Destination: Taiwan

Designation: Language and culture learning 

Departure: February 2018

Sending church: Sandyford Henderson Memorial Church

Sarah Melbourne

My interest in mission began with India, however the doors to go there never seemed to open. This led me to question where I should go and which mission agency I should go with. I’d previously had contact with OMF and the Scottish Regional directors. At this point they suggested I go on a short-term trip to get some experience of East Asia, and I went to Thailand.

A few years later I went to Taiwan and fell in love with the country. By this point, I had also discovered a love of teaching, and I completed my teaching degree. I hope this will be a skill I can use in Taiwan.

There have been some challenges along the way and I am going out slightly later than I planned. Raising support to go took longer than expected and I chose to stay behind when a relative became ill. The thing I’ve been holding on to, through all this, was that my identity is in belonging to God, not in being a missionary or anything else. As I walk close to God, I know that whatever happens he will be at the centre.

I’m not sure how long God wants me in Taiwan.
I love working with women and children at risk and there’s a lot of work to be done with marginalised people. I have previous experience working with children at risk and I love being creative and finding different ways of communicating and reaching people.

I have appreciated the prayers and wise words of friends and people who have walked alongside me on this journey.

Destination: Vietnam

Departure April 2018

Designation: Language and culture study

Sending church: Cornerstone City Church Rochester,
Crofton Baptist Church Orpington

Tom & Jasmine

To know the will of God, we need an open Bible and an open map.’ – William Carey.

In 2009 God took Jasmine to Cambridge where she got involved in the Christian Union’s international outreach. This wasn’t something she’d done before and she wrote a long list of reasons not to try it. In the end, she got involved because anything was possible with God. Through it, Jasmine made many Chinese friends and later went to China on a student teaching trip. Meanwhile, Tom was at Oxford. He remembers hearing how much his friends were changed by meeting Chinese believers and seeing people find Jesus in China.

After meeting in China we started going out on the understanding that we would return there together. God remained faithful through anxiety, depression, Tom’s family splitting, moving house, changing jobs and joining a new community and church. We learnt more about God’s grace as our church grew and people were saved from backgrounds of debt and addictions.

Over time our attention turned from China to Vietnam, a country with a much smaller Church. Jasmine had previously stayed with a friend there and we went to Vietnam together in 2015, asking God if this was a place we should come back to. We found many Vietnamese people to be welcoming and spiritually open – the answer was yes! We’re looking forward to learning more about the Vietnamese people as we start learning the language and culture.

Destination: East Asia

Departure June 2018

Designation: Language and culture study

Sending church: Grace Church, Newton Hall

Pete & Becky

The title of the previous edition of Billions felt very apt as our journey to cross-cultural mission has definitely been ‘In His timing’. We come from different backgrounds; Pete is a Third Culture Kid (TCK) and Becky grew up in a small rural town. Yet from early on in both our Christian walks, God got us involved in international student work and started us thinking about serving abroad.

It has taken a few false starts and learning to patiently trust God’s plan rather than our own. We are very thankful that along the way God has provided an enthusiastic sending church, people who are willing to support us in prayer and provide super-abundantly for our practical needs too.

Our prayer is that God might use us, and our children, to encourage and build up local believers and, as we reach out with the gospel ourselves, give them a passion to do the same. Sometimes we don’t feel like the most obvious choice to serve God in Asia; we’re not amazing linguists or theologians. But we know God puts treasure in clay jars, so that the glory all goes to Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:7).