Nathanael, Anna, Ethan, Micaiah, Boaz & Apphia Ayling – We are the Ayling Team in Japan! Here’s a little background on us to fill you in…
Nathanael’s story (aka Natch, Nat, Bug…!)
I grew up snacking on seaweed, born in Japan to missionary parents. At the age of about 7, God moved me to accept Christ for myself. When I was in the UK looking at career choices aged 15, I just wanted to go overseas to tell people about Jesus. I thought that meant going back to Japan, but first God had to teach me that, if I was to call Him ‘Lord’, I had to be willing to go anywhere and do anything for Him.
I grew up in a Christian family and always believed the gospel. Still, it wasn’t until I was 13 that I was sure I was a Christian. Part of my struggle with assurance was that I really didn’t want to be a missionary (!) but knew I couldn’t say ‘no’ to God if that’s what He wanted. I’ve struggled with this issue over the years but have slowly come to trust God more and more with my fears about going overseas for Him.
By the time I met Bug (aka Nathanael) I was willing to go wherever God wanted me to go – in theory at least! – but was still quite scared about the idea.
Since getting married, we have talked and prayed together and with others, taking into account our gifts, personality and Nathanael’s history with Japan, as well as the huge needs for gospel workers there. We decided that there was no good reason not to go and many good reasons to go! So we are in Japan with OMF to work alongside Japanese Christians to make disciples of Jesus among Japanese students in Sapporo, by God’s grace.
UPDATE: We have now left Japan in 2019 for the foreseeable future. We are based back in South Wales. I now work with OMF UK in the Serve Asia department as the Alumni Coordinator, helping people to find their place in God’s mission to the nations (including Japan!) to the glory of God. Still love Japan and have a heart for the Japanese, but now we are about sending others.