Civil engineering in Central Asia paves the way to ministry.

By November 14, 2003

Central Asia (MNN)–In the remote areas along Central Asia, there are villages without running water, schools or basic infrastructure.

These areas are now the focus of a new outreach project. Interserve is beginning a program among Tibetan Buddhists. The project director, whom we’re calling ‘Carl’ for security reasons, works as a civil engineer in Central Asia. “My particular work involves civil engineering: well-drilling, the construction of rain-water collecting cisterns, small school buildings, latrines. I think for the civil engineer who’s been trained in the West, they might find, in some sense that the technology level that we work at is pretty low.”

But he can’t do the work that needs attention with one team. So, he’s currently recruiting others with civil engineering experience to go to the 10/40 window to work.

That raises one of the larger obstacles he’s faced. ‘Carl’ says many feel they can’t go either because they’re already in a career, or because of family ties. But he says he’s been there, and faced that challenge. “Our family didn’t get overseas utnil i was 35, and had three kids. God can do it. They shouldn’t be obstacles, but they are in people’s minds.”

‘Carl’ says now is the time to go because the doors are open to people with technical skills. “It’s a matter of being willing to uproot and being ready for cultural adaptation.”

Through the work Interserve’s teams do, teams are able to share the hope of the Gospel with the community they serve. “These are some of the most unreached peoples that exist on the earth today. So, this work is very much pioneering work, and another function of the engineering process is to open doors that otherwise wouldn’t open.” ‘Carl’ hopes to mobilize 10 to 15 additional engineering teams in the next two years.

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