‘Mission’ was never on Matt’s mind, until he was challenged to really listen to what Jesus said.
It had not been my life’s dream to do missionary work and strangely it wasn’t something that my school’s career advisor mentioned either.
It was only when involved in the Christian Union at University that the idea of mission even occurred to me. There I spoke to many people who even suggested that ‘mission’ was a responsibility for all Christians, which didn’t really fit into my comfy ‘Jesus loves me’ view of Christianity. However my opinion was changed as I began to understand the meaning of Jesus’ words at the end of Matthew’s gospel and the beginning of Acts. For many of us our mission calling will be right where we are now, where God has placed us. But for some of us God wants to uproot us and plant us somewhere new. And as was explained to me, I was perfect for uprooting: just about to finish University I had no responsibilities – no job, no family, nothing to tie me down to where I was. I was asked to consider how God might like to use me.
“I wasn’t ready to commit to long term missionary work but the idea of a short term mission trip interested me.”
It was while I was pondering these things that several people spoke to me about overseas missions. I wasn’t ready to commit to long term missionary work but the idea of a short term mission trip interested me. Firstly, it would give me a taster of what it would be like to work in a Christian organisation. Secondly, it would be an opportunity to travel and live in another country, possibly a whole other continent. Thirdly (and the clincher), it would allow me to put off finding a job for another year! I knew that there would be challenges, but if this was what God wanted me to do then He would help me overcome them.
I prayed about this and decided to look into different mission organisations. After reading about Aim International’s work I decided to apply with them. I was sent several different options for placements, and although all of them sounded interesting, one stuck out: working in Uganda with university students. I had recently been a student myself so I felt I’d be able to relate to them. I contacted Aim to let them know my preference and they replied telling me that this was the placement they thought best for me but they had wanted me to have the opportunity to choose myself. This confirmed for me that this was the right choice and what God wanted me to be doing. I went on to spend 11 eye-opening months working among the students of Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.