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Flooding the World’s Marketplaces with Life | Technology

07.14.21
in Blog, Business and Management, Engineering and IT, Disciple-making
How one technical writer is living and loving like Jesus in Central Asia

I moved to Central Asia in 2020 to write technical product documentation for a software company. I can practically see the “Huh?” look on your face. I get it a lot.

If you’ve ever wondered who writes those “click here for help” pop-up messages on your computer or phone, that’s me! (Yes, people actually do that for a living.) And you’d probably think I’m crazy for how much I can nerd out about it. Details! Structure! Process! Technicalities! I love it all.

There’s so much more I could say about that last statement. Like, isn’t it cool how God created each of us differently, and how each career path reflects His creativity?

But the question I want to explore is this: How can this sort of job be part of His mission? How can the dry technicalities of correcting grammar and producing HTML files possibly make a difference for the kingdom?

Let me tell you a little about my team.

“Isn’t it cool how God created each of us differently, and how each career path reflects His creativity?”

Among my coworkers, one is introverted, has social anxiety, and lives with her aging father. Another is young, extroverted, and ambitious. Another is a wife and mother of two. And then there’s me, the American who’s introverted but social. In another setting, we might struggle to find anything in common. But here we automatically have a connection — we’re all technical writers.

With a little intentionality, we find common hobbies (travel), we learn about each other’s interests (one is artistic, another is a fitness enthusiast), and we share experiences (working from home). We talk about our families, stressors, and excitements. They love to tell me about their culture and recommend places to go and things to try.

Last week I had a phone call with one of these coworkers. She opened up about some things she’s facing right now, and before hanging up, she made a point to thank me for reaching out. She told me she’s observed, by how I carry myself at work, that I’m different and genuinely care for others. The conversation didn’t go further than that yet, but I’m praying for the moment when it will — when I have an opportunity to share where that difference comes from.

In another conversation, I heard a coworker say he’s rethinking his career. For quite some time, he’s viewed this job as a stepping-stone to higher career aspirations. But he said our work environment is like nothing he’s experienced before. He’s never had a mentor (he said, referring to me) who coached him and gave constructive feedback without condemning his mistakes or writing off his lack of experience as a lost cause. The supportive team culture has even made a difference in other areas of his life outside of work. He laughed and said he’ll never be satisfied in another job, even if the work aligns more closely with his career pursuits.

“Even in a career as un-relational as technical writing, there are real people dealing with real-life situations, longing to be noticed, cared for, and loved.”

The thing is, it doesn’t really matter what job we’re doing. Building relationships is equally possible in the workplace as outside of it. And, I’d argue, even a little easier.

When I go to work, I aim for more than just excellence in the tasks at hand. I also aim to transform my work environment into a place where every voice is heard, where there is empathy and understanding for personal and professional life alike, where failures are opportunities to learn, and where we all help each other.

Even in a career as un-relational as technical writing, there are real people dealing with real-life situations, longing to be noticed, cared for, and loved. No matter what our job, we as Christ-followers can make a difference by living and working in a way that honors God and follows His command to love people.

Though a better work environment isn’t the goal, it’s a step toward the kingdom. It reaches people where they are and helps them flourish.

And it draws attention.

That’s when we get to share the heart of our King, who wants this and so much more for His people.

Crossworld worker Addison transferred her job to Central Asia in 2020 so she could use her skills to make disciples among the least-reached. Want to do the same? Talk to a recruiter today.

The people in this story are real, but their names have been changed to protect their privacy.

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