Theology Lecturer

Asia, Theology / Church, 2+ years / Job ID: 189

The Bible college trains local leaders.

The Bible college has an opening for faculty of theology and missions.

The qualified candidate will have a Th.M. or Ph.D./Th.D.

Youth Ministry Trainer

Asia, Theology / Church, 1-11 months, 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 1760

The Association of Evangelical Churches was established in 1990. It is a fellowship of about 12 churches in this Asian country who wish to engage better with their young people.

The post holder will train pastors and church leaders to engage better with young people.

The successful candidate will be a committed follower of Christ serving under a mission and a supporting church or churches. They will hold a BA or BS liberal arts degree from a US or Canadian college or equivalent. They will have experience in youth work.

Professor

Asia, Theology / Church, 1-11 months, 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 1759

We are an evangelical inter-mission seminary which trains national people in various aspects of ministry.

We are looking for a professor of theology to teach students at a certificate level in the national language or at masters level in English. Sub-specialities could include systematic theology hermeneutics homiletics missions etc.

We are looking for someone with experience in teaching and with a minimum of an MTh and preferably a DTh degree. We will require references regarding teaching experience and moral character.

Evangelist

Asia, Theology / Church, 2+ years / Job ID: 226

This 75-bed hospital serves the tribal people of a remote 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.

The evangelist will work with the resident pastor talk and pray with patients and visitors speak to patients and visitors at daily devotions and at the outpatients department lead bible studies and prayer groups for staff and interested people and work with external organisations.

A theologically trained Christian who is prepared to commit at least three years to the position of which twelve to eighteen months would be in language study. Either male or female but a female is preferred because majority of our patients are female.

Seminary Faculty

Asia, Theology / Church, 2+ years / Job ID: 235

The evangelical seminary trains students for ministry.

Faculty members are needed at the graduate level (M.Div.) for the following subjects: Biblical Studies Systematic Theology Church History Christian Ed Counseling Greek and Hebrew.

The qualified candidate will have a Th.M. or Ph.D./Th.D.

Bible School Faculty

Asia, Theology / Church, 2+ years / Job ID: 240

The evangelical seminary in South Asia trains students for ministry.

Faculty members are needed at the undergraduate level (B.Th.) for the Bible school.

The qualified candidate would have an M.Div..

Church Volunteer (various)

Arab World, Theology / Church, 1-11 months, 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 1513

The churchs vision is to grow to train people for ministry to design new programs and activities for youth and children to increase unity to be a neighbourhood church that attracts the neighbours to its services to increase social activities and to minister to the refugees in the area.

There are many possibilities for this role: the church and neighbourhood have many opportunities but the need is for human resources. The church would like someone who is able to fulfil one or more of the following roles: Youth work tutoring (French and English) music (for example to start a choir with the youth) teaching English to refugees and locals working with the elderly (the church has an old peoples home – nursing experience would be a bonus) visiting refugees in the neighbourhood and co-ordinating relief writing grant proposals and administration to improve ministry in the neighbourhood medical ministry beginning a theological/ministry training centre and manual work to maintain the church building.

The ideal person for this role is someone with entrepreneurial characteristics willing to work independently but with a high degree of judgement and cultural sensitivity. No specific qualifications are required if you are able to carry out one of the listed roles. If a candidate has no working Arabic some Arabic study whilst in country is required.

Keeping watch

“The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.” Proverbs 15:3

This verse recently caught my attention. I had always thought of God keeping an eye on good but absent when evil is present. I remember being taught that God can’t look on evil. Now I am not so sure. This verse points out that God is in every place and he is not inattentive to evil. It describes him as “keeping watch on the evil” as well as the good. In the phrase, “keeping watch”, I think of a military officer whose job it is to be alert and give constant, disciplined attention to a situation. I like the idea that God is alert, not disinterested or neutral. He is taking a good long look at evil.

We are hearing about a lot of negative things at the moment. The COVID-19 pandemic, the plight of refugees, economic crises, land border tensions, floods, earthquakes, locust plagues, racism, sparring world leaders and people careless with the resources of God’s world. God is alert and watching all these things.

A Christian friend recently told me that, “God has given Satan control over our world.” That statement has some truth but it made me cringe a little, for it leaves me with the hopelessness of deism – that God has walked away to let the world run itself under Satan’s control. This made me rethink how I would describe the current situation. Satan is indeed busily bringing harm. But God is not absent, and evil will not stay active forever. God is unchanged by evil but not unmoved.

God sees all of this – separated and distressed families, unexpected funerals, loss of salary, sickness and death – and because he sees it, he sent Jesus. God is keeping watch over the evil and the good. It is a privilege to show through our words and deeds that he so loved the world that he sent Jesus.

Amelia has served in South Asia for more than 15 years.
Names have been changed.

You came back

“What? WHAT? Wow! Wow! WOW!!” Silence followed; a deep, intentional silence from my friend, Mawar. “I’m crying!” she eventually said.

I had texted Mawar earlier to let her know we were back in the country after four months in Australia due to COVID-19 border closures, and she was now in disbelief. “You came back, from your safe country to this scary situation?” she asked. She told me that she had not worked out in the community for this time, keeping herself safe at home.

Chickens squawked in the background, and I remembered when she and her husband moved into their house last year and transformed it from a clothing factory to a self-sufficient oasis in the capital city of this country. If I close my eyes I can still vividly see the lush plants and taste the bountiful mangos from their front tree served from a bottomless plate. Mawar is vegetarian and we ate lavishly from the fruit and vegetables that grew in her garden.

I have known her for fifteen years, having met on a medical team after a natural disaster. She is a well-known researcher, advising the government and World Bank on micro-finance projects and is much sought after for her research skills. For years she has travelled to remote regions of the country advocating for the needs of the poor.

Our journey from Australia back to Asia began with that deep call to be back alongside those who are suffering after thinking we had retired from field work. We began to ask ourselves, often prompted by other people’s questions, “while we can do good remotely, what can older people who are willing to leave the safety of life in Australia do to serve others overseas?” We knew from experience that walking alongside others in their pain is much more powerful than what we can do from a distance. Isn’t this what Jesus did, after all?

While Australian authorities were working hard to keep us all safe and near to home, the deep call back to Asia grew in us. Just before retiring to Australia, we had been working with our national friends to teach and model what good member care and self-care could look like for local Christian workers who laboured tirelessly in remote areas away from their support systems for long periods. We felt that ‘still, small voice’ calling us out of retirement to take this work further to the remaining provinces.

It was so encouraging to find that our act of obedience motivated Mawar to in turn take the risk to return to field work. She was acutely aware of the increased suffering of her fellow citizens from the pandemic. She had been writing a paper to publish on this topic and my first job was to proofread it for her. “We are not called to be safe,” she wrote. “We are called to be whatever God wants us to be to help others.”

What we had been able to do as older Australians is mere loaves and fishes compared to what our local friends become inspired and encouraged to do through our commitment to take risks to serve others. It’s been such a joy and honour to see workers who face isolation and burnout becoming healthy again and able to continue to do good in these communities. Praise God! We are more convinced than ever that ‘doing life together’ with local people is such a powerful way to show that God loves the world, and we do too.

Sharon and Len recently returned to the South East Asian country where they lived and served in member care for many years.
Names have been changed.

A ministry of encouragement

When I first arrived in Central Asia 15 years ago, I vividly remember the Principal of the Theological College telling me, “You’ll be a great encouragement to the women pastors!”

“Most unlikely!” I thought to myself.

I knew no one. I couldn’t speak a word of the language and had very little understanding of the culture. I had years of experience of teaching and pastoral ministry, but in a very different context. In this culture, I was a complete novice.

Now that I have learned the language and gained a greater understanding of the culture, I’ve been privileged to work with and encourage many people; both women and men. The theological college is now locally run and though no expats officially work there, I’m still involved in various ways.

I’ve worked with local teachers with varying success and am always delighted when I hear from students how much they enjoyed and learned from the teaching of friends like Venera, Kostya and Gulya.

A very able young woman, Venera worked with me teaching some Old Testament books. At first, she taught only sections of each lecture and developed into teaching the subjects on her own. She married a young man from a neighbouring country and now only comes back once a year to see her parents and to teach. However, God continues to use her knowledge and skills in preaching and teaching as she serves in a large church in her new home city.

Kostya is a fine young man, who came to know Jesus through a student movement here and worked with this group for ten years. When he had leave to pursue theological studies, I was able to advise him about places to study online and guide him to books and links along the way. He is now engaged in work towards a PhD and I’m happy to be a discussion partner and resource.

Gulya, a pastor in a village nearby, is a friend and colleague with whom I’ve taught. For the past ten years she has been leading the only church in her village. It is known and respected by all. Gulya has been involved with me and others in the Langham Preaching Movement. Her continued involvement in a preaching club is helping her and the church to grow in depth of understanding and love. She says, “I used to pray and pray for inspiration about what to preach. But now I find it so much easier. We go through a book of the Bible and work carefully on the text … and find inspiration. God really speaks through his Word — to me as well as to others.”

Ordering books to expand our library has been just as important. Can you imagine trying to do theological study without books? “How do you know which books to order?” someone asked me recently. Experience over many years has taught me which of the books that have been translated would be useful for students and teachers here. Translating suitable books into the local language – or rather, working with translators to check the translations – has become part of my work, as has seeing them through to publication. Suggesting books to be translated by a publisher in other parts of the former Soviet Union has also borne fruit.

So, fifteen years on, I’m pleased to see how God has used the skills and experience He has given me to be an encouragement to people in a very different culture. God has also provided local friends and colleagues to love, teach and encourage me as I serve with them here. I’m very grateful for the privilege.

Gwen is a long-term Interserve Partner who has been working alongside the church in Central Asia for 15 years.
All names have been changed.