Departures

Destination: Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Designation: Maths teacher at Hope International School, Phnom Penh

Sending church: Carnmoney Presbyterian Church

Heather Gage

I first heard about mission and OMF when I was roughly 7 or 8 years old. My mum would regularly attend an OMF prayer meeting and I loved hearing stories about Asia and meeting missionaries.

It wasn’t until I was at university that I started considering mission in Asia. I was involved in an international student ministry through Friends International; I was amazed and challenged by how many East Asian students had not heard anything of the gospel.

I later ‘tested the water’ through a Serve Asia team in summer 2015 to teach English. Through this experience I found Asia wasn’t as scary as I had expected. Also, spending time with missionaries, I realised that they were normal people! After three years teaching in the UK, spending two years teaching in England and one year in Northern Ireland, God made it clear that it was time to go.

In Cambodia I will be supporting missionaries through teaching secondary mathematics in a Christian international school. Helping provide secondary education at the school means missionary families don’t have to return home for their children’s schooling and can serve in Cambodia longer.

I also aim to support the students. There are children attending the school from a variety of backgrounds, including non-Christian homes. In addition, the pupils are all at different stages in their walk with Christ. My prayer is to support them in their relationship with God now and as they grow up.

Destination: UK

Designation: Under 30s (Youth and Children) Mission Mobiliser, East of England

Sending church: Christ Church Moreton Hall

Vatha Theobald

Growing up in Sydney I was always fascinated by the different people and cultures that surrounded me. Our church was very mission focused in the community and abroad so I was exposed to great stories of faith and knew from the age of nine that I wanted to become a missionary and go on these great adventures myself one day.

While I was at university I did a vision trip to northern Thailand and was planning to work there but then God changed my plans so I ended up in my parents’ birth country in East Asia. This is where I met my husband and served for several years before moving back with him to the UK - another destination I didn’t plan. I’ve learnt just to serve wherever God places me now!

I never knew you could serve in world missions from the UK until I met my Area Representative, Tim, who has encouraged me and given me loads of opportunities to be involved with mobilising Christians for cross-cultural missions.

The biggest barrier to pursuing missions full-time was myself. I loved working in special education yet knew that God’s calling for mission wasn’t finished. But I didn’t know if it would be possible. I was concerned about my visa situation in the UK and not having networks to raise the funds required so I prayed really long and hard (with my prayer partners) and it all worked out in the end.

I have served in youth and children’s ministry for nearly two decades across three continents so its a blessing to be able to continue this in the Under 30s Mobiliser ministry. Mission is a whole church effort so my dream is for everyone, especially young people, to become excited and actively engaged in world missions.