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H ow does engineering fit into the gospel and God’s ultimate plan to redeem men and women from every tribe and nation (Revelation 5)?

While studying structural engineering in college, I thought about how this applied to my life as an aspiring engineer. Through time with my discipleship mentor, Brandon, I caught a new vision of God’s heart for the world and what being a follower of Christ looked like—an invitation to know him more deeply and participate in his glorious work in the world.

Fast forward to today, and I serve in Nicaragua with an organization called Engineering Ministries International (EMI). EMI is made up of engineers and architects who, in addition to supporting Christian ministries in design and construction projects, focus on creating a culture of discipleship. This starts with valuing the individual person—if we don’t count others more significant than ourselves, our priorities, or our lives, we will never have enough time for them.

Within EMI, we maintain this attention to people and our dependence on God through morning devotionals, prayer, and worship. Staff members meet once a week to participate in peer-to-peer discipleship. We host up to 12 interns for three to six months during a year and have a tremendous opportunity to disciple these young people. It’s an opportunity to impart the same vision that Brandon helped give me: Recognizing the gifts and talents that God has given me, how might God be asking me to use them for the kingdom?

Discipleship is not a short-term pursuit but rather a lifestyle of intentionally choosing to walk with people around us. Often the effect of our investment may go unnoticed, so we must rest on a firmer foundation than what we see with our eyes, faithfully continuing to sow seeds and trust that God will provide the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6).

For EMI, one of the bright spots is Jan, a former intern who is now on staff full-time as an architect. Already a young Christian when he interned, he now has a vision of how architecture fits in with the gospel. One day, Lord willing, he’ll leave EMI and start his own company, valuing people and pursuing God’s mission to restore and redeem the world in his own place of work.

Phil Iekel

Phil Iekel is an RCA missionary serving with Engineering Ministries International in Managua, Nicaragua.