The Kingdom of Heaven often turns everything upside down, and Robbie’s life was no exception. 

An unsettled sense of ‘home’ and struggles with his identity defined Robbie growing up and followed him into adulthood. He attempted to escape through losing himself in his profession, and the thrills of partying and travelling around the world, but only found himself slipping into a place of depression.

While raised with a more atheist mindset, Robbie’s mother still instilled a secular Islam into the family growing up. “Sometimes I would turn to Allah for help,” Robbie recalled, “but Allah never came to me.” He also dabbled in Buddhism, hoping in vain that meditation would calm his anxiety.

An encounter with a Jesus follower and a vision from God transformed everything for Robbie. “Jesus’ arms were wide open,” Robbie marvelled. “It was literally beyond understanding.”

Robbie’s heart stirred to serve, and he dedicated one week to a short-term outreach. But there was a caveat to his offer. “I didn’t want to talk about Jesus with Muslims and refugees,” he admitted.

Born to a Turkish Muslim mother and Dutch Jehovah’s Witness father, Robbie had always struggled with his own mixed background. But a week serving with refugees in Serbia was the only option available during the time he had off work.

Those six days changed the course of Robbie’s life. Seeing those he perceived as “outsiders” with a new perspective, he evaluated his own background, sensing God shifting his mentality on his mixed identity. After Serbia, Robbie spent two months in Turkey, where God fully restored his heart.

“There was a point when I hated my Turkish background, but God reminded me of my identity,” he said. “I was 100% Dutch and 100% Turkish and 100% born again in Jesus.”

God gave Robbie eyes to approach his unique position to speak to the Turkish population in the Netherlands. After spending many years avoiding his homeland, God impressed upon him a vision to serve at home. Travelling around the Netherlands, Robbie participates in city outreach days, sharing God’s love with Turkish people, and connecting them to the local church.

Could God be calling you to serve at home? 

There are millions of people in the UK who don’t know Jesus. The need is great and the need is on your doorstep. Start local. Start with a short-term outreach in the UK this year. Find out more below!

Short-term outreaches in the UK