The joy and challenge of investing in people
Moldova, Republic of | OM InternationalAlbina, a 30-year-old Moldovan OMer, is currently overseeing OM Moldova’s personnel department, which is responsible for about 50 team members and hundreds of short-term workers. Here she shares about her daily work and how she has seen God transform lives.
OM Moldova: Tell us a bit about your work.
Albina: I joined OM in January 2007 and from the beginning have been involved with personnel. It is a diverse job: We are responsible for the OM team members as well as participants of short-term programmes—starting with recruiting, then providing orientation when they arrive, member care during their stay and evaluation and re-entry preparations at the end. Besides this, we organise regular team events, help people participate in international conferences and training events, teach English to our Moldovan team members and have a special training programme for those in their first two years with OM.
And then there are administrative needs, for which I am more specifically responsible: helping foreigners get invitations, visas and residency permits and sorting out the work documents for the Moldovan team members.
OM Moldova: What do you like about your job and what is challenging?
Albina: The answer to both is people. I really enjoy doing member care because I like helping people, but this can also be the hardest thing. Sometimes people do not have a good attitude, and it makes me sad when someone does not appreciate or even recognise I have done all I can to understand and help. Often I also have to act as a mediator and, of course, neither party will feel you are really on their side.
OM Moldova: How have you seen someone develop during his or her time with OM?
Albina: I think of Rita, who was extremely shy when she joined our team. It is great to see how she has become much more confident, has learnt to express herself and learnt to take on responsibility. I am also very encouraged by her determination and progress in learning English.
Ianos also comes to mind. He joined years ago as a young man who was not at all sure of himself and had been rejected by a Bible school for being too “simple”. Being treated with trust and being allowed to grow in responsibilities made all the difference to him, and today he is a self-confident, faithful and reliable man.
OM Moldova: How have you grown?
Albina: Most of all I’ve learnt patience! Though I still have a long way to go, I have learnt a lot about working with people—to listen, to have grace and to give a second chance. At the same time I have grown in leadership skills and have become more confident.
OM Moldova: Your work is not what many typically think of as “mission”. How do you see your role as part of mission work?
Albina: Billy Graham once explained his success by pointing to the room below where people were praying. I see myself as staying in “the room below”. Maybe I am not talking to non-Christians so often, but those who are more directly involved in evangelism need encouragement and someone who invests and believes in them. For many young people, OM is the starting point where they discover their vision and direction in life. I think of Slavic, who was with OM for two years. Now he has moved with his family to a small village where they are very involved in ministry and he helps to lead a young church. Or I look at Radu and others who have joined our team only months ago but have a real desire to go into world mission—who knows where they will end up?
There is a saying I like very much: “If your vision is for a year, you will sow wheat. If your vision is for 10 years, you will plant trees. If your vision is for a lifetime, you will invest in people.”
OM Moldova: How can we pray for you?
Albina: Most of all I need a lot of wisdom for my responsibilities and all the decisions I have to make—and patience as well. Pray also for the whole personnel department, which is going through a time of transition.