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Rice on their Tables, Hope in their Hearts

08.29.13
by Crossworld
in Construction and Maintenance, Disciple-making, East Asia, Story
A construction worker makes jobs and disciples.

Editor’s Note: When this story arrived from one of our workers, we were so moved by his words that we wanted you to hear it directly from him.

ASIA — I heaved another 80-pound bag of cement onto my shoulder and headed for the stairs. Slowly and methodically, I climbed the steps of the football stadium, flopped the bag of cement onto a stack near our worksite, then headed back down to repeat the process. I was just the new guy hauling cement in 1989 when my wife and I were a young family in the U.S. But that construction job kept food on our table over the next several years and gifted me with valuable skills that I still use today. Even more importantly, the company owners were a godly couple who loved and cared for my family and modeled an honest, hard-work ethic that honored God. On many occasions we talked of our faith and life experiences while troweling cement or swinging hammers side by side.

Fast forward 20 years, and now I’m shoveling sand and troweling cement with my own employees in Asia — all of them young men with new families. Some of these men are my brothers in Christ already and some are not yet. Now my wife and I are the business owners, and we have the same opportunity to impact these young men God has entrusted to me. Rice is on their tables because we can employ them. And we can model an honest, hard-work ethic within a natural context to share our worldviews and the hope we have in Christ.

There are days I draft proposals, calculate project costs or research local tax and business laws, but those things are not what matter most. It’s the people that are truly important. Our fellow workers are the people we spend time with day in and day out. They hear what comes out of my mouth when the hammer misses the nail and hits my thumb instead. They see whether or not we pay our taxes and whether we run our business and live with integrity. They see us for who we really are.

Besides the language and what we eat for lunch, there is very little difference between what we do here and what was modeled for us 20 years ago. God used the couple who owned that construction company in the U.S. to shape who we are today. I pray we have a similar impact in the lives of the men we employ here in Asia.

Do you view your job as merely a way to pay the bills or the means God has given you to make disciples?

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