Why Christar

A Day in the Life of a Worker Behind the Scenes

The Christar Mobilization Center U.S. (CMCUS) mobilizes and supports workers who serve in least-reached communities arounds the world. Below, Shirley,* who serves in the Finance Department, shares a day in her life and how her behind-the-scenes ministry plays a role in enabling Christar workers to cultivate Christ-honoring transformation among people with few opportunities to hear the gospel.

6:01 a.m.

Time to get up. I’ve been working in my role at Christar for nearly 22 years, and I still love my job. I wasn’t called to work overseas, but I am called to work at Christar and be a part of bringing the love of Christ to people and communities that wouldn’t have access to His good news if people didn’t go. What I do supports those who have been called overseas. Not everyone would love what I do, but I’m thankful I’m doing something I enjoy that gives me a role in missions.

6:10 a.m.

As I’m getting ready, my husband comes in to say goodbye before he heads out. We’re thankful for his job here in Texas. When we moved from Pennsylvania with the rest of the mobilization center, we came in faith that he would find a job as well.

6:32 a.m.

I sit on the couch like I do most mornings, watching the neighborhood wake up as I work to wake my brain up as well. I’ve never claimed to be a morning person, so I typically use these minutes to enjoy the quiet and pray through requests I’ve written in my journal.

6:58 a.m.

I head to the kitchen and spend the next 10 minutes thinking through dinner for this evening. I realize leftovers are the most practical option, so leftovers it will be! I prep a salad for my lunch, and by 7:30 I’m backing out of the driveway for my workday.

7:42 a.m.

The traffic isn’t bad this morning and I’m turning off International Parkway at Christar’s office in no time at all. I pull into a spot on the side of the building and head in the back entrance. It’s early and usually I’m one of the first ones here. I walk in, turning on lights as I make my way down the hall to my office.

8:11 a.m.

My coworkers being to arrive, bringing the smell of coffee brewing, sounds of calm chitchat from morning conversations and the sense of others’ presence. I’m an introvert, but I love being around people. I feel myself waking up as I hear the buzz of activity from my coworkers. I pull up my email and start to read while crunching on dry cereal at my desk.

8:54 a.m.  

I head to the conference room for the 30-minute prayer meeting we have each morning at 9 a.m. My coworkers and I take turns leading it, and part of my role is to coordinate the prayer guide with the date, themes and leaders for each day.

I love the sign that hangs in the room reminding us of Christar’s vision: “to cultivate Christ-honoring transformation in communities where He is yet to be worshiped.” I can be excited about coming to work after nearly 22 years because I care about seeing that vision play out. As others from the office start to trickle in, I marvel at how fortunate I am to work at a place that prioritizes prayer.

9:46 a.m.

After our meeting, I deal with some of my daily tasks: sorting and coding all the bills to be paid, handling reimbursements for workers on the field and organizing payroll. There’s a lot of routine in this job, and even in these mundane tasks, I see how my role is directly intertwined with Christar workers’ success. By getting their reimbursements and paperwork out to them, I enable them to focus on the needs around them instead of worrying if their bills will be paid.

11:01 a.m.

I head over to the mailroom to help stamp today’s incoming checks (a job that requires two people). Depending on the day, the amount of time this takes varies widely. Today, we finish in 15 minutes, and I’m heading back to my department to take the checks to the donor accounts manager, who enters all donations in the system and adds up the totals.

12:14 p.m.

Before lunch, the donations report is back on my desk for me to double-check and then I’m back to more filing, more emails and a handful of paperwork necessary for 1099s and taxes.

12:56 p.m.

I’ve gotten in the habit of working through lunch. Munching on the salad I brought from home, I continue to work on a spreadsheet that tracks all in-office charges for things like mail, copies and supplies.

Surrounded by so many familiar noises—the finance printer squeaking as it prints receipts to be sent to faithful donors, a coworker’s footsteps down the hall, a muffled phone call through the wall—I’m reminded that I’m part of a bigger task, and that all the tasks on our desks today are part of keeping the Christar Mobilization Center U.S. office running. Beyond that, Christar U.S. carries the much larger role of connecting partners with our workers, who long to see churches established among the least-reached. Filling in my Excel sheet is part of that!

2:03 p.m.

I won’t bore you with all the details—the spreadsheets, the forms I work through in a day—and you may not understand how I can feel I’m making a difference by running reports. But in these tasks, I’m using my skillset for a purpose: I want people around the world to know the hope of Jesus. I can say with confidence that even though God has never called me to work overseas, He did call me to be part of missions through my work here in this office so that others are free to go. Some might feel imprisoned by the tasks I do, but I feel honored to do them. I love being part of the logistics that allow Christar to run.

3:59 p.m.

My brain is tired. Even though I don’t drink much coffee, the smell of a coworker’s afternoon brew wafting in through my open office door perks me up. I take this time to edit my quarterly prayer letter that I’ve written over the last few days. Because, like those who labor overseas, I partner with other believers and churches who provide for my financial needs. Part of my role is keeping those who support me aware of what I’m doing, and even more so, sharing what God is doing here and around the world through Christar workers.

4:32 p.m.

I switch off my computer, straighten a pile of papers that will wait for tomorrow and head out of the office. The afternoon heat is a stark contrast to the cool AC inside.

5:37 p.m.

I pull up to my house after some quick errands. There’s not much time at home because church choir practice starts at 7 p.m.

6:39 p.m.

I’m out the door. I also serve on the missions committee at my church, which has been a fantastic way to advocate for global missions. I’ve had many opportunities to share stories of how God is working in big ways and through tiny details since I have a front-row view of the work God is doing through Christar among the least-reached.

8:18 p.m.  

I’m home and exhausted. My husband and I talk through our day and then I read a few chapters of a novel while he finishes the morning paper.

9:07 p.m.

Usually I do some Bible study in the evening as I’m too tired if I try to do it in the morning. I switch on my bedside lamp and open my Bible to 2 Peter. As I read, I think of my role in reaching the least-reached. I think of the five clocks that hang on the wall of the Christar office showing time zones around the world—reminding me consistently that my work in that office is bigger than spreadsheets and copies.

It might seem like this would get old after 22 years. But God’s work is much bigger than me, and He is using my small tasks for His glory. And, His timing is perfect: “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 ESV)