Update on Pastor Jon

August 30, 2016

Dear Friends,

I’m writing today to share an important update on where I sense God is leading me to take my next step of faith.

The Board of Trustees at Words of Hope plans to nominate me to the national Board of Direction to become the next President of the organization.  At the national meeting on September 15 the Board of Direction will vote on my nomination.  Pending the outcome of that vote, I have agreed to accept the position.  This full-time role is planned to begin on January 1, 2017, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  

Words of Hope is a global ministry whose mission is to proclaim the gospel through media to build the church.  It seeks to proclaim Jesus Christ in the heart languages of unreached peoples and in the hard-to-reach places around the world.  Trinity knows the mission mostly through our relationship with Titus Baraka in Uganda and through the Words of Hope devotional booklets that many people use each day.  We have also welcomed retiring President David Bast to our pulpit on a number of occasions.  

The Leadership Team and I have agreed to let you know this information in advance of the September 15 meeting because the news of my nomination will certainly be more public by that time.  We wanted you to learn of this first from me, even though there will yet be a formal vote.  

There are, of course, many details yet to be worked out, pending the outcome of the meeting.  We will work through those details when the time is right.  Throughout this process, I have experienced what I sense is a gracious clarity from the Holy Spirit that I am to walk these steps.  

That clarity does not make the prospect of a farewell easy. For nearly 18 years, we have been partners together in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Ann and I have now lived in Northwest Iowa longer than we have lived anywhere else.  Our children grew up here.  Some of our deepest friendships are here.  This, as much as our beloved Oostburg, is home.  We love you and thank God for this amazing partnership.  And, if the national board does not approve my nomination, we are thrilled at the prospect of continuing our relationship.

As we walk this leg of the journey together, I am thankful that the church has such capable staff and lay leaders.  Elder Vice-President Rick Clark and Deacon Chair Kim Jongerius will join me up front Sunday morning in sharing more with the congregation.  

In Christ,