William Carey is a famous missionary whose work in translation of Scripture was instrumental in India. Carey was involved with the Baptist Missionary Society’s founding in 1792. One of the members of the society, Andrew Fuller, had said, “There is a gold mine in India; but it seems as deep as the centre of the earth; who will venture to explore it?” “I will go down,” responded William Carey, in words never to be forgotten, “but remember that you must hold the rope.”
Missions is a joint effort of the sent and the senders, and as we pray about the possibility of going to England long term, we are incredibly thankful for the prayers and support of you all! This post serves as a summary of how God used your prayers and support in our lives on this trip.
We are so thankful for the Lord’s provision of our trip to England this summer. God used this trip to help us get a much better idea of the culture and needs of the church in England.
When visiting the more traditionally English areas, like Dover and York, we were able to see how unique the culture of England is. The English are (rightfully) proud of their nation, history, and culture. As Americans, we need to show respect for the same if we hope to have fruitful ministry in the lives of the English. Just as you would take careful time and effort to learn the language and culture if moving to a country in Europe, Asia, or Africa, the same effort must be shown when moving to England. It is different than America!
We also got a taste of the multicultural urban centers of England in Leeds, Birmingham, and London. While these places are English, the presence of many other cultures and immigrants made our American-ness less of an issue. We felt more “at home” in these areas!
We concluded that, at this time, England needs ministry from people who are ready to do a bit of everything: preaching, counseling, discipling, teaching, and equipping. The church culture of America, which allows for specialization in the larger churches, does not happen in England. Thus, Michael will need to focus on a well-rounded education in seminary if he wants to be the most useful.
Finally, we saw and heard about the huge Gospel needs that England has. Many people who have grown up in England have little to no understanding of the gospel and need to be evangelized.
For now, we need to be faithful to continue to do ministry in the US, focus on seminary work, and continue to pray about the opportunity to do ministry in England. The trip wasn’t a defining moment which determined our calling, but rather a clarifying time which encouraged us to continue forward as we discern God’s calling. At this time, the path still seems to be pointing to England, and so we will continue to pursue it unless God makes something else clear!
Thank you, for your prayers and support. Lord willing, Michael will return during the summers to continue to build relationships and spend time in the country. We look forward to seeing what God has for us! Thank you for holding the rope!
Love, the Dionne’s