by Whitney Williams Posted on Monday, January 12, 2015
She works behind-the-scenes, focusing on the smallest of details around the world. For Katherine Cheng, prayer, cute sticky notes, and coffee are invaluable companions at Orphan Outreach's headquarters in Plano, Texas.As our director of missions, Katherine connects churches interested in international missions to the real needs of the children and ministries we serve in Honduras, Guatemala, Russia, Kenya, Latvia, India, and the United States. It’s hard work—she is the first in the office and many times works late into the night—but it’s work she loves.“Anytime a team comes home and I get to talk to them, I’m just always so encouraged by God’s hand at work, how He’s used all of our teams and hand picked each person, and how our hard work has had an impact.” Katherine said. “I get to live vicariously through the teams, in a way.”But she hasn’t always been behind a desk. She took her first trip to China in 2002, and it was there that God opened her eyes to the plight of orphans. She started part-time at Orphan Outreach in the fall of 2007 with two more trips to China under her belt, as well as a degree in child and family development from Baylor University, internship experience at a Waco adoption agency and in Buckner’s missions office, and the beginnings of a graduate degree in social work, which she completed in the summer of 2010.She then spent a month in each of the countries we were working with at the time—Guatemala, India, Russia, and Honduras—connecting with staff and ministry partners, welcoming short-term teams, and evaluating programs. She came on as a full-time staffer later that fall.“Never would I have imagined I’d be with Orphan Outreach, getting to do what I believe is my life's purpose,” Katherine said. "For me, this is more than just a job – it’s a passion and one of life’s greatest rewards to get to do what I do each day and with the people I get to serve with! Ministry is about relationships – it’s about the people you interact with day to day and about the people and children we serve."Katherine's passion for caring for vulnerable children is something she believes strongly every person can share. "God has created each individual unique in His image and has a purpose that we cannot fathom. He desires to use our unique gifts, skills, passions, quirks for His glory and for the good of others. We are not created to serve ourselves but to be a blessing to others. And we cannot do that on our own (as much as we sometimes try) - Christ in me is the only way I can serve others with the hope of the gospel. And there are various ways to do that with Orphan Outreach. We’re not all called to hop on a plane and go overseas but we are all called to be obedient to what God has called us to in caring for orphans and loving those God has placed in our lives. That is going to look different for every person and that’s the beautiful thing about God’s grand design in how He’s made each one of us. Each person plays a specific role and in working together we can do great things by His power and grace. God doesn’t need us; He’s got things covered yet He still chooses to use us."