Have the winds of change been rustling your way lately? Could God really be calling you out of a 25-year career path into something new? Does that change feel uncomfortable? Jeff and Christine Stanfield have been there.
When we arrived at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya 25 years ago, we were committed to serving there as long as God allowed. We grew to love the people and the ministry. We were glad to raise our children there. Our sense of belonging and depth in relationships increased. We loved living in rural Kenya.
Then, a few years ago, God let us know He was stirring the winds of change. Jeff was already “working himself out of a job” at Tenwek Hospital. He trained two Kenyan men to manage the IT department. Many Kenyan nurses had joined the staff at Tenwek School of Nursing, making it possible for Christine to reduce her involvement. Plans were in place to prepare Kenyans to take the lead in administration and teaching.
We maintained a listening posture and actively prepared for change. We read books, visited various ministries in East Africa, continued to pray, and did in-depth Bible study. In the fall of 2010, God directed us to Genesis 11:1, where He told Abraham to leave his father’s place, his people, and his country and go to a land God would show him. As we prayed that Scripture, it was clear to us that God was leading us to leave Kenya and go to a place He would show us. In December, God revealed He was leading us to participate in His work with World Gospel Mission in Uganda.
Throughout the process of transition from the country of service we loved so dearly into the land God showed us, God spoke to us through His Word, through experiences, and through the wise counsel of others. Over the two-year process of leaving Kenya, we knew for sure God was leading us to Uganda. Our excitement in following Jesus grew.
We moved to Uganda in 2012. We experienced God’s affirmation many times. Even though it was not easy starting over, we knew for sure we were there at God’s leading. He continues to bring a peace that passes all understanding. He is revealing more of Himself as we learn to live out the gospel of Christ in a new place. We enjoy participating in transformational ministry, empowering people of Africa to connect to Jesus and allow Him to transform lives, families, and communities. Our joy has multiplied and we have no regrets.
MORE: The study resource used by the Lord in the lives of the Stanfields during this time of transition was Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby. “It helped us stay focused on hearing the voice of God amidst all the other voice-options,” Christine shared.
ACT: Take time to learn more about the Stanfields’ ministry journey on their blog at http://stanfieldblog.blogspot.com.