Voices from the Field Kristi TenClay Get to know Kristi

Waiting for the Lord

Published on August 19, 2021

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RFIS admin team at Banquet 2021

My short trip back to Cameroon went well. What a blessing to be able to rejoin the community in the end-of-year festivities, to share my current journey with friends and students there, and to pack up my life there before returning to the US for this year of home assignment! The six weeks I was able to spend back in Cameroon were good for me in many ways. It was difficult to watch others carrying heavier loads as a result of my absence, but everyone was supportive in respecting the limitations established in advance to keep me from picking up the weight of responsibility. It was also helpful to have an opportunity to visit with our admin team about what they have learned while I was gone, to share what I have been learning, and to discuss some practical adjustments that can be made to everyone’s benefit.

Enjoying the view in Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota

After discussion with the school board, I have tendered my resignation as the school’s director. My inability to commit to returning to that position in spring of 2022 means they need an alternative plan. That was difficult, but lately I find myself getting excited about the possibility of shifting back into teaching full time. As I discussed with my staff in Cameroon when the resignation was announced: I love the school, the ministry, and the people there and do not need to be the director to be a part of that. Please pray for the RFIS school board as they begin the search for a new director.

Quite honestly, I do not know what God has in mind for me as we move forward. I fully believe that my time at RFIS is not yet finished. At the moment, I am planning to return after this year of home assignment, but the details of WHEN exactly

As I write, the RFIS community in Cameroon is already back on campus full time, with students returning next week. Though I love the scramble of getting a new school year up and running, and I am sort of stuck in limbo between everything at the moment, I am also very thankful to be on the sidelines for a year. It is time.
that will happen and if I will be in a classroom or office remains to be seen.

That brings us to what MY year will look like. At the moment, that is a cloudy landscape with lots of question marks. “Home” will likely be some combination of Kansas and northwest Iowa. I will continue to focus on what my counselor and I have come to call ‘medically necessary self-care’ throughout my time in North America. I am also looking forward to the opportunity to visit with many of you, though what that looks like may be somewhat fluid as the COVID situation continues to evolve. I am also looking for opportunities to recruit more teachers and staff members for RFIS.

I am fully vaccinated, so here in the Midwest, there aren’t likely to be any legal restrictions to where I can visit. However, the degree of comfort within your individual congregation may limit options for some churches. For now, I think it is reasonable to assume that I will NOT be visiting any of my Canadian churches in person until at least January.

I generally try to wait until at least late September before starting the church presentations. That gives me a chance to settle in a bit to whatever ‘home’ will look like for the year and to piece together a reasonable schedule. So, the next step is YOU letting me know what might work for your congregation! Churches and groups: drop me an email at tenclayk@gmail.com to start the conversation of when your ideal dates would be so I can start looking at and fitting them together. Individuals: I would love to see you, too, especially if you will not be able to join us at any of the churches I visit, so feel free to drop me an email, too, so I can let you know when I might be traveling through your area.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Kristi TenClay

412 Colorado Ave NW, Orange City, IA 51041, United States