On July 16 Lynda and I arrived in Oregon. About two weeks later the three moving pods holding our belongings and the denominational and mission office boxes arrived. While everything has been unloaded, it is far from being unboxed and organized.
We have purchased a home in the city of Canby, which is about 20 minutes south of the new denominational/missions office. We are slowly getting settled into life in Oregon. Many people have helped in various ways in our move to the Northwest. Several people helped in Minnesota in the packing and loading both the home and office items. Several people in Oregon helped with unloading the containers when we arrived. It has been a great blessing to have so many people help with so many different things. One particular blessing was a surprise welcome to Oregon “shower” for Lynda given by the pastors’ wives of the Pacific Conference during their Annual Conference session.
A great deal of work has also been done to get the new office opened. Executive Director of Mission Mobilization Jack and Pat O’Neill, along with Virginia Wildermuth, have worked together to make the new office attractive and functional. New phone and business systems are being put in place and the bugs worked out. Once again I am thankful for those who have helped in this transition. The denomination also has been blessed by a local church and two of our conferences who sent unsolicited gifts to help with moving expenses.
New beginnings are exciting, but they also mean that something else has come to a close. The time for the denomination and missions to be headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota has come to a close. This means that the people who have served the denomination and mission so effectively will no longer be working with us. These people have done a great job in making sure that the administrative and business side of our work was done professionally and efficiently.
Through the years there have been many people who have worked and volunteered for both the mission and denomination. I am thankful to every one of them for all they have done to help God’s kingdom move forward. However, I especially want to thank the staff that has been working with us as we close the office in Minneapolis. I am thankful to Alice Erickson, Elaine Kipp, Amanda Johnson, Jeremy Kochendorfer, and Barb Sangren. There is no way I could tell you all these five have done for the denomination, mission, and most importantly the kingdom of God.
Our new staff in Oregon is comprised of the following people:
Lynda Eckhardt – Assistant to the General Superintendent
Pat O’Neill- Assistant to the Executive Director of Mission Mobilization
Veronica Sanchez- Receptionist and Office Assistant
Hannah Eckhardt- Temporary assistant setting up communication systems.
Accounting and bookkeeping will be handled by Cor Accounting.
I thank everyone who has been praying for this transition. It has been exhausting and several times challenging, but most of all, it has been a blessing to see how God is providing and putting things together.