Desktop Support

South East Asia / Information Technology / 1-11 months, 12-23 months, 2+ years, Consultant / Job ID: 1471

Our International Office provides leadership and central support services to our people placed around the world.

We need someone who can provide support for users accessing international information systems, and help them harden their devices against attack. You will provide role-specific training e.g. personnel roles need specialist training on the personnel functions of our intranet. You will help with pre-departure preparation: training and certifying users in safe behaviour; cleaning and certifying devices that will be used to access sensitive data. Travel to annual country conferences to provide support and training if willing.

You will love working with people. You will have a cheerful nature, be a problem solver who is very comfortable with technology. You will be super-patient, even with people who have asked you the same question a dozen times and still messed it up. Our people are usually people-people, not systems-people. They need someone like you to help them with the tricky tech stuff they wish would just go away.

Occupational Therapist

South East Asia / Medical / Health / 2+ years / Job ID: 1590

Active in Southeast Asia since 1998 and with 4 projects currently underway involving more than 50 local staff and 16 expatriate experts, this NGO seeks to implement projects as close to the field as possible, in order to meet the real needs of people and communities who are considered development partners rather than beneficiaries. In collaboration with local authorities, it is involved in the areas of support for medical services and integrated rural development.

You will be required to be involved in the implementation of a project that aims to strengthen the capacities of local actors (government association for people with disabilities, communities, medical services) for the identification and service of people with disabilities and to create a service centre that will offer occupational therapy services over the long term. The project will also have a vocational training component and a community training component in which it will be important for you to be involved to ensure a good coherence of the project and a holistic consideration of the situation of beneficiaries/partners.

You must be willing to serve the poorest in a remote province, for a minimum period of 3 years; be able to create and maintain relationships, to work in a team and lead working groups, and to share knowledge in a simple and educational way; be curious and have an open mind to seek innovative solutions in a context where few actions are taken to restore dignity to the most vulnerable. You should be able to write reports and monitor a budget, and have at least 3 years of professional experience in occupational therapy, ideally with people with disabilities.

Community Development Worker

South East Asia / Community Development / 1-11 months / Job ID: 883

A number of NGOs are involved in development initiatives in cities and rural areas across this country, where there are many physical and social needs. Poverty, lack of education and inadequate medical services prevail.

There are opportunities for highly qualified community development workers to come alongside with professional training to support national initiatives in areas such as sanitation, agriculture and healthcare, education and income generation. Visas are very difficult to obtain for these jobs though, so the person should be flexible about doing other jobs or be willing to be under a business visa.

The qualified candidate must have a heart to learn and serve, the ability to relate across cultures and in difficult contexts, and a willingness to learn the local language and culture to a high level. Having appropriate training and experience in community development, s/he will be a team player with a commitment to community engagement and empowerment.

Teacher

South East Asia / Education / 1-11 months / Job ID: 1088

The goal of this small, grassroots community development organisation is to help people grow to their full potential through holistic transformation — educational, social, economic and spiritual. It runs a preschool and after-school learning-support activities with over 200 children in 7 villages; micro-credit activities and training support for the parents.

The local teachers love their job and teach with passion but they can still learn a lot of skills and teaching techniques which will help them be even better teachers. They are eager to learn from a well-trained teacher. The appointee will give teacher training both on the job and in small groups. As well, s/he will give hands-on help to the team when they organise educational activities like camps, outings or sports days. A practical placement for teacher training may be possible.

We need a qualified preschool or elementary school teacher who is eager to share their knowledge in a simple format. They should be open and flexible and keen for adventure. They should be physically fit — travel to the villages is on the back of a motorbike!

Advisor for Coffee Business

South East Asia / Other / 1-11 months / Job ID: 1589

One of our partners is starting a small business for coffee trading. He is seeking help in knowing how to develop his organization into a viable business.

The job involves visiting local coffee farmers, exploring the quality of coffee, doing market research for local market for coffee; building links to export coffee; and mentoring a local worker in developing the business.

The person should have a business background and a good knowledge of and love for coffee. The person should be a man who is open minded and flexible and in for an adventure. He should be willing to come alongside the local worker and to travel regularly. The person should be outgoing and community minded and also willing to join other community development activities.

Agriculture Advisor

South East Asia / Agriculture / 1-11 months / Job ID: 1588

One of our partners owns a pineapple field where community development and outreach is combined with farming. It is not yet a proper organization but is run by a few local workers.

An advisor could help with visiting pineapple farms, doing business research for opportunities for selling and processing the pineapples, giving input to groups of 10 pineapple farmers about variety, fertilizers and soil cultivation, and encouraging and mentoring local farmers.

The person should be male. He should have an agriculture and business background. Since he needs to travel locally a lot, he needs to be flexible, healthy and able to cope with the heat in the pineapple farms. This person needs to come alongside and serve with a flexible attitude.

Assistant Pastor

South East Asia / Theology / Church / 1-11 months, 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 1586

A small international fellowship was set up 13 years ago by some overseas workers. The congregation is a mix of overseas workers who are in the city for ministry and business, refugees, and local believers who like to interact with foreigners. On a regular Sunday there are usually 40 adults and 25 children. There is no membership and it is not an official church, thus only has Sunday services and Sunday school. It is a warm and easy-going community of people.

The Assistant Pastor will help to pastor the fellowship with main role being to preach regularly (2-3 times a month). The Senior Pastor holds overall responsibility for the fellowship. The second role is to support the community members through visiting, counseling and practical support. There would also be opportunities at times to support local churches or believers. It could be a good placement for a couple with the wife helping with Sunday school and member care for local and overseas workers.

The person should be a man, with an educational background in theology and mission, and with experience in pastoring and in living overseas. The person needs to be excited to learn local culture and language but could function with English. A flexible and serving attitude is required.

Communication Worker

South East Asia / Media / 1-11 months / Job ID: 1090

The goal of this small, grassroots community development organisation is to help people grow to their full potential through holistic transformation, educational, social, economic and spiritual. It runs a preschool and after-school learning-support activities with over 200 children in 7 villages; micro-credit activities and training support for the parents.

The organisation is seeking to stabilise its financial situation and communication materials are needed. The person would help to make a communication strategy and to create newsletters, video clips, and weblog accordingly for both the organisation and for its leaders. Ideally this person would also help with proposal writing for fundraising. This person will go along to all activities and help in a practical way while gathering real-life stories within the organisation and from people in the villages for communication materials.

We are seeking a native English- or Dutch-speaking person, who may have a formal educational background in communication or fundraising, though this is not essential. The person will preferably be young (under 35, say) and outgoing so s/he can gather stories and video materials easily and connect well to the team members, who are all young. S/he needs to be physically fit and willing to travel on the back of a motorbike.

The ordinary work of life

We see them on Facebook and Instagram in all their colour and energy. The biography shelf at our local bookstore regales us with their tales. You know the stories I mean. The ones that we wish were ours, but are quietly terrified of at the same time. The stories of lives that are full and exciting, and overflowing with blessing and fruitful ministry, drama, joy and … life!

We read these stories and are filled with awe, and sometimes more than a little jealousy. We look at our own ordinary lives and wonder, is this it? Am I missing something? In contrast to these exciting stories, the lives of us ordinary humans, doing the ordinary work of life, can seem incredibly boring.

Then, there are those of us who appear, to others, to have the exciting lives. We have left our passport countries to make our home in new places with interesting cultures, exotic foods and tale-worthy challenges. We may have thought that we were finally getting to live those stories we had once listened to with rapt attention.

But then comes the reality. The new place loses its wonder. The challenges become mundane and ordinary, or a never-ceasing frustration. We fill our lives with language classes or sit at a computer most days. To all appearances we’re not changing the world; we’re just changing nappies. It may look like we’re not spreading the Gospel; we’re just spreading peanut butter sandwiches. We are not seeing hundreds healed and coming to faith every other week; we are just sitting with our friends, trying to navigate relationships. We’re not seeing breakthroughs; sometimes we’re just experiencing breakdowns. Our once-exciting lives once again seem very ordinary.

So, are we just missing something, or are we instead missing the point? Maybe our human need for glory and recognition has blinded us to the fact that God never said “Go out and make a name for yourself”. There is no great commission to Facebook or newsletter glory. Jesus did, however, tell us to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” and to “love your neighbour as yourself” (Matt 22:37–39). We are also reminded by Paul that “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31).

Whatever you do. Yes, this might include miraculous healings or being involved in exciting conversions. But it also means the ordinary, day-to-day work of life too. It means loving those around you well, and meeting the sometimes very ordinary needs you see, with the skills and experience God has gifted you with. The main thing has always been about the heart. It’s about anchoring yourself in God, and living out that relationship.

For me, this anchoring, through prayer and rest, is perhaps the hardest part of the ordinary work of life. But right now I’m discovering its importance. I’m diving deep into discovering the biblical-ness and beauty of the rich wisdom of our spiritual mothers and fathers in the contemplative traditions. I am realising how necessary it is for us to just be with God, being exactly who we are. In that place we can hear who God is saying that we are, and discover joy in all the extraordinarily ordinary work God has prepared us to do.

So, I pray that you let God open your eyes to the beauty of the ordinary work of life, wherever and whatever that looks like for you. Because whatever ‘ordinary’ is for you, when it’s done with God at the centre, it is always extraordinary.

Kylie is a Partner living in South East Asia. She serves a community development organisation.

Working for transformation

“What do you do?” he asked, by and by.
“Well, I work”, answered I.
“What as?” he continued, with aplomb.
“I do my job …”
“Yes”, he said, “I see,
that this work is why you are here”.
“Yes, indeed”, with much in store,
waiting for a chance to tell him more,
Sharing with him about how much he is loved.

So, our identity is in our work. Rarely are we asked, “Why do you work?” and “What is your motivation?” Usually, it stops at “What do you do?” and that is enough to satisfy the curiosity of our host country, host organisation, local friends and complete strangers.

But isn’t our identity more than work? We are loved and completely accepted—isn’t that our identity? Hence, we often experience a tension in how we share our identity with those around us. What we do is less important than who we are. It’s easy to say that we work; indeed, it is expected. If not, then suspicions are raised—how can they really live here if they do not work? Or, if we say we are doing one thing but in fact are doing something else, we actually have a major problem with integrity. I define integrity as having just one story about who I am and I share the details of my story in a way my hearer will understand. But, what I say is what I do, because it usually is, in terms of my work.

Of course, work is not everything. Family, rest, sharing in communities … we all know the expression that no-one gets to their deathbed and says, “I wish I had spent more time at work”. The reverse is invariably the case. God rested, and so should we.

But identity is not the only function of work. One major function of work is relationship building. We have many opportunities to spend time with the people we work with. Indeed, I have found it easier and more natural than, for example, becoming friends with my local traffic policeman (as I did in my early language-learning days) and this is because we have more in common. Work relationships seem to last longer. And relationships are often key if we want to see transformation.

Transformation—yes, that is what we long for. Often the transformation, physically and spiritually, is through our work. When I see a community being empowered to take their own actions to address some of their limitations for health or education, then I can see transformation—and all this through work. When I see a social business being able to contribute significantly to a social cause through a business model, then I witness transformation.

What about when I don’t see transformation, though? Is my work less successful, or is it even wasted? How do I handle ‘bad days’ or even bad seasons? At various points in time I have thought about what makes success. Going back to the question of identity … if our identity is based on our success, we are setting ourselves up for a big problem.

Perhaps the end of the matter is to have a healthy attitude towards work. For most of us, that will be ordinary work. Ordinary people doing ordinary things. But we are enabled for our ordinary work to be achieving something quite out of the ordinary in kingdom terms. And, if anyone asks—yes, I am here to work; here to see transformation.

Robert has worked in community development in South East Asia for over 10 years.
Names have been changed.