Marketplace Mission - a personal testimony

We lived for many years as missionaries in Europe. With the help of our small children we built some relationships with nationals in our community, but many times they questioned why we were in their country and what we were actually doing, as it never really made sense to them.

Then one day, my wife was asked to teach English in the kindergarten our children had attended. We experienced for ourselves how taking on paid employment made a big difference to our credibility in the community.

The relationships we already had seemed to deepen, because our friends could finally understand where we fit into their society. Perhaps it made them feel we were no longer a threat. We were contributing to their society, using our gifts and experience to invest into their culture, and being purposeful in what we were doing. In turn, this opened their hearts towards us. They were far more open to hear and talk about our faith because we spoke as equal people who worked and contributed to society.

We also found they were so much more helpful in advising us how to get things done in their culture, and offering their insights and connections. As a result of these deeper and more trusting relationships, we learned so much more about the culture we had lived in for some time as missionaries. This experience has given me a personal understanding of the effectiveness of holistic marketplace ministry, and a lifelong passion for business as mission.
Rick Iles

"They were far more open to hear and talk about our faith"


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