Beth* is a missionary in the city she grew up in. Global Editor, Jane, asked her about ministry life; the journey, the challenges, and why she decided to pursue cross-cultural mission at home in the UK.

What was it like when God called you into missions?

It was slow. There wasn’t a big flash of lightning. It was actually very normal and logical! I met Jack* and he also had a heart for sharing God’s love. And by the time we were married, cross-cultural ministry was on the agenda. We decided to train in missions and pray for God’s guiding.

How did you end up doing mission work in your home city?

We gave God plenty of opportunities to speak to us about a particular country, but as time went on we didn’t really feel called abroad. On our hearts were people here! There are so many people in this country who need to know the Gospel.

We made lots of Kurdish friends while I was training to teach English as a foreign language. And we wondered, what is happening for these friends of ours? We invited them to church, but it often didn’t meet their needs or their worldview. For most, if not all, we were their only Christian friends, which was quite a scary thought.

Some people feel called to a particular country or place. We felt called to serve where we are. The reality is that there are thousands of people who don’t know Jesus right on our doorsteps. For us, it was the Kurdish community who captured our hearts and attention.

What does the word ‘missionary’ mean for you?

It means many things, but being daring or generous with friendships is how it started. Daring to be more inclusive in social circles. Which I think has been costly, but very rewarding at the same time. Then using knowledge gained through those friendships to know how to reach people with the Gospel.

Where have you glimpsed God moving?

A few years ago the Bible was translated into Sorani Kurdish and made available on an app called Pertukekem. We’ve seen the number of Kurdish Christians rising! Because now they can read the Bible in their own language, they don’t have to just take our word for it.

There are also encouraging moments when we see how God is deepening the faith of Kurdish believers. One friend of ours is getting braver about talking about his faith in Jesus when he’s at work. It is so encouraging to hear, and amazing to see him growing in faith.

How has your ministry been affected by coronavirus?

It’s forced us to work from home which is very different as we are used to being with people a lot of the time. But, we thank God that online ministry can continue! Jack has been working on - a website we’ve developed that has lots of resources in different Kurdish dialects; people can access Bible stories, books, and music.

It’s been amazing to see the Kurdish community looking out for each other, setting up online groups and phoning each other.

Has missionary life been what you expected?

I don’t know what I expected. Sometimes, I think it can feel like you’re not being very effective or productive and then you have an amazing conversation—finally!—and you see God moving.

Sometimes things can be difficult. Things are always changing, and our capacity is always changing. But God is faithful.

What would you say to someone considering going into mission?

I would say not to do it alone. Have a group of people who will encourage, support and pray for you. Have a good work-life balance and trust God to lead you. Even though it isn’t always easy, He will grow you even through difficult situations. Stay close to Him.

*Names changed

Sometimes it is easier to see God’s calling on other people’s lives than it is to see His calling on our own. But the reality is that God is inviting each one of us to share His love with those around us. Take time to pray for God’s guidance.

Opportunities in the UK