The last three weeks have been incredibly busy for us. Our second son, Samuel Henry, was born on October 30th; Derek traveled back to Zambia for 11 days the beginning of November; and then right after Derek got back from Zambia, he traveled to Marshfield, WI for the day and shared with one of our supporting churches. So, in the last couple of days, we finally feel like we’re catching our breath a little bit!
The reason for Derek’s return to Zambia was to train with Tim Hilty (AZ’s current Country Director) about Derek’s transition from the CROSS Project Coordinator to the next ACTION Zambia Country Director. As many of you know through Facebook and word of mouth, Tim and Andrea Hilty and their family, will be leaving the field and ACTION Zambia at the beginning of December. Tim leaves under totally good terms, and their entire family will be extremely missed by AZ. We are all so thankful for their faithful and sacrificial service to ACTION Zambia for eight years! God has used Tim’s unique gifts and abilities to strengthen and establish AZ in very important ways. Upon their return to the States, Tim will be working for their family business back in Illinois.
When Tim talked to us back in the Spring of this year about their leaving, we immediately began praying about ACTION Zambia, its future leadership, and also for the Hiltys. We always felt that if we were in Zambia long enough that God may call us into more of a leadership role within AZ. So, we began praying if God was doing this now, sooner than we thought, through Tim’s departure. Through a lot of prayer, talking amongst ourselves, and getting sound spiritual guidance with trusted friends, we felt confirmed that God was leading Derek to put his name forward to the AZ Board to be willing to serve the AZ Team in the Country Director role.
God continued to confirm this leading through unanimous approvals among the AZ Board, the ACTION Zambia Team, and the ACTION International Director. As we finish out our Home Assignment, Tracy Singleton, ACTION Zambia’s Deputy Director, will be the interim AZ Director, and then Derek will assume the role of AZ Country Director when we return to the field on January 15, 2015.
Please PRAY for us as we, and Derek, step into this new and challenging role. We both feel very humbled and do not take the confidence placed in us and in Derek lightly through this decision by our AZ Board and fellow missionaries, and we look forward, by God’s grace, to serving the AZ Board and AZ Team in this new role.
What Will Be Changing and What Will Not
Derek’s primary ministry area will continue to be the CROSS Project HIV/AIDS ministry working with Pastor John Chitambo and Eta Imasiku, our two national workers. There will also be the addition of a host of new country director responsibilities related to the overall vision and direction for AZ, in conjunction with the various Ministry Coordinators, as well as administrative responsibilities and recruitment for the field, etc.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support as we transition to this new role! We love AZ and its mission, and we continue look forward to serving with an amazing group of missionaries, national workers, and board members! We are so thankful for all those who have gone before us in ACTION Zambia to get us to this point in the mission. 1 Corinthians 3:6 rings so true for us: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.”
Our mission is not changing as we undergo this leadership transition. ACTION Zambia still exists “to glorify God by strengthening local churches and equipping them for ministry in the fulfillment of the God-given gospel mandates of proclaiming Christ to sinners, ministering to those in need, and discipling the saints to godliness in word and deed.” We do this through four ministry areas: Pastoral Leadership Development, CROSS Project HIV/AIDS Ministry, Ciyanjano Christian Campgrounds, and Children in Crisis Ministries.
God bless and please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.