Laptop, mouse, headphones, paper lists and notes… the tools I use to participate in international ministry, all ready to go, on my kitchen table.
What am I ready to do? I work as an administrative assistant at International Ministries (IM), on the Global Mission Team, where I help to support international mission work.
So, am I a missionary? No, I am not a global servant, as we call missionaries at IM. But I, and our entire organization, support our global servants in many ways, including processing donations and transferring money but also being present and supportive, walking with them through crises and celebrations and changes in their lives and calls to ministry. I handle administrative details and solve problems behind the scenes so that global servants can minister according to their call, as invited by IM’s international partners.
So, who are IM international partners, and why are they important? IM’s missiology (how we do missions) is to come alongside organizations (conventions of churches or non-profits) in other countries which share IM values and ministry priorities. IM seeks to learn from its partners about how they do ministry in their cultural contexts and to connect them with resources that may be helpful. Sometimes, the partner just wants to be included in IM’s network for mutual information sharing and encouragement. Sometimes, the partner would like to invite an IM global servant, or a volunteer, to come and work with them. Occasionally, an IM partner might like help raising money for a specific ministry project.
So as I sit here typing on my laptop, at my kitchen table, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am following my call to international mission by helping to support IM’s global servants, and IM’s international partners, as they continue to respond to God’s call to minister to people in the name of Christ. Their efforts and stories encourage my heart, and IM’s communication and work behind the scenes encourage their hearts, as we work together to show the love of Christ to persons all around the world.