More and more people are desperate to learn English and that is opening up gospel opportunities around the world.
Nowhere is that more true than in central Asia, where millions of young people are learning English at universities and being taught by Christians.
Sally originally went to the country as a mission worker, intending to learn the majority language and culture with a view to doing gospel outreach among students.
But after a slightly tricky start, she realised the best way she could stay long-term was to get a job in the country — and her ability to both speak and teach English was all-important.
She said: “My original plan was to spend 10 months learning the language and culture and then see where God was leading me.
“I didn’t find living in the country easy at first but as my language skills developed so it got easier and I really started to feel as though God wanted me to stay.
“I started looking for a job teaching English at a university and God led me to where I am now, teaching oral English to second-year students who want to become primary school English teachers.
“The work can be hard, because I’m dealing with classes of sometimes 30 students, but God is opening up opportunities for me to share the gospel with people in amazing ways.
“For example, the students are very keen to learn about Western culture and our big celebrations, like Christmas and Easter.”
While most of her students, who are aged around 18 or 19, know who Father Christmas is, hardly any of them have heard of Jesus. And the idea of celebrating Easter is all but unknown in this part of Asia.
That offers Sally great scope to introduce the gospel into her teaching.
As she explains Christmas, she can do nothing else but to tell the story of Jesus’s birth and why it is so significant. And it is simply impossible to make any sense of Easter without explaining his death and resurrection.
Sally said: “Like most young people, my students love weddings but have no idea why so many Western weddings are in churches. That gives me another chance to talk about Jesus.”
Sally also hosts smaller study groups, in which she offers students the chance to develop their language skills. She makes it clear that these extra-curricular groups are open to the whole class, but usually only a few students go along.
She said: “It’s in those small groups that I can start to build relationships and invite some of the students to my home for a meal, or to join me in some of the other things I might do at the weekend, like volunteering in an orphanage.
“By building relationships, doors are opened to explain more about why I do what I do and what has brought me to their country. I can also introduce them to local believers so they can see the gospel is available to all.”
Sally has built connections with local believers and works alongside them in orphanages and with children in rural village schools.
She knows this is long-term ministry and that God will work through many people to bring people to him in Asia. But she is ready for the long haul, committed to doing his work in a country she has grown to love.
She would love to see more people coming from the West to share in the work of encouraging local believers and sharing Christ with those who don’t know him.
For more information about opportunities to serve go to sim.co.uk/opportunities.
For Sally to keep trusting in Christ and being a beacon for him in a place where so few have heard of him.
For her students to be open to learning more about Christ so that one day they might be courageous enough to put their faith in him.
For more Christian teachers of English to be raised up for the gospel work in Asia.