Journals
Posted on May 2, 2019 New Ministry Assignment…!

New Ministry Assignment…!

Dear Friends,

I’m writing this journal to let you know about a recent change in my ministry assignment with American Baptist International Ministries.

As you know, I moved to Thailand in 1999 to serve at the New Life Center Foundation. (God called me to be a global servant when I was four years old, so this appointment was the fruition and fulfillment of that call.) Living and working in Thailand has been an incredible experience and a deep blessing…and the ministry of the New Life Center has grown and changed and stretched in all good ways over the past two decades. Today, an ethnic tribal woman – Tiemchan Kamonklapachon (“Bee” – her nickname!) is the Program Director of this ministry. Bee is an amazingly gifted leader; she is supported by a strong team of tribal staff and also my IM colleagues, Jeni Pedzinski and Kit Ripley. IM’s missiology is based in partnership and raising up national leaders, so Bee’s appointment as the NLCF’s program director is a testimony to this missiology, our IM philosophy of developing leaders, and the movement of God’s spirit.

For the past few years I’ve been based in Philadelphia but have stayed involved at the New Life Center, consulting with staff and working in Thailand for 1-2 months each year. I’ve also worked in the IM home office as a part of the “Responding to the Call” strategic planning team and completed a graduate degree.

My deepest passions are equipping leaders, working with IM partners, and communicating what God is doing around the world. Truly, mission today is “…from everywhere to everyone” (this quote is by missiologist Samuel Escobar) and it is so exciting to be a part of what God is doing! Given these passions and my work experiences – and after a significant process of interviews and prayerful discernment – IM offered me the role of “Area Director” for Africa. I accepted this offer with great joy and officially began my new role on May 1st, 2019.

In this role, I will support IM global servants who work in countries in Africa, cultivate relationships with our partners and continue to visit churches to share what God is doing around the world. Moving into this expanded role feels like just the right next step in my journey, and I embrace this opportunity with much humility and gratitude. (I will be going back to Thailand this month for one last visit, to lead a conference and say goodbye to my community there.)

Thank you so much for all the support you’ve provided to me over the years; together, we are a ‘three-fold cord, not quickly broken’. 

For those of you who are financially supporting me, would you prayerfully consider continuing this support – or a portion of this support? As an area director, I will still be responsible for raising a percentage of my support. Although the geographic area of my ministry will change, I was reflecting that some of my role will be very similar to what I did at the New Life Center (!) I’ll be developing and supporting global servants and national leaders, collaborating with partners, communicating with churches, and being a liaison…all of which I love to do…!

I do recognize that you are faced with many requests, so I deeply appreciate your consideration of this.

You can reach me at karen.smith@internationalministries.org and/or 610-768-2355. Please do not hesitate to call or write if you have any questions about this new assignment. I look forward to sharing more with you as I begin this new role and keeping in touch with you! Please pray with me about

 

-my upcoming trip to Thailand (May, 2019) and the official closure of my role at the New Life Center Foundation

-a smooth transition and acclimation to my new ministry role

-God’s grace through the whole transition

 

How can I pray for you? Please let me know.

 

In Christ’s great love,

 

 

Karen