Sian Vines, GNPI Receptionist
Working as a receptionist is not the ideal job for an introvert such as I am.
After moving to Joplin, MO, one year ago, I became the receptionist for Good News Productions, International (GNPI). God positioned this past year of my life as an in-between year. A phase of life in-between two larger, seemingly more important times (though we never truly know how important events are in our life until God later reveals their purpose). Jacob worked seven plus seven years for his beautiful bride. It feels as if I’m doing the same. Five years ago I discovered my calling from God to be in Thailand, but He has continued to say, “Just a little longer,” giving me more steps or phases before He says, “Go.”
Each new day at GNPI brings new faces. As receptionist, I greet mailmen, visitors, and staff members as they come and go. I take calls from joyful givers and mournful supporters with news that a loved one has passed. This past year I’ve been at the forefront of the relationships GNPI has built over the years.
The common introvert such as I am would dread being a receptionist. The thought of small talk or trying to find something in common with others absolutely terrifies introverts! Imagine having to face that possibility at any given moment as receptionist!
I spent my childhood in New Zealand where my parents were missionaries, and I have a tattoo. It’s a Pikorua – a Maori (native New Zealander) symbol meaning the “interconnectedness of groups of people such as two cultures (or peoples).” The truth of this symbol has become more powerful this past year. Despite my fears, I have never struggled to have a conversation with anyone passing through GNPI. There is one thing I always find in common to talk about, which is prevalent throughout the Christian world. All cultures, evangelized and unreached alike, have at least one thing or one person in common. That is God. No matter who I meet at GNPI, we have God in common. People passing through GNPI share marvelous stories of how they see God moving in their part of the world. This leads to endless conversations about His mighty Kingdom. I, in turn, share the many ways I’ve also seen God work.
GNPI creates culturally relevant material. How important that is! Many times, those who have not received training in cultural relevance still effectively evangelize. How is this so? How can God speak through an African to reach an Australian, or an Asian to reach an American? God is already working, even in unreached people groups. There is a need for His grace, His salvation, His mercy, His love, and a relationship with Him in every culture. While cultural relevance aids in more accurately explaining and interpreting the Gospel, ultimately the only thing one needs to evangelize, or simply have a conversation, is God.
As I prepare to move to Thailand, there is no fear in me about making connections. I know that Thailand is a country in need of God. Every person is seeking. I joyfully carry the treasure to those looking for an answer to their troubles. I may be introverted, but God overrules it as He does in many other areas of my life.
Reference for Pikorua meaning: http://www.tuarangi.com/pikorua-the-maori-twist-design/
Sian Vines has served with our Joplin staff in a pleasant and professional way for the last year. We are thankful for her friendship and that the Lord allowed our paths to cross. May God bless her next steps.