An Introduction to Oliver Raper: UK and Europe Director
When I was a lot younger than I am today, somebody once told me that it takes a very brave man to pray “Lord, use me and help me to be willing to do whatever it is you are calling me to do.” Living to be obedient is often challenging and quickly upsets the comfortable world we build for ourselves. This has never been more real for Brigitte and me as we embark on what can only be described as a completely surprising moment God has called us to venture into.
15 years ago, almost to the day, we left our wonderful life in the UK, to return to the country and city of my birth to obey the call to ‘Go into all the World”. Arriving in Cape Town was a major adjustment for me, after living and working in the United Kingdom for 28 years. For Brigitte and our three daughters it was a wonderful journey into an adventure of a life-time. But Africa, even the mention of it, seems to conjure up and awaken the stories of missionary explorers and their exploits, to witness for ourselves all the miracles, hardships and opportunities that those with a heart for ‘mission’ dream of and allowed us the joy of experiencing how the Gospel can change individuals, regions and even nations.
So, it came as a real surprise and something of a shock, when God suddenly opened the way for us to return to England, and more than that, began to stir within our ‘Ready to retire mentality’ the understanding that perhaps He was calling us yet again to uproot, gather our courage and energy and join our hearts with those who long to also see the UK and Europe impacted with the Gospel. I never doubted God wants to touch lives in Britain. I really believe it with every ‘fibre’ of my being, BUT that He wanted us at this time …. that was a real eye opener.
That is why we have returned to the UK and why we have accepted the challenge to assume the mantle and role of Regional Director for the UK and Europe that Christian Vision has offered us to lead. I would love to connect with churches, leaders and any who are hungry to ‘GO’ one more time in obedience to the Great Commission. Letting God take us where He needs us is sometimes challenging and often uncomfortable, but it is also the first step towards becoming part of God’s plan for the tomorrows we have yet to live.
I look forward to meeting up with YOU, joining hands and standing united to say just one more time that we are not ashamed of the Gospel. These are the days of a Harvest not yet gathered by those who are just willing to say ‘Yes’ to His call – when God invites us to Go!