Web Designer/Social Media

Arab World, Information Technology, 1-11 months, 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 1649

Adult education centre offers English and Arabic courses to adults.

We are looking for a web designer and online manager who can help completely revamp our website refresh our online presence and help us with online marketing/advertising.

We need a self-motivated person with experience with web design and Word Press websites and with the ability to innovate and develop technology that fits our limited resources.

Website and App Developer

West Asia, Information Technology, 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 463

Many ministries in this country have websites and IT infrastructure produce resources for churches and children and communicate with their clients using various forms of media. These ministries have a vision to strengthen the local church serve the local population and spread the Good News in this 99.8 Muslim country.

People are heavy users of social media and smart phone usage is very high. Ministries here can expand their reach and impact by innovative use of technology. Bringing IT expertise and solutions to these organizations by equipping them with new websites new apps and new technology will allow them to bring the gospel into communities and areas which may never have heard the Good News.

Applicants must have some experience in web App and programming technologies. Specific technologies are not important but a willingness to learn and bring creative ideas is more important. A 1-year minimum commitment is required longer is preferred.

Social media developer

West Asia, Information Technology, 1-11 months, 12-23 months / Job ID: 1556

The aims of this organization are to make the Bible available in a language people can understand and at a price they can afford. They continue to work on Bible translations for all of the people groups in this country to have Gods word in their own language. Their translation policy ensures translation guidelines acceptable to the Catholic Protestant and Orthodox Churches.

A person with IT skills and social media experience is needed to work in expanding their social media usage. This person should be able to design and implement apps for social media and help design strategies to increase the penetration of electronic Bible usage.

A person with a heart for integrating their skills at app development and social media strategy with a calling to spread the Good News. A willingness to work cross-culturally with the Director who is a local citizen and believer. Creativity passion and flexibility are all good characteristics

Computer worker

South Asia, Information Technology, 1-11 months / Job ID: 990

This 75-bed hospital serves the tribal people of the region. It has good operating rooms and is supported by laboratory pharmacy X-ray and ultrasound facilities and has physiotherapy and mother/child healthcare departments.

We are looking for volunteers to hold computer training camps for adults and youth individuals and teams are both welcome.

IT/Tech Support

South Asia, Information Technology, 1-11 months, 12-23 months, 2+ years, Consultant / Job ID: 983

This 75-bed hospital serves the tribal people of the region. It has good operating rooms and is supported by laboratory pharmacy X-ray and ultrasound facilities and has physiotherapy and mother/child healthcare departments.

We are in need of an IT Support Person to look after our computers update our website oversee the installation of an integrated hospital information system and teach computer skills to nurses and clerks. The IT person would have to help design our system here and oversee the laying of cable.

This project requires someone with database management experience as it will involve setting up the admissions system pharmacy and hospital stores in a computerized system. The software is written and the folks who designed it are in the US. But our young guy cant really communicate with them.

IT / Web Designer / Developer

Central Asia, Information Technology, 12-23 months / Job ID: 663

This small branch office researching business opportunities for website development in the region has as its aim the opening of a sustainable business through website design and consultation as well as the training of new developers for job creation and marketability.

There is a need for a web developer who could help create a business model/plan as well as help with consulting and training of others.

The qualified person will have experience in web developing be creative and able to model skills. Education in IT/web design is a plus but not necessary.

Access Database developer

South Asia, Information Technology, 1-11 months / Job ID: 1376

The primary business of this company is publishing and print contract work. Secondary activities include ESL tuition and book distribution.

We have a short-term opportunity for an Access Database developer. Our project management is based in Excel and Word. We would like to develop an Access database to help manage our projects and produce forms and reports.

We envisage that the project would take 2 months. Wed hope to have this finished by the end of March 2017.

Server / Systems Specialist

South East Asia, Information Technology, 12-23 months, 2+ years, Consultant / Job ID: 1472

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

You will build harden tune maintain and monitor international servers responsible for keeping them running and performing well. You will look after backups security updates and more. You will help us integrate and maintain connections with third party services. You will advise other offices on local or cloud services that are secure and compliant with international policy. They may ask you to help build and run them.

You will have deep technical experience with server operating systems (we use Ubuntu) awareness of tools and techniques for integrating third party platforms like O365 GSuite and more. You may have ethernet cabling instead of blood veins (though this is not a requirement).

Why not

God had planted a question on our hearts … could we go long term?

After a half-hour bus ride past the stinking palm plantations, we walked a couple of kilometres to the local supermarket in the midday sun with the humidity soaring. As we walked around a deep dirty drain, I remember the exact spot where we asked each other, “could we do this long term?” We were serving for four months in Malaysia at a school for people with disabilities as part of our honeymoon. As newlyweds, God planted this seed and over the next four years He gave it life. He did this through his Word, through people He brought into our lives who had served in that part of the world, and through revealing to us the need to go to the unreached.

Sometimes we concentrate so much on asking, “why us?”, but maybe a different way of thinking is, “why not?” Why not go and serve alongside those who don’t live in a safe and materially blessed society as we do. We feel that God has given us 30 years of abundant blessings, so why not now use these blessings to bless others.

When we returned from serving short term, we were disheartened to hear it would be at least a two-year journey before we could depart to serve long term. However, we now see that this time of preparation is invaluable as He reveals His call and purpose, and will potentially save us from making many cultural blunders!

God has led us to West Asia. When we were in Melbourne for Partner orientation, we asked our host where she had served. We were amazed to hear that she had served in the country we were currently considering! We plan to spend the first year language learning and from there use our professional skills to serve refugees and children with disabilities.

Even before we arrive in the country we see fruit in the way God is shaping both us and our church family. We are seeing our local church engaged in kingdom work outside of Australia. People are now involved and excited to see the unreached have the opportunity to hear of His love.

God has also changed our hearts and is teaching us to put our faith into action as we move out of our home, pack up our belongings and rely on His provision. A wise Partner advised that during the challenging process of support raising, “keep your eyes fixed on West Asia and the support will come”. We have learnt to rest in Him.

Adam (IT/project management) and Penny* (special education) have just left Australia to serve the church in West Asia.

*Names have been changed.

Distant thunder and first Spring petals

“Should we tithe the money we earn from cheating?” This question was put forward by a young local Christian in a Bible study group where a church leader was teaching on tithing.

“If I became a Christian, I would have to become an honest businesswoman – then where would my business be?” asked a woman in another city, who was discussing the implications of becoming a Christian.

These two people demonstrate something both worrying and exciting. It’s exciting to see a non-Christian understand enough of the lifestyle U-turn the gospel asks for that they pause to count the cost – it’s worrying to think of churches scurrying to teach new Christians about practices like tithing when they obviously haven’t spent enough time on some of the basic values Jesus embodied.

Since 2001, we have been running a small software company in this mountainous country of South Asia – we make software that helps keep track of medicines. We consider it to be both fun and interesting… well, actually, only 25% of our family thinks that – the other three can do the eyes-glazed-over thing with aplomb. They’re busy with school and looking after other people though, so don’t need to gain significance from what the male in the family is up to.

Now at this point we’re starting to sound like the average Kiwi family – and in some ways we are. We try to balance work and church life, friends and visitors, and wonder if the kids should spend less time on the computer and more time doing their homework. You’d think that this would allow your average Bruce and Debbie to relate to us, but often it feels like we’re not measuring up to their expectations of what people like us are supposed to be doing: teaching theology; slicing and dicing the sick; watering the thirsty, and stuff like that. We regularly get a response along the lines of – “That’s great about your business, but what are you actually doing for a ministry?”

We often hear mission being expressed as a numbers game – how many people have come to faith? But if that’s the only question asked, then we’re in trouble. We want to see lives being transformed by encountering Jesus – yes, what we believe, but also how we act, what we buy, what we think, how we relate. We want to see lives that are a bit like distant thunder, and a bit like the first spring petals – lives and communities that clearly demonstrate that “the times they are a-changing”, that the world that’s coming is going to be very different to what we know now. We want that sound, that smell, to permeate every area of society – even the business community.

In so many ways (in spite of their “Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood” protestations), the business world is setting the agenda for how the world works, thinks and lives (sometimes that’s good, sometimes it’s a nightmare). It’s no different where we live. It’s a country that has a rapidly growing Christian population, a culture based on distrust, and a rather sick economy. In the midst of this, we’re just one small company trying to do a bit, talk a bit, be a signpost that there’s a different way. For us, being involved with a business as part of one’s calling isn’t a second-rate option. Business is our ‘mission’ – the task we’ve been given – and we’re quite enthusiastic about it.

One of our aims is to develop our staff in their understanding of what it means to follow Jesus in the workplace. We have a mixture of Hindu and Christian staff. We hope that in working with us they’ll have picked up some of the things we care about, things like: valuing people for who they are as well as for what they produce; honesty; and treating our small clients with the same attention we give the large ones.

Once, one of our Christian staff was recounting his experience of a tax inspection at another office he worked in. The tax inspector had caught them running two sets of books – one with GST and one without. “So, what do you do now?” I’d asked, expecting that they’d felt guilty and mended their ways. “We hide the second set much better now,” he informed me. There’s lots to be done to get Christians, as well as Hindus, to understand what following Jesus involves!

We hope we will also be a positive example in our society of a different kind of business. We know we get watched by all sorts of people – clients, officials, other businesses, neighbours (the only people who don’t watch us are the secret police – they’re too busy taking bribes!). We hope that what they see is at least a pale reflection of the One we follow, and a rather strong contrast with the dominant business culture. In all this we get a steady stream of opportunities to explain why we’re doing what we’re doing. In New Zealand it often seems like sex is the trendy topic, and discussing religion is taboo – in our part of the world it’s the other way around!

As well as making software we also want to actually help our clients run their organisations better. Many of them are Christian organisations that work with the most disadvantaged people. A lot of them are doing great things, and can tell you heart-rending stories of poverty and the difference they’re making. However, when it comes to providing their donors and supporters with a good account of where the money’s going, they sometimes struggle.

We also have this wacky idea that even the software itself makes a difference. The use of our software might result in the right medicines being in stock in some remote location, and someone might get better who otherwise wouldn’t have.

There’s a bit of vulnerability in doing business in a developing country – a couple of accusations and $100 under the table can see a visa rescinded. If you’re an employer and a foreigner, you’ll almost never win a court case. We hope that our trust in God in this sort of environment gives a message that following Jesus is more important than minimising risk.

As for the unanswered questions about what we’re doing, they centre around the stories that businesses and business people tell. It’s the story that’s been adopted by our whole Western world – “Study hard to get a good job. Work hard at your good job to earn lots of money. Spend all the money you earn on products that will define you as a person and make your life effortless, enjoyable, envied and elongated.” Of course we Christians know that’s… aah… err… less than accurate, but it’s quite hard to be in business without participating in that lie in some small way. We hope that we express enough truth and grace in what we do that the other messages get ignored!

We do wish that what we do could have a more direct impact on the poor. As much as we wish it wasn’t so, most of our employees are from well-off families – that’s how they got an education. You’ve got to be a stronger believer in the trickle down effect than we are, to feel that will be sufficient.

We’re trying to compensate a bit by supporting two organisations that give scholarships to needy Christians, in the hope that in the coming years there’ll be a sizable group of Christians who love God and their fellow citizens enough to want to transform this society in every aspect – even its business culture!

The author and his family are living in South Asia, where they started their involvement in medical support roles, and have pioneered a Business as Mission venture for a number of years now.