As a civil engineer whose work has spanned two continents, Randy L. ‘02 has learned that bringing dreams to fruition takes more than technical expertise. At the heart of the matter is the community and its vision.
Based in Egypt with his Jessy and daughters Faith and Lily, Randy travels throughout North Africa and the Middle East facilitating design teams for Engineering Ministries International. EMI's clients come to Randy and his colleagues with a property and a project in mind-a school, a ministry center, perhaps a hospital. "They are already invested as owners; their community has already sacrificed in hopes of seeing their vision become reality," says Randy. "We work with them in the planning and design process. What is the immediate need? What is the long-term goal? How can the project develop in phases? Are there technologies that could be appropriately introduced through the project?"
My old stereotype saw the bearded Muslim and was afraid, but now some of them are dear friends. Are we not called to value others more highly than ourselves?
Talking and walking with people in the community, Randy becomes part of the project and the process. "We can only help them develop their own vision and give them the tools to make it a reality, but it must be their reality. This is our common goal."
Because he crosses cultures and religions every day, Randy regularly checks his own cultural filter. "Most of my assumptions and stereotypes have been challenged, and I grow through this rich and flavorful process." While the process can be humbling, he says, "I have more to learn than I could ever hope to teach."
Seeing others through Christ's eyes compels Randy to honor differences and be open to change. "My old stereotype saw the bearded Muslim and was afraid, but now some of them are dear friends. Are we not called to value others more highly than ourselves?"