Monday, November 3, 2014

Change. Uncomfortable, Stretchable, Change.

Comfort.  It’s so nice.  It’s so easy.  It’s so…well comfortable.  Why is it when, I finally get settled into a grove and feel confident that I am finally to a place where I am using my gifts, talents, desires, passions, etc., that God says wait a minute, time to change.  You just thought this is what you were here for.  You just thought I brought you to La Ceiba, Honduras to construct buildings.  You just thought you were going to continue your time here managing the tying of rebar, mixing of concrete, laying of block.  Nope.  Time to flex.  Time for a change.  Time to leave that precious cushy comfort zone you have settled into.

In May, my Team Leader Mike Pettengill, called and asked me to come over to talk.  He was leaving  for his HMA in a few weeks.  I just figured he wanted to talk over some things as I was going to need to know as I was taking on some of his responsibilities while he was gone.  Well, he hit me with some information about some possible changes coming and as part of those changes, he wanted me to consider taking over as Team Leader here in La Ceiba.


This was not a responsibility I wanted.  The reason I stepped into missions was to use the talents and passions God gave me in construction to serve Him in a place that wasn’t the land I grew up in.  This new position that I was being asked to consider meant giving that up.  What do I know about Church Planting?  What do I know about discipling and mentor pastors?  What do I know about running a seminary, a boy’s home, or a home for young teenage moms?  Nothing.  I told Mike that it has been easy being an arm chair Team Leader.  I can sit sipping coffee with my beautiful wife every morning and say, ‘I would do things this way or that way’.   That’s easy.  It’s just me looking at a situation and the circumstances that are visible to me.  But, when your actually on the field and you have a different view and things are moving and you don’t have the luxury of stopping, sipping on the hot coffee and contemplating the next move, it’s a different ball game.  Things are different.  There are people’s feelings, desires and callings to consider.

Over the next couple of months, Kath and I prayed, talked, lost sleep over the decision.  It was never really a choice of whether this was what God was calling me to do.  I never really doubted that.  It was more a struggle of obedience.  This was not something I wanted to do.  Plain and simple.  How many times have I struggled with my kids over the importance of obedience?  Why do we as parents insist this upon our kids?  For their safety, yes.  For fitting into the society we live in where they need to obey the law and those with authority over them, yes.  But ultimately, as children of God, it is to teach them to obey Him, no matter what, because He asks it of us.  What kind of example do I want to be to them if I didn’t practice what I expect?

Well, what could I do?  On October 7th, the announcement was made to our team about the changes.  Mike is stepping up to a position of Regional Council Leader of Central America and I have taken on responsibilities of the Team Leader of the team here in La Ceiba.  So here we go.  Am I ready?  Not really.  But we’re moving forward anyway.  And you know what, I don’t have to know much of anything about all of the things I used as excuses in my argument with myself.   God has built a team of people here that have those passions, talents, desires.  All I have to do is help them do their job.  Provide them with the tools and materials they need to construct.  Am I nervous?  Sure.  But I have to step out in the confidence of my Father who will give me what is needed to fulfill the charge He has given me.  I am excited to see where He is taking Team La Ceiba.  Please pray for me.  That I will lead humbly yet boldly.  That I will lead by example.  That I will love my team.  Pray for my family, that I will do the same for them.   Thanks for walking this journey with us.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing so honestly, John. God will use you and Kathy..even in your weakness...because you are so aware of your need for Him. He is faithful and He will do all His holy and beautiful will.