Couple going to Africa on missionary trip
A north Antrim couple are planning to spread the Word of God in Africa this summer.
Richard and Laura Morrison, who live near Mosside, will be serving God in Nigeria as part of the Mission Africa group.
Richard said: “I grew up on a farm in North Antrim near the village of Mosside. I was brought up in a Christian home along with my brother and two sisters.
“I became a Christian at a young age having heard the gospel clearly explained at Ballycastle CSSM. My faith developed as I got more involved in a local Boys Brigade, Youth Fellowship and church organisations; however it was in 6th year at Coleraine Inst when I began to live out my faith and take it more seriously.
“Having been on a number of Exodus Mission teams to Eastern Europe and on a later team to China, God was developing in me a passion for overseas mission.
“I went on to study and achieved a MEng in Engineering at University of Ulster Jordanstown and following that I worked in Schrader Electronics for over four years as a Manufacturing Engineer. Having been accepted to M.A, I felt God was directing me to full time biblical studies and so in September 2011 I left Schrader and began studying full time at Cornhill Belfast.”
Laura added: “I grew up in Portstewart with my Mum, Dad and Sister, going to Holiday Bible Clubs and church youth clubs, but it wasn’t until my family moved to Ballymoney and joined Trinity Presbyterian Church that I gave my life to Christ.
“There were different challenges along the way on my journey, but God continued to guide me through many different situations; school, university in England, a gap year working at home, and to UUJ to study BSc (Hons) Community Youth Work. This then led to full time work with ACET Belfast (AIDS Care Education & Training) educating young people in sexual health and drugs awareness.
“It was at the Christian Union at UUJ where we met (and of course it was love at first sight) and later went on to marry in August 2009. We are members of Toberdoney Presbyterian Church and are involved in various organisations including; running the Children’s Youth Club together, Sunday School teaching, Child Protection Officer, Audio visuals, church website set up and Church committee.
“Even before we were married we felt a call to mission of some sort, but we never knew what that was, and so we have been praying about it for a few years. It wasn’t until September 2010 that we felt God speak to us. First Richard and then myself. During church one Sunday morning Richard was very much challenged by the verse in Isaiah (6:8) where it says “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said, Here am I. Send me.”
“And this resonated with him over the next few days, until he finally talked to me about it. And of course I was very open to the idea of going to serve overseas. I met a friend for coffee in Belfast, and began to tell her about our potential call to mission, when we were joined by a lovely lady who, very apologetically, told us she had overheard our conversation, and felt that God was telling her to tell me to ‘go’.
“She also gave me a verse from the Psalms (91:11) stating that God will command His angels to protect us wherever I go. After advice from great friends, we decided to wait a few months and just pray about where God would have us. And when we couldn’t wait any more, we decided to begin putting feelers out and contacting mission agencies. We met with a few, but were bowled over by how we could fit into the Mission Africa family.
“So a few application forms and an interview later, we were delighted to be accepted to serve in Ogugu, Kogi State, Nigeria.
“Ogugu village is very much in a rural setting with farming being a way of life for many people there which will bring its own challenges, but we are willing to fit in and do what we can to serve those there.
“I will be involved with a project called ADVANCE which is mainly focused on supporting individuals and families infected and affected with HIV/AIDS. I will be developing support groups for people living with HIV, as well as HIV testing and counselling at the Donegore centre in the village. I will also be helping to run 2 mums and tots groups and provide life skills education to schools in Ogugu and the surrounding villages.
“Richard will be involved in many different ministries in Ogugu including; the completion, maintenance and management of the ADVANCE buildings, generators and boreholes. He will also be involved with a programme known as Circle of Hope. This project seeks to provide sponsorship and care for children and orphans who have been affected by HIV/AIDS. He will be working to help develop the Circle of Hope programme to higher standards, discipleship and training children, writing quarterly newsletters for sponsors, administration of the projects and assessment of new vulnerable children and young people. He also hopes to develop a ministry with Fulani herdsmen living around the village of Ogugu.”