We interviewed S.C., one of our missionaries originally from Peru and currently working in the Middle East about how he got involved in mission and what obstacles he faced along the way.
Where are you from and where are you living now?
I’m from Perú and currently live in the Middle East.
Have you always worked where you are now, or have you worked other places as well?
This is my first long-term field placement, though I’ve also spent some time in Southeast Asia.
What drew you to mission work?
When I was in my first year of university studies I took a class similar to the Perspectives course. Learning about the number of unreached people groups in the world and the fact that 90% of missionaries weren’t going to these places really convicted me. “Why not me?” I asked myself. “What better way to spend my life than working to give one of these people groups a chance to meet Jesus?”
What vocational skills are you using as part of your mission work and how did you develop those skills?
I’m currently doing a fair bit of administrative and financial work that I learned by being in charge of my own finances at university and getting lots of advice from older mentors. I also worked as a Spanish teaching assistant and it’s looking like Spanish teaching might actually be something that gives me access to unreached areas in the Middle East. I never thought it would be relevant while I was doing it 4 years ago, but I’m glad I didn’t end up quitting!
What obstacles did you feel you faced going into mission and how did you overcome them?
Once I committed to coming to the Middle East, I actually had a very smooth path. It was the process of finding somewhere I fit that was more difficult, especially as I felt I didn’t have super specialized skills (medical, teaching, etc) that automatically made me a good fit for certain ministries. So the game-changer ended up being finding a team that I fit into relationally that was doing ministries I could grow into as I did them.
What advice would you give to people considering mission work?
Invest in your local church community. Serve in the church in whatever way you can (I ran the sound system for a couple of years – not exactly high profile!) and build relationships with leaders and committed members. They will be your biggest source of support (not just financial), and having a local church that knows you and is invested in you makes all the difference.