Global Editor, Jane, asked Joanna what it has been like to pursue this journey in a tumultuous year. Why have they persevered and what has God been teaching them?

Isn’t this terrible timing to be thinking about sharing the Gospel overseas?!

Looking at it from the outside, yes I guess it is! There is so much unknown! Will there be a second wave? What will the situation be like in the Middle East in a few months? Will our flights be cancelled?

But when we look at it from God’s perspective, this is the very time to be taking His love to the least reached. The world has and will always need the message of the good news of Jesus.

Take me back to the beginning. How did this all start?

Simply, it started with an unsettledness. A restlessness. We knew that God was prompting us to make a change, but we didn’t know what. This began last summer. In time we realised that God was perhaps pushing us to think a bit more proactively about going overseas.

But in some ways it started long before last summer. Both Luke and I had grown up as missionary kids and we had met years ago in Darfur, South Sudan and then in Somalia whilst working for a humanitarian organisation. For both of us, it felt quite natural to be overseas and we always thought that one day we’d go back… we just didn’t know when.

How did God confirm that this was the right time for you to be going?

It’s funny really, how God’s timing can be so different from our own. When we moved to the UK eight years ago we thought we’d only be there for a year or two and how the years have flown by!

Yet looking back, any sooner wouldn’t have been right for us. We have had our two children during this time and we’ve had the unexpected blessing of being able to get involved in our local church—something we couldn’t do easily in the countries we had previously worked in. It’s been a season to serve in the UK and prayerfully consider the future, whist regaining a vision of what the Lord might have for us going forward.

And God has been so good in confirming that this is His timing, not ours. While it’s not always been easy, things have fallen into place in a miraculous way, and we feel an excitement which we know is the Holy Spirit.

What has it been like, preparing to go during the coronavirus restrictions?

At times it has been quite challenging. We’ve had to be creative in how we’ve told our friends and church family, and in how we’ve raised financial support. It’s taken a lot of effort and has been a real test of faith.

But we know that for God, providing for us to go overseas during the coronavirus pandemic is nothing for Him.

Some people think that we’re crazy to be doing this now, but it’s a good conversation starter! And we’ve been amazed at how far we’ve come since June and how supportive people have been.

What has God been teaching you during this season?

To be faithful in the small steps and trust Him with the rest—that is where we have found our peace. There is so much unknown and so many big decisions that need to be made, but we are willing to take risks; not in an unwise or foolish way but because we know we can trust Him.

We serve an almighty God, and if He wants this work to happen then it will happen—no pandemic will stand in His way. Because nothing can stop the work of the Lord.

Is God prompting you? 

For Joanna it started with a restlessness; a sense that a change needed to be made.

For others, it’s an ever-growing intrigue with a particular people group or place.

Could God be prompting you to consider serving Him among those who have never heard of His love? Amidst all the present uncertainties, our God remains certain, and His timing is perfect.

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