We are just 4 down-to-earth people, who love Jesus and traveling and different cultures. We were all born in South Africa, where Bev and I were school teachers. Before having children, we also traveled to Taiwan, where we lived for a year, teaching English.
Six years ago, after completing a degree in Theology, we were looking for a new adventure. An opportunity presented itself for us to move to Tasmania, Australia, where I was the youth pastor at a local Baptist Church for 2 years. We then felt a call to start an outreach called Bridge of Life Christian Fellowship that met in the town’s indoor basketball facility. During this time, Bev was a teacher at Devonport Christian School
We have always had a heart for outreach, travel, and children; so after 3 years at “The Bridge” we felt God calling us to do something more specific. Our desire is to minister and encourage children, so we wanted to be part of something where children, who might not have had the same opportunities we had, are given the opportunity of a great Christian education and having good mentors around them. We were browsing the net for teaching posts in Australia. Our plan was to teach, earn a salary, and at the same time start an organization that would help provide a good education for children around the world. While looking, we came across an ad for teachers at GEM. Not knowing that teachers weren’t paid, we filled in the application forms and sent them away. Only after a few days did we see that it was voluntary teaching positions.
Not owning a house or much money in the bank, we considered the fact that it would be impossible for us to do something like this. Also because we were pastoring a small outreach in a small town in Tasmania meant that there wasn’t a strong support base for us financially. But with a bit of adventure and a huge amount of faith, we decided to pursue the possibility of teaching at GEM. Our boys, who are awesome by the way, also have that travel bug. They were quite keen to move to Mexico. In fact, our youngest son, James, thought that it was essential. He was born and lived in South Africa for 5 years. Then we moved to Australia, where he lived for 5 and-a-half years. He felt it was time to move again after 5 years. John (and James) is absolutely soccer crazy. He was in the North-Tasmania soccer squad and because Mexico is a force to be reckoned with on the soccer field, there was no need to convince him to come to Mexico.
When things seem impossible in life, that’s when God shows up in our circumstances. When adding up the finances on paper, a move to Mexico was impossible. We never even had the money for the plane tickets. But we chose to pursue this door that God opened, even if, to be honest, we had our doubts at times.
We arrived in Puerto Escondido on Saturday after a 1 hour bus trip from Devonport to Launceston, a 1 hour flight from Launceston to Melbourne, a 90 minute flight from Melbourne to Sydney, a 14 hour flight from Sydney to Santiago, a 3 hour flight to Buenos Aires, a 7 hour flight to Lima, a 6 hour flight from Lima to Mexico City and a 18 hour bus trip from Mexico City to Puerto Escondido. God came through, as He always does. It doesn’t always mean that the journey is going to be easy and comfortable, but He gets us where we need to be.
So here we are: Mark, Bev, John, and James… ready for what God has for us. We are excited to be part of the team at GEM. We have also learned that it’s not always about us changing people, but about God changing us in every situation.
– Mark Davidson, GEM missionary