Free Methodist World Missions FMWM logo


The monthly newsletter of Free Methodist World Missions

Obedience + Professional Skills = Gospel Impact

by Cathy Alford, missionary to Spain | Sep 2023 | Heartbeat, HB Europe, HB Spain

In October 2020, I was bored on a Friday night, casually watching “Mediterranean Living” on HGTV. I jokingly texted my adult children, expressing the idea of moving to Spain. Little did I know that the following morning, I would receive confirmation from the Lord. He was calling me to leave behind my established coaching practice, family, church and community to embark on a new journey in a foreign land with few acquaintances, uncertain demand for my professional skills and no knowledge of the language.

My participation in the 2018 “We Love Spain Cycling Tour” gave me a glimpse into the Mosaico Cultural Center and the missionary work in the European region. It inspired me to begin the application process to become a VISA Voyager missionary with Free Methodist World Missions. After completing the process and obtaining a Spanish visa, I boarded a plane to Spain, accompanied by five large suitcases and my faithful dog, Penny Lane.

The first year was challenging, adapting to cultural differences, navigating language barriers and being separated from my family. Although moments of fear and uncertainty crept in, there was a deep sense of peace, knowing God had called me for a specific purpose and He would be by my side.

Through this journey, I have come to recognize how God also equips individuals with professional skills to contribute to missions. My role now involves providing leadership coaching and development to European missionaries and leadership teams in Europe. We begin by using the Gallup CliftonStrengths® assessment to understand each person’s unique strengths, fostering collaboration and forming diverse teams. Additionally, the European teams have access to workshops on Emotional Intelligence, Myers-Briggs, Conflict Resolution, Difficult Conversations and Wellness. It has been an incredible privilege to serve individuals in Spain, Bulgaria, Greece, Belgium and the Canary Islands over the past 17 months.

Before this assignment, I had yet to fully grasp how professional skills could enhance missionaries’ effectiveness in their communities.

My prayer and intention are to use my skill set and calling to support and serve the European team, making a lasting impact on others for the gospel’s sake.