Saturday, July 07, 2007

What it's like: final installment (resignation)

From the 10/40 Window to Mayberry; the journey isn't over yet.

We arrived in the US on furlough back in March. By mid April, God had made it undeniably clear that He wanted us to remain in the US and pastor a church.

Two things: 1) I ALWAYS thought I would retire from the IMB and be an "emeritus missionary", and 2) I have NEVER been a pastor before.

In combination, these two things sent me into a "crisis of belief" (a la Experiencing God). Why would God have us spend so many years overseas only to return "home" and pastor a church? I could not (and can not) answer this. However, I know this to be true: this is what God wants me to do.

Amazingly, my wife felt the Lord speaking to her in the same way (except for her being a pastor).

I have never had such a hard time with something that the Lord has directed me to do. You see, I LOVE(D) being a missionary. There was nothing else I wanted to do and nothing else I wanted to be. God began to whisper to me that I needed to make sure that I loved HIM more than I loved being a missionary. Ouch. That one was close to the heart.

However, EVERY step of the way in this process, God has confirmed His direction and our obedience. To be very honest, I threw out many "fleeces" (a la Gideon) and have determined that HE REALLY, REALLY WANTS ME TO DO THIS. I am utterly amazed. A little confused about "why", but mine is not to questions my Father's desire.

I will admit that my letter of resignation was the hardest letter I have ever written, except, perhaps, for the letter to my colleagues letting them know that we would be resigning. I thought about posting a copy of the letter here, but, quite frankly, it is just too personal of a thing to have up on the internet.

I have honestly loved my work with the IMB over the past many years. I love my colleagues and my service to them. I respect the leadership of the Board and my region. I have no "beef" with the Board, my colleagues, my team, or anything else about it. I am simply following the guidance of my Heavenly Father.

In a way, I feel as though I am betraying the cause of Mission. However, I know I am doing the will of my Father. In a way, I feel that I am being a source of discouragement to those who are excited about and involved in Mission. However, I know I am doing the will of my Father.

My new church is a small church in NE Oklahoma. It has been a church that has been hurt and is tired. I do not know why the Lord wants me to be its shepherd. It is in a small town that reminds me of Mayberry (a la Andy Griffith). I will start August 1.

My last day as a missionary with the International Mission Board is July 31. My last day as a missionary is when I see my Saviour's face. It will be my goal to lead my church to be "on mission, with God".

I have enjoyed being "Nomad For God", but there is no reason to keep up the secret identity. To that end, I am not sure it is worth keeping up this blog. I am unconvinced that I can share with you who I am and not jeopardize the security of those with whom I have worked. Any suggestions?

So, without further ado, this will probably be my last post as Nomad on Nomad. I will maintain my blog account and my nomad4god@gmail.com email account.

Thank you to all who have prayed for me and my family. Thank you to all those who support Mission through prayer and giving. Thank you to all who continue to serve our Lord through obedience to the Great Commission.

Won't you please begin to consider what you will give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering this year? The goal is $165,000,000.

May God bless you all.

7 comments:

Todd Nelson said...

Nomad,

I can only imagine the adjustment you're in for... reverse culture shock and all from the big bustling world class city to "Mayberry".

Bravo for making the hard decision against your natural inclination but in obedience to the His voice and in unity with your wife. I'm sure you'll continue to be "on mission".

May the Lord keep guiding clearly and providing abundantly.

Todd in KL, Malaysia

tony sheng said...

Nomad,
Congratulations and blessings on this new phase of life for you and your family. I agree with Todd - props to you for following God even in the unnatural and unfamiliar.

Your blog has been a great inspiration in my efforts in mobilizing students for mission - living on mission both here and overseas. Thanks very much for the writings.

Blessings as you shape and mold your new community!

Kevin, Somewhere in South America said...

Nomad,

I had to resign once. It was a medical thing. I did not want to; but I did not see any way out of it. So we did. Writing that letter, as you said was hard. But the hardest thing was the day I received a letter from Dr. Rankin. When I read that letter, the finality of the decision hit me full in the face. That was the hard part for me.

Like you, I did not expect to be in a pastorate somewhere in the southern US. But I was. And for reasons unknown to me and my wife, we were invited back to the field. So here we are, having lived on both sides of the road you just crossed.

All I can say is, "Life is good! Enjoy the ride with Jesus; he always leads us well!

KDS

S.A.M. said...

Nomad, I applaud your willingness to follow Jesus out of your current comfort zone, the same way you followed Him into the field out of your old comfort zone (does that make any sense?). God has chosen you for a new task, and your time on the mission field has prepared you and your wife for this time in your lives. I look forward to hearing from you in the future and how God is using you as leader of the church. Thank you for the insight into missionary life as my family and I are heading into in a couple of weeks! Stop by the blog every now and then and see what's happening and feel free to comment with any advice. We value your leadership and example.

SAM

Debbie Kaufman said...

Nomad: I think you are going to be a terrific minister and your wife the perfect compliment. It's amazing to me how God works and I don't think it will ever get tiresome. As hard as this decision was, it is something you will be able to share as you have here and help others to grow. God Bless You Nomad. I think He already has.

Kevin Bussey said...

Nomad,

Congrats on the new position. I'm glad to get to know you through your site and the other. :)

Tim Patterson said...

Hey Nomad,

I know what you are feeling... my wife and I were with IMB many years and now stateside in a new missions role. It is a new phase in your life and a new role in God's mission. May God use you to motivate, mobilize and equip many others to join in His mission.