All work is ministry no matter its label, successful businesswoman says

By Grace Thornton
The Alabama Baptist

Ana Mims thought for a long time that God wanted her to serve in ministry.

But the doors just kept shutting.

“I was involved in church ministries and went on missions trips, and I always felt a call to serve the Lord,” she said.

“But God made it clear to me one day that that wasn’t what He had for me — at least not for right then.”

So she kept working at the jobs God had given her — jobs that eventually became top positions in Fortune 500 companies around the world.

Freedom Flight

It was a far cry from where she started.

Mims, who was born in Havana, Cuba, came to the U.S. with her parents, sister and grandmother on what turned out to be one of the last Freedom Flights.

“We started our lives here living in a two-bedroom apartment with one of my mother’s brothers and his family,” she said. “Once my parents were able to make enough money, we eventually rented a place.”

And once Mims eventually stood on her own two feet, found her faith and found that she was good at her job, she discovered it still wasn’t success she was interested in — at least not in the traditional sense of the word.

She wanted her job to be her ministry.

“Just because God didn’t put me in full-time ministry, that didn’t mean I wasn’t still in full-time ministry,” she said.

“When you come before the Lord and say, ‘You have my whole life,’ that’s 24/7, 365. You work excellently because you represent God and you know there’s a greater purpose in your job.”

God has you working in the midst of darkness for a reason, she said.

That’s why Mims wrote her book, “Keeping the Faith” — to help others bridge the gap between their faith and their work.

“The decisions we make, the way we behave, asking for forgiveness from coworkers — those are the things that speak to other people about who we are and what we believe when we aren’t able to share our faith,” she said.

They also help to build strong relationships so that when people go through tough times, they can approach you and ask you questions, Mims said.

“God intends to use us in those environments,” she said.

Sometimes that’s for life and other times that’s for a season — and for Mims, it was a season.

In a move that totally surprised her, Mims recently felt God leading her to leave the corporate world behind and work for Wycliffe Bible Translators in global communications and international relations.

“It came right on the heels of a really difficult season,” Mims said, noting that she had gone through a divorce and was living as a single mom to her daughter, Sydney. “I thought it was the absolute wrong time.”

‘He has provided’

But God shut door after door and kept throwing this one wide open, she said.

“God was calling me through it and He has provided,” Mims said. “It’s been an amazing journey. I’ve learned that He is faithful, that He is who He says He is.”