South East Asia, Medical / Health, 1-11 months, 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 1367

This charitable organisation works primarily in healthcare but also in other areas for the development of society. It exists to promote the health and welfare of the local people. It aims to maintain the quality of life and the environment through healthcare and educational activities.

There are opportunities to become part of an NGO that provides among other things medical support care and life skills training at a male drug rehabilitation centre and medical support at a care centre for disabled children. Addicts and prostitutes who have come to know Jesus need psychological support counselling and medical advice. Although medical educational and project management skills are particularly useful the heart and passion of any potential partner is key.

Applicants should have a heart to bless the people of this region and a willingness to serve Father in unexpected ways. Although some medical and counselling skills are required a heart to serve with God for building His Kingdom is definitely needed. Good relationship skills are essential.

Nine months ago, we were looking for a house to rent in South East Asia. Our family had just moved here, hoping to be a part of the community as my husband works training teachers. I vividly remember looking out the kitchen window of one house to a big, grassy backyard (so different from others we’d seen with bare concrete). We could imagine our daughters playing there … but who would they play with? A small face peered through the fence and was soon joined by her two older sisters. Thank you, Lord!

At first grappling with the local language was all consuming, but gradually we found ourselves with more time and energy to look for ways to connect with our neighbours. This has been a priority because it’s impossible to train people well without knowing about their lives.

We also wanted to be part of the witness of God’s people here—there are many misunderstandings about what Christians believe and how they live—so that others may have the opportunity to experience peace through Jesus too.

We are learning that sometimes small, seemingly insignificant things can have a big impact … like our two small veggie patches. A friend gave us some old, open seed packets, but would they grow? Yes! From them grew tomatoes, tarragon, capsicums, bok choy, zucchini and spinach. We marvelled with our new neighbours at the variety and beauty of God’s creation.

Everything grew much faster than we expected because of the heat and humidity, and we soon had an overflow to give away. We got to know new and old friends through conversations about the garden. What should we grow next? Local friends had lots of ideas … “Corn would grow well, pumpkins too. Why don’t you pull out the old stalks?” “We wanted to wait to collect the seeds, and to enjoy the birds visiting.” “Will you make more garden plots? Why not the whole backyard?”

We had known one lady for five years but had no idea of her passion for and knowledge of gardening. She discovered the unfamiliar taste of tarragon. Would she like to take some plants? Sadly, she had nowhere to grow them at her house, but she took a big bunch of leaves. We better understood how our lives are different and the same.

Passers-by started sharing ideas about how to use our produce. Our daughter’s friends asked to help water the plants. All the while we wordlessly shared other, more precious things, such as time together—yes, we like being with them and listening to them—and the opportunity to give others a connection with the earth and an experience of God’s abundant creation.

Deeper conversations are still hard for us in our new language, but when friends do tell us about their troubles, have we sensed the same unspoken questions over and over? Does God see them? Will He care for them? Do we know anything about Him worth listening to? It has been precious to experience together the Lord’s care, very present and adding colour to our lives.

Any gardening takes time, even if it’s just two small veggie patches. As we take the time to care for nature—to nurture, to learn new methods, to preserve the ecosystems around us—this is a concrete expression of our faith. We’ve been encouraged by how God can use it to bless others and to demonstrate His abundantly good ways, for His glory.

We take God at His word that He not only cares for people but for all that He has made (Gen 1:31). The wonderful thing we’re learning is that, as we care for God’s creation, so often the people around us are nurtured too … ourselves included. Thank you, Lord.

Felicity is the mother of two small children, living with her family in South East Asia long term.

Names have been changed.

Last week I had a meeting with a business owner in a South East Asian country. I was asked to explain why ‘organic’ foods made business more difficult and how it could be worth it. These are not simple questions so I decided to write it all down as a way to process it all. Until recently for me, caring for creation revolved around natural resources, conservation, waste and pollution. But as I wrote, I realised that food production is indeed part of caring for God’s world and the people in it.

I am a consultant with a number of social businesses which aim to use profit from running a business to achieve social outcomes, rather than wealth for the owners. Some of these businesses produce organic food and offer a range of environmental, economic and social benefits (see diagram).

Two examples of these social businesses are:
• An organic farm producing a range of herbal teas and other healthy products.
• A catering business supplying organic meals for workshops, trainings, events and meetings.

The food is healthy. Some say it is tastier. Both businesses struggle with profitability. There are extra costs involved in organic production since other solutions are needed are needed for pest, weed and disease control. Yield is often lower, too.

Solutions are challenging to find. Instead of chemical fertilisers, organic manure and compost are needed to supply nutrients for plant growth. Manure and compost take time to collect and make. It is expensive to transport and generally requires high quantities to supply enough nutrients. It can cost up to ten times the cost of chemical fertilisers. The options for organically protecting plants from pests take much more time than applying chemical sprays. Farm labour is also becoming scarcer as young people move from rural to urban areas. Being organic and profitable generally requires a higher level of technical expertise and cost.

Does the food need to be organic to be healthy? Not necessarily. However, the one that uses harmful chemicals isn’t usually the one who pays all of the costs. People, wildlife and the environment—sometimes a long way away or without a voice—can bear the suffering.

Living in a city, my own family is increasingly becoming disconnected from production. We shop at markets or supermarkets. We don’t know much about its source or how far it has travelled, and we want it cheap. The reality is that organic production needs at least a 20% price premium to make it work.

Is this good stewardship of the natural resources we have been given? I find myself wanting to support these businesses even though I am not a ‘die-in-the-ditch’ organic consumer. The social, environmental and health outcomes offer an excellent wholistic context in which to minister to the owners, employees, other farmers and customers. Both of these businesses have operated for more than five years, and aim to be at a sufficient scale to make a difference and be sustainable. Relationships are being built and our respect for both people and the environment in which they live demonstrates God’s love for all creation.

Roger has lived in South East Asia for over ten years, working with various social businesses.

Names have been changed.

We drive two hours outside a busy tourist town in South East Asia, climbing consistently since leaving the banks of one of the mighty rivers of this region, and stop in a village. We are surrounded by dense forests 1000m above sea level. Led by one of the village elders, we walk past the houses and further up the mountain into the forest.

He pauses and proudly points out his coffee seedlings growing in the shade of the forest. He tells us how he is following the planting directions regarding spacing and feeding, and how this village is collecting their food and animal waste to create fertiliser, using the methods they learned from our coffee promoters. We walk a little further and see three men clearing weeds from the forest floor. It is about 10 months until next year’s planting season, but they are preparing now in the hope that the coffee company will choose them to have some of next year’s seedling allocation. A lot of excitement has been generated in this village by the sustainable income that farmers now have from selling their carefully tended coffee cherries to the coffee company that I work with.

Unlike their lowland brothers and sisters, many people in these highland areas have traditionally earned only a small and unstable livelihood from farming. This has led them to clear the forests as a temporary source of income. Deforestation also makes way for other crops that the people have been told will make them lots of money, particularly if they use the chemicals available from neighbouring countries. The majority of people in these areas do not know the Creator of the beautiful environment that they live in and endeavour to harness for their daily livelihood.

These issues inspired the company’s founder to seek a solution … and that was coffee. More precisely, organic, shade-grown, specialty coffee. Coffee could be a source of sustainable income for these people and help them take care of the beautiful environment that God has created in this part of the world. Expats and local Christians are rarely allowed to visit this part of the country, but doing this work means highland people have the opportunity to meet people who have a different worldview.

The coffee company has gained a lot of respect during their 14 years of working with highland villages. Last year we gave out 60,000 seedlings to new farmers in some of the 25+ villages that we now work with. We also had requests for more than 20,000 extra seedlings from new farmers or current farmers who want to increase their crop. This reveals great trust in the company as the coffee tree takes more than four years of cultivation before it yields its first sellable fruit.

This trust has, in no small part, been earned by the work of the company’s coffee promoters who walk alongside more than 850 farmers as their coffee plants grow. These local Christians visit the villages many times a year, teaching farmers how to grow specialty coffee in the forest without chemicals, and how to cultivate the trees to yield fruit that will earn high prices. They also share with all who are interested about the Creator whose creation they are tending. It’s these “kingdom gardeners” who are progressing the heart of the business to give highland people the opportunity to know more about the Creator who loves them.

For the coffee company, worshipping the Creator includes caring for His people through creating sustainable income for the coffee farmers and the 40 families directly employed by the company, introducing these people to the giver of life, caring for His creation through sustainable agriculture and environmentally friendly practices, and displaying His character through ethical business practices.

This profit-for-purpose business is now selfsufficient and offers profit sharing with its workers while investing the remaining profits into serving more highland communities. With demand for the company’s coffee outstripping supply, the Father continues to present more and more opportunities to be kingdom gardeners among some of the least-reached peoples of South East Asia.

David and his family live and work in South East Asia long-term. He combines his passion for coffee with his heart for Holy Spirit-empowered transformation.

South East Asia, Education, 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 1517

A small international school is looking for educational leaders and teachers in Math English Science Technology etc. from pre-kindergarten through high school. The school has a few international students but most of the children and staff members are locals.

The main job will be in a leadership role such as assistant principal or a role in administration management marketing or development. Candidates will also be expected to develop educational systems training mentoring and creative activities. For obtaining a visa a bachelors degree is required a teaching certificate preferred and 3 years experience. Candidates need to be English speakers as teaching is done in English but they will also be expected to learn the local language in order to build good relationships with local people.

Candidates also need to be flexible reasonably independent and have a pioneer mentality.

South East Asia, Education, 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 1518

A small international school is looking for educational leaders and teachers in Math English Science Technology etc. from pre-kindergarten through high school. The school has a few international students but most of the children and staff members are locals.

The main job will be twofold: teaching IT in English as well as being the coordinator for the schools IT needs. Candidates will also be expected to develop educational systems training and mentoring. For obtaining a visa a bachelors degree is required a teaching certificate preferred and 3 years experience. Candidates need to be English speakers as teaching is done in English but they will also be expected to learn the local language in order to build good relationships with local people.

Candidates also need to be flexible reasonably independent and have a pioneer mentality.

South East Asia, Education, 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 1519

A small international school is looking for educational leaders and teachers in Math English Science Technology etc. from pre-kindergarten through high school. The school has a few international students but most of the children and staff members are locals.

The main responsibilities would be teaching physical education classes coaching and development of afterschool sports activities as well as responsibilities of an Athletic Director. This will be a leadership and teaching role including some administration management marketing and development. Candidates will also be expected to develop educational systems training mentoring and creative activities. For obtaining a visa a bachelors degree is required a teaching certificate preferred and 3 years experience is also preferred.

Candidates also need to be flexible reasonably independent and have a pioneer mentality. Candidates need to be English speakers as teaching is done in English but they will also be expected to learn the local language in order to build good relationships with local people.

South East Asia, Education, 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 1520

A small international school is looking for teachers in Math English Science Technology etc. from pre-kindergarten through high school. The school has a few international students but most of the children and staff members are locals.

The main job will be teaching but candidates will also be expected to develop educational systems training mentoring and creative activities. For obtaining a visa a bachelors degree is required a teaching certificate preferred and 3 years experience preferred. Candidates need to be English speakers as teaching is done in English but they will also be expected to learn the local language in order to build good relationships with local people.

Candidates also need to be flexible reasonably independent and have a pioneer mentality.

South East Asia, Administration, 1-11 months, 12-23 months / Job ID: 1639

Developing a movement of Ethnic Media Teams throughout Asia. Over the years many churches and individuals have partnered with least-reached tribes to create movies in their language. Together were building capacity to develop a rich heritage of Christian media for each culture.

Our ministry is highly reliant on technology and we need someone to keep it all running smoothly. The ideal candidate would be someone who is a problem-solver patient and servant-hearted. The IT support keeps up with the latest technology helps build new computers installs software maintains the current computers and networks and fixes other IT issues. They may also be called upon to assist or provide consultation for our ethnic teams with their IT needs.

Some certification or experience in IT systems is required as is basic English.

South East Asia, Education, 1-11 months, 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 996

This international school exists primarily to enable international Christian workers to remain in their field of service by providing for the needs of their children through an integrated education from a Christian worldview.

As well as educating MKs teachers have the opportunity to build relationships and impact these young lives for eternity.

We are looking for fully qualified primary and secondary teachers holding recognised teaching credentials from their home country.