March 2023

A Season of Change

March is typically a month filled with change and transition. On March 12th, we once again advance our clocks ahead by one hour to give us additional daylight hours. On March 20th, we welcome in the official start of Spring. March also brings to us the season of Lent. A season to journey with Jesus in His passion, to survey the cross, taking the measure of Christ’s love in his suffering and death as we keep our eyes on Easter.

Life is a continuance of seasons, change after change, followed by another change. Some of these life changes bring challenges, while others seem to be glorious. Solomon in Ecclesiastes chapter 3 reminds us that in “all” things, God is in control and there is a season for every aspect of our lives. “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”

All of us have experienced seasons of transition in our lives. Be it from high school to university, single to married, one workplace or ministry to another, or even one city or nation to another, the nature and challenges of transition are similar. Transition can be both joy filled and anxiety producing.

In seasons of transition, we are tested and stretched by new circumstances and relationships. It can be tempting to look back and cling to the certainty and comfort of the previous season while steeling our emotions against the uncertainty of the future. However, I believe the Lord calls us to move with Him through the seasons of life and trust His work and timing.

Here is a quote that I often share with missionary kids while in transition: “Transitions are the tunnels that connect the castles of life...they are intended to be traveled through and not lived in.” I’ve always liked this word picture because it speaks to the fact that transitions will come and we must seek to move through them, embracing all we can during the change, but also looking expectantly to the future for what lies ahead.

The Lord has been gracious to Sandi and I throughout our 43-year ministry career, especially during times of transition. Over a year ago, we shared with the Board of Directors our desire to retire at the end of 2023. We are extremely grateful for our years in Barnabas, and we look forward to finishing well in the coming months. On February 19th, our Board of Directors announced the call of Josh Beck as the new incoming Executive Director.

Josh and DeniseJosh and Denise Beck come to us from College Heights Christian Church in Joplin, Missouri, where Josh has been serving as the Executive Pastor and Missions Pastor since 2016. Josh is held in high regard by his church leadership and the congregation of College Heights. Prior to serving at College Heights, Josh, Denise and their four children (now all grown) served as global workers in Sudan/ South Sudan and Uganda for 5 years. Before moving overseas, Josh was a local firefighter in their hometown of Joplin.

Josh is a true shepherd leader. Throughout his ministry career as a missionary, field team leader, missions pastor and executive pastor, Josh has demonstrated his passion for the lost and his conviction to provide for, guide, and protect those under his care. Josh is well acquainted with and committed to carrying forward the vision and mission of Barnabas International as we seek to minister to global workers and train global shepherds. He is a humble leader that is grounded in the Word of God and lives out his faith with gentleness and grace.

A transition plan is currently developing as we anticipate Josh assuming the role of Executive Director later in the year. Much work remains, so please be in prayer for me, the Executive Leadership Team & the Board of Directors as we work closely with Josh over the next months to provide a smooth transition and assimilation to his new leadership role. As we enter this season of change, I’m grateful for God’s steadfast love and tender care as we press on to complete His work. These are exciting days for Barnabas International. The ministry of pastoral care is needed more than ever these days. I’m thankful to you for your prayers that are foundational to all we do. I deeply appreciate your generous financial support of our staff and various ministries that the Lord has entrusted to us. Prayerfully we seek the Lord in this transition, and we claim these familiar verses:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Thanks again for your faithfulness to the ministries of Barnabas International as we trust Him for the future! Serving Him with You,

Perry Bradford
Executive Director
Barnabas International