Andrew Wallace from Rayners Lane Baptist Church has recently joined AIM and is planning to work among the unreached Laarim in South Sudan. Here he shares his call to overseas mission.
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The shape & direction
A call to overseas mission was never something I anticipated growing up. When I began my degree at London School of Theology (LST) in September 2011, overseas mission was certainly not on my radar. I had no idea that in these next three years God was going to completely transform the shape and direction of my life. Through LST, I was introduced to Rayners Lane Baptist Church (RLBC), a church with a long history of partnership with AIM. God planted a seed through a visit from Tony & Cath Swanson around April 2012, who came to RLBC to talk about their work with AIM and to encourage others to get involved. My response to this was not immediate, but over the summer of 2012, I spent a lot of time in prayer about the future and God began to reveal his plan for me.
Centre of God’s will
It was through reading an AIM magazine about the work of Training in Ministry Outreach (TIMO) teams that I realised God was calling me to work with AIM. It was hard to accept; in fact my first response was to spend a long time in prayer pleading with God not to ask this of me. However, I soon learned that the centre of God’s will is the most wonderful place to be, even when it means suffering. God worked in my heart, the call was tested and approved and I now long to go and share the love of Jesus with the unreached in Africa. At this time I am hoping to work among the Laarim in South Sudan for two years from July 2015. I have heard the gospel message countless times, yet there are so many people who haven’t heard it even once. Jesus gave up everything for me, and he has called me to do the same so that others might know salvation.
Sent from Rayners Lane Baptist Church
“The seed was further watered when Andrew and some other LST students visited Uganda…”
Emily Smuts is the Training Coordinator at London School of Theology (LST) and the Minister’s wife of Rayners Lane Baptist Church. She shares with us Andrew’s path to go and serve in Africa
God’s path to mission
I have only known Andrew for just over a year but can clearly see the depth of godly passion that drives him to serve his Lord.
At London School of Theology we place a high value on practical theology; integrating what is learnt in the classroom about Christ with living for him in the real world. First year students do a practical placement in a church setting to experience what it is to be a serving member in a different part of the body of Christ. For Andrew, that placement was at Rayners Lane Baptist Church (RLBC) in 2011. His time with the church opened his eyes to the power of mission, as he experienced the vibrant missional emphasis at RLBC.
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The mission seed
The mission seed was firmly planted when Andrew met Tony & Cath Swanson, supported by RLBC and serving with AIM in Tanzania. Hearing their story and asking them many questions about their experience and their sending agency obviously had a profound effect on Andrew.
The seed was further watered when Andrew and other LST students visited Uganda in their second year. Through his third year at college he looked at sending agencies and their missional intent, entering into conversation with AIM. At the same time he began to meet with the RLBC Missions Panel and they have prayerfully walked the path of preparation with him, culminating in supporting his application to AIM.
Throughout his time at college and beyond, Andrew has continued to worship and serve at RLBC.
We at RLBC and at LST have every confidence that the Lord has gone before Andrew and prepared a place for him to serve in Africa and that he is preparing Andrew as a servant of Christ for his people.