Hännah Johnston is a graphic designer at Sower of Seeds International, an NGO working in red light districts to bring rescue and restoration to women and children. 

How do you describe your work, what you do every day? 

My job is to create beautiful, tangible pieces that share the stories of millions of humans who are hurting, both physically and spiritually. The goal is to move others to step in by exposing the evil our friends in India face daily. A few projects I often work on are: conceptualizing and designing newsletters that share the heart of our projects; making t-shirt art that stands out; and creating engaging hand-lettered Instagram and Facebook posts. 

As an image-bearer of God, how does your work reflect some aspect of God’s work?

God is our Creator; he designed every part of us, from the tips of our noses to the soles of our feet. Talk about detail-oriented! He thought through color, line, tone, all of it. As a designer, I connect with that aspect of him. I love to make beautiful things, just as he does. 

On top of that, God is our Protector. He fights for us, pursues us, and soothes us when we hurt. Although I am not physically present in the lives of the people we work for, I want to mirror our Protector. I fight for them by sharing their stories and creating striking pieces that will bring others to feel the weight of those stories. 

How does your work give you a unique vantage point into the brokenness of the world?

Although I'm not living in the horrors of the red light districts or the desperation of a parent seeking to feed her children, I'm knee deep in photos and stories. Every day it's a new one: a girl, tricked and trafficked, who has died from HIV; a village full of boys, but not one little girl in sight; a family drinking water from a disease-ridden puddle along the side of a dirt road. The evidence of our broken world is on my computer screen day in and day out. 

Jesus commands us to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” How does your work function as an opportunity to love and serve others?

On a local scale, I get to love and serve my coworkers. Sometimes we are overwhelmed and discouraged by the things we see and hear—we do, after all, wade through tragedy every day. We, who are surrounded by muck every day, understand each other’s burdens, so being there for one another is huge. We talk about feelings, we pray together, we encourage each other—it’s not your typical workplace.  

On a global scale, I've been given the honor of serving “the least of these.” Even though India and I are worlds apart, we are still neighbors. I try to love and serve its people by bringing awareness to their needs and urging others to intervene.


Editors' note: The weekly TGCvocations column asks practitioners about their jobs and how they integrate their faith and work. Interviews are condensed.