Operations manager / mentor

Bangladesh / Administration / 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 804

At this social enterprise in Dhaka, Bangladesh, women gain job skills, develop into leaders and entrepreneurs, and experience Biblical values lived out. The business provides full-time, dignified employment to these women at high risk for trafficking.

The Operations Manager will provide assistance in administration, staff mentoring, product development, community-building and strategic planning. Some travel may be required.

The qualified individual will be committed to missional business; pursuing excellence, creativity and witness through prayer, compassion, and hard work. S/he will practise a mature, sound Christian faith.

Paediatrician

South Asia / Administration / 2+ years / Job ID: 1595

This organisation strives to help all national women and men achieve a fuller and more satisfying life. There are many opportunities for expatriates from different countries to contribute their professional skills.

A Paediatrician is sought. Flexibility, the ability to work in a resource-limited setting and an interest in teaching and mentoring junior doctors are required for all doctors. Long-term applicants preferred.

A Master’s degree or equivalent and at least five years of relevant work experience is now required by the government for the visa holder. We normally require a minimum four-year initial commitment for Advisor posts. Some posts will require occasional trips to the organisation’s working areas.

Finance Advisor

South Asia / Administration / 2+ years / Job ID: 1034

This organisation strives to help all national women and men achieve a fuller and more satisfying life. There are many opportunities for expatriates from different countries to contribute their professional skills.

An NGO which strives to address root causes of poverty as it serves the people of its host country is looking for a Finance Advisor to work alongside our national professionals to ensure that sound financial practices are implemented, to properly manage the funds entrusted to us.

A strong financial background, preferably with accountancy, is required, and experience in the not-for-profit sector would be an advantage. A Master’s degree or equivalent and at least five years of relevant work experience is now required by the government for the visa holder. We normally require a minimum four year initial commitment for Advisor posts. Some posts will require occasional trips to the organisation’s working areas.

Financial Analyst

South Asia / Administration / 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 1457

The project is a development project situated in the rural north west of the country. It has a training school for midwives, nurses and community workers, a community development work, a research hub, an English-medium school up to age 16, and a 150-bed hospital (with obstetric, gynaecology, surgical, medical and paediatric departments).

The Financial Analyst analyzes the financial status of the many service centers and support services of the project by collecting, monitoring, studying and interpreting data, such as trends and forecasts, and recommends actions, such as changes in methods, materials or policies. The Financial Analyst helps determine costs of operations by establishing standard costs and identifies financial status by comparing and analyzing actual results with plans and forecasts (variances) for all relevant departments.

The Analyst may be involved in financial planning, strategy development and research for any or all of the project’s support services and service centers.

Epidemiologist/ResearchAnalyst

South Asia / Administration / 1-11 months, 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 1466

This is a development project situated in a rural area. It has a training school for midwives, nurses and community workers, a community development work, an MIS-Research Department, an English-speaking school up to age 16, and a 150-bed hospital (with obstetric, gynaecology, surgical, medical and paediatric departments).

The project partners with local and international researchers to plan, execute and publish high-quality research primarily in mother and child health and health systems. They are seeking an epidemiologist / experienced health researcher to join the team.

The project is seeking an epidemiologist / experienced health researcher to join the team to handle an increased demand for the department’s services and the need to further train current staff.

Human Resources Manager

Central Asia / Administration / 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 1486

A faith-based NGO, working in an insecure environment. Impacts communities in areas of health, economy and social empowerment.

The Human Resources Manager provides leadership for both expatriate and local personnel functions in order to promote good practice in staff recruitment and retention, and oversees the on-boarding process of both expatriate and local personnel.

Requirements include good administrative skills, good interpersonal and relational skills, good written and verbal communication skills, experience in developing and training HR policies, including child protection, vulnerable adults, whistle blowing etc., and a willingness to learn the local language and culture.

Donor Relations Officer

Central Asia / Administration / 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 1487

A faith-based NGO, working in an insecure environment, impacts communities in areas of health, economy and social empowerment.

The aim is to ensure an excellent donor base of institutional and individual donors, so that the organisation has adequate funding for all its efforts, and to establish, develop and maintain partnerships with a diverse donor base. This position serves project managers in their communication with donors.

Key attributes include: some donor relations experience, a basic knowledge of budgeting, excellent written English, an understanding of proposal and report writing, ability to produce professional documents. It is important to be able to work in a team, to be well organised and able to work to a deadline — and to encourage others to do so. You should be patient and also willing to learn local language and culture.

Regional Director

Central Asia / Administration / 2+ years / Job ID: 1488

A faith-based NGO, working in an insecure environment, impacts communities in areas of health, economy and social empowerment.

We are looking for a Regional Director for our relief and development operations outside the capital city. The right candidate will have the opportunity to develop a regional strategy and coordinate some cutting-edge and life-saving ministries in our region.

Key attributes include experience in relief or development, experience in leadership or management, good communication skills, and good people skills. We want someone who is self motivated, able to think strategically, and willing to learn local language and culture.

Tribute to John Howard Barclay, AM

On Sunday 10 February 2019, an Interserve statesman and a great man of God finished his earthly work and passed into the presence of the God he loved and served. Howard Barclay – missionary, leader, encourager, pray-er and family man – faithfully and graciously served with his wife Betty the people of India, Nepal, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Australia and New Zealand during a lifetime commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Howard grew up with a family heritage of prayer and concern for Nepal. His father co-founded the Palmer Street Mission, which had a focus on prayer for Nepal from the outset and his mother prayed for Nepal for nearly 80 years until she died at the age of 97. He attended Melbourne Bible Institute (now Melbourne School of Theology) and went on to attain a diploma in teaching.

In December 1950, Howard met Betty Cane, who was about to leave for India in February 1951. Following Betty to north India in January 1952, he brought with him an engagement ring, which was presented at the first opportunity – waiting for their tickets at Lucknow Railway Station. According to mission regulations, single missionaries could not get married until they had passed their first year Hindi exam, so Howard married Betty the day after, in Motihari, near the Nepal border. This began a loving and supportive partnership of 64+ years which included four children: John, Ruth and Heather, born in India, and Margie, born in the hills of Nepal.

The move from their base on the Indian border into Nepal in 1960 entailed a five-day trek with the family from Kathmandu to the remote village of Amp Pipal. Howard was the Project Director of a United Mission to Nepal (UMN) effort to open schools to help address Nepal’s literacy rate of about 2%. Howard trained teachers and spent much of his time trekking to schools around the district, providing teaching resources and supporting fledgling teachers. Within five years, he had established nine primary schools including the nationally–renowned Luitel High School and founding the prestigious Gandaki Boarding School.

Howard held many walking records! A two-day, 98km trek from Pokhara to Amp Pipal with Bishop John Reid in the monsoon of 1966 involved crossing flooded rivers, climbing steep ridges and surviving on sardines, biscuits and chai. John Reid said of these arduous journeys, “They were great experiences, because ultimately when you got to the Barclays’ home, that was like this eagle’s nest on the ridge of the mountain, there you saw two people pouring out their lives for the boys and girls, men and women of Nepal and seeking to show them the way of Jesus – it was worth doing.”

In 1972, Howard became Interserve Director for Australia and New Zealand, serving in that role for seven years. He was a convincing preacher and speaker, spending time in churches, universities and professional groups every week. He listened and he encouraged many to deeper commitment to Jesus and to serve Him full-time – where appropriate, cross-culturally.

In 1980, Howard and Betty returned to Nepal, serving as Personnel Counsellors in UMN before Howard was appointed the Executive Director in 1984. At this time, UMN was involved in healthcare, education, rural and industrial development. UMN was a complex organisation with over 400 expatriate mission personnel, and employing more than 2500 Nepalis. He had a wonderful relationship with the Nepali church leaders whom he mentored and encouraged. Howard had a role in seeing the church grow from just a handful of believers to many thousands in his lifetime.

Howard and Betty returned to Melbourne in 1990 and served in post-retirement interim executive roles in Kabul, Kathmandu and Mongolia. He received a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) award from the Australian Government in June 1994 for “service to international relations in the Asian region, particularly through the provision of humanitarian aid to Nepal”. Betty passed away in October 2017.

Howard inspired, mentored and encouraged countless Partners and remained a key member of Interserve’s prayer community right to the end. God has deeply blessed Interserve through his work and we mourn the loss to his family and our fellowship.

With thanks to members of the Barclay family, Berys Nixon (former Interserve Personnel Director) and Dr Graham Toohill (former Interserve Partner) for sharing their memories and photos.

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.