As I’d told you before, I have been running the youth ministry at BICF over the past 6 months while a new youth pastor was found and hired and moved to Beijing. The new guy and his wife arrived last night and we’re having a welcome party for them tomorrow night. YAY!!! I’m extremely happy about this. I think they’re going to be a great fit here and I’m looking forward to meeting them and working with them. However, this leaves me without a job at the end of the month. I’d looked into a few things, applied for a few things, and then something came out of left field (didn’t I predict that??) and I have accepted a position beginning on the 1st of April.
I will be the Office Manager for Imports Oriental, an export company based in China. (If you’re interested, the company website is www.importsoriental.com). It was not something I was interested in when I first heard about it, but slowly, as I thought about it and learned more about the company and the position, I began to change my mind. It’s probably going to involve some HR, which I haven’t done before and am excited to learn. I’m also seeing that a lot of the skills I’ve learned and developed with helping run the youth camps here will transfer very well to this role. I am now quite excited about the change – although it is going to be a HUGE adjustment for me!
One of the reasons it’s going to be a big adjustment is that the company office is in Langfang – which is a town just southwest of Beijing, over the border into Hebei province. The drive from where I live now isn’t much over an hour with good traffic, but with a 40 hour work week it DEFINITELY necessitates a move. So, after two and a half years in Wangjing I will be packing up my lovely first apartment and moving house! I’ve actually had itchy feet for a couple of months already, so although I’ve really loved living in Fang Zhou Yuan, I’m not at all sad about moving on to somewhere new.
I will be moving in about two weeks so I need to find a place in Langfang pretty quickly. I’ll be there on Monday and hopefully one of the places I look at will be the right one. One of Langfang’s advantages is cheap rent, so I’m hoping to get something at least as big as I have now.
I will still be heavily involved with the youth – no question about it! I will be coming into town every Friday for youth and also on Sundays for church. The youth remain a huge priority for me and although I will be gradually releasing a lot of my administrative duties there (something I had planned to do anyway) I will still be involved in the kids’ lives as much as possible.
Anyway, I guess that’s it for now! That’s definitely the biggest thing happening with me right now. Camp probably comes in second – camps will be April 11-13 and April 18-20 and so we’re a month out and preparations are well under way. Again I am stepping back from as much as possible to let others step in, and to take a more overseeing type role and start working on the camp manual we’ve been talking about since I started helping with camp! It would be really good to take the lessons we’ve learned and use them to help others run retreats like this.
I’m attaching two photos – one of Popcorn and I with some of the girls at IAB on Pyjama Day (pretty much what it sounds like), and one of me writing on the floor of BICF’s new chapel (before the carpet went in).
Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers, and let me know what you’re up to!