BLOG: Do I have to sacrifice my career?

This article is part of our series, ‘Letters to the Next Generation’, where one of our mission workers explores different aspects of ministering cross-culturally.

By Christina*, a long-term worker

If you arrive in the Arab world with the sole intention of evangelising, then you won’t be staying there for long! Your career is vitally important. Your contribution to society and benefit to the country is generally the basis on which you are welcome.

Bring your skills

Some of the first Christians who went to the Arabian Peninsula were doctors and nurses who brought much-valued medical care and knowledge. Their legacy of improving health in the nations paved the way for many other Christians to be welcomed into these countries. We often associate serving overseas with medical careers and education. But in today’s world, there are so many other jobs that can also open doors for cross-cultural witness such as media, aviation, finance, and retail. In any of these roles you can, ‘… let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven’ (Matthew 5:16, NIV).

He can make a way

Securing a job in the Arab world can feel daunting. A gap on a CV resulting from an extended time in language school can feel like a major headache. Many people (ourselves included), can recount nervous moments and much prayer over job interviews and the content of their CVs.

‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways, my ways,’ declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8 (NIV)

We wonder how God can overcome these hurdles and place us in a location and roles that will be useful for Him. Time and again, we’ve seen God challenge our preconceived ideas of how workplace skills can be an opportunity to serve in mission. God placed us in a country that we didn’t anticipate being in, with a job that wasn’t what we expected.

Support in numbers

Once we have that important job secured, we then find that the daily balancing of our mission role with our workplace role can be very stressful. Our time feels squeezed, and we feel like we are wearing too many ‘hats’. This is when fellowship and teamwork with other mission workers is a huge encouragement and resource. We are very thankful for our experienced co-workers in the gospel and for the wisdom and encouragement they share with us. There is a deep well of knowledge available within AWM-Pioneers that you could draw upon too.

Are you ready to join this mission workforce?

Interested in exploring your next step in cross-cultural mission? Contact Dan, one of our mobilisers to explore the best options for you.

*Name changed to protect identities.

This article was originally shared in our quarterly magazine Link in August 2019.

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