David and Kristin Johnson, Aberdeen

We spoke with Kristin Johnson about how a Kingdom Bank mortgage has helped her and her husband to purchase their own home in Aberdeen, as they try to reach their community with the hope of the gospel.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your ministry:

We are David and Kristin and we have come to Scotland as missionaries. Our previous ministry included pioneering a young adults ministry, but God made clear He was wanting us to transition into something new. We read an article about spiritual decline in the UK and Europe and felt called to act. We hadn’t previously realised how dramatically the religious landscape of the UK has changed and how rapidly church attendance is declining, and this caught our attention and our hearts.

In 2013 we travelled to the UK, meeting with church planters and pastors to get a better idea of what ministry looks like here. Aberdeen was highlighted to us as one of the least religious cities in the UK, and it became apparent that this was a place in need of the gospel, with generations who have no faith in Christ or inclinations towards God.

We moved to Aberdeen with the long term goal of starting a new church, but with the knowledge that this ministry had to start with meeting people where they were. We needed to begin with evangelism and discipleship. We haven’t found unbelievers to be particularly interested in going to church or Christian events, so we started by placing ourselves in positions where we would meet people, like sports teams, book clubs, and places where we could regularly see the same people and intentionally build relationships. We invited people to read the Bible with us individually or in small groups, introducing them to Jesus through God’s word, and encouraging them to see how the gospel changes everything.

What does your ministry look like now?

In many ways it hasn’t changed; we still intentionally go where people are, investing in them and being a light. Often this looks like doing hospitality generously, opening our home and inviting people in. We want to touch as many lives as we can.

While we love being here, the ministry is difficult, and we are aware that we may not see a harvest for many years in this ministry. When Jesus told his disciples that the fields were ripe for harvest, He explained how that was a result of the work of sowing that had been previously done by others. We feel like we are in a season of sowing, where we may not get to be part of the reaping. God needs people to do the faithful, unglamorous jobs, and the reality of ministry is that often the seeds don’t fall on good soil. We would love to see a group of believers form here, but we leave that in God’s hands.

Why were you looking to buy this property?

When we first came to Aberdeen, we wanted to rent somewhere that we could do ministry and be a place of hospitality. We also needed somewhere our ministry could grow into, as we didn’t know how our work could develop. We found this house which had a great space for hosting, room for an office, and space for people to come and visit. We told the landlord that we would be interested in purchasing the house if he ever wanted to sell it, so that we could provide a permanent base for our ministry.

When we had been living here for five years, he decided to sell, but as missionaries our income is complicated, and we had real difficulty finding anyone who could understand our finances enough to provide a mortgage. We knew we didn’t want to move so kept digging, and that’s when Kingdom Bank came into the picture.

How were Kingdom Bank able to help?

When we heard about Kingdom Bank, we rang and spoke to Jackie. We were still waiting for indefinite leave to remain, so initially thought we wouldn’t be able to get a mortgage, having been turned down by other lenders. We could show that we had good credit and had been making regular rent payments, and Jackie looked over all of this in detail.

The difference with Kingdom Bank is that because they work in the Christian world, they understand ministry. This meant we really felt that Jackie understood our unique situation, looked at us differently, didn’t shut us down, and was able to make something work. This was a huge answer to prayer. For Kingdom Bank to take that step with us and see the possibility of us buying a home was incredible.

What difference does this home make for your ministry?

This house helps us to plan for the long-term future. As missionaries you must plan for your own retirement, often with no pension, so this takes off some of the burden and provides more stability for us and our ministry.

But it also roots us and frees us up to just do ministry here. To have this permanent space accessible where we can host groups and provide hospitality to those around us makes a huge difference. It means we have room to grow into new areas of ministry in the future and gives us the space to have new ideas. We are so excited to see how this house can be used as a tool for us to reach those
around us with the good news of the gospel.

If you’re in Christian ministry and looking for a mortgage, we’d be delighted to see if we can help, including discussing shared ownership options if appropriate. Get in touch by completing our mortgage enquiry form to find out if a Kingdom Bank mortgage could be right for you, or click here to find out more.

Related articles

Good News Stories

Jacob’s Well Care Centre

When the building they rented suddenly went up for sale, Jacob’s Well Care Centre thought they would have no choice but to cut down on their staff, and the ways they serve their community. We spoke to Lorraine about how a Kingdom Bank mortgage has enabled them to buy the building, meaning they can continue and grow their work and ministries.

Read more
Good News Stories

John Percival, Cambridge

Eden Baptist Church in Cambridge is a diverse congregation serving their community and sharing the good news of Jesus. Thanks to a Kingdom Bank mortgage, their Senior Pastor John can now live and serve in the local area.

Read more
Good News Stories

Danny Aanderud, Oxford

We spoke to Danny about how his family’s new home will be a hub for mission, helping them to grow their ministry in new ways.

Read more