We often say at Redemption that “all of life is all for Jesus.” This quote has incredible implications for every facet of life, including our work. Here, Karina Yandell shares how she connects her work as a COO to God’s work.
How would you describe your work?
I’m the Chief Operations Officer for a company called 911 Emergency Telecom Corporation. We provide software to organizations in the US and Canada to ensure that outgoing 911 calls will include accurate location information and route to the correct 911 Center. Our customers include major companies like Wells Fargo and Grand Canyon University. Hopefully you’ll never have to dial 911 while at work, but if you do, my company makes sure emergency help is going to know which Wells Fargo branch or which room and building on the campus at Grand Canyon University you’re calling from.
As an image bearer of God, how does your work reflect some aspect of God’s work?
As a female executive in my industry, this can be a challenge since Jesus calls me to be humble hearted, compassionate, kind, and gentle – all which can often be perceived as signs of weakness when you are a female and in a position of leadership in the business world. I know that to truly bear His image I have to be transparent and vulnerable with others. If I’m not, then I’m not allowing Christ to flow through me and love His people. I’ve had to fight the temptation at times to put up the wall and appear “tough” when I know it’s not what God is calling me to. Over the years, I’ve learned that if I trust Him and am obedient to what He calls me to rather than worrying about what others think, He is faithful, and it’s only then that His greater purpose can prevail.
How does your work give you a unique vantage point into the brokenness of the world?
The fact that my company even exists is testament to the brokenness in our world. If you’re dialing 911, something is wrong. From time to time, someone assumes that since we have 911 in our company name we can send help – and we’ll get online requests from people who are too scared to call 911. Usually it’s a woman in a domestic violence situation, or it’s a child. On Easter Sunday this year we received an urgent plea for help from a child hiding in his bedroom while his father was beating his mother. It was such a sad and real reminder to me, on a day of such celebration and hope, that all is not yet right, and in fact is very much not right in this broken world. I love how Pastor Frank put it a couple of weeks ago – that our call is not to go out and preserve moral order in the world and attempt to eliminate pain, suffering, and evil. We can’t preserve or fix it. But we can proclaim hope. We are called to proclaim Jesus.
Jesus commands us to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” How does your work function as an opportunity to love and serve others?
Coming to realize just how powerfully the workplace can function as an opportunity to share His love has been a huge blessing for me. I stepped out of full time ministry a decade ago and really struggled at first to understand how I could still serve Him when the “work” I was doing had seemingly nothing directly to do with His call for me to follow Him. It’s been eye opening to recognize that if I am willing to be transparent with people in the workplace, and faithful to Him in all those day to day tiny ways, then He opens doors to work through me in big ways.