Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Work Tremors

I promised, and so here’s an update on Professional part of my life going through a shaking up:
At the end of January, the president of SI, came on a visit to the DR.  When he saw me, he told me I was on his list of people to visit with.  “Oh”, I thought, “he’s checking in with newer missionaries.  How cool.”  Well, he did want to know how I was doing, but Dave’s main purpose was a little different...
"We’ve identified a need in Human Resources for our Latin American ministries.  The ideal candidate would have experience in Human Resources, know Spanish, know Students International, and have experience working at a Ministry Site.  Sound like anyone you know?"
Back in 2010 when I interviewed, the then-Director told me that he thought that at some point SI might want to use my HR experience.  So, I knew this was a possibility for the future.  But, the ‘future’ being right now… Well, this was a little different! 
Part of me, selfishly, didn’t like the idea of moving back into ‘Administration’.  Sure it’s a gift of mine, sure there are a lot of HR needs, and I’m good at HR, but I love being in the community serving ‘hands on’.  I mean, in El Callejon, I get to watch God at work.  Writing policies?  Not quite as uplifting. 
I hate to admit it, but I also thought, Will I have to change my Blog Title?  I mean, I can post pictures of cute kids, and share awesome stories about God working in the lives of women like Luz.  What now?  Pictures of Personnel Files and me reading the Codigo de Trabajo (Labor Law) for the DR?  Hardly inspiring!
(Just so you don’t think I’m completely awful, I also really worried about leaving Daisy.  She is amazing and can do pretty much everything, but I know what a lot of work a Site is!)
But, the more I prayed and pondered, the more I had to put that to the side.  As the SI president said, there is a need for HR.  At times, the differences in language and culture can cause misunderstandings.  Expectations that ‘go without saying’ for an American, may seem strange or confusing to a Dominican (and vice versa!). 
I had to sit back and wrestle with a simple but difficult questions - Why am I here?  To meet my own need to serve, or to serve the One who has called me?  What mattered more?  My need to be out in the community, or using the gifts and experience God has given me to serve Him by serving other missionaries? 
And so, after more prayer and pondering, and talking with trusted friends (including Daisy!), I have accepted the position, which will begin on May 1.  The position will focus on the DR for the next18 months, as this is where we have the largest national staff.  We hope that by starting here, I can get good processes in place which can then help our three other Latin American ministries (Costa Rica, Guatemala and Nicaragua).
Because God is so good, now that it’s a reality, I’m getting super excited by the opportunity to use my past experience in Human Resources.  I pray that by helping create and communicate clear policies and procedures, I can help strengthen our staff’s ability to focus on being a part of God’s transforming work in the lives of community members and students. 
Of course, I know it’s going to be challenging trying to understand Dominican employment law – in Spanish!  And, part of me is going to grieve leaving Daisy and the women, teens and kids of El Callejon.  I know God is also at work indentifying just the right person to partner with Daisy in El Callejon.  I invite you to continue to lift that up in prayer.
Even though my role is changing, I will continue to be a ‘faith missionary’, meaning I will be trusting God to provide financial and prayer support to do this work.  I feel very blessed that I have received positive responses from many of my supporters.
I’m proud to work with an organization that is seeking God, and seeking His guidance in areas where we need to be strengthened.  I ask that you would be in prayer for Daisy and me as we transition over the next months.

1 comment:

  1. It's official! Missionaries (and therefore the people of the DR, Costa Rica, etc.) will be SO blessed by having you in this role. I'm happy that you're getting excited about it now. I will still read your blog even if you only post photos of file cabinets and large legal documents. Thank you for being obedient to our Lord!