Reflecting on Doug's Decision
As I blended into the crowd of 350 other Christian leaders gathered from across the world at a small seminary in downtown Budapest, there was one person who, try as he might, could not blend in: Doug Birdsall. It was very clear to me and the 349 others at the Lausanne International Leadership Meeting that here was a man whom God has anointed “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:4). . .
Just as Esther was given global influence by God to affect a period in history, so too do I see a special anointing on our president’s life at this time. As I watched him up front bringing decisions, questions, and responses to the group; as I watched Doug interact with ease, familiarity, and love among these Christian world leaders (of course remembering their names, their children’s names, and birthdates as well); as I watched the grace with which he handled the challenges of the week, I knew in my heart that God had called Doug Birdsall to the Lausanne movement for this time. It was not really surprising to me to see Doug in this role. It is often the leaders that have been through the refining fires who God makes more like gold, leading them into deeper and more fruitful paths of service. Despite tremendous obstacles and disappointing setbacks in their early church planting careers, God continued to call him and Jeanie to service and faithfulness, sometimes without clear understanding. They responded with whole hearts. No, it is not surprising at all. Consider all the ways that God has blessed and grown the work of Asian Access under Doug’s leadership. We need to keep moving forward, and earnestly pray for the one God is already raising up to be our next leader. But we will be forever grateful to you, Doug, for your vision and inspiration that has propelled our mission to this place of great expectations. We will all continue to advance God’s vision and purposes for Asia. And we will not stop praying expectantly for you and Jeanie, as you continue to display the blessing that comes from trusting God wholly and walking with integrity.More info:
- Sue Takamoto, Ph.D. is currently serving with husband Eric and their three children as church planting missionaries in Sanda, Japan (near Osaka).
- See Sue’s staff profile.
- Read more from Sue on her blog, The Takameter.