Dream Job #2

By March 9th, 2013

Family & Friends,

What do you do when God gives you your dream job on day one! You enjoy it for all its worth for 37 years. That is how I feel about my years at Multnomah Bible College which are coming to an end this semester. A year ago Multnomah wisely alerted our Bible/Theology faculty that we might have to make cuts in the future. I informed them that I would be willing to retire early from Multnomah to avoid a younger teacher being cut. Sadly, that day has come. This week Multnomah announced to our school family that four faculty positions are being cut to properly size our faculty to our current student body.

For years I have dreamed of teaching full time in Africa after my time at Multnomah had ended. I finalized my decision to resign and have applied to teach full time at Africa College of Theology in Kigali, Rwanda. This summer I will test the waters and be interviewed by the Africa New Life leadership including the academic dean of the new Bible college. This is the same school for whom our students created a 20,000 title library and trained the staff on running it. I would be excited, but for now I’m grieving the loss of teaching at Multnomah and of my three colleagues who are losing their positions.

When I came to Multnomah they knew I planned to go to Africa after two years to help Byang Kato start a seminary in Nairobi, Kenya. Other colleges and seminaries turned me down when I informed them of my goal to leave for Africa. Multnomah said, “We expect our students to be open to missions, why not our faculty?” They hired me to my dream job (U.S. edition). Then Byang tragically died in a swimming accident and two years at Multnomah turned into nearly four score years. I’m about to start my second dream job with a goal of lasting as long as our founder Dr. John G. Mitchell who taught until he was 97.

Thank you Lord again. Thank you Multnomah and its wonderful faculty, staff and students.

G

This entry was posted on Saturday, March 9th, 2013 at 10:47 pm and is filed under Fortnightly. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Dream Job #2”

  1. Jordan Andlovec Says:

    I thank God that in His providence I was able to sit under your teaching, even if only for a semester. Africa is in such desperate need for theological famine relief, and I am so glad that not only have we sent them a library (which is great), but a man set set aflame for the Gospel of God, which can do far more than books can ever do.

    Thank you Dr. G for showing me what a man of FAITH looks like.

  2. Nathan Jansen Says:

    Dr. G,

    I am sure you will receive hundreds if not thousands of these emails in the coming days, weeks, and months as you finish your time at Multnomah, but I wanted to join my fellow Alumni by sharing with you how you have impacted me both while I was at Multnomah and beyond. While the Lord never opened the door for me to study with you in any of your classes, I learned a great deal by watching you live your life in a way which I pray is reflected in my ministry here in Indonesia. The way you brought your students into your home and considered your teaching not just to be a job to which you went and accomplished each day, but rather a lifestyle that was reflected in your every day life, has been a testimony to me.

    You have always been a missionary at heart, and I believe that you were a missionary among your students at Multnomah. You have supported missions, encouraged your students to pursue missions (including me), and have been a missional leader by identifying potential in others and equipping them to join God in his mission. This equipping was done both in the classroom-but even more importantly-outside, where you lived with them, ate with them, discussed life and theology with them, read scripture with them, and demonstrated to them what missional living looks like. For doing this with me, I thank you. I trust you will continue to have many opportunities to do this among your African students as well, which I believe will bring you fresh new insights as you experience the joy of fellowship with a different member of the body of Christ.

    In todays increasingly complex world, where to hear of a Christian leader’s falling away from the Lord is so common, I want to thank you for demonstrating to me what integrity is. As a single man, you showed me that life with Christ is enough to satisfy even our deepest needs, and when we cling to him and do what he asks, he will greatly bless us. Thank you for your faithfulness, your endurance, and your patience with your students.

    I pray for you as you move on to the mission field in Africa, that God would allow you to move into a time of what Dr. Robert Clinton calls “convergent ministry.” This is a rare type of ministry which only occurs among faithful spiritual leaders who have served the Lord for their whole lives. During this time of ministry, the spiritual leader enters into a period of fulfilling a sense of destiny, where all of your previous years of ministry and experience converge to create wonderful results as you impart your most effective contribution to the kingdom of God. May you then bask in the blessings of the afterglow that I am sure will follow as you move forward in the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and the commissioning of the saints from around the world.

    You are part of a rare breed, Dr. G. May our Father continue to use you as his servant to bring glory to his Son through the empowering of the Holy Spirit.

    With Heartfelt Gratitude for your Service to our King,

    Nathan Jansen
    TEAM
    Ministry Initiative Leader Missionary
    Papua, Indonesia

  3. Elizabeth Peters Says:

    Garry,

    What exciting news, hard to believe that your time has come but so excited about the possibility of teaching in Rwanda. It is so exciting that our Heavenly Father doesn’t set an expectation for his children to retire but to continue to live to serve him until the time he calls us to himself.

    Dr. Mitchell and Pam Reeves continue to be my role models as they continued their ministries.

    I will look forward to hearing how your application process ends and to hear what your future holds outside the doors of Multnomah.

    May God Bless and continue to direct you as he has throughout your life of being his child.

  4. Kathy Says:

    Dear Dr. Friesen, Thank you for four decades of teaching at Multnomah. I was one of your students back in the 80′s. (Creation, Fall, Flood, Tower of Babel…and no I do NOT remember them all…but I bet you do! Bless you in your new transition and please continue your Friesen Fortnightly and keep us updated on how you are. Peace in your new chapter you Servant of The Lord :)

  5. Lynn Says:

    This is sad news. The spirit of Multnomah would be diminished by your absence, Dr. Friesen. I would prefer to see you taking on more leadership at Multnomah, rather than leaving. Is it really too late? I am speaking in all seriousness, realizing how foolish it may appear to question the choice of the author of ‘Decision-Making and the Will of God’…!