This post is Part Two of a series on some of the upcoming (and already happened and happening) transitions in our lives right now. (Click here to read Part One first.)
So what is this new assignment that God has called us back to?
Some of you might remember that my first assignment with Wycliffe was in of the Offices of the President in Orlando, working particularly on projects related to fund development for worldwide Bible translation. The department that facilitates this fundraising is called Advancement, and I worked very closely with these colleagues during my three years in Orlando and kept in touch with many on the team even while we were in Nigeria.
Fast forward to last October when Wycliffe approached us and asked if we were open to considering a change of assignment back to the U.S. If they had asked us even just six months prior, we likely would have said no. We had a community in Nigeria that embraced us, the kids were thriving and God had placed us in a ministry position where our gifts were being maximized. However, last spring God started to change our hearts. “Living in the U.S. wouldn’t be so bad,” was one of the thoughts that crossed our minds (and maybe even our lips), and eventually we even began to think, “Well, maybe it would even be GOOD living in the States again” — a huge change in our thinking since in the years we had been living in Nigeria, we couldn’t imagine living anywhere else — nor did we want to. Still, at the time we had no intention of making a move, and we did not know why God was working on our hearts in this way.
That became clear in October when I received a Facebook message (What percentage of work is accomplished via Facebook these days?) from a colleague in Orlando about a new assignment opportunity. Despite how positively we felt about life and ministry in Nigeria, we knew now that God had been preparing us for something new and this was it. The new opportunity was for me to become Vice President for Advancement for Wycliffe USA, overseeing the team that I enjoyed working so closely with during our previous stint in Orlando — a job that I had previously described as my dream job in Wycliffe. Given this and the way God had been slowly changing our feelings toward life in the States, we felt that it was clear that this was the new direction He had for our lives, something confirmed by our prayers and the prayers of others.
So what exactly will I be doing? Officially, my job description says that I am responsible for the “comprehensive leadership, management, and organization of project fundraising strategies and staff for Wycliffe USA.” In layman’s terms, I have the huge privilege of leading a team of highly-skilled and experienced fundraising professionals to raise funds for the acceleration of worldwide Bible translation. I will help to set goals, build and encourage this team, research and develop innovative strategies, and try to partner well with other organizations and departments.
Some people have been offering congratulations for this “promotion,” though it doesn’t necessarily feel like that to us—it is simply the next assignment to which God has called us for this season of life. We are so grateful for His call and this new position… though it is also bittersweet as we mourn what we leave behind in Nigeria.
More on that in our next post.