Entering a new stage of life and ministry.
When we wrote our May update we mentioned that Phil had stepped down as Ghana Director and was taking on a new global role! June 1 Phil officially became Deputy Global Director of Strategic Development and the associated email address is Global.DeputyDirectorStrategicDevelopment@sim.org. More than one person has commented on the length of that email address (Thankfully DGDSD@sim.org also works.) But what does his new role actually entail? To quote our International Director, Phil's role is to "lead strategic developments focused on facilitating SIM teams so that ministries are well defined, planned, resourced and evaluated. He will work with with SIM leaders to promote integrated ways of thinking about ministry so that vision statements, mobilisation processes, team formation, resourcing approaches, evaluation methods, and communication strategies are all aligned with our Purpose and Mission." Simply put, as SIM celebrates 125 years of ministry, Phil is being asked to help SIM as an organisation focus on ministry - to pursue kingdom outcomes in all that we do.
Usually when we see a signboard, we expect to learn where we are or the directions to a place we want to go. The one above seems to miss that mark! Phil's new role and Cara's graduation from Sahel Academy in May 2019 mean that we believe that this is the right time for us to move on from Ghana. We love Ghana, the Ghanaian people, and our SIM team here and it will be very hard to leave, but we have great peace that God is telling us that this is the right thing to do at this time. The signboard we see says "change location", we just don't know where to... Phil's role is not location specific, provided he has access to good internet and an airport, so our next location is more likely determined by where Andrea can best contribute with her passion for serving in Personnel/HR. We value your prayers for us as we trust God to lead us in the next step. (We anticipate being based in Canada for the latter part of 2019 while Cara settles into life in Canada so we do not anticipate being in a new location until early 2020).
We are privileged to have roles in SIM that allow us some flexibility of location and we were able to spend 6 weeks in Canada in July and August to see Kieran and Liam. An extra special gift was being given access to a cottage for a few days in early August before we left.
Our Boys Together in 2004 and 2018.
Update on the Fulani Team
Last time we introduced Dawit, Eshetu, Asefash and Mesfin, our new Fulani team. Thank you for praying for their residence permits. They received them and have now settled into life in Tamale and are starting to learn Fulfulde as well as spending time with Fulani in Buipe. Their children, Barnabas, Naomi and Abigiya, have started school. Pray for them to make good friends.
Andrea has been working for many years on her studies and in May she graduated from Emmanuel Bible College with a Bachelors of Religious Education: Professional Studies - Christian Education and Intercultural Studies. While in Canada in July, Andrea was able to actually receive her degree! Congratulations for your hard work and perseverance
Whats on the horizon?
Over the next few months we expect
Phil to spend time in Kenya and Guinea working with leaders.
To welcome new teammates to the Ghana team.
Cara to attend a student leaders conference in Hungary and then come home for a week in October.
Andrea and Phil to spend time in Greece as mentors for Leader Development and then visit one of Andrea's Middle East teams.
Phil to participate in a training event for new SIM global leaders.
For the opportunity to spend some time together as a family in July and August.
That Liam & Kieran have good part-time jobs to help offset the cost of university.
That Cara is settled back in at Sahel Academy for her final year.
That Penny is enjoying her new role as Ghana Director.
That SIM Ghana residence permits are being granted even though our re-registration is still not completed.
Items for Prayer
For Kieran in his final year of studies (his overseas placement did not happen), Liam in 2nd year, and Cara in Grade 12.
For wisdom for Cara as she makes decisions about university programs to apply for.
For Andrea as she assists Penny and prepares to transitions out of her Ghana role. For wisdom for her Middle East role.
For a personnel coordinator and business manager to serve the Ghana team after we leave Ghana in June.
For wisdom, good relationships and safe travel for Phil as he advises and encourages SIM teams around the world as SIM strives for greater ministry focus.
That things would work well for Andrea while Phil travels.