Beautiful Feet – Story 4 2017-05-25T11:50:04+00:00

Could this be your feet?

I’d never really traveled anywhere, and here I was setting off to somewhere really strange that people couldn’t pronounce or find on a map…

Although I agreed with Isaiah’s cry ‘Here I am! Send me!’ when I was a child, I didn’t really know that he would send me anywhere until someone else’s commissioning service. Then I was struck forcibly by the needs in the Muslim world for people to proclaim the gospel in a way that people can understand – linguistically and culturally. As a step towards following his call, I applied to go short term in the summer after I graduated. I said I’d go anywhere in the Muslim world and they suggested Kyrgyzstan. ‘Where?’ thought I. I’d never really traveled anywhere, and here I was setting off to somewhere really strange that people couldn’t pronounce or find on a map. That summer I was in turn sick, happy, lost, amazed, frightened silly, but I also fell in love with Central Asia. I don’t remember doing anything useful, but I got the vision from the long-termers of what could be done with language and time and love and boldness.

I made my language helper fall off her chair laughing at my mistake…

Some time later I found myself in a different country, joining a team of others with a similar love for Central Asian people. Together we encouraged and challenged each other to learn the language, without any resources, even when I made my language helper fall off her chair laughing at my mistake, and then explore the culture. We spurred one another on to deliberately make time for the people around us rather than let all our time get taken up by our jobs. We discussed different ways of reaching the people with the Good News and challenged each other to try out our ideas and see what worked. We certainly learnt more and were bolder by doing it together, knowing the others were out there trying the same things, and by praying for each other in our efforts. There were also memorable flops such as the neighbour who, after hearing the parable of the expensive pearl, declared that I was her expensive pearl – not quite the message I had set out to communicate.

Eventually there were a few Christians in our part of the city and we decided to start meeting together. We didn’t know how it would go, weren’t confident in our language abilities, but wanted people to have the chance to fellowship together. The group grew and needed to have fewer foreigners in it so that the locals would take more leadership. At the same time our NGO was shut down and I realised it was time to move on. I moved just a couple of countries over, could use the cultural knowledge and evangelistic experience but had to learn a language from a totally different language family. It’s true what they say about the third language coming easier than the second though.

It’s lonelier being single here…

There are no other foreign singles around. I try to use the loneliness positively, to push me to visit all kinds of ladies. In some ways I have more freedom as I have more time that I can decide what I do. In other ways my freedom can be very limited by the culture which means I can’t go out after dark, can’t take taxis alone, can’t can’t can’t, if I want to be seen as a decent person. By keeping the rules, I get to identify with local single women who are bound by them too. By spending more time in the local culture and language, I learn’t it faster.

The reality on the ground can be discouraging but the vision keeps me going along with Jesus’s promise that he will build his church…

Now I’m part of a tiny church and working on training them to lead the church themselves. I long to see them growing in the Lord and growing in numbers as they reach out to those around them. The reality on the ground can be discouraging but the vision keeps me going along with Jesus’s promise that he will build his church. Some weeks there are so many distractions we hardly get to meet. Sometimes I have to help dig the garden, or wash the windows before everyone is free to sit down and pray and talk. Patience is being developed in me, like it or not.

I also work towards seeing groups start meeting in other places to investigate the Good News and hopefully become churches. Yesterday I visited a family out in a village who seem open to me, but I’m not yet sure how open they are to the Lord. I had high hopes of doing a Bible study orally with several members of the family. I was disappointed that with all the coming and going I only did it with one person. I constantly need God’s grace, to be living in the gospel myself, to cope with my lack of boldness and the bad attitudes that come to the surface at all the wrong moments. Once I had remembered that, I also realised that it was good that one person had heard part of the gospel, and that I’d kept the door open for further relationship with the family as a whole. They were also talking about taking me up to a further village to visit the village school and meet some relatives. Who knows what doors the Lord might open in that direction? It’s exciting to be allowed to be part of his plan. Although it is Jesus who is building his church, he somehow finds jobs that his little brothers and sisters can do. What a privilege to even be allowed onto the building site!

The next step

Has this beautiful story motivated you?  If so, why not at least ‘get a foot in the door’ and join us in praying for the quest to find 5 beautiful feet for gospel ministry in Central Asia…  Or discover more about the 5 beautiful feet / roles we are searching for…

Why not call us on 01892 545509 or get in touch online

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Summary

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