Saturday, April 14, 2012

All good things must come to an end

I write this post with both a heavy heart and a lot of excitement. After an amazing 15 year run at Hume Lake Christian Camps, April and I have decided that it's time for a major change, and I will be bringing my full-time service at Hume to a close at the end of this month.

What am I going to do? As of the first of May, I will be assuming a position as Business Manager for Briner and Son, a landscape design and maintenance business here in Fresno owned by April's family. (Yes, I am breaking a major rule I set up years ago and I am going to work for relatives. Not to mention... the in-laws!) For once in my life, I'll actually be putting that Business Major to use. My responsibilities will include H.R., A/P, A/R, I.T., a whole bunch of special projects, and pretty much anything else that needs to be done. It's a growing business and I get to fill a necessary role that will hopefully help them grow even more and become more efficient.

Leaving Hume was a tough decision, one we started putting before the Lord over a year ago. I've always joked that I wanted to leave Hume two years before I got fired, but in all seriousness I believe that I'm leaving with the satisfaction of knowing that God brought me there, grew and matured me, used me in ways I never could have imagined, and now has given me the freedom to head out and be used in an entirely different way.

What will I miss most about Hume? No question, more than anything, it will be the people. It's been called the "H Factor." It's the Hume staff and their families that make up Hume's personality and the core of what makes it so unique. I will miss them more than anything. They have been there for me through the hardest of times and through the best of times. They introduced me to my wife, welcomed my children into the world, and carried me to Jesus as I had to say goodbye to my daughter. They've loved me unconditionally when I really didn't deserve it, and God's used them to mold me into someone a lot better than I was on May 26, 1997, when I pulled into a camp towing a trailer with everything that I owned and stepped into the role of Ponderosa Head Counselor, really having no clue. I'll also miss the many connections I've made with so many youth pastors, getting to encourage them, love on them, challenge them, listen to them. I'll miss being a part of something so much greater than myself.

What do I look forward to? I believe that God has brought me to this place in life "for such a time as this." I'm going to have so many more opportunities to be around people that don't know the Lord and who desperately need Him. I'm excited to be around non-Christians on a regular basis. I'm excited to have my faith challenged, to be a light. And to be perfectly honest, I'm excited for some change. It's easy to get stuck in ruts and be convinced that God can only use you in a certain way.

Do I plan to stay in ministry? Absolutely! That doesn't change. There are some great new opportunities  on the horizon, and while I can't totally explain those in this forum, it's going to be fun to see how they pan out. When will they pan out and what will they look like??? No clue!

What doesn't change? God is good. God is faithful. God is sovereign. I love those three things most about God and I'm excited that I get to serve Him no matter where He has me. God has truly reminded me lately that it's not so much about where I am as it is about who I am. He's called me to follow Him wholeheartedly and to be faithful. From there, He will take care of the rest. I believed that 15 years ago when I came to Hume and I believe that today as I move on. My identity rests in Him, not in where I work or live.

So that's the big news. Be watching for more and please be praying for us. The last two years have been absolutely crazy, and while we would cherish a time of peaceful waters, we realize that's not the road God has us on, so we embrace this road and seek to stay faithful as we travel down it.


Anonymous said...

Oh wow, how exciting!

I've loved working with you over the years. Hume has some big shoes to fill.

Jess Robyn said...

I might have cried a little when I read this. I love you guys and am praying for you!!!

Yvonne said...

Love you, Cliff and Apes.

barry b said...

Tears in my eyes as I read this. God bless you and your family.

Luke said...

Dang :/ I mean, as a friend I am excited for you, but selfishly very bummed. I know I only got to see you a few times a year, but thats always a big highlight of my SD experience. Definitely won't be the same without you. Although I have to admit, as soon as I saw you were moving to Fresno, I figured this wouldn't be too far behind. Nevertheless, congratulations, Cliff. I know that this will undoubtedly be a great move for you and your family, and I don't blame you in the least. Hope we can keep in touch, and when I think of SD, I'll be praying for you!

Shauna said...

Hey guys, transition is good, but hard....moving from Hume has so many emotions...on so many levels. Our prayers are with you. I am excited for your new road and look forward to hearing what God does on it. I pray many blessings, peace and joy are yours during this transition. Call or email if you need an understanding ear. Love you.

REV TREV said...

wow buddy. We shall miss you. Im excited for you in your new venture!!

Jeff said...

Ah, the flood of memories of life with Cliff and April at Hume Lake. Let me speak on behalf of thousands more who won't get to read this post, who won't notice that you've gone, and who may not have even noticed that you were there.

We've been blessed! We are different, we are better. Everyone once in awhile, God brings people into our lives who serve, minister, pray, and walk in our journeys with us. We have laughed together at life. And we have cried together at deaths. You have stood with us, all of us, even those of us who didn't even know the sacrifices you made for us.

I am better because of your time at Hume. Hume is better because of your time at Hume. And you are better because of your time at Hume. We will all feel the loss, but in the end we will all be forgotten, and a new generation will take our place.

But, you're not dead, yet! And I, for one, pray that this next journey is even more productive than the last, for there are people out there just like me who desperately need what you both bring. So, bring it.

Love you both.

Kori Friesen said...

Your amazing and the impact you have had at Hume will always be remembered. It's a huge loss for Hume lake but I know god will continue to use you in mighty ways. Look forward to seeing what this next chapter brings.
Kori Friesen

Linda Custer said...

God bless you as you start your new journey. Sounds to me like you're ready and haven't forgotten the important stuff. Ecclesiastes 12:13 sums up the journey quite well: "Now all has been heard: here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man." Love you!