Charles* wanted his life to make a difference. He just wasn’t sure how he could maximize the impact to serve others. Although college plans were already set, he was unsure about them after going on a short-term mission trip. The experience led to a difficult decision. Should he do nonprofit work the rest of his life or get a degree in civil engineering?
It seemed like an either/or decision.
Mentors encouraged Charles to get his degree, believing that could open doors in the future. He took their advice and kept his enrollment.
“From the first day on campus, I had confirmation after confirmation that getting a college degree was the right thing,” Charles said. “God used time at the university to build me up and to strengthen me as well as prepare me to go into a place where doors aren’t open for traditional overseas missionaries.”
Now, Charles is a young civil engineer choosing to work in the Middle East. His job is his ministry.
Charles shares life one person at a time. One conversation. One question. One friendship. Sometimes baby steps.
“I have many opportunities to interject truth into conversations with guys at work and basically share my life with them and allow them to see that I am different,” he said.
Charles works with Scatter Global, a Southeast Christian Church Missions Partner with the vision to see Jesus represented in every industry and place through men and women who love their neighbors and do redemptive work in communities around the world.
As a construction manager in the Middle East, Charles works alongside many Muslims. They are also friends. Relationships happen as he and coworkers drive together to worksites, work together on projects, meet for lunch, and visit each other in their homes.
He simply lives out his faith—and people notice.
One friend told Charles that 12 years ago he watched The Passion of the Christ four times. The movie about the life and death of Jesus generated questions.
“He had waited 12 years for answers to questions,” Charles said of his friend. “He didn’t want to ask just anyone. It had to be someone he trusted, someone who knew the answers. That opened the door for me to share many truths with him.”
One day, a coworker stopped at Charles’ desk with his phone in hand.
“Have you ever heard Hillsong United?” he asked.
Charles is familiar with the worship band that originated from Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia.
Later that day, when they were visiting a jobsite, his friend played a Hillsong United song over Bluetooth, the lyrics echoing throughout the truck:
All I need is You,
All I need is You, Lord,
Is You, Lord
When Hillsong United scheduled a concert in the Middle East, Charles bought two tickets and invited his friend. His friend turned down the invitation because he didn’t have a cross necklace.
“Dude, I don’t have a cross necklace!” Charles responded.
“Yeah,” his coworker replied, “yours is in your heart.”
“It blew me away that he recognized that I carry Jesus in my heart,” Charles said. “I feel blessed that I can combine my passion for civil engineering with getting to share about Jesus, getting to shine truth and light among my Muslim friends and coworkers.”
As Charles looks back to that trip in high school and the tension it caused between faith and future, he sees how God opened a third path.
“I get to work 48 hours a week with Muslims. I get to build relationships as I work and live in this closed country. There are opportunities to share truth, to share Jesus with these guys. They are like me except they don’t follow after Jesus.”
One evening, a friend asked Charles about the difference between the Old and New Testaments.
“That gave me the opportunity to answer his question and share my testimony of how I became a follower of Jesus,” Charles said. “I explained that didn’t happen because I was born in America.”
*Charles’ identity must be protected, so his real name and exact location are not given.
Click here for a list of opportunities in the United States and around the world with Scatter Global.