Understanding chemistry may seem like an impossibility, but John Brown University new chemistry professor, Dr. Francis Umesiri, seeks to simplify this science and make it “less frightening.”
Umesiri enjoyed learning chemistry in school and decided that teaching others about chemistry was what he would like to do in the future. The next step was for him was to pursue a degree in which he could do both of these activities.
“I knew I was going to be a teacher” even in high school, he said. “I like to teach, and I like to think.”
However, teaching and chemistry are not only his passions. He said God gives every one of His children a passionate heart for a specific ministry to serve Him in and for him it was a heart for marketplace ministry.
Marketplace ministry, explains Umesiri, is geared towards helping Christians “call attention to Jesus” at home, work, school and other venues where Christ’s message of salvation needs to be shared.
The goal of the ministry is to teach Christians how to better “take that Christ influence to [their] community” wherever that community is, said Umesiri.
He recognized God’s calling on his life to serve in marketplace ministry while working for a Christian organization in his native country of Nigeria, Africa. After coming to the United States to pursue his masters and doctorate degree, he continued to work in marketplace ministry.
Umesiri credits his accomplishments through running various ministries, teaching, and writing books on how to further developed a relationship with God. His “The Search for Meaning”, was published in 2008. In the book, he discusses the idea that God gives everyone a specific purpose and assignment.
Chapter 4 of the book distinguishes the difference between a purpose and an assignment. “Your assignment is what you are called to be, but your purpose is who you are called to be,” he said.
Or put another way, “purpose deals with such fundamental questions as who I am and what I am here on earth for, assignments deal with a question such as what I can do to express or live out the very reason for which I am here,” he said.
At different stages in life, these questions can haunt the conscious. He encourages, though, that, “everyone has a different assignment for different times of their life.”
Earlier in his life, one of Umesiri’s assignments was to serve in a ministry in Nigeria. Later, he was given another assignment to serve in a ministry in the United States.
Currently in Umesiri’s life, his assignment is to teach and encourage. He tries to take the fear out of chemistry. And, at the same time, he encourages those around him to keep taking Jesus out into the world, into the community they serve.