Other, Administration, 2+ years / Job ID: 1681

Church-based project offering advice and support to asylum seekers refugees and local residents in North Glasgow and beyond.

The Project Manager will lead a strong committed volunteer team who deliver our services and support.All Project activities and the managers salary are dependent on securing external funding which is one of the responsibilities of this post.The role includes:- day to day running of project activities- admin and financial management for the project – recruiting managing and training the volunteer team – leading team devotions- compiling funding applications and reports to funders- external communications and promotion (including speaking engagements)- participating in outreach activities- preserving and promoting the Christian ethos of the project

Essential:Ability to lead motivate and develop othersEffective communicator with ability to write successful grant applications and reportsExperience of cross-cultural engagement and community development Awareness and understanding of refugee issues and the UK benefits system.Competence in using social media Excel Word Power Point and Publisher or its equivalentFlexible resilient trustworthy and reliableHolds a clean driving licence

Other, Theology / Church, 2+ years / Job ID: 1419

This is an interdenominational group that works with refugees treating each refugee with dignity seeing them as an enrichment for us personally and for our nation. They want to show the refugees that they are welcome in this country and build bridges between them and the local people. There are currently two full-time workers and many volunteers (up to 80 active each week) many of whom are students. This means that there is constant change and so a longer-term worker would be valued.

Goals: help with integration of refugees support current programs and establish new ones cultivate relationships particularly in Muslim and Yazidi communities run house groups and services in different languages and cultural forms provide discipleship.

Requirements: intercultural experience longer-term commitment initiative being a team player being willing to learn German being a servant a learner and hospitable loving people.

Other, Theology / Church, 2+ years / Job ID: 1418

This interdenominational initiative aims to establish contacts between the inhabitants of the city and the refugees to help to break down prejudices to overcome cultural and linguistic barriers to promote integration and to give practical help. Our monthly services are open to all visitors. We appreciate everybody regardless of origin and religion. The services will be translated into different languages.

Goals: help with the integration of refugees in this country promote contacts between refugees and nationals give practical help support trauma relief create opportunities so that refugees can live their Christian faith train volunteers for work with refugees. Ministry can be developed according to personal strengths e.g. cultural activities (art music drama) traditional activities (Bible study groups childrens clubs) language courses in German training seminars for those seeking to reach out to Muslims.

Qualifications: intercultural experience experience in evangelism discipleship experience knowledge of German language. Candidates should be relational resilient to frustration hospitable they should love people and have the attitude of servants and learners.

Other, Theology / Church, 2+ years / Job ID: 1414

This church with a membership of around 300 has baptized ca. 40 migrants from different lands in the last 3 years. Most of their work is with Farsi speakers and Sunday services are translated into both Farsi and English with a monthly Farsi service. The team working with refugees one full-time worker and 20 volunteers in cooperation with a nearby Bible School run many different regular and once-off programs which offer both practical help and spiritual growth opportunities.

Goals: support current programs encourage church members and the community to open their perspective on migrants discipleship of new believers work alongside and help local volunteers to deepen contacts with migrants cooperation on projects with other Christian groups in the town.

Qualifications: intercultural experience experience in evangelism / discipleship be a team player German language knowledge of Farsi or Arabic very useful long term commitment: 3+ years.

I first met Ankur when his marriage was struggling. My main aim was to help him to get to know Jesus and serve him physically, as needed. Little did I know how much the Lord was stretching me in my love. I was able to pray with him and support him when the marriage ended.

A little while later he developed seizures and discovered that a brain lesion was causing them. Because of this he lost his job. Through many phone calls and face-to-face meetings I discovered Ankur was owed years of leave entitlements and superannuation. During this time I told Ankur about the story of the persistent widow. We discussed how God is so much better than a crooked judge, and that we should keep praying and not give up. His face brightened as he realised that God is good and would look after him. Eventually we were able to negotiate a settlement where his employer gave him a payout of all that he was owed.

Ankur continues to struggle with his health and employment, and I have taken him to the hospital and doctor’s appointments. For a long time the medication wasn’t working, but we continued to pray. He has also been evicted and needed to find other accommodation. Together we have read through parts of Genesis and many stories of the gospel and discussed them. Through all this, Ankur has come to realise that Jesus is the Lord of the world, and that he loves him.

A breakthrough came a few weeks ago when we were reading the passage where the Pharisees criticise the disciples for eating with hands that are unwashed. This is a very relevant passage because many South Asians believe that avoiding meat is associated with purity and closeness to God. Jesus says that nothing outside of us can make us unclean by going into us. Rather, it’s from within our hearts that evil desires come and make us unclean.

Ankur said, “Whenever I go to the temple, they only talk about outside cleaning: cleaning hands, removing shoes, clean food… But don’t talk about the heart. Only Jesus talks about the heart.” Then as he read further, it struck him, “This is me. How can I have my heart cleaned?” I told him, only Jesus can clean your heart, and he died for all your sins (‘paap’) on the cross. Ankur has struggled with feelings of revenge on his former boss. And I have had to firmly refuse to take any part in revenge. After a while he is sorry and repents. And each time I have reminded him that Jesus can clean his heart, all he needs to do is pray. He keeps wanting to go and pray in a church, but he knows that Jesus can forgive him, even from home!

What I have learned is that sharing Jesus with migrants is a long-term process, requiring lots of time, patience and love. Thank God that Ankur’s seizures are now under control with some new medication and he is loving Jesus more and more. He once told me, “I haven’t seen Jesus, but I think you are Jesus.” I had to vigorously correct him, but it reminded me that we are the visible ambassadors of Christ’s love. There are many times when I wanted to give up, and other believers have helped him too. He knows that when no one else was there to help him, followers of Christ were the ones who cared for him. And now he thanks Jesus for sending us to him.

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8–9

Clive works with CultureConnect, Interserve’s ministry to migrants in Australia.
Some names have been changed.

“Single use” was the word of the year in 2018, according to Collins Dictionary. In 2019 it was “climate strike”. Clearly the world is more and more anxious that our current lifestyle is leading the planet into crisis, and wants to make fundamental changes. Christians are also speaking up in word and action, from grassroots movements such as Eco Church to Christian voices at global environmental meetings. Are we just following the crowd? Or are there fundamental reasons why Christians should be active in caring for the environment? And, given so many needs in the world and so few workers for the harvest field, should environmental care be part of mission?

Interserve believes that creation care must be included in our response to the gospel, agreeing with the Lausanne Declaration on Creation Care (November 2012). The reasons for this are found throughout scripture. From the beginning, God declares that creation is good (Gen 1) and belongs to him (Ps 24). He sustains and nurtures it (Job 38), delights in it (Ps 104) and promises to take care of it (Gen 9). When he placed humans on earth he commanded them (us) to rule over creation as those who bear his image (Gen 1). And he balanced the command to rule with commands to “serve and to keep” (Gen 2)—the same commands given to priests in the Old Testament temple.

Not many Interserve workers are directly employed in “environmental work”, but those involved in Business as Mission affect the environment through their business, and all of us interact with creation as we eat, breathe, wash, shop and travel. When we do these things with respect for the Creator, conscious of bearing his image, we bear witness to others of the loving God we serve.

The Bible links environmental degradation with sin (Gen 3, Hos 4), but also affirms that God’s redemptive work will restore the creation to fullness and peace. In fact, Jesus’ death and resurrection reconcile not only humans but “all things on earth and in heaven” to God (Col 1). In the biblical picture of shalom we see harmony between God, people and all of creation (Isa 11, Rom 8). If we are to be active participants in God’s story of redemption, we cannot ignore the wide scope of the redemption story.

We also cannot ignore the fact that the people we serve depend on a healthy environment for their survival and wellbeing. This year, while smog in Delhi was closing schools and filling hospital emergency rooms, newspapers reported that more than 1 million Indians die each year from air pollution-related diseases. In
Indonesia the air pollution that affects the health of more than 10 million children comes largely from burning of rainforests and peatlands. Future environmental problems are likely to be far more serious. The glaciers of the Himalayas are a massive water reservoir, feeding rivers that support more than 1.6 billion people (about one in four people on earth). These glaciers are predicted to lose at least a third of their ice mass by 2100 due to climate change. This will mean floods in the short term, then severe water shortages and crop failures in the following decades.

Ultimately, the people Interserve serves cannot flourish unless the environment that supports them also flourishes. This is why the Lausanne Declaration says that, “Love for God, our neighbours and the wider creation, as well as our passion for justice, compel us to urgent and prophetic ecological responsibility”.

Christians are called to care for God’s creation and join God’s work of redeeming all creation as part of our obedience and love of the Creator. The environmental degradation we see across the Interserve world only makes it more urgent that we act.

Richard has loved the natural world since his growing up years in New Zealand. He has worked as a freshwater ecologist for 15 years, and with his wife Liza is currently serving to resource Interserve in the area of creation care. He and his family live in South Asia.

I am excited about the topic of Kingdom Gardeners. It goes to the heart of God’s call on my life to participate in his mission. As a young veterinarian I wanted to use my skills and passion for animal health in God’s mission. As I shared my vision, I frequently received the response that “Animals don’t need the gospel, so why would a veterinarian be useful in mission?” While I didn’t have the understanding of wholistic mission that I now have, I had a deep conviction that demonstrating God’s love through care for animals was a legitimate way to bear witness to Jesus. A person who particularly inspired me is one of Interserve’s foremothers.

Rosalie Harvey lived in the city of Nasik, Northern India, for 50 years from the late 1800s. Her legacy included raising 1500 abandoned babies and establishing a community for hundreds of homeless people ostracised because of leprosy. Her other legacy was establishing an animal hospital. Her biographer narrates:

Miss Harvey “took personal charge of the Bhisti (Water Carrying) Bullock Relief Corps. For the three hundred and sixty-five days of the year these animals would know no break from drawing water for the people of Nasik. This Relief Corps of bullocks provided periodic rest for the hard-worked beasts of burden, and one may be sure that Miss Harvey delighted in the task of bringing relief to these patient creatures of God.”*

Rosalie’s advocacy for the wellbeing of hundreds of beasts of burden that kept the city of Nasik functioning resonates clearly with the teaching of Exodus 23:12: “Do your work in six days. But on the seventh day you should rest so that your ox and donkey may rest”.

Speaking of donkeys … Rosalie was also known for her impromptu inspections of the donkey herds moving through the hustle and bustle of the Nasik marketplace. “It is too bad,” she explains, “They make them carry the heavy loads of stones one way and then trot them back to the quarry so that they get no rest either way.” On one occasion, she ordered the packs to be removed from two donkeys—one was lame and the other had nasty saddle sores— sending the donkey boy with his charges to the animal hospital.**

Rosalie discipled many people over her lifetime as they encountered Jesus. Hers was a witness that incorporated care for the marginalised, care for animals and sharing God’s word.

John 3:16 tells us God loves the world—all that He created and proclaimed as good. Rosalie Harvey’s story is just one part of our heritage as an organisation committed to caring for all creation. I am excited about many roles where our workers can address various environmental issues as servants of the gospel. I could tell you about organic farming projects, sustainable coffee production in the rainforest, regeneration of wetlands, eco-tourism and other projects throughout Asia and the Arab world where reconciliation of all creation is an integral part of the transformation of lives and communities that Jesus brings. I count it an enormous privilege to journey with Interserve workers, encouraging them to bring glory to God and demonstrate his love in the ways they interact with all people and all creation.

Dr Christine Gobius is the National Director of Interserve Australia. Her background is in veterinary science and public health.

*Miller, A. Donald. ‘Aayi’: Glimpses of Rosalie Harvey of Nasik and her friends the lepers (The Mission to Lepers, London, date unknown), p19.

**Ibid, p42–43.

I remember it clearly. My simple stir-fry had opened up a genuine and open conversation with a stranger about my faith in a God who loves and cares for the amazing world He has created. We spoke for almost an hour. How did that happen?! Well, in one sense, it was simple. My friend had dropped in to visit, he noticed that I was making thoughtful choices about my meal and he asked why.

In another sense, many things had brought about the conversation I had with this man. Long before I was an exchange student living overseas, I was making intentional decisions about the way I interact with the world God has made. These included research into the ethics and environmental impact of the clothes I wore, the sustainability of the produce I ate, and the welfare of the farmers and animals providing food for my table. The choices I made in my normal life in Australia allowed me to keep making those choices in a foreign culture as best I could. I hope that my friends see integrity between my beliefs and how they play out in my daily life. My friend saw those distinctive choices and asked a question about them.

Hayley, an On Tracker in Central Asia, shares a similar experience. “Shop owners like to give you one plastic bag per item. Carrying around my own bag has reduced my plastic accumulation, and I hope as my language develops I can have conversations about why I do this.”

Despite living in very different cultural contexts, Hayley and I have something in common. We’re wrestling with how caring for creation is integral to our faith. As we live that out, we hope for the opportunity to share about the love of God with those who witness our actions. I hope that as Hayley grows in her language skills, she will have similar encouraging opportunities for conversation and friendship.

As Christians we have a unique voice to speak into this space of caring for the environment. We care because God cares.

In a bleak environmental landscape across the world, with ravaging bushfires, devastating drought and species extinction, many feel hopeless. I admit I sometimes do. It is appropriate to cry out, “How long, O Lord?” Over the years God has had to remind me that ‘saving the environment’ is not a burden He expects me to carry. In my personal grief and frustration over the ways we take the environment for granted, I’ve been able to lean on the corporate history of grief and lament we have in the Christian faith. We are equipped to respond to the eco-anxiety and ecological grief* many people experience.

We can also share a clear hope for the future. Callum, a Partner in South East Asia, writes: “Our Father has a plan not just for redemption of individuals, but for all of creation. As we live as his agents in this world, we seek to see His Kingdom come. We are longing for the day when He brings back perfect harmony and balance to our environment. But for now, we have the privilege of being part of His work and bringing glimpses of His Kingdom to the world. I love the fact that our faith gives us eternal perspective.”

It is this hope that has resulted in some of the best conversations I’ve had with others about my faith. What a beautiful, transformative message to get to speak into people’s lives.

Katherine is a Creation Care Advocate for Interserve. She has an Honours degree in Marine Conservation and Resource Sustainability, a Graduate Diploma in Divinity and loves to chat about mission and the environment!

Some names have been changed.

*Vince, Gaia. “How scientists are coping with ‘ecological grief’”. The Guardian, 13 January 2020 (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/jan/12/how-scientists-are-coping-withenvironmental-grief).

“So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey …” Exodus 3:8.

Honey has been associated with God’s abundant provision for his people from the time of the Exodus to John the Baptist, who was known to eat locusts and wild honey. The Bible has many references to goodness and delight accompanying God’s delivery of this remarkable food.

I remember, when I was a small child in Papua New Guinea, curling up under my dressing table to peer through the bedroom window to see my parents welcoming mission workers who came to town from isolated villages in our region. Supporting God’s frontline workers has been a part of our family DNA. I always thought I, too, would be one of those workers. This dream of serving in remote areas could not be realised, however, when our youngest child was born with significant health issues. Instead, my husband and I were convicted of the importance of partnering with those who were serving.

An unused, original Flow Hive that my husband found on eBay in 2016 was the beginning of an exciting new direction for partnership. I had been thinking about the importance of our role as Christians in the stewardship of our environment …“The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Gen 2:15). I took a beekeeping course at a farm near my home in regional NSW and came home with a queen bee and a nucleus. Bees are crucial to the sustainability of our world ecosystems and responsible beekeeping was one way we could contribute to good stewardship.

The rate of honey production astounded me. A hive of bees works almost like a single organism with remarkable efficiency and precision. Those bees started producing at least 3kg a week of delicious nectar. Each frame is emptied separately in this system so the honey from each frame tasted different—sometimes fruity, sometimes aniseed. What were we going to do with all this honey? It was far more than I could share with family and friends.

At that time our church was supporting mission workers who had established a carpentry school in Tanzania. They needed to provide half scholarships for students from families whose income was limited, so I decided to sell some honey specifically to support a student who had no parents and no means of income. As it turned out, people loved the idea and my honey provided the student with full board, lodging and education for two years.

When this project was complete, I looked for other ways to continue to responsibly use the gift God had given me through my bees. I found an Interserve Tangible Love project in Cambodia that struck a chord. It was supporting workers who enabled street people to receive rehabilitation from drug addiction and to access pathways to employment.

Later I diversified into using a traditional hive and making reusable beeswax wraps for food storage from the wax from the honeycomb. The sale of these beeswax wraps raised yet more funds for mission.

Kingdom gardening has not only been a unique way for me to support God’s work; it has also opened opportunities for me to speak to people in my own community about the creative and successful work Christians are doing to support less privileged communities. It has provided me with an easy opening to speak of my faith and of the Biblical direction to be responsible for the environment.

This is kingdom gardening and tangible love in partnership.

Kirsti is a mum, a beekeeper and a mission supporter. She lives in regional NSW.

For 168 years, Interserve’s approach to ministry has been to focus on the whole person. People are at the centre of our work. But people live in a physical, social and spiritual context which shapes their whole approach to life. As people striving to see God’s will done on earth as it is in heaven, we want to be Kingdom Gardeners, nurturing the Kingdom of God in all its glory. We can’t ignore the natural environment where people live—and where we also live—as we love and serve them.

Caring for God’s creation, with its people, has always been part of the story of redemption— both physically (“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” Gen 2:15) and metaphysically (“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field” Matt 13:24). As we go into the world, caring for people requires us to engage with the whole context in which they live. We become able to say, as Paul did to the Thessalonians, that “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well” (1 Th 2:8). Sharing our lives gives us the opportunity to make known the glory of God in all His handiwork.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Ps 19:1). The knowledge of God is demonstrated to everyone through His creation. But how much of God’s incredible handiwork is obscured by the careless or wilful destruction of nature? And how often is this tied to unjust exploitation of people? For many, experiencing creation in all its intended glory is unattainable. As crosscultural workers, we can be a prophetic voice in a natural and spiritual wilderness, showing God’s intention for His creation and His people. As we demonstrate our love for God by caring for everything He created, we invite people to better understand their Creator and His desire to see all creation restored to its intended glory. “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth” (Ps 57:5).

Interservers show how God loves the world— His people and His creation—in many different ways. A naturopath works with the local community to develop healthy and sustainable food sources in an arid environment. A family lives with a displaced people group, helping them farm in productive ways that value all life. Another couple runs an eco-tourism business in an area occupied by several oppressed minorities, bringing people together through enjoyment of God’s creation. An engineer’s day job is working towards providing sustainable, alternative energy. After hours, he partners with the local church to meet needs in the refugee community. A researcher is studying the practical and spiritual relationship between animals and humans, working with local people to demonstrate and share God’s love for the world. Kingdom Gardeners plant, water and tend the garden, and God brings the growth. “May the whole earth be filled with His glory” (Ps 72:19).

Peter has worked with Interserve in Australia and the Middle East for over 20 years.