He’s had a busy month of unpacking and getting to know the neighbourhood, but our newest team member found time for a quick interview. Find out more about our new director…
Hi Mark. Tell us a little bit about yourself…
Hi. I’m from Canada. I’m married and have six children. As a family, we just moved to the UK. Most of my time outside of work involves chasing after my children and doing the things that interest them.
What made you move so far from home?
About four years ago we felt called to serve as missionaries, and we were willing to go wherever God would lead us. We joined Pioneers – the mission organisation Arab World Media belongs to – and in that process we were certain that God was calling us abroad. Then he called us to stay in Canada and to work at the Pioneers Canada office. Initially, we were very reluctant but we trusted God’s leading. Looking back, we can see it was all in his timing. He was preparing us for this role and move.
What were you doing before you began this new role?
I was serving on the leadership team of Pioneers Canada as Director of Operations, leading our efforts in the areas of mobilisation, communications and IT. Prior to joining Pioneers, I worked for the Canadian federal government in Ottawa.
What excites you about Arab World Media?
First of all, just hearing about the history. Looking back and seeing how God has used Arab World Media over the decades in different forms: print, satellite, radio and now the internet. Seeing that history and how he has been faithful throughout those changes is exciting.
Despite all the challenges in the Arab world, it is encouraging to witness how God is working in people’s hearts. He is drawing people to himself. Media may play just a small part in his purposes; however, I believe it plays a strategic part. We know that media and technology are always changing and we must continually adapt to new trends. More importantly, we must remain faithful to God, using the tools available for his glory and sharing Jesus with people and in places where there is little opportunity to hear about him.
What do you think our biggest challenge is?
One of the benefits of an internet ministry is that we can immediately see the effectiveness of a campaign. God has blessed us with wonderful outcomes, which is amazing, and we give him praise. As with all ministries, though, there’s a risk of relying on our own efforts and focusing on the things that we can control. God has given us a tool that is even more strategic and impactful than media and that is prayer. Our challenge is to develop our plans and strategies while remaining prayerfully dependent on God for the results. As a team we can plant the seeds but the growth is always going to come from him. This is an ongoing challenge in ministry: taking a step forward in faith and confidence, using the unique skills and gifts that God has equipped us with, yet recognising that it all depends on him working in people’s hearts.
What do you think our biggest strength is?
One of Arab World Media’s strengths is a willingness to adapt as trends change. Our commitment to share Jesus with Arab world Muslims through media will not change; however, the way we do it must always adapt.
Another strength of Arab World Media is our commitment to follow up with every person who responds to the media we produce. Media can effectively provoke someone to think differently than they would normally; however, this often creates questions that need to be answered. Our team of responders faithfully answer those questions and prayerfully plant gospel seeds.
How can we pray for you?
This is a big role for me personally and there are so many areas where I need to grow, learn and adapt. I need prayer for this. Also pray for my family, that they would be able to put down roots here in the UK and get settled in. Some of my kids have asked us to pray that they would find a friend – just one good friend. We know this will take time, so also pray for patience.