Did you know you may already have what it takes to go and share the good news of Jesus in East Asia?
Whether in this country or on the other side of the world, you can use the skills, gifts, and interests God has given you for his glory. He has made each one of us a light in the world so that, by his power, we may help bring salvation to the ends of the Earth (Acts 13:47). What’s more, by using what you love to further God’s kingdom overseas, you may have a greater impact than you think!
The Serve Asia team has recently been exploring the different paths people follow to get involved in short-term mission. Typically, people have gone to meet a particular need or explore serving longer term, but we have discovered how people’s gifts and skills can also be a pathway to furthering God’s kingdom in East Asia. The Pathways mini-series on the Serve Asia Podcast was set-up to consider precisely this topic. We heard from people passionate about media, sport, music, and creation care who found exciting opportunities to combine these interests with their love for Jesus. Each colourful and creative Serve Asia experience developed a personal skill and extended God’s kingdom in a powerful way. Although, for many, considering overseas service was initially daunting, all blessed the longer-term work in East Asia and inspired Christian friends to help people across the world hear about Jesus for the first time.
Stephen took his love for photography and videography to northern Thailand. He produced quality media content as he and a diverse team of students travelled around the region praying for the Thai Church. There was a vast need for his skills and he found it immensely rewarding being able to help the busy longer-term workers. One woman was overjoyed because Stephen recorded a documentary about her ministry, which she could send to her home church in the Netherlands. Filming this spontaneous, real-time footage was a new challenge but Stephen was able to grow in his video-making skills. Stephen’s work also brought the needs of the Thai Church to the attention of people thousands of miles away. His vibrant photos and videos are now available for us all to enjoy. We too can learn about and pray for the people and places he visited, going on the same journey, virtually, from the comfort of our own homes.
William used his passion for football to serve in southern Thailand. He saw an opportunity to help a long-term team who had a vision to set up a football academy with Jesus at the centre.
Young Thai people are extremely enthusiastic about football, so the academy was an immediate hit. William witnessed an entire neighbourhood transform as locals came together in support of the new, lively community. Whole families had the opportunity to hear and respond to Jesus.
Having seen God so clearly at work, William then sought to inspire others. He brought a team of friends back to visit the football academy a year later. To his delight, the academy continued to flourish and the long-term team were greatly encouraged by the extra support they received. As the short-term team travelled home, their experiences inspired their churches to collaborate in a worldwide prayer network. Yet, William did not finish there. He used the skills he had developed in Thailand to begin a God-centred football club here in the UK.
His Serve Asia trip showed him the potential the sports field has to unite people and sow the seeds of God’s love.
You might not be a budding photographer or footballer but there are plenty of other opportunities for you to use your skills and contribute to God’s work in East Asia.
You may enjoy playing guitar, hip-hop dancing, teaching English, making delicious food, writing gripping articles, or even skiing down snow-capped mountains. All of these seemingly disconnected interests are actually already available as Serve Asia trips and used to point to Jesus in places where he is largely unknown.
Why not talk to someone at church about using your skills to share the good news of Jesus across the street or across the world? Alternately, you may be thinking of a friend at your church who could explore using their gifts to share God’s love. How could you encourage them in that? You could start praying for God to show them their pathway to serve him.
OMF (UK) Serve Asia Coordinator
Frederick grew up in Kent with three younger brothers. He has spent five years studying History at university. Since September 2019, he has been part of the Serve Asia team in the UK. He enjoys photography, reading, and playing sport.