Our last couple weeks were very busy with lots of goodbyes, rummage sales, and trying to tie up the loose ends of closing Rainbow Village and finishing well. There's a lot more to ending a fruitful ministry in a good way than you might expect. After building and developing Rainbow's ministry over 23 years, we had a lot to do, from legal paper work to liquidation of all that was accumulated from beginning to end. It was stressful and intense at times, but our interaction with dear friends and the extended Rainbow family evened things out.
A couple inevitable questions came up over and over again. Will you return for a visit? What will you do next?
The first question is pretty easy to answer. Yes! We're not sure when, but we do plan a return visit. After all, Dumaguete City, not just Rainbow Village, is still home for us in many ways.
The second question isn't so hard to answer, but it's hard to answer completely at this time.
First of all, we have regular jobs to return to. Susan works full-time at a church preschool, and she plunged right in the day after we returned. My work includes an assortment of roles.
I work with a real estate and property management company, assisting with maintenance issues and inspections. But I also serve as a corporate chaplain at a local restaurant chain. Corporate chaplaincy is a fairly new industry. My main role is serving as an advisor or counselor to the staff.
I also continue to teach and train leaders in a local capacity and beyond. Currently, I lead four discussion-based Bible studies throughout the week, in the Jacksonville area. I plan to continue with my online ministry with this blog, posting four times a week.
Writing is also a priority! I'm working on a new book, have another one in planning, and am in the final stages of a revision of a study workbook I've used for the past decade.
Ministry beyond Rainbow
Are there plans for future ministry? Probably not like Rainbow, but I'm working on new training resources and ideas. This is what's difficult to answer in detail.
I'm privileged to be included with a couple of pastoral ministries—Poimen Ministries and as a mentor with Calvary Church Planting Network. I've had limited involvement so far, but I'm open to see what the Lord may open up with these ministries.
I have standing invitations to return to the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), and Kenya, along with countries and regions I either haven't been to or have limited exposure to.
My priority, along with writing, continues to be what I've done for the past 25 years—training leaders. Although I love to teach and preach, my first love is discipleship.
Discipleship resources and training
For me, discipleship is a broader focus than one on one mentoring. Although I am mentoring others, I see a great need in equipping (Eph 4:12) leaders, especially in developing nations (overseas). The need for resources and training of pastors and leaders is huge, actually, overwhelming.
One vision I have is providing resources online for pastors and leaders outside the US, who don't have access to training but desire it. Funding is an issue for many, but the greater need is availability of useful resources. A great need exists for resources that work in cross-cultural settings, and with simple wording that can be translated into other languages.
One more thing
The day after our return to the US, I started treatment for prostate cancer. I'm committed to a nine week course of focused radiation treatment, five days a week. Through a biopsy in 2010, I was diagnosed with low-risk, slow-growing prostate cancer. I've been under the care of an oncologist, who's helped me monitor it, but the time has come to get treatment.
This will occupy my summer, so I won't be doing any traveling out of Jacksonville! But, I've got plenty to do right here, and will be waiting on God's direction once the treatment is completed. And yes, of course, I appreciate any prayer!
Well, that's what's happening beyond Rainbow. Thanks for reading!