After completing my full time university education in Architecture, the UK was in the middle of a recession and there was very little work for architects. So, I decided to go to South America with a Latin Link STEP team. During a conversation with the missionary who was supervising us I said that I felt God might lead me do mission overseas in the future, but not immediately.On my return I continued to apply for work and subsequently secured a job in London.
The following 16 years are a story for another time, but I realised that I had never followed the call to do mission overseas and decided to put that right. The obvious place to start was to consider going back to Brazil with Latin Link. However, God had other ideas. It didn’t come together to go to Brazil (except for a month in 2011). Slowly I began to realise that God was placing another country on my heart – Thailand. My first visit to Thailand was to help look after the children of missionaries at a conference. I felt drawn to Thailand and also enjoyed spending a week with a Thai friend in Bangkok doing ‘local’ things and not famous tourist attractions. For instance, we went to observe the street near her local temple early in the morning whilst the giving alms to Buddhist monks was going on.
God gave me the desire to share the gospel with those who have little, if any, chance to hear. I was quite surprised to find that there would also be an opportunity to use architecture on the mission field. Previous approaches to mission agencies regarding this, had drawn a blank. So far I have been working as a Serve Asia worker on the project to build a new language and culture training centre for missionaries to Thailand. In August I returned as a full member to continue working on the detail design, whilst also learning Thai, part-time.
My first experience of Thailand, and OMF, was to help look after children during a conference. This is a great way to serve the mission community and have the opportunity to talk to people about their experiences of living in another culture long term. I would thoroughly recommend this as a way to explore the possibility of becoming involved.