When Encompass Global Workers Bill and Beckie Kiddoo came to England 30 years ago, they imagined living the rest of their days ministering among the British. Now, after planting and pastoring a church, their ministry focus has shifted in the past couple of years to the incoming immigrants and refugees.
Bill lived the first 12 years of his life in New Jersey. Then his father, a chemical engineer, took an international position, and Bill lived his teenage years in England and Greece. Though he didn’t realize it then, God was preparing him for the work he is enjoying now.
Living abroad can help you be good at making friends as well as give you an appreciation for other cultures. Both skills have aided Bill in ministering to immigrants and refugees. His skills in teaching English have also been useful, but most helpful of all has been Bill’s ability to just go with the flow.
“I just make myself available and God brings me opportunities.”
By just being open, Bill has seen amazing opportunities come his way. Once at an ESOL forum, he met a man named Paul who was part of a similar ministry. Bill gave him his card and told him to call him if he ever needed help. Not long after, Bill got a call and was asked to help a group of 30 Syrians learn English. This group of Syrians honored Bill by inviting him to be a part of their lives and social gatherings.
Another time, Bill’s wife Beckie met an Iranian woman suffering from postpartum depression. After becoming friends, the Iranian woman and her family visited the Grace Church in Shirley with the Kiddoos. Later, the relationship with this family opened up doors for the Kiddoos to a much greater Iranian community.
Twice a year, the Kiddoos take their immigrant and refugee friends to the seaside for a relaxing retreat. This allows Bill to become more than just their English teacher, but a friend on holiday too. He has had incredible conversations and has built lasting relationships through this retreat to the sea.
“What you do to meet people is only as good as what comes next.”
Bill’s ability to talk to people and build relationships in a cross-cultural context has been great. However, Bill knows that there is a reason God is bringing him these people. He knows that if all of these relationships and opportunities don’t point to the gospel, it is all in vain.
Bill loves telling people about the gospel. Many of the people he engages have never heard about Jesus nor have they ever befriended a Christian. The greatest outcome of being available to serve this community is that it has given Bill a voice. Through his established relationships, he is able to proclaim the gospel and pray with his new friends.
Though he never imagined God would take him to England to reach other nations, Bill is thankful to be where he is now. As an immigrant himself, he resonates with the needs of this community. He is excited for the incoming Hope Teams and prays that their experience will be just as fruitful.