As I’ve made the transition to HOPE International [from the for-profit sector], I’ve been struck by the level of connectedness between ministry organizations. Even organizations whose missions seem to have nothing to do with one another invariably have some common connection: former employees, connections through churches, friends of friends. While the ministries themselves are radically different, the passion for spreading God’s Word and their welcoming spirit are universal. As a newcomer to HOPE International, it’s been so inspiring to learn about the breadth of ways that these organizations answer God’s call.
My recent trip to the Dominican Republic was an example of this connectedness. I spent four days in Santo Domingo, San Pedro, and La Romana. The primary purpose of my trip was to build relationships with Esperanza, our microfinance partner in the D.R. and Haiti. The Esperanza staff is wonderful—so giving of their time, so committed to their clients and staff, and so strong in their faith. Visiting Esperanza would have easily been worth the trip.
But wait, there’s more! While I was visiting Esperanza, a missions team from West End Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Va., happened to also be there, seeing microfinance in action and visiting client meetings in San Pedro. I live in Richmond, and while I’ve never attended West End Pres., several of my best friends from my former company are members there, and two HOPE staff members are former members. It was a real blessing to get to know the West End Pres. team and walk along with them as they saw Christ-centered microfinance for the first time.
Then I traveled to La Romana to visit with my friends Greg Murtha and Jeff Spadafora from the Halftime Institute, who were leading a coaching program there. The Institute helps leaders in the for-profit business world transition to ministry-oriented leadership positions. It was founded by Halftime author Bob Buford. Buford’s Halftime metaphor argues that when you enter the second half of your career, you are often playing a similar game but with different rules and a different scoring system. The book and the coaches at the Institute were incredibly helpful to me in my recent career transition, and it was great to reconnect with them in the D.R.
So it was an action-packed trip, a great chance for me to learn and witness the multitude of ways that God’s will is at work in so many people’s lives.