Ian shares about his experience of being on a short term team in North Africa.
“I’ve been involved in cross-cultural evangelism in Nottingham for several years, and I’ve had a growing sense that God might be calling me overseas to work in a missionary context. I joined the team as a first step towards exploring that calling. The country we were visiting officially outlaws any kind of Christian evangelism, and it was illuminating to see how gospel outreach ‘works’ in that kind of context. We had to be circumspect as to our reasons for visiting, both for our own sakes and to protect the missionaries we visited. That meant opportunities to speak about Jesus were limited. The missionaries’ outreach consisted of their day-to-day building relationships with their neighbours and friends and English students, and patiently praying for opportunities to speak about the gospel with them. Experiencing those restrictions heightened my sense of the need for more workers in that country; our team more than doubled the number of believers living in the city we visited. I was also greatly encouraged by the work the missionaries were doing: it’s easy to imagine that missionaries are somehow ‘super-Christians’ doing outstanding things that the rest of us could only dream of doing, but setting aside the very real demands of living and working in a foreign culture, their evangelism looked no different to what I’m already trying to do in Nottingham. And if I can do that in Nottingham, there’s no reason to suppose I can’t do it overseas…”