Updated: Jan 31
I'll become a missionary in Africa, working as a photographer and videographer for Africa Inland Mission. I want to share with you my decision making process.
Hey, I'm Matze, 23 and soon I'll be working as a missionary, soon. Why did a make that decision? What will I be doing? Where am I going?
Why do I become a missionary in general?
To answer that question I need to tell you a little bit more about myself. I grew up in a Christian family with my two sisters and so the whole concept of God, church and Christianity wasn't something unknown or weird to me. But I didn't really understand what all that had to do with me until about 7 years ago.
I realized that God loves me unconditionally and gave his son, so that even though I was imperfect and sinful, I could be made righteous in God's eyes. I asked questions like 'Why am I here?', 'Where did I come from?', 'What is the sense of my life?'. The more questions I asked, the more answers I got and the more sense this whole faith-thing made. For me it was really just a rational and logical decision.
I'm not a Christian, because it's easier to believe in something, but because I thought this through.
Because this relationship with God, my Creator, is the most beautiful and fascinating thing I've ever experienced, I want to share it with everybody. It would be selfish not to, right? I often compare it to the best and at the same time cheapest gelato shop in town. Wouldn't you share it with everybody?
And that's why Christians go and tell people about Jesus, about their faith. Because they've experienced a loving God that wants a relationship with all humanity. And this relationship doesn't cost a single penny. It's all been paid at the cross 2000 years ago by God himself in the form of Jesus. He died for you and me, so that we can enter this relationship with our heavenly father.
Well that's a good question! I could just tell people about Jesus in Germany, here at my work place. And honestly, there's a huge and deep need for Jesus! I'm currently studying mechanical engineering, which is a work environment with very few believers. So this decision wasn't easy for me to be honest.
It all started in 2020, when a friend of mine went to Armenia into a war zone working with refugees. While the main focus was humanitarian aid, through this work, they had the opportunity to tell people about Jesus, bringing hope and light into their desperate situation! This short term missions trip really inspired me and got me thinking! She took a risk to serve people, because as a single, she had very few responsibilities back home and was willing to invest into God's kingdom. And in that thinking process I realized 3 things about myself, leading me towards mission.
1. Language Barrier
In 2017 I attended an international bible school called 'Capernwray Australia', where I not only learned a lot about the Bible, sharing the gospel and built awesome friendships. I got to love English! Coming back was not only a cultural shock. I quickly realized that my mother tongue was no longer easier to speak and understand, especially in my heart. Over the past 3.5 years I struggled with German in deep conversations, reading the bible, worshipping God and prayers. I fought against it many times and was confused and angry with it. But I now think that God wants me to leave Germany again, at least for now, to work in an international environment.
I am still single, not that I wanted to, but I slowly accept it as God's (momentary) calling over my life. I struggled a lot with this, especially last year, when I once again got rejected. I fought with loneliness and self-doubts for about 9 months afterwards. I didn't understand God's plan. But all of a sudden I could see it as a chance. I am still single, I don't have huge responsibilities like a family or a relationship, I can just go. I can take a risk. I can go to rather difficult locations to be a light in this world. And even though I see it as God’s calling right now, it’s not always easy, especially when all your friends are in relationships or getting married. However, I want to learn more and more every day that it is for my best right now and that God will use me through it.
3. Photography & Videography
These past 3 years I was able to start and grow a small business in photography & videography. I somehow stumbled into it, but God gave me a ton of opportunities, amazing equipment and a lot of experience. I’ve always asked myself how I can use this gift for God’s kingdom. And don’t get me wrong, I can share my faith with my clients and there have been amazing conversations these past years. But God has blessed me so much with this that I believe he has a greater purpose behind it.
Where am I going and what will I be doing?
I’ll be working as a photographer and videographer for AIM (Africa Inland Mission). The vision of AIM is really to build Christ-centered churches all around Africa who then themselves send out missionaries and spread the gospel wherever they are. AIM also works among the unreached people groups of which there are still 1,000 only in Africa. It’s not sure where exactly I’ll be living, probably in Kenya or South Africa.
Why Photography & Videography?
Because it’s the main storytelling tool of our world right now. In the New Testament there was a man named Tychicus, who was sent by Paul to report back to the local church what God has been doing in the missions field. (Eph 6:21-22) But storytelling is not only a human idea. God himself is a storyteller. Looking at the bible you can see how God has been writing history with humanity. It’s this beautiful story of grace with its climax at the cross. And God’s story is not over, you and I are part of it!
We as a team want to share the story that God is writing in Africa with the world. We’re travelling to missionaries all over Africa to tell their story and through that share the gospel with the world. We want to motivate and encourage people in the Western World to participate in the worldwide mission, to spread the gospel and God’s love at their workplace, with their neighbors, wherever they are. And we want to encourage Africans, too, to share their faith with the people around and maybe even go into missions themselves.
How can you be a part of this?
First of all, I’ll be writing this blog for you to follow along. You can subscribe to my newsletter at the bottom of this page, so you don’t miss out on new content. As this is my job, I’m also planning on doing little update videos (vlogs), which I’ll be sharing on this blog as well.
Second, you can pray and donate. Your prayer will support me & give me strength through my ministry.
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience. [Colossians 1:9-11, NIV]
I will update you in my newsletters on things you can pray for as well as things you can thank God for. I would really appreciate your prayers!
However, you can also donate and support me financially. My job is donation based and so I live from what you give. Feel free to give whatever you feel like – I would really appreciate your support.
Thanks for taking the time and reading my newsletter. If you’re part of my team by either staying up to date reading these newsletter or watching the videos, by prayers or donation, THANK YOU! You’re not only supporting me, but ultimately helping to share the good news of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.