Why Faith at Work?

So for many during this time, a time of Covid, Elections, and five million other things coming down on us (or at least what it feels like), we can feel like we are in survival mode. And then add the stress of work in itself, trying to do all our work from home, not having the blessing of dropping by another colleagues desk to ask for help or take a breather. MAN. THIS. FEELS. EXHAUSTING.

So we just do what we need to do and just survive. We can look at our faith’s impact on our work once we get back to the office, right? Once covid disappears. Once we have stability. Once we have found our normal rhythm.

I have been reading through Dorothy Sayers’ collection of essays called Letters to a Diminished Church. I think Covid era has caused us to open our eyes to things we may have tried to stuff down or hide away before. Her words in her essay called “What do we believe” seem to puncture the huge feeling many of us are feeling right now about normal life pre-covid.

“In ordinary times we get along surprisingly well, on the whole, without ever discovering what our faith really is. If, now and again, this remote and academic problem is so unmannerly as to thrust its way into our minds, there are plenty of things we can do to drive the intruder away. We can get the car out or go to a party or to the cinema or read a detective story or have a row with a district council or write a letter to the papers about the habits of the nightjar or Shakespeare’s use of nautical metaphor. Thus we build up a defense mechanism against self-questioning because, to tell the truth, we are very much afraid of ourselves.”
Sayers, Dorothy. Letters to a Diminished Church . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Pre-pandemic, we used to use “busyness” as our escape. However, now we’ve been isolated into our homes and safe spaces. And yes, we are in a pandemic. But in these times it’s so easy for our situation to be another mask. Another reason why we can’t attempt to enter into that intersection of faith and work.

Maybe you’ve realized your self care rhythms need to be adjusted for a Covid world. Or maybe you’ve been running on empty for so long, your ways of self care were really ways of masking and hiding. Our normal ways to find “self care and retreat” aren’t working how they used to, and we realize we were doing even that in our own strength. We can’t afford to ignore Christs call to follow Him.

SOMETIMES WE ARE AFRAID…and we might buy into the lies the enemy throws our way, no matter how easy they might be to believe.

  • How weak you are and that you aren’t living up to God’s or others’ expectations.
  • How your identity has been lost during this time because you can’t be working like you had.
  • How you aren’t making a difference for the Kingdom because you aren’t working for a NGO or christian ministry.
  • How isolated you are and no one cares about you.

So I know probably one of the last things on peoples minds is faith and work during this time. I mean it’s Advent, we are in a process of waiting for the celebration of our Saviors birth, we are confronted with the brokenness of the world around us. We are seeking rest, celebrating (or trying to figure out what this looks like this year in 2020), and just trying to wrap up the year well.

But I’d say the Gospel speaks so much into these times. Uncertainty with work, life, society. The Gospel isn’t just about whether we go to “heaven” or not..it’s so much bigger than this. Yes! It is about the brokenness of the world and our need to be in relationship with our Savior. YET it also is about God’s desire to redeem and restore all things (which includes all industries) to bring Him glory. Covid hasn’t stopped our Lord. He wasn’t surprised by this pandemic. And one of the main ways Gospel renewal happens in societies is through work.

There is heaviness in our work. I am not trying to pretend we live in a utopian world without brokenness or sin. Stress, sin, exhaustion, and brokenness all exist, especially in our workplaces. But, in the same time, the Lord works through the way we work, our relationships we have with our colleagues, our dreams. We, as Christians, believe God is at work through our work, no matter how tedious it may feel at times. This is why Faith at work is so important. Because of the Gospel, we have hope of a changed work, a changed city, and a changed world. But only God can do this, and the good news is, that He is at work, as well.

So over the next couple months, I am going to blog more about some of the core faith at work readings we have come across and hope to put some of these things in the lens of Faith and Work and the world we live in.

Please, if you have any questions or reflections, leave a comment below. As well, feel free to share this with anyone who might find it beneficial.

Photo by David Lezcano on Unsplash
Photo by Christopher Windus on Unsplash

It’s Official!

Hey there, I know it’s long but read the whole post!

It is hard to believe we were in Georgia last week. (By the way: Atlanta seems a lot smaller now compared to LA, I miss the humidity, and we love having our own home!) It was information packed and a very encouraging trip for us.

We stayed with the Director of Long Term Missions, Mark, and his wife Jana, and their family. Jana served in Romania and Eastern Europe as a missionary before she married Mark. It was so fun to sit down and talk with her about all the great things about Romania and how the country has changed since then.

On Wednesday, we had a meeting with Seth Barnes, the founder of Adventures in Missions. We wanted to get to know more about him and his vision for Adventures. It was great to hear his heart for missions and wanting to send out missionaries from all different countries.

I think one of the best sayings I heard this week was, “the goal is to work yourself out of a job.” I have heard this before in human services but think what the world would be like if we didn’t have a need for missionaries! (Mind Blown!)

On Thursday we had an interview with Gary and Nancy, a couple who has been on the field for 35 years doing discipleship. The interview time was one of my favorites because it was so relaxed and it was wonderful to be encouraged in marriage and vision from the Lord.

Nancy also taught a class called “getting to know yourself.” We had taken the Myers-Briggs test before we came, as well as “Leading with your Strengths.” It was during this session that we were able to interpret the results and see how they applied to ourselves. Here are some fun facts about how different Jeff and I are:

– On a scale 1-10 (10 being the highest), Jeff is a 10 optimist. I however, am a 9 realist on the opposite side of the scale.

– Jeff is strong in pioneering but I scored high in structure.

– We are almost the same on the Myers-Briggs except I am an introvert and he is an extreme extrovert. ( surprise surprise)

I just love how different we are and yet how God uses us to balance each other out.

We also had some sessions on financials, healthcare, practical skills for the field, and support raising. It was so interesting to look at support raising because the mindset is completely different than raising support for a single trip or a short term trip.
Also, long term financial support no longer means quick gifts and then forget about us. We need and want people who are willing to give a monthly gift for an extended period of time. (Yes, this means you will never stop hearing about Romania, but let’s be honest, its not like you don’t already!)

Some people may ask, “why not go with a denomination/organization where you don’t have to raise financial support?” First, God has not called us there but has showed us that Adventures in Missions is a good fit for us. Secondly, it is a great step of faith for all involved to rely on God for everything. Thirdly, many organizations where that is not needed have found a great disconnect between the home churches and their missionaries and that relationship is lost.

Long term missions requires more commitment from us and more from the people supporting us. Support doesn’t just mean finances and prayer but also accountability and lasting relationships. We want to be supporting and praying for you just as you are for us. Adventures’ Long-Term department requires us to have a system of people who want to partner with us in this journey. Also, we will have a small group of people who commit to communicating with us on a weekly basis to hold us accountable, in addition to our group as a whole, so that we may encourage each other. If you would like more information about being an active participant in our support team or want to send us a prayer request, you can email us at thecardells@gmail.com.

All that to sum it up that we had a great week at training! And we are excited to be partnering with you as long term missionaries – because we are accepted and now part of Adventures International!

Here are a few pictures from last week!

Outside the Adventures Office in Gainsville

Most of the Long Term Candidates