From: Nicole James

As one of six siblings in his family, Paulo grew up constantly connected to others. “I love sharing and talking to people, listening to other people’s experiences and being part of their lives,” he says. “This connection also brings me closer to God. It’s just the way I was built.

Paulo, a software developer, recognizes that his unique, God-given FORM (spiritual gifts, heart/passions, abilities, personality and experiences) includes his natural ability to connect with people as well as his care and compassion for those who have never heard of the love of God. This also encompasses his penchant for numbers and computing. Whether it’s writing code, assigning functions, or finding bugs, every aspect of the binary world Paulo works in energizes him, proof of the passion and abilities God instilled in him.

Work for the Kingdom

These things were already true when Paulo, originally from Angola, studied and started his first job as a software developer in Namibia. There, a guest presentation at his church reminded Paulo of his own desire to combine his professional experience with his heart for the gospel. “I wanted to work, but I also wanted to do ministry in some way and I also wanted to work for the Kingdom,” he shares.

He applied for another job in Canada, but the visa failed. Back home in Angola, Paulo prayed for his next steps. Then a coach from Scatter Global, an OM partner organization, contacted Paulo and put him in touch with a recruiting partner, who eventually found him his current job as a software developer in South Asia. -East.

“South-East Asia is one of the last countries I thought of coming to,” he laughs. In fact, when he first accepted his job with an Australian company, he was thinking of moving to Australia. However, he soon realized that the company was hiring him as a remote software developer for its offshore office in Southeast Asia.

Shaped for a purpose

Due to the pandemic, Paulo started his job months before he could move. Throughout the process, “Scatter has been awesome,” he says, mentioning their constant prayers, update calls, and concern for his well-being. Although he never expected to end up in Southeast Asia, Paulo says he sees God working through his move. And, eight months later, he loves his new location.

“God made me a software developer to change the world in ways some people can’t,” Paulo acknowledges. ‘He shaped me to be in this specific place doing this thing for the expression of His Kingdom to make known His Word.’

Professionally, this change is done in two ways, he explains. First, when some of his colleagues find out about his faith, they expect him to produce mediocre results. However, his work ethic and excellent performance earn him respect and the ability to speak in their lives. Second, the software it develops has a direct impact on the way people live and do business.

‘God is perfect. As a software developer, I also always try to do my best. This is how I show the grace of God and make God known because of his perfection and who God is and the things we can accomplish,” he says.

Although his work is remote, Paulo doesn’t let distance or cultural misunderstanding stop him from creating new relationships and changing people’s lives.

Sharing God’s Love

As his company’s only representative in Southeast Asia, Paulo shares office space with two members of the Scatter community, fellow followers of Jesus who first helped him adjust to the life in Southeast Asia and to continue to be part of the community that allows him to flourish. in the country. Each spends their days connected to their computer working for their respective companies, but they also take time to pray together and share their experiences with each other. Their diverse cultural backgrounds also cause a lot of “good fights”, jokes Paulo. ‘It’s so great when you see that God actually works in different ways…I learned a lot from the guys, and I know they learned a lot from me too.’

Outside of the office, Paulo also continues to connect with his Australian colleagues. “Even after working hours, we message each other through Facebook and talk about things that are not work-related,” he says. Apart from casual conversations and swapping memes, he also talks about leaving his family and living abroad. “We share stories, and they’re kind of inspired by what I’m doing here.”

Being based in a Buddhist country, Paulo has strategic opportunities to share God’s love in a place where most people have never heard the gospel. A self-proclaimed computer and tech lover, he naturally turned to social media to create groups focused on his other interests, including skating, biking, hiking and camping.

Skating, in particular, gave her access to two distinct demographic groups: other expats and local teenagers. In Southeast Asia, children are taught to respect their elders, so as soon as they know his age, teenagers automatically see Paulo as an authority figure with something to teach them. Recently, one of the teenage skaters told Paulo that his parents were going to divorce. “He told me how he felt, then we prayed together,” says Paulo. “He doesn’t know what prayer does, but that’s why I started the group and got the kids together.”

As he engages with his various groups, sharing his life and faith, Paulo sees God working because “people keep coming.”

Although he intends to hang out with people and listen to them, he doesn’t see the connections he makes as anything out of the ordinary. “I just see it as me doing what God created me to do,” he says. “I like doing these things, so I do.”

This article originally appeared on OM Australia and has been reproduced with permission.