Family Physician/GP

East Asia / Medical / Health / 2+ years / Job ID: 1542

There are multiple opportunities in both public and private hospital settings.

Multiple opportunities are available that include teaching local family medicine residents in either a public or private hospital setting, clinical work in a private clinic, and charitable work based in a large city.

Family physician or general physician with current board certification. For local licensing purposes, preference is given to those trained in the US, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. There may be opportunities for specialists too.

Kindergarten Teacher

East Asia / Education / 1-11 months, 12-23 months / Job ID: 1563

An elite English kindergarten in a large urban setting.

This high-end English kindergarten only hires native speakers (English must be first language). The job involves teaching English to children aged 3-6 in classroom setting of about 15 students, with 2 local teacher helpers.

We are looking for someone with a heart for children, ESL education, and education. Undergraduate degree required.

Coffee Shop

East Asia / Business / 1-11 months, 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 1562

A well-established local coffee shop business

Coffee shop owners are looking for short-term help to manage day-to-day coffee shop business (serving customers, making drinks, taking food orders,etc.). The coffee shop also hosts English conversation activities that could use extra conversation partners for college students and young professionals. For a long-term worker, this business also has the ability to open a branch location in another part of the city. The owners would like to start a new one near the college campus. It’s a great opportunity to work with and reach out to young people.

We need a person with experience or someone eager to learn the coffee/food industry, with a heart for outreach through business.

Teacher

East Asia / Education / 12-23 months / Job ID: 1546

Multiple primary and secondary schools

Education in all subjects to both local and foreign children

Certified teachers with at least two years of teaching experience. Master’s level education is preferable.

Student

East Asia / Education / 12-23 months / Job ID: 1545

Multiple opportunities as a student in a large university setting – study opportunities include language, as well as advanced degrees in a wide assortment of fields, including engineering, medicine, business, and communications.

Full-time student in a large public university

Seeking applicants who are genuinely interested in learning, in addition to blessing their host university and city.

Counselor

East Asia / Medical / Health / 2+ years / Job ID: 1544

Multiple organizations in both public and private clinical settings

Multiple organizations are seeking counselors to participate in both counseling education and clinical counseling. Opportunities exist in both public and private hospital settings and may include charitable work.

Licensed counselors with a passion for education and service

Parahealth Professionals

East Asia / Medical / Health / 2+ years / Job ID: 1543

Multiple sites are seeking parahealth professionals. Some sites include largely charitable work while others are a combination of education and charitable work.

Opportunities for parahealth professionals, including occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy, who have interest in both teaching and practicing in a wide range of settings (including charitable work with children with special needs and the elderly). Applicants should be open to teaching other health professionals, including physicians and nurses.

Licensed occupational therapists, speech therapists, and physical therapists with a heart for education and service

Contextualisation or syncretism?

In the hallowed halls of a Bible College, Janna had diligently prepared for a life of service amongst unreached people groups. Now she remembered wistfully the satisfaction of winning a prize for that essay about ‘contextualisation and syncretism’. It had all seemed so straightforward back then.

‘Contextualisation’ is the way elements of local culture are used to convey truths about God’s kingdom … and it is good. ‘Syncretism’ is the way elements of different religions or worldviews become amalgamated … and it is bad. But where does one draw the line between ‘contextualisation’ and ‘syncretism’?

Janna had put in years of language study, and had built up a business that provided her with a role in the community and a visa. She had shared her life and faith as naturally and clearly as she was able with those around her, but it had been a long, hard slog and acutely discouraging for many years. But times were changing.

Recently, God had showed himself quite clearly to those who had looked for him. Dreams and visions, healings and deliverances, miraculous provision of food and funds—it was incredible. And now two young people, Yeshe and Diki, were ready to publicly declare their faith through baptism.

Janna had prepared them well as they studied what the Bible teaches about baptism. Now all that remained was to work out the practical details: who would conduct the baptism, where would it take place and who would attend.

The young people wanted Janna, as their teacher, to baptise them. But she refused. She didn’t want baptism to be seen as turning to a foreign religion. Should she try to invite a believer from another area? He would speak a different dialect though. What about a big city church leader? But the emerging local church was intended to be indigenous to this people group. So she put that problem aside for the moment. Where would the baptism occur? That would be simpler.

Although it was summer, Yeshe and Diki were adamant that the river would be too cold. After all, the river was fed by glaciers. Briefly, Janna considered ‘dunking them’ in a bath … but there were no baths in this town. As every possibility was rejected, Janna realised that these new believers were terrified of going under water. She put that problem aside for the moment too. Who would the young believers like to invite to their baptism? Surely that would be simpler.

Quickly Yeshe and Diki listed a few of their friends from Bible study. “Good”, Janna replied, “but what about your families?” Janna had stayed with Yeshe’s family twice when they had invited her to celebrate New Year in their winter home up the valley. She had met Diki’s mother when she had come to town for medical appointments. Again, her ‘helpful’ suggestions were met with one block after another. “It was too far. It was summer and the family would be on the plateau with the yak. There was no point waiting until autumn because the family would be getting their winter homes sorted.” There were obviously deeper reasons for their reluctance to invite their families.

Frustrated, Janna decided that it was best to leave the practical issues of their baptism with Yeshe and Diki. She was confident the important points—the theological truths embodied in baptism—were clearly understood. It was their church that was at the brink of being birthed, and they must come up with their own contextualised way of conducting baptisms.

Two weeks later, the young people bounced into Janna’s apartment. They had a plan! Janna grinned. This is what it was all about—local people establishing Christian rites without foreign interference.

She sat down, leaned forward and listened.

First, they explained, they needed a Christian holy man. A pastor from the big city would do, but they worried that he’d insist on baptising them ‘big-city style’. A foreign holy man would be okay too. Best of all would be a holy man from their own people group. However, holy men were all Buddhists in this area. Perhaps Janna could connect them with a holy man. They were willing to travel far from home for the rite. They would actually prefer that because their families would be worried if they heard of them undergoing a non-Buddhist religious rite.

Next, they described how they would like to be baptised. If it was up to them, yak milk would be used for the ‘waters of baptism’, and it would be sprinkled. They had learned, as they researched the matter, that some churches would sprinkle new believers, especially if they were elderly or unwell. Sprinkling would suit them so much better. Yak milk would symbolise nurture and purity. Just as good Buddhists flick their drinks three times before consuming them, thus honouring the powers around them, so they hoped that a Christian holy man would flick yak milk over them three times in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Then the holy man would place a blessed white silk scarf around each of their necks and declare them Christians.

The young people beamed. Janna frowned. Distant memories of that prize-winning essay flitted through her mind. The concept of power being contained in certain people and things reflected their Buddhist mindset. Requiring a ‘holy man’ … adapting Buddhist practices of flicking drinks three times … giving blessed scarves. What was contextualisation and what was syncretism?

What should Janna do?

Janna’s story is true, although identifying details have been changed. Many workers have responded to this dilemma in different ways. Some encourage local believers to make the decisions themselves, encouraging them to find locally appropriate ways of expressing their faith. Others insist on what is seen as ‘foreign ways’, leaving no room for syncretism.

The point of this story isn’t to provide the ‘right answer’, but to ask you to pray for great wisdom for cross-cultural workers and new believers as they establish brand new churches in local contexts. What is the ‘right answer’? God alone knows.

The author is a researcher and language learner, serving people of Asia long term.
Names have been changed.

The gentle healer

We met Joshua* 10 years ago when we first came to East Asia as Interserve Partners. He was a humble, gentle medical doctor and qualified counselor, who worked in our counselling company where we initially gave training and supervision. Joshua had always been highly
motivated to support people in dire need; his previous work was with AIDS victims. When we shared with him the wholistic Bible-based
counseling program that we use, he was very receptive to this approach to understanding and working with people.

Joshua has identified issues that are critical for promoting healthy individuals and communities in his country: issues such as grief, anxiety,
keys to healthy marriage, raising children, and domestic violence. His burden for the brokenness of so many local people, together with his robust faith and God’s love, led him to open his own counseling initiative and to plant a church. Edward continued for some years to supervise him. Joshua’s vision is to enable individuals, within community, to find healing and wholeness in Christ, and train those who desire to assist people on this journey. His humility, servant heart, deep faith, resourcefulness, teachability and his capacity to help others grow
leave a deep impression.

Opportunities for Joshua to train and influence others are expanding. Recently Joshua was asked to teach 480 school principals and deputies how to care for their students (just be kind!) rather than using fear as motivation for learning. He also teaches key government and women’s agency leaders in a prominent Muslim town. In an exciting development this year, the local radio station invited him to share on whatever topic he wished in prime time. Joshua now reaches more than 80,000 listeners. And while he shares on air, his church prays!

In the midst of all this, Joshua maintains a specific focus on training his own group of 12 counselors each year and has used our Bible-based
counseling program for 10 years now to care for people wholistically. His counselling trainees teach regular spots at a significant seminary that trains minority people, 700 km away. He is raising up others to lead home groups in his church by mentoring leaders and preachers. That initial church plant now has two daughter churches!

Joshua is truly a humble man of God with wisdom beyond his years, yet with humility and clarity of thought. His unusual passion for the rural poor and for training minority people, whom the nation’s church often overlooks, is outstanding. Joshua was delighted to share his story with you and asks for your prayers.

We are grateful for God’s goodness and how He meets us as we take small obedient steps into the unknown. We are especially thankful
for Joshua: his life, faith and passion for leading others into healing and wholeness. And we are thankful for how God has woven our lives
together in such a beautiful way over the past 10 years.

Edward and Inga* are counseling trainers in East Asia.
*Names have been changed.

Edward* is a GP and Inga* is a professional counselor. They seek to empower local believers to bring healing to broken hearts.

As a result of rapid social change, the heart needs in their country are massive. The national church is growing fast, but many believers carry deep inner wounds and the divorce rate is high. Wise pastors increasingly equest counseling training, wanting future church leaders to be more effectively equipped.

Having lived and worked in Asia for more than 10 years, Edward and Inga train local Christian counselors and church leaders. They use a certified framework that Asian Christians have found to be biblically robust, theologically and psychologically integrative, culturally sensitive, systematic and teachable. Students personally receive emotional and
psychological healing and they are equipped and empowered to bring healing to others.

The best place to be

Working alongside with the national church is not to ‘show and tell’ what it means to follow Jesus, but to learn, discern and participate in what God has already been doing amongst the local people. It is not just to say, “Here I am, use me,” but to say, “Thank you God, for using these people to teach me about humility, trust and perseverance; thank you for giving me the privilege to witness the mission movement amongst them in a time such as this.”

Ministering from the prosperous coast to the devastated earthquake region, from the cold mountains to the arid desert, from the rural villages to the urban apartments, I’ve had many unforgettable experiences in Asia. Here is a glimpse:

Can you imagine being woken up by the orchestral sounds of birds, indigenous music and singing, and fervent prayers at 5am every morning? I lay on a hard wooden bed in a simple hut in rural Asia and was deeply touched by the presence of God in this special setting. I knew that this was where God had placed me. This is close to heaven. I forgot about the high temperature, bites of fleas and mosquitoes, regular power failure, lack of water and the unbearably filthy toilet. All I knew was that I was deeply touched and spiritually enriched. The indigenous songs, sung right from their hearts without any instruments, echoed again and again in my ears.

In the eyes of the world, they are lowly, uneducated and poor. Yet, they
and servants of the Most High who demonstrate an amazing godly lifestyle. There is a deep sense of spiritual connection between us. My heart joins with God’s and there is an overflowing love for this simple, humble and thirsty people.

Their purity, boldness and sacrifice for the sake of the gospel exemplify what is described in Acts 4:13: “they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Some of them have served the Lord for over thirty years, starting to preach with only one chapter of the Bible at hand (which was shared by the entire church back then). They travelled and preached the gospel by foot or bicycle throughout the years until revival came to the region. They fed the beggars, healed the blind, and drove out demons in Jesus’ name.

My colleagues and I came to provide intensive training. Who are we to serve these treasured people? Yet, they called us ‘teachers’, they served us with the best of their food and they saved the best place for us to stay and use. They even took our clothes to wash so that we could focus on teaching. They kept saying, “Teacher, thank you for your hard work, we feel so unworthy … yet God loves us so much and sent you.”

The beauty of the picture is that God dwells and manifests himself when we are humble to each other and serve together. It is humility and love
in action that conquers the enemy and changes our world. I am honoured to witness what God is doing here in Asia. When we are in the place where God puts us, it is the best place to be.

Jewel* provides pastors and leaders training in Asia.

*Names have been changed.