This is the first of a series of blogs about David and Karen's move to the Islamic World!
Seven months ago, Karen and I moved to a major city in the Middle East to start learning Arabic so we can share the good news. Getting here was a journey, however, God is faithful and, in February, we got to a point where we could say that we were ‘Good to Go’!
For me (David), the journey started in 2008. I was part of a team to another capital city in the Middle East and spent 3 weeks working with Iraqi refugees, teaching English to a group of about 12 men. Here, God started speaking to me about going abroad and He caught my heart for the Middle East. Before this, I was quite happy to live in Bournemouth for the rest of my life. After this trip, the only thing I wanted to do was to get back on a plane and fly back to the Middle East. There were however, things that God wanted to sort before I went out again!
In early 2009 I met Karen. She knew immediately that I had a heart for the Islamic World and when we started going out, we quickly planned to visit my friends here so that we could both test how God was calling each of us. There wasn’t any point in continuing a relationship if Karen hated it!
After visiting again in 2010, we both came back thinking that we could live there if that was what God was calling us to, but that it wouldn’t happen immediately as there were things we needed to do first.
Two of these things happened in quick succession. In Spring 2012 we got married and in September 2012, I started a PGCE to retrain as a Primary School teacher. This, along with Karen’s job as a radiographer, is a valuable profession throughout the world and would allow us to travel and work in many countries.
At this point there is now a gap in our story as we settled into married life. I completed my training and started work as a teacher in the UK and the Middle East took a bit of a back seat. This changed in October 2014 when we attended a ‘Good to Go’ day in Bournemouth. Here we met a couple who were living in the Middle East. Although we only spent about half an hour chatting to them, we felt a real connection with them and God started bringing the Middle East to the front of our minds again.
Soon after, we again met the couple from the Middle East, and felt a real connection to them as a couple. We also received a number of prophetic words which confirmed that God was doing something in us. From here we decided that we needed to visit again as it had been a while since we had been previously.
In August 2015, we spent time in Lebanon and another Middle Eastern country with a few other people who were looking at the region. We felt a real connection with others in the group and loved the culture. We arrived back in the UK and very quickly knew that God was calling us to move.
Between then and moving here, things weren’t always easy! I especially had to battle with a real sense of fear about this being the right thing to do. There were impossibilities that seem huge however, we can look back on all of the things that have happened, all the ‘God incidences’ and all of the prophetic words that we have had spoken over us, and we know that this is from God.
If you're considering attending the Good to Go day, I would highly reccomend it!