Destination: The Philippines
Designation:Field Medical Adviser;Pastoral Care
Sending Church: Caton Baptist Church
Departure Date: October 2019
Steve & Lindsey Cottam
Mission was far from our thinking when we developed an interest in East Asia about a decade ago, visiting several countries in the region and coming to love their peoples and cultures.
Over time, we became more aware of the great opportunities to share the good news of Jesus with East Asia’s people. In retrospect, we believe God was preparing and calling us to serve in East Asia.
Early in 2016, Nick & Julia Radcliffe shared in our church about their plans to serve with OMF in Cambodia as Field Medical Adviser (FMA). I (Steve) had never heard of this role before, but during the service felt a growing conviction that God was asking me to the same role elsewhere in OMF.
After many visits to the OMF Opportunities website, we realised that not only did I have the required skills to do the FMA role, much more importantly, God was calling us clearly to step out in faith and apply for the role. So, we applied to OMF, as two 50-somethings who had never lived or worked outside the UK before. However, we soon realised in fact what we knew in theory; that the Lord equips those he calls. Contact with the highly supportive and helpful OMF (UK) team and the love of our wonderful church family took us through the application forms, interviews and medical assessments to go out to East Asia in October 2019.
A wise pastor friend told us at the beginning of this journey that God would likely show us one step of the stairs at a time, and that’s how it has proved to be. All along the way, the Lord has been completely faithful, providing guidance, answers to prayer and preparing us to go.
God also provided some incredible experiences. A prayer journey to Hokkaido, Japan included time to share with and learn from the OMF Japan FMA, who taught us about the real need for missionaries to have good medical and psychological support. A trip to the Philippines with OMF changed our hearts and minds completely about that country, showing us that we could live and serve there.
The course we took at All Nations Christian College was life-changing in all that God taught us in an atmosphere saturated with prayer and commitment to his service. We have had huge support from our families, our church and Christian friends as well as great encouragement from my colleagues and patients at Great Eccleston Health Centre.
After language and culture learning, I will assume the FMA role for the Philippines and hopefully be able to get involved in some of the other medical ministries OMF works with there. Lindsey is aiming to use her pastoral care skills, experience in member care and administration for OMF Philippines.