Are you a qualified physio or occupational therapist? Do you have a heart to support children or people with disabilities who have no professional services within their own community? Are you interested to engage in community-based rehabilitation in isolated, which have been unreached for the Gospel for centuries? Are you motivated to serve, relate and see the Good News go out on the wings of mercy?
North Macedonia is situated in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe. It is a country roughly divided between an Orthodox majority of ethnic Slavic speaking Macedonians and a large Muslim background minority of Albanians (also Turks, Bosnians and Roma.). In one way, North Macedonia is a socially warm, colourful and exotic environment with sun-baked mountains, rivers and gorges. It is a crossroad between East and West, where Belgrade and Beirut seem to meet in one city. At the same time, the country is marked by its history, and a legacy of ethnic tension and parallel existence of two communities. Perhaps even more felt today is the common experience of all people in the country: economic depression, wide-spread unemployment and stagnation – particularly following the impact of Covid 19.
Spiritually, all ethnicities are largely lost in religious traditions. Ethnic identity is felt to determine one´s religious affiliation. Amongst the Albanians, there is not one established church in the entire country. Islam functions as a cultural preservative against assimilation with the Macedonians, whose cross and icons are more symbols of ethnic exclusion than inclusion for Albanians. Miroslav Volf´s comments on the missional task in the former Yugoslavia are relevant here: “We do not start at zero…”
Nonetheless, a series of disasters have created an open door among this unreached community of 700,000 Albanians. The European Refugee Crisis, floods, earthquakes and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic, have created a unique corridor of opportunity of access deep into the heart of this closed community – many of whom feel they have been forgotten. This is especially so with vulnerable women who suffer gender inequality in terms of human value. Holistic mission, starting with joining that community, being a healing presence and working from the outside in towards worldview in a context of trust is the trail we are blazing – touching lives now and making a road the Gospel for eternity.
We are looking for qualified physical and occupational therapists to work with disabled persons of various impairments including cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida and autism. Many of these contexts are not supported by any government or professional resources and care has fallen largely on the shoulders of mothers and families. Roles would not only involve helping children or adults with disabilities to improve motor-function and to manage daily activities, but also to work with parents to develop solutions to challenges or deliver exercises themselves. Further, into these contexts, we hope to partner to establish decentralized community-based rehabilitation and day care support.
Due to the need of visa platform, candidates need to be presented as having specializations or masters degrees, able to perform a task which local employees would not be qualified to perform.
Our context is also one of ethnic reconciliation, so cultural adaptation, language acquisition and peace-making skills are also requirements.
Personal and Spiritual:
This is where we are now. Do you feel like North Macedonia is calling you? If you want to explore this possibility and talk some more, please contact us.