Equipped Part 2: Jesus and the marine biologist

Equipped is a new three-part series of blog posts from our media intern, Dan, looking at how God shapes and equips us to do his will, using ordinary people to share the good news of Jesus at home and overseas. Catch up on part 1 here.

Rob’s main passions in life are marine biology, football, and Jesus. It seems an unlikely combination. Was he supposed to play football underwater and share Jesus with the fish?

Luckily, Rob had more sensible ideas. He was drawn to East Asia for its more interesting waters and marine life, and knew there are many fishing communities there who don’t know Jesus.

So, he and his family moved across the world and Rob started looking for opportunities to work, apply his skills in marine conservation, and share his faith.

Now, you might be thinking: Great, another person who was called overseas to do Jesus stuff. What about me?

However, the real point of Rob’s story isn’t that he’s overseas. It’s that he’s just doing an ordinary job. Well, as ordinary as you can call marine conservation.

Common calling

In part 1, we looked at discovering and following God’s call for our lives. That can feel a little overwhelming, but Rob, who serves with OMF, is a good example of how it doesn’t have to be complicated.

He explained on the Serve Asia podcast, ‘I have a day job that I do with integrity and to the glory of God. And in and through that and outside of that, we want to make Christ known’ – the same as most of his mates back in the UK.

The Bible tells us ‘whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God’ (1 Corinthians 10:31). It can be hard to know what that looks like in everyday life, but the implication is that every good thing can be done to the glory of God.

So you can be a cleaner or a stay-at-home parent, a marine biologist or a supreme court judge to the glory of God.

There are no spiritual league rankings, with cross-cultural workers and those serving God overseas at the top and everyone else below.

Wherever we are and whatever we do, our calling is ultimately the same: to live for Jesus.

So how can we do that?

Easy as ABC

Rob suggests we should apply these verses from Colossians:

‘Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.’ (Colossians 4:2-6)

Living out these verses is simple as ABC: be Available, Bold, and Creative.

As an example, Rob tells a story of going to a chemist in a rush but offering up a quick prayer to say he was available for God to use him right then. This turned into a chance to talk to the chemist about Jesus, at the expense of being a bit late home.

Living ABC is, for Rob, about having routines that can be disrupted by others in this way, being flexible and open to sharing Jesus in the moment.

With God’s help, we can find the courage to be bold and look for creative ways to make the most of the opportunities he gives us.

Equipped for Jesus

As Rob puts it, ‘God uses people of all shapes and sizes and with all different passions’ for his purposes.

That might mean going overseas if you feel drawn to it, or it might mean staying put.

In any case, it will mean seeking to live faithfully and introduce the people around you to Jesus.

That is ultimately what God is calling us to do and equipping us for, and the different skills and interests he’s given us can be used in virtually any context to draw people to him.

What next?

Look out for part three to discover more about someone who does seemingly ‘ordinary’ work here in the UK, to the glory of God and to help share the good news of Jesus with East Asians.

In the meantime…

Hear more of Rob’s story on episode 8 of the Serve Asia podcast:

Or check out the opportunities OMF has on offer for you to use your skills abroad:

Dan graduated with a Liberal Arts degree in 2020, and will spend the rest of his days explaining what Liberal Arts is (‘humanities pick and mix’ is his favoured description). He came to OMF (UK) for a media internship in September 2021. He loves tennis, books and caramel, and hopes to find work in publishing or writing in the future.

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