Life as a missionary sure keeps you on your toes. Though I have a specific job as the Training Manager for the Thai Nationals, my days can sometimes be filled with other odd jobs. Here is just an idea of what fills my day:
Accountant: I help out with the financial portion of SHE. Where money was spent and where the money has come in makes for fun days on Excel. What makes it even more fun, is the receipts are in Thai.
Editor: I am the ‘grammar nazi’ and can pick up errors and small mistakes quickly and I have used that ‘gift’ to help with some of the papers, proposals and documents that SHE writes.
Writer: Apparently I am gifted with writing. My bosses give me what they want communicated in bullet point format and I get and expand on it all. I can turn 5 thoughts into a full page formal letter.
Sous Chef: Sometimes we are swamped with the teams here and I can be a great assistant in the kitchen. I may not be the fastest sous chef, but I do enjoy it. I cut the vegetables and help prep everything for the cook.
Cleaner: Sometimes there is a very short time frame when a team has just left and a new one is coming. So I help take out the trash, strip the beds to wash the linens, and sweep the floors. It is an ‘all hands on deck’ event that takes hours to accomplish.
Listener & Encourager: It is very easy to get discouraged here. I think it is two folded, one being it is very spiritually dark here and the second being we are in full time ministry. No matter what way you look at it, the enemy isn’t pleased and attacks and attacks hard. Discouragement seems to be a common way Satan attacks. This is where we as a staff are to encourage and listen to each other.
Teacher: So this one is really in my job description, but I thought I would still add it. It is obvious that I teach English and a Hotel Training lessons, but I teach more than that. I teach baking, about the bible, job interviewing skills, courses on how to write a resume, crocheting and more.
Planner: I do a lot of this. I lesson plan for weeks and months in advance. This is what keeps me behind my computer and fills most of my days. I create lessons plans from the most basic beginner in English, to the very advanced. It keeps me on my toes. I try to create different types of lesson plans, worksheets and activities to challenge my students while making it fun at the same time.
Friend: I think this is one of my favorite roles. I get to be a friend to all who enter. So awesome.
Engineer: I never thought I would use this skill here, but I have. I have helped Mark conceptualize a few buildings, done cost estimates for some new building plans and have even help reinforce a bamboo parking garage.
Translator: Though I am still growing in this one, I have served as a translator in devotions and outings in the market and stores.
Mechanic: Though I do not claim to be good at this role, I sometimes am asked what is wrong with a machine. After some prayer and fiddling around, it seems to work out (most of the time…though my printer is currently not happy with me. I guess it is time to start playing around with it.)
Visionary: Sometimes in the office we just gather together and talk. We talk about how to improve and grow as a staff and as a ministry. There is a lot of brainstorming that goes on here, and by the end of it we come to a consensus and then put it into action. We very much learn as we go. We learn from our mistakes and grow as the ministry grows. Many times we walk into a new situation not know what to expect (except for the unexpected).
I love my job and I cannot say that enough! God has provided everything for me to be here and to serve Him and his beautiful people. I learned on the World Race about how He provides for everything. There were certain months where we had ministries that I had never done before, yet He showed up and did all of the work. He provides every skill and knowledge necessary to complete His great work for His Kingdom.
It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled up to be ministers of his new covenant. 2 Corinthians 3:5-6a