I was born into a missionary family and spent the first 13 years of my life in Japan. So when I joined the EU I thought I knew everything there was to know about the LRLR (Less Reached Less Resourced).
I was wrong (and arrogant!)
Through the EU’s LRLR Partnerships, God widened my vision to see a whole world that needs Jesus (not just Japan). I learnt I can be a great sender and pray-er, even while for a time I remain in Sydney.
Rohan growing up in Japan.
Story 1 – July 2014
My first Ancon. The SecEd (Secondary Education) faculty had Josh Apieczonek as our LRLR worker. We laughed lots, and Josh became a key part of our tight-knit SecEd community (even joining our soccer team!) I signed up to his prayer letters, committing to reply as often as I could. This led to a virtual friendship over email, sharing updates and praying for one another which continues to this day.
Story 2 – 2017
Ryan Verghese was my Howie as I led the eTeam (Evangelism Team). He discipled me as someone a little ahead in life, and modelled so well the many character traits I wanted to see in my life. His commitment to evangelism and mission kept us friends even after he finished as a Howie. Through college, his missionary training, and now as he serves in the Seychelles, we have continued to pray and share life.
Story 3 – 2023
As a Howie, now it’s my turn to inspire students, as Josh & Ryan inspired me. But I’ve learnt the best way to do this is through partnerships with LRLR workers.
So in small groups, I introduced Ryan as a “member” of our small group. ‘He may be missing,’ I say ‘but we can still pray for him, care for him, just like he is one of us’. During a strike week, he even joined our zoom bible study to share and pray. That was one highlight of my semester! We learnt more about Seychelles, we prayed for their kids, we sent them videos and commented on their FB posts. Slowly but surely, we created a connection between Sydney Uni and Seychelles.
I thank God for the EU’s LRLR partnerships, and the joy I have to share it with others.
The EU showed me that LRLR isn’t just a desire for one specific country (although I still aim to serve in Japan one day!), it keeps in sight the whole world. By putting people into my life from the whole world, the EU helped me pray for a world that knows Jesus. And teaching me to be a good sender while I am still in Sydney.
Who could you partner with today? Perhaps an EU grad serving overseas, or a missionary your church supports? Could you send them an email saying you are praying for them? The simple things do have a big difference! As I found through the LRLR partnerships available in the EU.
– Rohan Smith, Howard Guinness Project 2022-2023