In the late 19th century Wales sent some of its best to serve as Missionaries to faraway lands long before air travel. Such was the conviction of their belief, they were prepared to leave all behind to share the gospel of Jesus with those who had never heard it. The incredible stories of people like Timothy Richards, Ffaldybrenin, Robert Jermain Thomas, Rhayader and David Evan Jones from Llandderfel are still told today.
Here in 2022 mission workers are coming to Wales. For the past three years the Baptist Union of Wales has been responding to a growing number of people who feel called to Wales from overseas and seeing how we can facilitate it. Sungsu and Nana P were the first to arrive under this scheme and came with their three daughters from Seoul in South Korea. They are currently living in Llanelli and supporting the ministry at Hope/Gobaith church. Anna K had strong links with Penuel, Carmarthen and the VISA sponsorship has allowed her to work with the church for a longer period of time. Jeff and Linda K arrived from Los Angeles in 2021 and are now based within the Gwent Association seeking God’s will for a church to serve in that region. We are also hoping that Phil W will be able to join us here in Wales before the summer. Phil will be based with Caersalem, Caernarfon but will also have a wider pioneering ministry that will help our churches think about reaching a majority of people who see Christianity as something we have forgotten and left behind here in Wales.
Long before this VISA sponsorship began, some of our churches have had the privilege of hosting mission workers for a number of years to great effect. People like Peter & Hyeran C in Newbridge, Mike & Mary B in Pembroke Dock, Trey and Amelia M in Penygroes, Isaias G in Llanelli, David C in Holywell and Rob & Andrea F who recently went home to Canada from Cardigan. The gift that these people and others bring to us from God can be significant, as they come with different experiences and perspectives to those of us who have only been shaped by Welsh or British Christian norms.
Like all good mission work the investment of time and energy these people are making in our contexts requires sacrifice. All of these people come to Wales with the prayerful and financial support of friends, family and churches. They take time to learn Welsh culture, language and invest themselves wherever they can to support God’s work here in Wales. And adjustments always need to be made, both on the part of the incoming worker and the receiving church.
Today Wales is a very different place from one that Timothy Richards left to go to China. Now we find ourselves needing more than ever to share with people in Wales who know all the words to ‘Bread of heaven’ but have not tasted the Living Bread. We are thankful to God for all those who come to serve and witness here in Wales and would ask you to pray for them also.
If you are interested in finding out more about this programme, see info and contact details on this page: Mission Workers to Wales