Saturday, November 17, 2012

Good News!

Since the day I met my husband, Sean, I knew there was this ambition to make a difference in the world that stirred deep within him. He was taking Human Resources in school as we started dating and graduated shortly after we were married, with the goal of better relationships in work places. But even deeper than that I saw a need in him to improve people's lives. There have been a lot of challenges in moving towards that goal over these last 12 years.

Last winter Sean went to tour the new Youth For Christ building here in Winnipeg, even we had never really had a strong connection with that organization (other than our first Church together in Winnipeg was at the YFC firehall and now our current Church owns that same firehall) but grew more interested as the controversy in our city grew over the government offering the land to YFC for the goal of impacting inner city kids rather than an aboriginal or 'anything but Christian' organization. We wanted to go together but I was out in Steinbach the day of the tour so Sean went alone. At the time, this was not a Sean-like thing to do, but he went. It was a self-guided tour after the opening ceremonies, so as he wandered through he stopped to watch a skate park filled with about a 100 teens, and Sean felt a tug from God on his heart there. Another atypical Sean thing, his passion had never been kids. Regardless, because of that tug he dug in real deep with God about wanting to pursue working in any place that could make him feel that heart tug, a job where he feels challenged and like he's contributing to the world not just to our pockets. So he ended up looking at their website for job postings and there was an HR manager posting.

Now, it just so happens that the director of YFC, John Courtney, is an elder at our Church, Riverwood. A week before this tour we had a member meeting at Church and they were discussing possibly hiring an HR person at Church as well, and people interested should talk to John, so Sean did, and emailed him his resume. That got passed on to our pastor who then contacted Sean to say they were going in a different direction. So Sean sent in his resume to YFC as well, mentioning to John, 'this is the guy at Riverwood who just talked to you about HR at Riverwood'.

We didn't hear anything back.

The YFC job got long forgotten, Sean still wasn't quite sure about where to pursue new work. He asked God to show him if he should stay and suffer through, because he had a wage and hours that helped us invest so much of ourselves in our Church, which we have really dove into over the last year. Or, he asked if there was a job out there that could mean more to him, because serving in our Church community had grown a hunger in Sean to get so much more joy and growth out of work. Serving at Church in the various different capacities we have taken on in the last year have been hard work, long hours, challenging people, BUT, so rewarding. For example, we take vacation each year to volunteer at a Leadership Summit held at our Church, we work longer hours than a normal work day but it's an awesome experience. After we returned to our jobs Sean felt this gap even more so, between God's work and his job. But he didn't seem to be getting any answers.

Until August.
There was a situation in Sean's life in August, God was asking him to do something he didn't want to do, but he finally did it anyway. Within 15 minutes of doing this thing he got an email from John Courtney inviting him to an interview for the HR manager position still available at YFC. His wife works in the same office space at Church as our ministry director of Friday nights and she has also been our volunteer coordinator when we volunteer at the Leadership Summit, so his wife was becoming very familiar with us through serving at Church, and while John mentioned he couldn't recall meeting Sean he said that his wife spoke very highly of him. So that meeting happened in late August. John said he would pray about it and get some discernment from other decision makers around YFC and get back to Sean, encouraging Sean to do the same as all YFC positions are 100% raised support.

A little over a month later John called Sean back for another meeting. This time to tell Sean they would like to hire him, talking more with Sean about being comfortable with raising support, and then proceeding with the logistics of a formal application with reference checks. Sean and I had been preparing ourselves for what life would look like if we were on support. Interestingly enough, God had been laying it on my heart over the last 2 years to release my finances to His wisdom. I've mentioned here before how fiscally organized (ok, controlling) I can be, and as you've seen in my posts here I've been working at being a better steward of what God's given us. I've always been contentious of living well within our means, but in the past I've been very much a worry-wart about a secure future financially. God finally helped me get over that, and has been preparing my heart for what it would look like if Sean took a job with a much lower wage, and that became my goal, to find a way we could live on the lowest possible amount so Sean could pursue wherever his dreams led, no matter the income.

So, Sean decided to move forward onto the next step with YFC, he submitted those references mid-October and was just last week called back for another meeting at YFC. I am happy to say that as of Nov. 15th Sean formally accepted the position of HR Manager at YFC (on condition of support), he will likely start somewhere around Jan.7th provided he raises a certain amount of support between now and then. Sean is still pursuing his counseling certificate, in fact YFC has counseling positions as well, so who knows what will happen once he's finished school, but John is aware of Sean's school and is very supportive and thinks it's part of what makes Sean a good fit.

Anyway, we are so very happy for this God-led direction for Sean, clearly recognizing this is exactly where God has been leading us over the last few years, and we are so glad we have had the faith to follow blindly.  No matter how much faith you have in God He can always find a way to stretch it :) While this is still a step of faith for us, as we’re not sure what this adventure will yet ask of us, we know we are surrounded by people who support us in so many ways, and a lot of that support has come from you, my friends.

While I wanted to share this good news, this amazing shift in our lives, I also wanted to support Sean by sharing some of the responsibility to raise support. While the term 'supporter' is used in this situation (and many of you have already been supporters of us through the years, through prayers and encouragement) we find that term too one-sided and that's not what we are looking for. We are looking for ministry partners, people we feel can be ministered to by the work Sean will be able to do, who feel that tug of the heart Sean first felt at YFC, who maybe have a passion for helping an organization that helps keep kids off the streets - out of gangs, and who want to partner with us to make that happen. If that is not you, please don't feel any pressure or obilgation, we feel that support is something that naturally flows out of relationship and it is mutual. That is what we are pursuing. That being said, if any of you would consider becoming our ministry partners, whether with prayer support, or investing financially (it is a tax deductible donation), all we would need is a mailing address for YFC to send documents to set things up. Any and all support is welcome.

Thank you so much for stopping in to read about our good news! I hope to have many future posts about the exciting work God is doing in our lives through this opportunity. 

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