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MISSION WITHOUT BORDERS :UK
"Reaching people for Christ: Helping people out of poverty into a sustainable future."

My heart for mission: Introducing Jos Downey - UK National Manager

Jos-3

01/12/2017


I was born in Northern Ireland, where my father was the pastor of a church. Like many kids, I had plenty of questions, and it was as a result of questioning my parents about God and Christianity that, at a young age, I prayed a prayer giving my life to Jesus. This was the beginning of a journey that has defined by life.

When I was about to start high school, our family moved to the north of England. While moving from Ireland to England was only a matter of a few tens of miles, it was enough of a change in culture to teach me that what is normal practice in one place may not be normal practice elsewhere.

From a young age, I began to be think carefully about associating culture and tradition with universal truth - a lesson that has reinforced my heart to teach Christ as Truth for the rest of my life.

As a new Christian, I developed a desire to tell people about all that Christ has done. And because I also had an interest in science I became fascinated with studying God's creation, and with using medical science to help around the world who suffered from illnesses that are often outside of people's thoughts, such as tuberculosis and leprosy.

Resisting anyone's suggestion that I go into full-time ministry (as my father had done), I decided in my teens to study the sciences and live out my life for Christ in my career. This led to postgraduate study and a research career in the UK and California.

Unsurprisingly, I have frequently been asked about how I reconcile science with Christianity. But, in truth, while I have found plenty of opinions that are in conflict, the 4th Century Christian, Augustine, was correct when he wrote, "Whatever scientists can demonstrate by true proofs about the nature of things, we can show not to be contrary to Scripture." Indeed, my study of science, has, in the words of Romans 1, revealed "God's eternal power."
 
During my science career, I also became increasingly involved with ministry to international students and workers through my local church, where I found a home and a Christian family. I began to think more and more about how my life might be best used to serve Christ in a way that was more actively involved in Christian mission. It was during this time that I also became aware of the work of Mission Without Borders (MWB) in Eastern Europe, and the huge love and care that their workers show to those who desperately need it.

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My heart for mission eventually led me, in 2011, to return to student life to study for ordained ministry and then to work at a church and a youth mission not far from Mission Without Borders' UK headquarters in London. There is nothing more humbling and fulfilling than being able to be a small part of God's work during our lives and I have relished every moment of it, even with all my failings.

Moving to MWB at the end of my time there has also been the most incredible blessing to me. The opportunity to work with MWB and its supporters who have shown such incredible love is quite overwhelming - and I hope to be able to use whatever little I can give towards building the support of Mission Without Borders in their mission to further God's Kingdom.