I want to do a series of interviews that will benefit you as a Sender. When a missionary lands on the field they have a real learning curve. I also believe those of us committed to “pioneering” in sending will have to be constantly learning as well.
I could not think of a better man to start this series of interviews. Travis and I have been friends for 12 years now. We serve on the same church staff (missionaries out of Vision Baptist Church are considered staff — more about this another day). He and his family have recently arrived in London. I would strongly encourage you to read his series of posts on the area study he is doing in preparation for a church plant.
Travis, how did you decide on the city of London?
When I knew that God wanted me to serve in overseas ministry, I began to pray for the world, to pray over a map, and learn about various countries around the world. The one place that God kept putting in my heart was Ireland. While on a survey trip, a door opened for us there and we stepped through that door. Since that time, we have just been trying to take the next step God has for us. We are currently working London, England, and we look forward to all that God will do and how He will lead us in the future.
Tell me a little about where you are at currently in your ministry (language school, deputation, second term, etc)?
Following our nine years in Northern Ireland, we moved to London in August 2013. Since that time, we have been getting set up, surveying the city, and seeing what doors God might open for us here. We have finally decided on a general area to minister, and we are asking God to guide as we seek to plant churches and rebuild dying churches as God opens doors. In the next few months, we are hoping to begin doing intense evangelism and initial outreach.
What are some of the challenges you are facing personally and as a family?
One of the big challenges of London is the cost of living. The Lord has been very good to us and provided us with good support, but sometimes the expense of things here, especially house rental, can be intimidating. Related to that, we are seeking to find housing the area where we believe God would have us minister, and due to so many people moving into the city, housing can be hard to find.
What are some of the ways you could be benefited by a “pioneer sender”?
Living in a city like London is an exciting place but it can also be a lonely place. Because this is a new work for us, we feel more isolated than we did the last few years in Northern Ireland. God has given us some new friends here that we are getting to know, but it would be great to have someone just to talk with occasionally and share what is going on in our lives. Also a lot of what we are doing is research that could be done via the internet, and a pioneer sender with a computer could help us from anywhere in the world with various research projects.
Can you name a way a sender has partnered with you that has been a real blessing to you?
Several years ago, a man named Chris visited with us. Prior to coming, he insisted on finding out what things our children liked and then deliberately brought many of those things with him. Since that time, he has kept in close communication with us, reading our letters, responding to our updates, asking about people he met on the trip, even bringing over another man specifically to help us with some work on our church building. He just took a real interest in our ministry. We did not seek him out. I believe that he helps many others, but he has sure encouraged us primarily through just taking a real interest in us and in the work here.