Texas couple in London reaches millennials and internationals
January 12th, 2018 / By: IMB Staff / comments
LONDON Shane Mikeska’s original calling and plane ticket didn’t land him in London. A tropical illness did. “It definitely wasn’t part of our plan,” he said. “My wife, Lindsay, and I started out in Southeast Asia on an agricultural farm. We loved the people, and we loved the language. But long story short, I got sick.”
He needed to be in a place with a colder climate, and after much deliberation, it looked like England was the place. So the couple moved, and the difference was stark. It wasn’t just the climate that was cold. Shane said the people seemed cold toward faith, and the pace of life in England’s cities felt chaotic and hard to engage.
“I grabbed every book I could find on the people of England, and I started going to pubs, campuses, everywhere to try to get to know our neighbors,” he said. “God began to stir in us a love for the people here.” And he began to open their eyes more and more to the tremendous missions field they had been placed in.
“We have the world at our fingertips,” Shane said. “We have an amazing capacity to be senders to the world.” London, the city the Mikeskas call home, holds 48 universities, with a quarter of the student population coming from other countries.
“We come in contact here all the time with people who haven’t heard of Jesus,” Shane said. Because of the vast opportunity and size of the task, the Mikeskas have teamed up with other IMB missionaries to divide the city up into strategic groups.
“Our group is the millennials,” Shane said. “London is a young people’s haven.”
The Mikeskas—with Texas roots—are supported through the Cooperative Program and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. They meet people for coffee, feed them meals and try to create a sense of community for young internationals. On a regular basis, they experience divine appointments, Lindsay said.
“We met this guy from Singapore one night and got to talking, and we told him the name of the town we had lived in in Southeast Asia,” she said. “He told us he had a friend from the same town.” One night he brought his friend to meet the Mikeskas, and it turns out they had lived on the same street. The woman even knew the house they had lived in.
“She recalled, ‘I remember when new people moved in and painted it brown,’ and we said, ‘That was us,’” Lindsay said.
It was confirmation for the Mikeskas that God is bigger than borders and tropical illnesses. He’s bringing the world to London from everywhere, Shane said, including the city that captured their heart in Southeast Asia. “And He is doing great and amazing things here.”
Shane is from Irving, Texas, and grew up going to MacArthur Blvd Baptist Church and Plymouth Park Baptist Church. He wears boots in London at least three or four days a week, “and the British love it,” he said, adding, “One thing I really miss is my Texas steaks.”
Lindsay is from Houston and grew up going to Mangum Oaks Baptist Church and then Jersey Village Baptist Church. The couple met at Texas A&M in College Station, where they were members of Central Baptist Church.
Lindsay worked in oil and gas for five years in Houston and attended Houston’s First Baptist Church, where her parents still are members and her dad is a deacon. For the first year of their marriage the Mikeskas attended Houston’s First Baptist.
At the Mikeskas’ house in London, Christmas tradition is anything but traditional as holiday after holiday the world converges in their kitchen.
“Last year, we had an Iranian student and Indian student baking Christmas cookies with a girl from Lebanon and another from Hong Kong,” Shane said. And as they all sat down to eat dinner, a traditional Mexican meal that the Mikeskas prepare every year on Christmas Day, more kept coming.
“One girl who came was Iranian, and she realized that another Iranian girl sitting at our table was a Christian, so she asked her to tell her story,” Shane said. “For 45 minutes, this girl boldly shared the gospel.”
Across London, 300 languages are spoken.
“It’s fascinating and unusual,” Shane said. “We have the world at our fingertips, and we have an amazing capacity to be senders to the world.”
Pray for the Mikeskas to continue to make strategic friendships with internationals in order to impact unreached people groups in their city and for God to put a desire in the hearts of new believers to take the gospel back to their countries.
The Mikeskas were featured in promotional material for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. Erin Roach updated the content as it applies to Texas.