Editorial

A Meaningful, Impactful Presence

By

An Alliance regional field leader recently commented that, in many parts of the world, the role of international worker is evolving. He explained that the traditional “missionary” role no longer carries the built-in credibility it once held—primarily because people are not actively seeking a new belief system; they are looking for practical means to survive—and ultimately thrive—in society.

Because religious, political and economic realities have pushed global stress to record levels, today’s international workers are more likely to fulfill their calling if they demonstrate valid, culturally lauded reasons to be where they are. They must sustain a meaningful, impactful presence among the people they’ve been sent to serve.

It’s not about establishing a suitable business venue that merely enables a worker to stay in country so he or she can deliver the gospel message. This approach too often produces a dichotomy between the worker’s public profile and his or her “covert” ministry agenda—a bifurcation that can taint the worker’s credibility within the community and undermine the trust of government officials who decide how long (or if) the worker will remain in country.

Instead, the worker must demonstrate an earnest desire to use his or her knowledge, skills and expertise to contribute—with well-integrated motives—to the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of the community. This gives the people good reason to celebrate the worker’s meaningful presence among them. And when God begins to reveal Himself through dreams and visions, trials and tragedies or daily discourse, the worker, having already earned the community’s trust and respect, can point the way to the One who offers hope for this life and the next. This constitutes the worker’s impactful presence.

One of the many ways Alliance workers are establishing a meaningful, impactful presence is by teaching English. In the United States, immigrants who learn English are much better equipped to function in society. In other parts of the world, English is known as the global language of business—opening doors of opportunity for those who master it. In the following pages you’ll read about Alliance workers and lay people who are sharing the gift of English with those who will benefit dearly from it. Then, at the appointed time, they may find themselves ready to receive the Giver of all good things.

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