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Fisheries scientist to missionary

I was convinced that evolution was true and Christianity was a superstition when I was a student in UK . After graduating I emigrated to South Africa where I met many Christians who witnessed to me and prayed for me. A few months later I was converted and straightaway got involved in teaching Sunday school and running a youth club in a poor area of Cape Town. After volunteering to run the youth club I tried to get out of it but was told, “There is no one else.”

Soon I was asked to preach at the small church of which the youth club was a part. And later I started a church in a new township. Again, I was told, “No one else wants to do it.” This taught me an important truth: we find our gifts not by assessing our good points but by serving and doing the tasks in the Kingdom that are necessary but that no one else wants to do.

This lifestyle went on for eight years: a fisheries scientist at work and a Christian worker in the evenings and at weekends. I took evening classes at the Bible Institute and eventually attended one-year fulltime.

Throughout that time ministers in my denomination asked me to enter the ministry but I was not sure at all that I had the gifts for such a calling. I wanted to be a missionary to the unreached, not a minister in South Africa or UK. But I passed the selection committee for ministry which was an important step for me as I was convinced that missionaries should not be less qualified than ministers or pastors.

During that time I married Glenda who had spent three years in Japan at OMF’s Chefoo School as a teacher and was keen to go back to Japan. After briefly investigating China we were both convinced that God was calling us to Japan. God opened doors. Our church recognised our call and sent us out. That was 30 years ago and we have been here ever since.

By Rod

Photo credit: jbdodane via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC

Will you pray for Japan?

  • Pray for more people to come to Japan as missionaries, short-term, mid-term, and long-term.
  • Pray for those who think God may be calling them to Japan, that they would know God’s will, discover their gifting, and continue to move forward.

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