If you subscribe to our regular newsletters, then you’ve heard that when our home assignment is complete we’re relocating our home base from Africa to Europe. As our responsibilities have changed, being willing to move our home base has become an important way for us to do our work for Wycliffe more effectively.
Since mid-2010 Jeff has been working remotely for Wycliffe’s Europe Area primarily serving Wycliffe staff based in Europe and Africa with computer support. During these years, Jeff has been finding an increasing demand for his services from staff in Europe. This is because all but one of the about 20 Wycliffe offices in Europe receive their computer support from the three-person IT team for which Jeff has been a part remotely.
For a month during two summers Jeff helped with special IT projects in Europe. In this photo, taken in July of 2011, Jeff and his boss, Martijn, have just completed installing a server rack for the Wycliffe Netherlands office.
Moving to Europe
For this reason Jeff’s supervisor has requested that we consider a change in location to be based in Europe rather than Africa. Jeff’s job would stay nearly the same – he would still be remotely helping staff in both Europe and Africa with computer support on special projects. However, being based in Europe would mean that he could do more on-site computer support for the Wycliffe offices in Europe helping to relieve some of the workload his two colleagues based in Europe are handling.
Out with members of the WNN team in Austria during
our launching meetings in November of 2011.
In January of 2009 I started as the director of communications for the Africa Area, in November of 2011 my role changed to being the director of the Wycliffe News Network (WNN). While I remain connected to Africa as the primary contact for publicity stories the WNN team gathers in Africa, WNN is a global photojournalism team. It is important for me to now be available to travel to a variety of places around the world. Europe has better and more economical global flight options.
Just where in Europe will you be living?
As missionaries not assigned to only one country we’ve been exploring locations that are close to airports, have good communications infrastructure, have supportive communities for transient people, and put us in proximity to people for which it will be good for us to professionally network. The place that seems to fit this best for right now is a small town in southwestern Germany called Kandern. Moving to Kandern means that we will be based in Germany (rather than being missionaries to Germany).
Kandern is home to the Black Forest Academy – a Christian international school for which many missionaries send their children. This has attracted an English-speaking community which includes a number of our colleagues as well as staff from several other Christian organizations. Being part of this community will allow us to fellowship and worship with others in our own language. I’m rather excited that we will also only be 30 minutes from an English Bible Study Fellowship group. Kandern is also only an hour to two airports and has a good available communications infrastructure.
An extra bonus for this location – we’ll only be 20 minutes from France and about 30 minutes from Switzerland. We hope our proximity to France may allow us some opportunities to keep up with some French learning which helps when we are traveling for work in French-speaking countries in Europe, Africa and the Pacific. We’ll also be just an hour from Jeff’s boss who has his home and office in Switzerland.
Jeff helps a YWAM staff member with her computer from our office in South Africa. While we were in South Africa, we enjoyed a great working relationship with several YWAM staff in addition to our regular work with Wycliffe
Excited, but also sad
We have had mixed feelings about this move. Leaving South Africa is bitter sweet. We miss our community in South Africa a great deal. When we left for our home assignment, we knew it was likely that we wouldn’t be returning, even though we both would have been thrilled to go back. It seemed like God was leading us elsewhere, and as we’ve prayed, we continue to feel that this is the direction God is leading us.
Our jobs are pretty much remaining the same, but our new location will open some new opportunities. Jeff’s supervisor has expressed multiple times how much Jeff is needed in this new location to do more onsite computer support in Europe, and I’ve begun to get excited about some new possibilities for partnerships that may open for my team with this relocation.
This move means increased expenses, as it is more expensive to live in Germany than South Africa. So, our home assignment includes some extra time for building our ministry partnership team. Our faithful ministry partners have helped us be able to serve God in some amazing ways over the last number of years. Now we’re inviting new people to partner financially with us so that we can make this move a reality.
It is our faith goal to have monthly commitments for 100% of our new ministry budget by May 15, so that we can arrive in time for the annual Wycliffe Europe Area meetings. Our ministry is not possible without individuals and churches that regularly pray and give. What about you? Would you ask God if He is calling you to become a ministry partner?
Check out our giving page for more information.
Fill out our invitation to partnership form online to let us how you desire to be involved in our Wycliffe ministry.