What’s mission at St John’s all about?
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a follower of Christ in another part of the world – especially a country where many people don’t know about Jesus, or where believers are persecuted for their faith?
What would it be like to be friends with believers in these countries? And how can we pray for them?
Better yet, what would it be like to experience one of these countries for ourselves?
Mission at St John’s tries to answer all of these questions.
Twenty-plus years ago, a group from St John’s went on our first short-term mission exposure trip to Egypt, a country where Christians are often treated as second-rate citizens and persecuted for their faith.
That was the start of our then youth pastor’s vision to go seven more times. But at the end of those seven trips, such strong relationships were built, that we have continued to visit Egypt. We are friends with local Egyptian missionaries, who are working to bring the Good News to their fellow Egyptians, and we have the privilege of encouraging, praying for and supporting them in the amazing work they do.
The relationships in Egypt also filtered down to Sudan, where for a few years, teams from St John’s went on short-term exposure, relationship-building and teaching trips. These days, it’s difficult to travel to Sudan. But we continue to pray and support as we can.
More recently (around 10 or so years ago), we connected with a missionary family in Lesotho and have visited them several times, to support them with their ministry in the local villages, and in the pre-school they run for the local children.
Another former youth pastor from St John’s is now involved in teaching and mission in Pakistan. We pray for and support her too – although we haven’t yet visited her.
To raise funds for all these incredible people, we generally hold a fete each year, and share all the monies raised between them.
And when we organise exposure trips to these countries, we do a lot of additional fund-raising to try to cover costs. (Because of COVID-19, we haven’t visited any countries over the past two years, but it’s on the cards again. Watch this space.)
We also support the work of local mission-minded organisation INcontext International – and, for our last few exposure trips, we have travelled under the covering of INcontext.
If you would like to get involved in missions, chat to Nicky Willemse, who is the coordinator of the St John’s missions team (0828376356, firstname.lastname@example.org) or you can chat to any of the other members of the mission team: Claire Phelps, Michelle Werth, Allan Anderson and Marise Kader.
Mission is for everybody
Matthew 28: 19a tells us to go and make disciples of all nations, while Acts 1: 8b says “and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”.
Travelling Light: Our mission motto
In the early days of our trips to Egypt, we coined a St John’s mission motto: Travelling Light. The idea behind it was that we intend to bring His light into places and times of darkness. We also travel light because, in Jesus, our yoke is light. (Our suitcases, unfortunately, are never very light!)
Five focus points
St John’s has five focus points when it comes to mission exposure trips:
- To pray the presence of Christ into every situation.
- To hear and see what life is like for believers in these countries, and to share this information with others back at home.
- To sow into the Church and the lives of Christians, through finance and general support of their ministries.
- To form strong links with the Church and the Church family.
- To be with Christ’s family in physical form – to be Christ’s letter of love.