As you know, each week we put out a blog that is written by our president, Ray Alary. To offer another perspective, this week’s blog is written by our communications manager, Nicki Coles. She joined our team in July 2017 and has been enjoying continually learning about the many facets of this ministry. If you haven’t yet had a chance to meet Nicki at one of our events across Canada, she’d love to connect with you. You can reach her by email firstname.lastname@example.org or give the office at call 888-672-6510.
“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3 (ESV)
I used to find it very challenging to get up each morning and go to work. I’d want to press snooze one, two ... okay, maybe three times before actually getting out of bed.
Things have changed. Now don’t get me wrong; there are certainly still mornings that I find it hard to get up. There are still days that I’d rather be doing other things, but those days are not in the numbers that they once were.
I was working in sales and marketing in the hospitality industry. I loved working in hotels and with people. I loved learning the stories of our guests and finding different ways to connect with them. I loved the feeling of winning that account I’d been pursuing. I loved the people that I had the pleasure of working with. However, I always felt that there was something missing. Was it a lack of contentment on my part? Or perhaps a lack of purpose for the work I was doing?
During the Christmas holidays in 2016, I had the opportunity to go with a group of young adults from my church to a missions conference geared to college and university students. I fully anticipated being there with them as someone to cook their meals, drive one of the two 12-passenger vans and perhaps even be an older woman from the church who the girls would be able to talk to and pray with as they processed what they learned.
I never thought that my life would be turned upside down. But God had another plan.
As I sat there beside 23 people I was coming to know and love, in a convention centre with over 2,000 other young people, I could feel God tugging at my heart. Then the words hit: “If you’re a Christian and profess to know the Lord, you have a responsibility in missions. Your responsibility is to GO as a missionary, to SEND missionaries or to DISOBEY.”
Now it’s not that I hadn’t been playing a part in this, but it was in that moment that I started questioning my professional life. Could God be calling me to go to Africa or Asia or Latin America? Could he be asking me to stay and be a light in the hospitality industry in London, Ontario? I had no idea, but even after returning home I couldn’t shake the question. So, I started to pray. I started to talk to a few friends about it, and I started to ask God to show me his desire for what he’d have me do.
A couple of months later, I had a conversation with another missionary organization in London that was looking for a director of communications. The role sounded interesting to me, and I wanted to know more so I met with them. I couldn’t put my finger on why, but it didn’t feel that this was what was next for me. I kept praying and talking to friends about what I had heard. Another month passed, and I received this text from a friend:
April 12, 2017: “Just in case you’re interested!”
It had a link to a job posting for TWR Canada. Sunday came and a man in our church shared his testimony. The same friend sent me a text again:
April 16, 2017: “Pretty neat how this man, in his testimony, shared that teaching via TWR was his primary spiritual input when there was no local church nearby in Iraq, eh? Wow :)”
At the time, I was in a fairly new sales role and had wanted to give it some time before deciding if it’s where I’d be long term. However, after more prayer and another couple of weeks, I decided to submit my resume. The job seemed like it was up my alley with one exception: I am not a writer. That is not how God has gifted me. I can talk to a brick wall. I can sell an ice cube to a polar bear, but I am not a writer. This was clear in my resume and cover letter, so I wasn’t overly optimistic that I’d get an interview.
May came along and, much to my surprise, I received an email which gave me great excitement. I had been short-listed for an interview as the communications manager for TWR Canada. By early July, after two rounds of interviews, the news came that I was selected as the final candidate for the position.
By this time, I was ready for a change and excited for my future working for TWR Canada. After nearly six months of praying about my role in missions, I had my answer. I was going to work for an organization that proclaims the hope of Jesus across over 160 countries and in over 230 languages!
Now, my days are easily filled with planning and travelling to events across Canada, connecting with various people and hearing or reading reports about the transformation of Muslims, Hindus, Agnostics and nominal Christians that is happening across the globe. People’s lives are not only being touched, but they are being transformed from doubt, anger and false teachings into lives that are full of hope and joy for the glory of God! And, I get to be a small part of it.
Watch for another blog from Nicki in the new year. She’ll be sharing about a recent trip she went on to Singapore and Sri Lanka where she learned about the ministry first hand.