A Cog in the Wheel

I always wanted to serve the Lord. I felt called by God to do mission work when I was 13. But I used to wonder, what would this look like? Would I go off into the great unknown like Gladys Aylward? Would I have a family that I brought along with me like Jim Elliot? Would I strike off solo, leaving behind my family for months at a time, like Brother Andrew? All the missionaries I knew were either preachers, teachers, or medical workers. I just assumed that my work would fall into one of those three categories.

Laura trains as a bookkeeper under Michael Johnson, one of our most faithful behind-the-scenes "cogs" (and accountants) we have. 

Our organization is blessed to have agricultural workers, a nurse practitioner, teachers, builders, and even a well-digger--people who improve the lives of others because of what they know and what they can do. However, there's more to us than that. We also have a team of researchers, grant writers, bookkeepers, and schedulers who make sure things keep running efficiently, appropriately, and effectively. We are all cogs on this amazing timepiece, working together to make sure the Lord’s work is done.

I never considered the roles of those behind the scenes--the ones who make phone calls to confirm travel dates, who send out applications and approval letters, who budget and handle billing, who do the record keeping and keep an organization up-to-date on legal requirements. What about this incredible force that makes sure that ministry can happen?

This is the world of administration and organizational management, one that I now find myself eagerly serving in. It is essentially the cog that makes the clock tick. And anyone who owns a watch or a clock knows that if that cog doesn’t function properly, it causes lots of problems.

Laura is not the only one called to work behind-the-scenes. We are blessed with a committed team of administrators that help our work run effectively and efficiently in each of our regions. Here, Brittany Girton and Leah Sherrod work administratively to organize our maternal health efforts. 

As a missionary serving administratively, I currently live in India at our office space near Delhi. From there, I assist our accountant in Nashville with data entry and bookkeeping. I assist an anthropologist and birth worker compile and organize her research and project reports. I help to coordinate the logistics of those traveling to India, and maintain our legal documentation. 

I used to think that in order to serve the Lord that I needed to do something with flash and pizzazz, like Joseph who could interpret dreams or Moses who could call down plagues upon Egypt or Jesus who healed the sick. However, I have learned that to serve the Lord is to be obedient to His voice and to follow where He leads. He has led me to organizational management, to help make sure that this organization can run smoothly so that land can be tilled, children can be taught, people can be restored to health, safe houses can be built, and clean water can be found. I am a cog in the wheel, playing my part to carry out the responsibilities God has given to our organization.  

Written by Laura Voight