Youth Pastor (Intern)

Asia, Theology / Church, 1-11 months / Job ID: 1704

This is an international English-speaking church whose purpose is to: Love God Love People Build his Kingdom. The church began as an international non-denominational church over 20 years ago and is affiliated with the Acts 29 Church Network. We are a church of 150-200 people from many different countries.

The post holder will continue to develop our vision for youth ministry and implement it with the direction of the executive pastor. They will organize and conduct Sunday youth events and participate in the regular Sunday morning worship services outside of scheduled youth events. They will create a plan or strategy to connect with youth outside of the Sunday service. They will develop and implement a plan to collaborate with international church youth leaders on a regular basis.

You have a passion for equipping and empowering teenagers as a member of the body of Christ you are excited to teach the Bible creatively to teenagers at various developmental stages you are open to thinking outside the box to serve diverse teen populations you show initiative in identifying problems and implementing solutions you have superior interpersonal skills in working with a variety of people from volunteers to parents and teenagers a desire to grow and openness to learn.

Assistant Pastor

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.

Youth Worker

Asia, Theology / Church, 1-11 months, 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 560

The churches in the major cities of this land need help with developing their youth ministry. Reaching the youth and discipling them is a big need.

A significant need for the churches in this country is to provide ministry and support for teens. There is just a little being done and it is a significant area of need. Those with skill and focus on this age-group can serve even while they are learning language.

Applicants should have experience in youth work be initiators and self-starters have the desire and calling to work with youth and teens and have the ability to work with others under the authority of a pastor or other leader.

Refugee Worker

Other, Theology / Church, 2+ years / Job ID: 1419

This is an interdenominational group that works with refugees treating each refugee with dignity seeing them as an enrichment for us personally and for our nation. They want to show the refugees that they are welcome in this country and build bridges between them and the local people. There are currently two full-time workers and many volunteers (up to 80 active each week) many of whom are students. This means that there is constant change and so a longer-term worker would be valued.

Goals: help with integration of refugees support current programs and establish new ones cultivate relationships particularly in Muslim and Yazidi communities run house groups and services in different languages and cultural forms provide discipleship.

Requirements: intercultural experience longer-term commitment initiative being a team player being willing to learn German being a servant a learner and hospitable loving people.

Refugee Worker

Other, Theology / Church, 2+ years / Job ID: 1418

This interdenominational initiative aims to establish contacts between the inhabitants of the city and the refugees to help to break down prejudices to overcome cultural and linguistic barriers to promote integration and to give practical help. Our monthly services are open to all visitors. We appreciate everybody regardless of origin and religion. The services will be translated into different languages.

Goals: help with the integration of refugees in this country promote contacts between refugees and nationals give practical help support trauma relief create opportunities so that refugees can live their Christian faith train volunteers for work with refugees. Ministry can be developed according to personal strengths e.g. cultural activities (art music drama) traditional activities (Bible study groups childrens clubs) language courses in German training seminars for those seeking to reach out to Muslims.

Qualifications: intercultural experience experience in evangelism discipleship experience knowledge of German language. Candidates should be relational resilient to frustration hospitable they should love people and have the attitude of servants and learners.

Migrant Worker

Other, Theology / Church, 2+ years / Job ID: 1414

This church with a membership of around 300 has baptized ca. 40 migrants from different lands in the last 3 years. Most of their work is with Farsi speakers and Sunday services are translated into both Farsi and English with a monthly Farsi service. The team working with refugees one full-time worker and 20 volunteers in cooperation with a nearby Bible School run many different regular and once-off programs which offer both practical help and spiritual growth opportunities.

Goals: support current programs encourage church members and the community to open their perspective on migrants discipleship of new believers work alongside and help local volunteers to deepen contacts with migrants cooperation on projects with other Christian groups in the town.

Qualifications: intercultural experience experience in evangelism / discipleship be a team player German language knowledge of Farsi or Arabic very useful long term commitment: 3+ years.

Pastor

Asia, Theology / Church, 2+ years / Job ID: 1694

The Church exists to provide a Christian spiritual home for the international community of this city to encounter worship and enjoy God and to grow in our relationship with Him and one another.

The role of the Pastor is to guide the overall spiritual direction of the church and to work with the Committee in achieving the Churchs Mission of being a protestant international and multidenominational church sharing together the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The successful applicant must be a committed evangelical Christian a humble servant leader hardworking faithful to the gospel and have already been fruitful in a similar role.

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.

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.

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.