Today we share an approach of curiosity and intentionality that can speak not only to future missionaries, but also to believers in any walk of life! Cindy shares how she and Todd make decisions that has led them to use professional skills in the Middle East, without any intentional ‘Creative Access’ focus…
Technology and Care of Vulnerable Children: Cindy and Todd
A Spirit-Led Path: Neither of us intentionally studied these skills for the purpose of access. Nor did we intentionally seek opportunities. However, we do frequently ask the Lord: “what do we have in our hands (our lives, skills, relationships and resources) that you want to use for your purposes?” It’s amazing what God can do with what we have that is surrendered to Him.
When we felt the Lord shift us towards working in the Middle East, Todd was working in the tech field in another region. Over a long period of time a relationship was formed that has evolved into a business partnership.
In a similar, Spirit-led (organic type) fashion, I have had multiple ongoing relationships with various leaders in the Middle East over a number of years. The invitation to engage in a project that serves vulnerable children came as a result of investing in one of these relationships. I do have some previous experience in this work, though it has never been my primary focus. After praying about it, it seemed right. Plus the trauma informed certification I just completed will have multiple potential applications for us and can be used to help equip others. So, it was an opportunity that arose after arriving, though the relationship with the specific local leader had been developed over a number of years.
We pray about every opportunity presented to us. We consider: does this opportunity align with what we believe God has sent us here to do? Does it “seem right” in our spirits? What time and energy will be involved? What will we need to say “no” to? Does it align with our authentic identity in this region? Is it “who we really are”?
On Creative Access: I think the term “creative access” may not be truly applicable to us. God is using who we are, and the skills and relationships we have developed over time. We have many more and deeper relationships because of these opportunities. We do always have to manage our time commitments and this can be more challenging as responsibilities increase (whether they are related to business, community development, studies or marriage and family).
We could have come to this region without our professions. We are old enough to be retired! Our current visas are student visas (since our primary focus is studying Arabic right now), but we could also obtain an investment related visa if we purchased property.
Help or Hinder: If we were not married or parents, or business people or organizational leaders or fund raisers, we would have more time for a lot of things, including making disciples. But this is who we are. And we offer up who we are to the Lord, and seek to join Him in His work where ever we are, and who ever we are with.
This is part of a series asking All Nations missionaries around the world to share how their professions, which give them Creative Access to their countries, help or hinder them. Also check out Creative Access: Pros and Cons, Creative Access: Land & Animals, Creative Access: Serving, Medicine, Teaching, and the next two blogs which will also have stories on this topic!
Learn about getting trained to ignite a church planting movement (as a full time missionary or a tentmaker!), and the path to the field with All Nations.