Designation: Area Representative, Scotland
Sending Church:Bishopbriggs Community Church
Departure Date: May 2021
I knew cross-cultural workers as a kid. Occasionally they came to speak at church and my parents kept photos of them on our kitchen cupboard doors. Hearing their stories captured my imagination and filled me with awe and excitement. God was on the move in far off lands and that inspired me, even as a 9-year-old.
The pull that I felt in my youth never really left me. After university I had my first opportunity to see for myself what God was doing in another country. I spent six months in Thailand with OMF and returned home convinced that I would soon be serving in Thailand long-term.
I didn’t return to Thailand as a long-term cross-cultural worker. Instead, over 22 years, I learned to live for God in Scotland as an IT professional, church worker, Friends International worker, husband and father. More than anything else, spending time with cross-cultural workers as a child, and on short-term trips as a student, taught me to surrender the agenda for my life to God.
Last year I felt the Lord call me to apply to join OMF as the new Area Representative for Scotland. I loved my role with Friends International and it wasn’t easy for me to surrender that. But the process of applying to OMF became a journey of God’s gracious confirmation. My prayer is that many more people in Scotland, young and old, will be inspired by God’s call to share the good news of Jesus, and respond to it with a spirit of surrender, just like the cross-cultural workers I knew as a kid.
Destination: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Designation:Elementary Teacher at Grace
International School, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Sending Church: Elgin Baptist Church, Moray
Departure Date: July 2021
I became a Christian at 19 when I went to Aberdeen University. On Easter Sunday 2011 I was baptised and a few months later I was off on my first Serve Asia short-term trip, serving with an international team in Taiwan. The following year I served on the team at Orientation Course in Singapore, supporting the children of new OMF workers in their transition to Asia. There I became friends with an American family who were moving to north-east Thailand to church plant. Over the next eight years I was invited out to visit them, and to support them with home schooling. I mean what else is a teacher meant to do with their summer holidays?!
In Thailand, I met several families who home schooled and discussed with them joys and the challenges that it brings, and the need for a variety of educational options. Back in Scotland I had finished my degree and was becoming settled in a school and church. However, I was becoming increasingly aware this wasn’t forever and that God was leading me to support families like the one I had met. After a few years of waiting on God to make the path known I started to find out more about Grace International School and how it supported families and ministries in Thailand as well as the surrounding countries.
At Grace, I will be working in the Elementary school (ages 4-11), supporting the children academically, emotionally, and spiritually. I will initially be going to Thailand for two years with OMF. It has been incredible to see God work in some unexpected ways to get me to this point. From people I met at Orientation Course 10 years ago now welcoming me to Thailand, to being offered a two-year sabbatical from my current school, to gaining final clearance to go within four months! God has confirmed time and time again that this is his leading and all I have to do is follow.