March Reflection Email Header

Last month, Makonen, Edify’s Chief Transformation Officer, explained Edify’s desire to model effective Christ-Centered Transformation. Over the next 7 months our staff will be sharing their heart and “reflections” on the Edify core values and why they are so important to us. This month, Ken, Edify’s Vice President of African Programs, will share his reflection on our core value: Christ-like service.

Jesus’ noble call to all His followers is to serve others with a humble and sincere heart. Yet, it is a daily challenge for us, both as individuals and a Christ-centered organization, to walk in this virtue. To do this, our daily posture must be to be refined by experiences toward Christ-like service.

By virtue of belonging to the Edify family, our relationships with others are to be approached in a Christ-like manner. That is to say that when we relate with school proprietors, students or with anyone, we do so in the way Jesus would and does relate Himself.

In Philippians 2:3 we read: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”, Also, Jesus said in Matthew 20:28 “… just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many”. The message in the two quotes points clearly to the higher qualities of rendering our services selflessly to humanity. Indeed, I will reflect upon these lessons in humble service here.

Sometimes working with people is hard. Often, it is stressful. Field staff can arrive to a school after hours of fighting traffic. Many school buildings are hot and have limited airflow. We are, after all, working to improve and expand Christ-centered education. If there wasn’t work to be done, we wouldn’t have this as our mission. This is all to say that the conditions under which fieldstaff work are often difficult. Were they not to surrender themselves daily to Jesus– to His provision, grace and presence, it would be easy for work to be done begrudgingly and for us to grow weary and even bitter. Yet we who believe that we have been called to serve wholeheartedly and with the love of Jesus as our focus see the world and our daily challenges differently. The Lord fills us us up to exert a great deal of effort at our work. When we experience tiredness or stress Jesus opens up an opportunity to serve him enthusiastically. The principle here is this: Jesus wants us to discharge our job with the kind of enthusiasm that will positively affect those we serve. I believe that ultimately we honor God when we faithfully and humbly serve our partner schools and generally everyone we come into contact with. The key words here are faithfully and humbly. If we do not work with enthusiasm then we are not living into God’s presence and His will. The difference is visible when we are serving Him humbly and with enthusiasm. What a difference we will make if the whole Edify family embodies this culture!

Whatever specific skill or talent God has given to us as a gift, it is His will that we serve Him with such a gift or skill or talent. Whether we are serving at the Central Service Office in San Diego or we are part of the development team in the US or we are field staff in the implementing countries: Jesus asks us to serve him heartily in our job and throw ourselves fully into our work.

In conclusion, I will say that Christ-like service when rendered in an excellent way brings dignity to what we do. Since we know our Lord is in control of our lives, we gladly throw our heart into our work diligently, enthusiastically, joyfully, lovingly and excellently. All our services are sacred before the Lord and nothing that we do is unimportant if done unto Him.

Ken Appenteng-Mensah
edify
Vice President African Programs

About the Author

Ken Appenteng-Mensah is a banker by profession and an expert in microfinance who has spent nearly two decades of his career in financial services for the poor in Africa. Ken has served in various capacities in the following institutions before joining Edify: Executive Director Sinapi Aba Trust, Regional Director Opportunity International Africa, VP Opportunity International Bank of Malawi (Credits) and the German Development Cooperation.