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The Janssens view work as more than just a 9-to-5 way to earn a living. They recognize Christ as Lord of all, even in the workplace. “God ordained work and calls us to be a part of His take in this world,” Harley said. While the world may view work as a means for wealth or personal gain, the Janssens realize God can also use work to bring about restoration.
A Global Impact
Harley is a product manager at Granular, a software development company that aims to make farmers' efforts more fruitful. While travel can often take him away from his family during the week, Harley views his job as strengthening the connection between farming, food sourcing, and the greater good for all people.
“We can approach work as being God’s hands and feet in labor among others versus just putting in time at work to use the money to do ministry somewhere else,” Harley said.
We can approach work as being God’s hands and feet in labor among others versus just putting in time at work to use the money to do ministry somewhere else.
A large part of his job is figuring out how to efficiently meet the basic needs of people and reduce the cycle of poverty. “If all a person’s time is spent meeting immediate physical needs, it’s hard for someone to change, reconcile, or see anything beyond their physical needs,” Harley said.
Meeting a person’s physical needs can create an opportunity to share with others. He feels God has brought value to his daily work. “Throughout Scripture God uses people strategically,” Harley said. “God works through workplaces and marketplaces. We are weaved into that story."
In Harley’s line of work that means positively impacting farmers, both locally and internationally. Innovations that took 50 years elsewhere can be implemented in 5 or so years around the world to both decrease cost and grow more product. “God is working through companies to feed and clothe the world,” Harley said.
A Local Impact
The Janssens did not always have fostering on their radar. After a few international adoption attempts, they found out they were pregnant again. With their current ages and the wait time, their family didn't qualify with many countries. They then got involved with Compassion International. “Supporting children to be educated and discipled with hopes of becoming leaders in their own country is exciting,” Jessica said.
When their youngest biological child was two years old, the Janssens developed relationships with a few women who lived nearby and whose children they knew well. “We decided to become a foster family for these kids if needed,” Jessica said. After completing the intensive class to be certified, they decided they were open to fostering regularly.
Fostering furthered their family value that work is God-ordained, whether it’s in a traditional office or in their own home. “It’s an open invite to roll up your sleeves and get in the mess,” Jessica said. “Our work has the potential to turn others to the Lord, whether they know they are looking for something or not.”
It’s an open invite to roll up your sleeves and get in the mess. Our work has the potential to turn others to the Lord, whether they know they are looking for something or not.
For the Janssens, choosing to open their home and be a foster family creates an opportunity to receive children that are born into unsafe homes and build relationships with birth families in need of hope. “It’s easy to have blinders on and not recognize how much opportunity is around us. Brokenness is here and not just in a third world country,” Harley said.
A Purpose For Work
God brings about a purpose to everyone’s work; sometimes we just have to be open to see it. “People are made in God’s image. Relationships are key to bring purpose to any work,” Jessica said.
While the days may be long at times, the years can fly by. Being a foster family brings about a daily opportunity to disciple their biological and foster children, as well as those they work alongside both in and out of their home. “Disciple-making for our family, spiritual multiplication, brings purpose to our days," Jessica said.
The Janssens hold to Micah 6:8, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
“The workplace has opened my eyes to see others around me, forced me into working in situations where people are not like me,” Harley said. “I can see the diversity and imagination that God has. It is an amazing invite to be part of Christ’s restoration here.”