I had breakfast with a CSC donor today. He and his wife have been very generous to CSC over the years. He had previously owned a business in the Twin Cities and he mentioned how glad he was the he didn't have to be trying to run a business during this pandemic. I think we all have things in our past that we are glad we don't have to deal with during this challenging and difficult time. Although I miss being on the Leadership teams in Cebu so much, I don't really miss some of the difficult discussions and hard decisions that need to be made almost on a daily basis. The thing that makes them hard is that they affect lives, and we don't have a grand blueprint for success in navigating this pandemic. None of us has ever seen anything like this so we have no data base of proven methods to bank on .
I am so glad that our new Field Director, Roberto Atienza, is so talented and enthusiastic to embrace the challenges of leading CSC in Cebu during this time. I'm sure he would rather be leading under different circumstances but he has stepped up and taken on the challenges with vigor and tireless effort. His term of leadership began when the pandemic was already upon the Philippines. While still learning some of the basics about the ministry, getting to know our leaders and deciding on a management style he was suddenly leading meetings about quarantines, supply chains, manpower crises, lockdowns, mobility limitations, and the financial, social work, educational, medical, HR and spiritual issues that this crisis presents to CSC. And these have been oom meetings, not face to face sessions where it is easier to share feelings and interpret ideas and reactions. I am thankful that he is not wishing he was someplace else or focusing on the negative parts of ministry in a pandemic. His faith in God is strong, contagious and encouraging to the people whose pictures are on the Zoom screen and who rely on him for direction, support and spiritual leadership.
Am I glad that I am not having to lead CSC at this time? Well, that is a complicated question. We left Cebu in part because of concerns because of our age and health issues, and we don't second guess that. I miss the interactions with our great Leadership Team, watching them rise to the occasion every single day. I miss consultations with Roberto on a wide range of issues and watching the child care workers and other lock-in staff doing an exceptional job. But I don't miss some of the pressure packed meetings that are necessary, of having to come up with fresh ideas when I don't feel like I have any more, and facing the sobering realities every day of a deadly disease lurking just outside our CSC campus that it is our job to keep out. I know that at 66 years of age I don't have the same stamina I used to have.
I am glad that God worked out a transition of leadership in Cebu and that Roberto is clearly His man for the job. Stepping aside and letting him lead was a seamless transition for me because of who he is as a man of God and a leader. I know that Stateside is where we are supposed to be, even if we miss the kids and workers so much it hurts sometimes. In that respect I'm glad to be where I am.
Please keep Roberto and the Leadership Team in your prayers during these tough days. I can say from experience that they feel your prayers, your love and encouragement and need it very much. Thanks!