in this particular role for seven years, and only
Those are the painful things - when you see people fall and
now do we think, “OK, some people are starting to talk to us.”
they can’t find their way back to the Lord. Conversely, the
Some of them we didn’t really know before other than having
highs are seeing people growing in God, and ministering and
met a couple of times over the previous fifteen or eighteen
blessing other people. Seeing God work in people’s lives is
years. But it’s taken these seven years to build a close
There have, of course, been people over the years
relationship, where you have a sense of friendship. We’re finally equals. Reach
Message IN A BOTTLE
I would like British people to become much more aware of the suffering and struggles of fellow humans. We are so privileged and need to remember that we are blessed to be a blessing. Whether that is the refugee churches from South Sudan who
hen Jesus said, “Go into all the earth and make disciples of all nations,” he wasn’t just talking to those of us who would actually set foot in another country. He was talking to all of us. Every Christian has a calling to bring the truth about Jesus to every nook and cranny of our beautiful world. Those of us who aren’t living cross-culturally have a responsibility to financially support and/ or pray for those who are. We also have a responsibility to help them get to the field in the first place. Each of us is called.
don’t have Bibles or enough food, or children that are stunted from malnutrition. Are our prayers and money considering these worldwide needs? It is crazy that a dog in Britain has so many meal choices - duck l’orange, Pawsecco, dog chocolates - while refugees and others are living hand to mouth. It doesn’t make sense! I suggest that people need to go out and visit places humbly and carefully and have their worldviews challenged. We need cross-fertilisation to understand one another better and pray for the needs of the world with better understanding.
Laura I think we, the British church need to wake up to our privileged position in terms of resources and realise that there is a huge
With that said, however, there is a sense in which our on-field missionaries are experts. They were called to go, and they actually went! They know mission by experience and have a depth of insight that the rest of us may lack. In light of their experience, I asked our missionaries what they would like to say to the British church about our role in cross-cultural mission. Here is what they had to say, from their heart to yours:
inequality in the global church in this area and in many others. A question therefore to think about is how can the British church help resource small indigenous churches around the world?
Karen If a church already has members overseas then I would encourage them to do all they can to cheer them on: pray regularly for them, get up-to-date information about their prayer needs and the things to thank God for, have regular Zoom/Skype chats with them, get to know them so that when
they come back to the UK they can feel part of the church family. If a church doesn’t have any overseas members yet, I suggest they ask God to connect and direct them as to who/ what/where to support; ask God to raise up workers from among their community so they can send them out. Even if the church is small in number they can at least pray for what God is doing in the world - The Joshua Project and Operation World have a lot of information on the remaining unreached people groups who are still waiting to hear about Jesus. I would say, ‘start by doing something’ and God will guide you as you take his invitation seriously to ‘go to the ends of the earth’.
Churches need to live and breathe mission. If they are living the New Testament model of church, they will be sending, sending, sending. Someone once said, ‘A church that is not sending is dead!’ Don’t fall into the trap of saying, ‘We have such a big mission field on our doorstep,’ and then not doing something about it. Be careful to mean it and do something about it. Be active in that neighbourhood.
However, from the heart of a church planter, there are
still many ‘lighthouses’ in the UK. There are many opportunities for people to hear the truth. But there are whole language
Stacey I want British Christians to understand that the Great
groups in the world with no witness, no church, no believer, no Bible in their language. So the question begs to be answered, ‘How will they hear?’
Commission isn’t something that some are called to, but that all are. Each of us has a unique part in fulfilling the Great Commission. I think one of the common tactics of the enemy is to distract us. Keep us busy with other things. Not necessarily
bad things but just other things. There are many people who
I’d like to challenge the British church to look again at what
believe reaching the world’s unreached is possible in our
mission actually is. To look at the role that mission has in their
lifetime, and has been for previous lifetimes. Why then didn’t
theology, and who they are. Because I think so many other
it happen? There is a saying: ‘Out of sight, out of mind.’ Think
things have crowded in that they may have lost sight of the
about ways that you as an individual and as a church can
fact that it’s who they are. The church IS mission. Our God
keep the unreached peoples firmly in sight and not become
is a missionary God. He sent his Son and the Son sent the
distracted by other things.
church to continue that ministry until he comes. Our God is a
missionary God, and mission should be part of the DNA of the
For the world to be reached we need prayer to be
the foundation of the work. There are so many people groups
church. So every single one of us is a missionary, wherever we
that have yet to be reached - some that have never in their
are located. We happen to be in this country because that’s
history heard His name. The absence of Jesus is not a good
where God has sent us. But we should all be a part of what
thing. It brings with it a whole host of problems with upside
God is doing, just being sensitive to that and looking around
down values and injustice. Be involved in praying for them.
and seeing what he’s doing in your location, because I’m
Learn about them. Break up that hard ground through prayer.
absolutely certain that God is at work in whatever city or town
We have seen many times that part of what makes a good soil
you live in. The world has changed. Globalisation means that
‘good’ is the prayers of others. One colleague trying hard to
mission is on everyone’s doorstep. Cross-cultural mission can
reach villages said she noticed that the areas that they had
happen right where you are as a church. God’s done a lot of
spent time praying over were so much more open to receiving
the hard work of plane travel and everything else, of bringing
the Gospel that those villages that hadn’t been prayed over.
them to you. So get out there. Reach
SEND MARMITE! WHAT DO MISSIONARIES MISS ABOUT THE UK?
MISSIONARY LIFE REQUIRES A DEGREE OF SACRIFICE - BUT NOT ALL THOSE SACRIFICES ARE SPIRITUAL IN NATURE. SOMETIMES YOU JUST WANT A DECENT BURGER FOR LUNCH! I ASKED OUR INTREPID FIELD WORKERS WHAT THEY MISS ABOUT THE UK, AND THEIR ANSWERS ARE AS VARIED, AND SOMETIMES AS HILARIOUS, AS THEY ARE!
miss being a part of the multi-ethnic crowd! When I am here I can never ‘blend in’ as my white skin marks me
e obviously miss friends and family because although we have close local friends and we’ve been
out as being a foreign visitor; consequently wherever I
around awhile, I’m never going to be a local, so you always
go outside of my home there are always people shouting
miss friends and family. But, other than that, the sea. We
‘Nasara’ at me, which means ‘white person’. I’ve got used
stay in Cornwall when we’re back in Britain. Here, we’re
to it but I still don’t like the attention. So when I come to
in a landlocked country, and you just miss looking out
the UK I enjoy being able to walk down the street without
the window and seeing the sea. Also, decent fish & chips.
anyone shouting out ‘Nasara’! There are many other things
Fish & chip shops BY the sea. Walking the coast. English
that I miss about the UK too, the obvious being my family
gardens. Scotland. SCOTLAND! (We love Scotland.) What
and friends. I also miss wearing my jeans and being able
else...? A decent hairdresser!
to go outside without a head covering! I also miss cheese, bacon sandwiches, Cadbury’s chocolate, Branston pickle, Earl Grey tea, and all things ‘convenience’ orientated.
miss seeing family and friends the most. Missing out on special events in their lives and in being physically present
in the lives of my nephew and nieces as they grow up.
ur church is at the top of what we miss, shared with
Other than that, Marmite is the big one. You can buy it here
family and friends. We miss countryside and nature.
but it is rather extortionately priced!
Parks and forests, all of which are easily accessible in the And it normally rotates between bacon and Cookstown
sausages and bacon and Cookstown and . . . you get it! We
family. I love walking through the country, something that
miss the convenience of supermarkets and the low price
is pretty difficult where we live. The forest near us I call
of things like apples and oranges. A good biscuit is also
‘Faeces Forest’ because people use it as a toilet or dump. It
missed. Digestives, oh for a pack of Digestives!!
is hardly the same as walking in nature! I miss climbing the
UK. We spend a lot of time talking about the food we miss!
have a sweet tooth so chocolate and sweets, desserts, baking... Greggs’ sausage rolls. Obviously friends and
hills in Scotland and the bracing sea air and sandy beaches
ithout doubt I miss the lovely sparkly clean and
along the coast. I have to bring marmite out in a suitcase.
plentiful toilets accompanied with loo roll and easy
I miss that the traffic lights work and there are pedestrian
to use hand washing facilities. I miss the lack of biting bugs.
crossings… I love being incognito and not the white person
Fresh air. Cooler weather. Bacon, cheese, fresh bread and
who’s stared at wherever he goes!
being able to enjoy a beer or glass of wine. 22
PIONEERS PRAYER RESOURCES
Looking to get more involved in what God is doing around the world? One of the best places to start is with prayer. We have lots of prayer resources to help you pray for Pioneers missionaries around the world. Our annual Prayer Directory can be used as a daily prayer guide, and our PrayerMate feed and twice-monthly prayer request emails provide up-to-date points for prayer. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be put on the list for any or all of those. Additionally, our monthly Stories from the Field email shares stories and prayer points directly from our field workers. To sign up, go to https:// mailchi.mp/pioneers-uk.org/newsletter-signup and tick “Stories from the Field.”
READ ABOUT MORE MISSIONARIES! Our Pioneers UK field workers aren’t the only missionaries with interesting stories to share. Below are a few of our recommended missionary biographies: For Children: The Lightkeepers box sets, by Irene Howat Servant to the Slave, the biography of Mary Slessor
by Catherine Mackenzie
For Adults: A Chance to Die: the Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael, by Elisabeth Elliot Shadow of the Almighty and Through Gates of Splendor biographies of Jim Elliot, by Elisabeth Elliot Give Me This Mountain and He Gave Us a Valley, by Helen Roseveare Rough Diamond: the life story of Bill Gilvear, by Sheana Brown
GET REACH ONLINE
MUNCHING FOR MISSION
Reach magazine is available online too! If you’d like to read Reach online go to https://mailchi.mp/ pioneers-uk.org/newsletter-signup and tick “Reach Magazine”. To stop receiving Reach as a hard copy, email us at email@example.com.
We need your help! Pioneers UK is putting together an international recipe book to celebrate the diversity of experience we share as field workers, former missionaries, supporters and senders. We’d love to have your input in the form of a recipe or two. In return, we’ll send you a free copy of the book when it’s finished, ideally in time for Christmas! If you’d like to share a recipe or find out more, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID-19 STATUS UPDATE All of us at Pioneers HQ would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has prayed for our field workers and continued to financially support Pioneers during the coronavirus pandemic. We have all made it through this time intact, and ministry continues just as before, although with some creative alterations in some cases! Our office continues to be open and operational during normal weekday office hours, so don’t hesitate to contact us by phone, email or post if you need anything at all.
PIONEERS’ MONTHLY NEWSLETTER Did you know we send a monthly digital newsletter? Pioneers Explore contains book recommendations, blog updates, event invitations and info about what’s happening at Pioneers UK. To sign up, go to https://mailchi.mp/pioneers-uk.org/newsletter-signup and tick “Pioneers Explore.” Reach
LEARN WITH PIONEERS Kairos is a nine-session foundational course on world
Church services aren’t exactly what they used to be, and if
Christian mission, covering four major areas of missional
your church hasn’t yet taken the plunge back into on-site
understanding: biblical, historical, strategic and cultural. It
services, your supply of online church service ideas may be
brings out God’s mission to the nations of the world and His
running low. That’s why we’ve created Lockdown Lowdown,
desire to use His people to be a blessing to them, as well as
a missions resource designed with digital church services in
emphasising the importance of ministering to cultures that
mind. Lockdown Lowdown is a free monthly presentation
have few or no indigenous churches.
with accompanying script, video resource, and kids’ activity pages that you can use to educate, inspire and involve your
Kairos is designed to educate, inspire and challenge Christians
to meaningful participation in God’s heart for all the nations. It is a tool God is using to help transform the worldview of
Each month, Lockdown Lowdown focusses on a different
believers, so they see themselves as having been blessed in
country. You’ll learn facts about the country, watch a video,
order to be a blessing to all people groups.
meet a missionary and discover ways to pray and get involved. We will produce a new Lockdown Lowdown each month
To help the British church gain a deeper understanding of
throughout the remainder of 2020.
God’s heart for the world, Pioneers UK delivers the Kairos course several times a year. The course is open to individuals
To sign up to recieve Lockdown Lowdown straight to your
and churches and is facilitated by Pioneers UK’s staff
inbox each month between now and December simply go to
and trustees. We would love to help you on your journey
of grasping God’s great love for the nations. For more
tick “Lockdown Lowdown.” Got questions? Email Ruth at
information please email Sam at email@example.com.
www.pioneers-uk.org firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. 01302 710 750
Pioneers UK Ministries Registered Charity No 1037154 and a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in England & Wales Registration No 2917955. 24
The work of Pioneers is sustained thanks to your gifts and legacies. You are free to reproduce any article in this magazine, providing acknowledgement is made to Pioneers UK. You may unsubscribe to this mailing at any time by emailing email@example.com or ringing 01302710750.
Ever wonder what it's really like to be a missionary? This edition of Reach explores real missionary life from the perspective of six of Pio...
Published on Aug 12, 2020
Ever wonder what it's really like to be a missionary? This edition of Reach explores real missionary life from the perspective of six of Pio...