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New Mission Director - Andrew Birch


A short autobiography.

I was born in Northampton (the one in England, not the one in New England!) towards the end of 1958.

I was brought up in a very loving, churchgoing (Congregational) home. I started reading the Bible when I was quite young (around eight or nine), and that was how I became a Christian at the age of eleven (almost exactly fifty years ago, as I write). I thought I was a Christian (for all the usual wrong reasons) until I realised (as I read the Bible) that you had to become a Christian. I remember being spoken to by Jesus' words about ill people being the ones who needed a doctor, and I went to Doctor Jesus.

Only a year or two later I began to feel that God was calling me into 'Christian work', either as a pastor or as a missionary (or, as it turned out, as both!). That sense of call stayed with me throughout the following years, and I studied – first, Classics, and then Theology – while I waited for the Lord to guide me.

I met Vivienne at Nottingham University, at the Christian Union there, and, as we got to know each other, Vivienne introduced me to a missionary organisation that I'd never heard of: EMF! We started praying together for the EMF missionaries, never thinking at that time that we would one day join that group of people ourselves!

Vivienne and I married. I studied at the Irish Baptist College. We applied to EMF and did their School of Evangelism course. We moved to Spain in October 1983 and have been there ever since, serving in Málaga, Alcázar de San Juan, Ciudad Real and Palma. Apart from pastoring (Spanish) churches, I've been involved in camps, teaching theology, literature work, 9Marks in Spanish, and The Gospel Coalition in Spanish, among other things. Our three very grown-up kids have six children between them, between the ages of eleven and seven (all of them in Spain).

For Vivienne and me, being EMF missionaries has been a great privilege, and to have been invited to serve as EMF Director is an honour that I don't take lightly. I certainly don't feel 'up to the job', but the Lord equips us for what he asks of us, and I know that I'll be able to count on the godly and wise supervision of the EMF trustees, the practical help of a great staff team, and the prayers of a lot of people.

My vision for the future of EMF can be summed up in three very simple phrases: to continue to be faithful to the Lord and to the gospel; to support our missionaries as well as possible; and to help to spread EMF’s vision for Europe.

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