Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Team Thomas is on the move!

We wanted to share some news with you about our next season of life.  This has been in the works for the last few months and became official last week.  We are pleased to share it with all of you and ask for your continued prayers on our behalf.

From Ben

Susie and I want to thank you again for your prayers.  These last few weeks have been filled with seeking the Lord and hearing from Him.  

Last Tuesday, I received an offer from the Board at Kigali International Community School (KICS) to be their next Director.  We were thrilled.  

As we continued to seek the Lord in prayer, we sensed a very real and strong confirmation that this is where He is leading our family.  The next day, I spent most of my time speaking with various CRU leaders.  They each expressed their affirmation of us and the role at KICS as the next step for us.  We also discussed ways where we will do this role and still remain as full-time missionaries of CRU.  As a result of the prayers we have prayed over the last few months, our onsite visit, the letter from the Board, the conversations with various leadership, and from times of confirmation with the Lord, Susie and I formally accepted the role.  We do so with a spirit of humility, dependence and confidence in the Lord.    

I can't tell you how happy Susie and I are.  Since January 25, 2012 (the day she was diagnosed), we have been in a state of transition.  We have lived in a state of temporary-ness.  I knew the day would come when the Lord would reveal His next season for us.  We prayed it would be something that would allow us to incorporate my work and service with our family.  We prayed that it would allow us to lead globally without traveling.  We prayed that we would be able to live overseas as a family.  We prayed that I would be able to incorporate my Doctoral studies in Global Christianity, Mission, Development and Global Leadership.  We prayed we would be part of as great of a community as we've experienced here in Ohio and worldwide with AIA. We prayed most of all that we would be in a place where we could continue to experience God's deep love for us.  

We are happy to say in accepting our next assignment at KICS, we believe God has given us abundantly more than what we asked or imagined.  For this reason, I spent most of the first few hours crying and in worship of God's goodness, mercy and love for us.    

Thanks for praying with us.  Let me know if you have any questions.  

From Susie

I am thrilled. Apart from everything Ben has mentioned, I am excited about the following things.
  1. This job is perfect for Ben. He is a great leader, and is really great with kids and leading a team. I'm so excited to see him shine as God's image in this new role.
  2. KICS is a great school. It's exactly the kind of place where we want our kids to learn - diverse, gospel-centered, and invested in a local community.
  3. Some of our best friends live in Kigali. They are the type of friends we make a point to stay in touch with. Our kids are friends with their kids. We met in Kigali through the adoption of our sons, and we have often dreamed of living near each other.
  4. It's Kigali, Rwanda!  As Charlie's birthplace, the country is a part of the fabric of our family, and it has been dear to our hearts for years. Rwanda is also significant for its place in history - what a beautiful country it is, and how humbling to get the opportunity to live there. Rwanda has suffered utter devastation and horror, and God is at work there now as always to redeem, restore and renew. I am so excited to learn more of its history, culture, and be a small part of its future.
  5. When Ben and I were dating, and I knew he wanted to be a missionary, I spent a lot of energy trying to manipulate him into wanting to become a Christian School Administrator, because I couldn't imagine a better life than the one I had as a child. We trusted God with each other for 12 years, and now He's granting us a season where we can be missionaries and give our kids the life I loved - in a place that is perfect for them.
We are sad too. Sad to be traveling so far from our dear families and friends. Sad because we really had dreams for Brasil. But, so thankful. What a privilege it is to serve the Creator and King of the whole wide world.

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