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Carrie Pither shares about her journey into faith and into service overseas:
I was not raised in a Christian family, although Jesus has been in my life since my earliest recollections. As a Brownie and Guide, monthly church service was a duty but never a chore. I enjoyed the environment and loved the church. In my late teens I attended church on my own – still searching, but enjoying. When I reflect on this early stage of my Christian life, I am always amazed at how God was at work in me.
At 18, I joined the police service and my life took a new direction. It was a barren time for my faith but I knew Jesus was always there waiting for me to turn back. 1994 was decision time. I was pregnant with my daughter Molly and my wider Christian responsibility was clear. I was living in a growing community and St Luke’s was a new and vibrant family church. By the time Molly was born I was very much part of the church and Jesus was back in my life leading the way. Since then I have been open and responsive to God and he has led me along an amazing journey of grace.
Joys & Challenges
Carrie’s daughter Molly discusses the joys and challenges of supporting her mum in her journey into mission.
Over the last few years I have been alongside Mum as she prepares for her mission calling. Last September we flew to Kenya together and visited AIM in Nairobi where we met the wonderful AIM Air team. After that visit I knew God had given Mum a special gift to serve in Africa. Mum has always felt a calling to return to Africa after a short mission to Tanzania in 2003.
I know Mum leaving for Kenya will be so hard for our family, friends and myself. But as she embraces her calling from the Lord, we will support her. I will continue to pray for Mum when she moves to Kenya, for her leadership role and also for the team at AIM Air. And of course I will always be here for her to listen and chat.
Growing up, Mum’s strength in her faith has led me and supported me through my own Christian journey. As a family we attended church together as well as prayer meetings, worship sessions and Christian festivals. Now I must let her go and serve as I continue to grow spiritually, inspired by Mum’s faith.
In 2003 I spent three weeks in Tanzania with MAF on short term mission. It was great to be surrounded and immersed in Christian life and work; to be serving him. After returning, I continued my career in Hampshire Constabulary. My time in Africa gave my faith a leap in confidence and in particular I was able to find ways to blend God and policing, which is not an easy task! Following retirement, mission remained on my heart and last year I travelled to Nairobi to meet with AIM for a ‘look and see’ visit. It was a great trip and reaffirmed my calling to serve in Africa.
So what will I be doing? My role will be to manage AIM’s flight ministry, AIM Air. AIM Air support the wider work of AIM and other charities, flying missionaries, pastors and cargo over some of the world’s most inhospitable terrain, to bring hope and the good news. I will be based in Nairobi, Kenya for the next three years.
Now begins the process of preparation, which includes many practicalities and also personal preparation. I know it will be hard to leave behind family, friends, my church and community. Essentially it must be a time of prayerful preparation and so I would very much welcome your prayers over the coming months.