Why am I here:
If someone asks you how he/she can become a missionary, what would you answer?
God chooses very different ways to tell different people that they should go and where they should go. My wife and I both grew up on the mission field, so we were familiar with the idea and a possible lifestyle of mission. We had good examples through our parents and their colleagues. Nevertheless, there is no automatism to enter the mission field only because your parents have been Christian workers. We both have three siblings each and none of them ended up on the mission field.
For myself I was sure for quite some time that God called me to serve him in my home country in Germany. Even though I had great interest in the Arab World, I thought that there would be no way to enter such a country as a theologian. Then someone told me about the idea of combining studies and a missional lifestyle in Syria. I was fascinated. In the end I asked God to allow me to go and he said: Yes.
For my wife the story is completely different. She really had a negative picture of Arabs and Turks, because of her experiences in Berlin where she lived for some years. When she applied for a short-term mission trip, she was planning to go to Africa. In her prayers she asked God honestly not to send her to a Muslim country. She was sent to Egypt!
At the beginning, she was very upset and blamed God. But then she decided to obey him and he changed all her negative feelings for the people into positive feelings. She realised she needed to start preparing herself for missions in North Africa long-term. We met during her preparation time, and we have now been based in North Africa for the past 2,5 years together.
When young people ask me how they can know God’s will for their life, three things come to mind:
A missional lifestyle has nothing to do with where you are, but whether you are ready to let God work through you.
EMO is an inter-denominational, international Christian organisation that exists to demonstrate the Biblical message of the love of God to arabic-speaking people through word and deed. The name of the author has been protected for security reasons.