International (MNN) — Are you passionate about something that's usually NOT associated with "missions?" Think farming, cosmetology, or computers.
Even though those passions aren't as commonly linked to missions as church planters or translators, there's still a need for you on the field.
"All of us are gifted uniquely and we all have a responsibility–an opportunity but also a responsibility–to play a part in a bigger picture," states Ashley Fryar with The Mission Society.
Missionaries can't be all things to all the people they serve. When missionaries are sent to the field, they often encounter overwhelming community-wide needs like clean water, education, or employment.
"It's also quite common that we see a real spiritual darkness that kind of plagues these communities," Fryar says.
While missionaries might be comfortable tackling the spiritual needs of a community, "It would be really difficult for anybody to be an expert in all of those areas."
That's where The Mission Society Global Resource Team (GRT) comes in.
"When we can all come together with our different area of expertise, and make more core, foundational changes that empower communities and empower families…we've actually done a much greater service," Fryar says.
Her specialty with the GRT is at-risk children and orphans. Fryar developed a passion for this vulnerable people group while working in Africa and South America for other mission organizations.
In 2009, Fryar felt God leading her to focus specifically on the orphan crisis in Kenya, where she co-founded and served as executive director for the Project 82 orphan ministry. She particularly saw the need for a holistic approach to missions during her time here.
A decade ago, she says, there were about 300 orphanages and children's homes in Kenya. Today, there are over 1,000 registered orphanages and children's homes.
"Statistics are showing that four out of five of those children actually have either a mother or a father living, or they have a close family member who could care for them," Fryar adds.
She says Kenyan parents send kids to the orphanage believing that the facility can provide better care for their children.
"There's a different way to do this that's really better long-term for the children," Fryar says. "But it takes all of us coming together to make those solutions reality."
Along with educating local churches and families about the benefits of permanent family care, Fryar says political leaders have to buy in, too.
"Permanent family care solutions are going to require social welfare networks, which many of these countries don't have existing today," she explains.
Pray that as GRT teams work with local believers and governmental leaders, sustainable long-term solutions would be found.
Ask the Lord how you can take part in the Great Commission.
"I would ask for prayer for people to really catch the vision, to ask themselves, 'How can they play a part, how can they contribute to that?' Then [pray for] the courage to stay in it for the long term," requests Fryar.
To learn more about how you can get involved, contact Fryar through The Mission Society.
"I'd love nothing more than to sit down and have a conversation with someone, and just hear about what they like to do, what they're good at, and help them figure out a way that they can get connected," Fryar says.