Author - Anne Dryburgh, Echoes International Mission Worker
Anne has been a mission worker in Belgium since 1991. She works with women in the areas of teaching, discipleship, and counselling.
Being a missionary is not an occupation that many young people would consider these days. When I started as a missionary, there was no salary, no contract, no pension, no health and safety advice; just the call of God! With the call of God comes faith that if God has asked me to do this then he will provide. And provide he has!
A growing desire
How did I know I was called to cross-cultural mission? God would speak to me through his word: ‘Go and make disciples of all nations’, ‘Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance’, ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel’ (Matt 28:19, Psalm 2:8, Romans 1:16). These were just some of the verses that would burn in my heart, like they were written just to me. Hearing missionaries speak and reading missionary stories filled me with excitement and a craving for adventure; something that God had wired into my DNA. It was a growing desire and so I prayed and asked the Lord to direct me. During the waiting time I was very active in the evangelism in my church. This included street and door-to-door evangelism, an area where I felt totally out of my depth but loved seeing God move in amazing ways! Being active in a local church is a vital preparation for any missionary work.
Doors begin to open
Whilst seeking the Lord for direction on when and where I was to go, He told me to go to Bible College, not something that I really wanted to do, as I had already spent four years at University. However, I surrendered my will to His, and had the most amazing and life changing experience at bible college.
From Bible college, the Lord opened a door to the mission field and so in February 2003 I left Scotland to join Dynamis World Ministries, an evangelism team based in Zimbabwe. With no idea of what lay ahead I came initially for one year, but here I am still in Africa, 17 years later!
Losing your life means sacrificing things that are so dear, but the rewards in this life and the next, far outweigh the loss
Not long after arriving in Zimbabwe I was assigned the task of teaching woman, training Sunday school teachers and running children’s ministry. Totally out of my comfort zone, I had to completely rely on the Holy Spirit, a vital lesson that has guided me through all my missionary experiences. I met my husband in my first year and after many years of friendship, we got married in 2013. We now have two children and our home and ministry is based in Lusaka, Zambia.
‘…whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it’ (Mark 8:35)
Losing your life means sacrificing things that are so dear, but the rewards in this life and the next, far outweigh the loss. I have lead literally thousands of children to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, a great privilege! If you are considering whether the mission field is for you, follow what the Lord has laid on your heart, get advice from your elders; if God has called you to the mission field others will also sense that calling on your life. You may have to overcome opposition but as H.F. Reynolds told a young would-be missionary: ‘Brother, we cannot send you to South America; but if God has called you, you will go or backslide.’
When it comes to fundraising, I have learned to trust God for whatever is needed. We do share our needs in newsletters or when asked, but we never ask anyone for money. Most of our financial support comes through people or churches that know us and believe in the work that we are doing. In 2017, two months after the birth of our twins, Kimberly and Daniel, we were welcomed under the umbrella of Echoes International. It is a blessing to be part of a wider family of missionaries and monthly gifts help us to plan and cover our day to day living. When you see the Lord as your provider and not man, He will never let you down.
There are seasons in our finances when money is tight, and still God asks us to tithe, give offering, or help those around us. It is those times that our faith in the Lord is tangible, it’s like He becomes even more real, especially as we see His hand of provision come through for us. I thank God for the privilege of having the Jehovah Jirah, the Lord who provides, as my employer.
‘Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.’ (Philippians 3:12)