How is the global pandemic affecting opportunities to share Jesus today and into the future? Aztem field associates continue today to use their professional skills and make Jesus known in the situations where God has led them. They are still engaging in their local communities and workplaces during the pandemic – bringing prayer, love, light and hope. For a few only, return home has happened due to business or family/education needs.
Into the future, will there be opportunities to continue this ‘tentmaking’ mode of mission as we’ve known it? We reflect on the facts: it has worked for 2000 years; much gospel growth across the world is due, humanly, to local believers who witness in their marketplace. Undoubtedly, international travel will be slow to resume. Undoubtedly also, we live in a highly inter-connected world (not only connected by the internet!). So there are questions about when, and how, and what – for Australians involvement in the rest of the world. Almost no nation on earth can live independently. We ask that you pray about the world’s need to see authentic Christian lives and the sorts of possibilities which will exist for the future.
In the past 12 years or so, our field associates have worked in a wide range of health, education and training, development, business, law, economics, IT, engineering and architecture. Employment opportunities were in tertiary education and training, multinational companies, large and smaller global NGOs and inter-governmental agencies. Some are partners or founders in businesses with Kingdom purposes – in some cases starting small but some having long-term impact. Some are in Christian-based organisations but many are/were secular. Some field associates started when relatively junior in their careers, many have had sufficient expertise to be able to contribute in leadership roles, perhaps after a few years.
In a nutshell, people find opportunities across broad economic activities. They have a wide opporunities for engagement in local community, in church/fellowship and in schools if they are a family unit. Their daily life presents the same opportunities, they face the same needs, as if they were at home. Fundamentally, we believe that our calling is to follow Jesus and to bring glory to him, wherever we are. The place, and the job, are not the main things.
In its early days, we made this statement: “Any committed Christian with marketable skills, a teachable spirit and a heart to share their faith can be used by God to reach others in the global workplace.” We encourage people to be well equipped in their knowledge of and walk with Christ, in their ministry abilities and in their professional skills. We are part of the body of Christ in all dimensions of our life.
We know this will be relevant in whatever the place and opportunity He gives. And that it takes time – 2020 – 21 may not be years when not many embark on work overseas. We also see that when folk return home from the field, they are given grace and opportunity to contribute well both in God’s kingdom and in the work and community here.
There are many stories to tell. Write to use if you’d like to be part of the “tent stories” sharing times we have planned for 2020 on Sat 26th September evening and on Sat 7th November (time to be advised).