Tuesday, 17 July 2018
Will* is in his early twenties and preparing to serve with SIM in the Middle East. While many Aussie millennials are preoccupied by things like kick-starting their career, eating brunch and watching the Bachelor... Will's priorities lie elsewhere. Rather than living for success and security, Will is taking steps to serve in the Middle East. He hopes to be on the field before the end of the year to serve a local church in youth ministry.
"In terms of chasing a career, I chose a long time ago to give my life to God for His benefit and glory. I'd rather build a storehouse in heaven than on earth. Jesus loves these people - and His love doesn't respect borders. It's a global love...", Will said.
Will's commitment to God's mission started when he was fifteen and he heard a sermon preached on the words of Isaiah 6:8 - "And I said, 'Here I am. Send me!"' He prayed those words for himself as he sat in his bedroom after church, thinking about what that meant for his life. He made a decision that instead of chasing success as an entrepreneur, businessman, doctor or psychologist, he wanted to devote his life to things of eternal significance.
Will was living in Scotland when God caught his attention and spoke two clear words: Middle East. This calling was confirmed the next day by a phone call from his mother who had been speaking with a missionary friend who is a Middle Eastern pastor. This pastor had told his mother that Will must come to the Middle East. With a strong sense of God's direction, Will called the pastor. Thirty minutes later, he had quit his job in Scotland and had started planning the move.
Will spent nine months under the leadership of this pastor, working in youth ministry and discipleship. During this time, Will saw God working powerfully amongst the youth of this small church. The youth group grew from eight to thirty three youth, and the youth leadership team grew from three to nine leaders. Four different teenagers came to faith in Will's kitchen, as the Lord gave words to Will to speak. Another encouragement for Will was seeing the Bible teaching become more solid, and the youth deciding to still. Will believes this is because they know that even though they will be challenged, they are accepted.
"Once I was in the country, I met the people who I would be serving, and those I would be serving alongside. My heart was forever changed. I know that God has a deep and meaningful love for these people, because He has given me a small portion of that love, and it overwhelms my heart some days", Will said.
Some people are surprised when they find out that Will is only twenty three years old, has completed a Bible College degree and is preparing to serve overseas in mission. However, when people looked down on Timothy for being a young church leader, the apostle Paul encouraged him to set an example to believers in speech, conduct, love and purity (1 Tim 4:12). SIM's own founders were 21, 23 and 25 years old respectively when they sailed to Lagos, modern day Nigeria, to take the Gospel to the unreached. From Timothy, to SIM's founders, to Will... age is no barrier to God in using people for His mission.
Will was first connected with SIM through a personal connection with SIM Australia National Director, Dr Omar Djoeandy. Since then, SIM NSW Ministry Director (& Mission Mobilisation Lead), David Fauchon has come alongside Will to journey with him through the SIM membership process and facilitate him getting to the field.
"It is not every day that you come across a young man with the same depth of call on his life as [Will]. We are excited that the Lord has impressed on [Will] the call for long service and the strength that can be found in partnering with a mission organisation like SIM", David said.
*Name changed to protect identity
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