Back in March, God gave SIM UK workers Josh and Helen an unexpected opportunity to partner with church leaders and develop an impactful online ministry during COVID-19.
“The pastors of two Ethiopian refugee churches asked if we could help them record their services so people could continue to worship during the Kenyan lockdown,” recalls Josh.
“As I had my photography equipment and a reasonable knowledge of how to go about this, we began to film their sermons and upload them to YouTube,” he adds.
“That weekly sermon recording turned into an online ministry of podcasts, midweek devotions, worship services and Bible talks, which were used by Ethiopian fellowships across east Africa, as well as in Amharic-speaking communities in the west.
“God provided us with loaned equipment and a recording space on campus that we turned into a studio. Using these things, we produced more than 100 sermons in five different languages.
“Not only did God enable us to give mission workers and pastors a voice they carried back home to their churches, we able to help establish a media ministry that will help to spread the gospel across Africa.
“There are now a number of exciting projects we hope to carry forward, including a series of videos working through the gospels in Sudanese Arabic, allowing Sudanese believers to hear God’s word, even if they cannot safely attend a church.”
Dr Yohannes Sahile, one of Josh and Helen’s professors at the Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology, and an elder at the Ethiopian Evangelical Fellowship Church, says: “When I told Josh about our problem, right away, he said he wanted to help
“Josh gave his expertise and his time to help us develop this amazing online ministry and enable our church to reach, not just our members, but many Ethiopian who live in Kenya and abroad – even in Europe, America and Australia.
“We are very grateful to Josh and Helen and also thankful to their supporters, whom we pray will continue to partner with them so they can continue their ministry.”
By Kerry Allan
Pursuing God’s calling as a couple
Josh and Helen have known each other for as long as they can remember. They both grew up as missionary kids in Tanzania, where their parents were church planting with Africa Inland Mission (AIM).
“For years we were classmates, but could never have imagined that God’s plan was for us to get married,” says Josh. “After not seeing each other for many years, God brought us together again in 2016 and we started on a new road as one.”
Before they came back into each other’s lives, God had been calling Josh and Helen individually into mission – placing ministry to Muslims on their hearts.
“As part of our training for these ventures, we both attended the Islamics Course in 2016 at All Nations Bible College. It was there that God made it abundantly clear that we had found the person we were going to marry and our individual visions for mission became a shared on,” says Josh.
“Since then, we have pursued God’s calling for us as a couple.” The couple, sent by Long Crendon Baptist Church and Emmanuel Church, Bramcote, took their first step into long-term mission in Africa when they moved to Kenya in 2018, to do a two-year Masters in Mission Studies, with an Islamic focus.
The couple worked with SIM UK to choose the right long-term placement and are now sure God is calling them to join the SIM South Sudan team, for which they will need to first study Arabic.
“We don’t know what the next few years hold, but we know that God will guide us step by step,” says Josh.
By Kerry Allan
- Give thanks for how God was at work to help Josh and church leaders work together to develop a fruitful online media ministry.
- For Josh and Helen as they look ahead to join the SIM Sudan team and make plans for language study.
- That God will clearly guide the couple as to where best he would use the gifts and skills.