During Sabbath lunch, I got to chat with Manuela Fankhauser, a full time missionary with VIDA from Switzerland. She’s in charge of the bilingual kindergarten there, named Campos Blancos. I told her that I had engineering background and she told me that there were a lot of engineers in VIDA, including Jose and Monica. I, being biased, got excited.
Since we arrived early at the La Ermita church, I got to talk with both of them before the evening meeting. Jose studied industrial engineering. I asked if he found engineering useful in ministry and he said yes, since it involved a lot of management.
Monica Muy also studied industrial engineering. She is a beautiful young woman whose smile and energy are contagious. She works with the not-so-small groups at the La Ermita church. She used to work at ExxonMobil in Guatemala and was ascending the corporate ladder. In fact, she did very well that they would still take her back. But when the call to ministry came, she left that world behind and moved forward in faith. She spent a year with David Gates’ ministry in the Bolivian Amazon. Through a series of providential events, she ended up this year with VIDA.
I asked her how her previous experiences affected her ministry now. She said that no experience was wasted with God and she could use the skills she had gained for God’s work. And now that they were trying to establish an industry for VIDA to be fully self-supporting, she was excited to apply her engineering knowledge to help establish a tamarind juice plant.
“When I think of industry, I think of food.”
VIDA Internacional is a pretty awesome organization. Check out their YouTube channel too. God has been providing them with properties via miracles after miracles, including a tamarind plantation whose harvest is of interest to commercial companies in Honduras. They want to build a jugo de tamarindo plant, which will make them a fully self-supporting ministry.
Establishing an industry for God’s work. I just love that concept. And yes, engineers can be missionaries too.