How did you get involved supporting an Afghan Muslim Finance Manager from the UK?
“I responded to a notice in the PI Quarterly Update. Being a mentor to a Finance Manager in a Christian organisation in Afghanistan looked like an interesting and worthwhile, but also manageable, way to apply some of my experience in finance at the time when I was starting to wind down my career in the Civil Service.
What do you do in that role?
The finance manager is the most senior member of the finance team with no other professional oversight, so my role gives him someone to turn to for advice and support. We spend about an hour a month on Skype or Zoom and exchange e-mails on particular points we need to follow up. Time is limited so we focus on talking about finance tasks which he is currently working on, and in particular finding solutions to any areas of difficulty he is facing. I have helped him with preparing communications with the organisation’s auditors who are based in the UK. We have also discussed which learning and development opportunities are most suitable for him.
How do you feel this contributes to the Kingdom of God?
The organisation is involved with front-line projects in the country, demonstrating the love of Christ in practical ways on the ground. Expat staff in country have the opportunity to live and work alongside Afghans. I like to think that I can play a small part in helping to ensure that there is good stewardship over the finances needed to run the projects.
Given that Afghanistan is 2nd on the Open Doors Persecution Index, which means sharing about Jesus with Afghans can be very dangerous for them, have you found any opportunity to share your faith?
The main purpose of our relationship and our Skype calls is professional and I am careful not to raise matters of faith when it is not appropriate. But it was a great privilege to welcome him to the UK when (perhaps surprisingly) he was granted a visa and was able to come to meet the auditors and other key people in the organisation. This gave him experience of staying with a Christian family. I had unavoidable church commitments on the Sunday; I had no expectation that he would want to come, but at the last minute he asked if he could. The minister taking the service later told me that she had felt prompted to omit one item, without understanding why, and later realised that it avoided raising issues that might have been problematic for a Muslim visitor. So my prayer is that the one opportunity he has had to experience a Christian service, and a gospel message, in safety, has left a positive impression on him. Occasionally in our Skype sessions he still asks about how the church is going.”
Please pray for;
- God to raise up people able to live in a country like Afghanistan but as you can see, there are also opportunities to serve and witness to Christ among Central Asians, without leaving the UK / or even your home!
- There are opportunities to teach Afghans in Afghanistan English by Zoom, please pray that people would feel called to take up this opportunity.