By Makenzie McNeill, Staff Writer/Stewardship Assistant
The Plane Ride
The past few weeks had been a whirlwind. Now the very end of August had arrived.
I couldn’t believe I was about to board a plane and head to Oregon. Our flight was taking off for Portland out of Austin that afternoon. As I walked through the airport, I still felt a sense of complete disbelief.
First, I was embarking on my very first plane ride.
Second, I was visiting the Pacific Northwest for the first time.
Third, all of this was happening because I was interviewing with Village Missions, just a mere 3 weeks after applying for the Staff Writer position.
I was no longer alone in my shock. Duncan finally joined me in having our minds blown, and our expectations shattered. Initially skeptical and calm, he was also walking through the Austin airport with a dazed look in his eye, amazed and incredulous all at once.
In preparation for this final interview, I had already submitted one last writing exercise, along with other work-related activities (including a phone call with Village Missionary Kathy Pinkham, which I did not realize at all was another interview…it obviously went well enough!).
Although I didn’t know what to expect when we actually made it to the VM Headquarters, I couldn’t help but feel a little giddy about embarking on my first flight.
After boarding our plane with a layover in Denver, we finally arrived in Portland around midnight. I couldn’t believe I was actually in Oregon, just a few hours away from my interview. This entire process, spanning along a few weeks, seemed only hours old.
Am I really doing this?
The Anticipated Arrival
The following morning, Tim & Gwen Griffiths picked me and Duncan up at our hotel, and we grabbed breakfast before heading to Dallas. My first impression of Oregon was that it was beautiful. The tall trees, the mountains, and the color green was everywhere! Also, amazing weather had just come in, which really helped fight my idea that all of Oregon was rainy and dreary the whole time (I would later be told that this awesome weather was not the norm, sadly…).
We finally arrived in Dallas, where I met with all the other staff in the office. I noted that everyone was very personable and welcoming. Although I was nervous, I was put at ease by their kindness.
This Is It
Finally, my interview with Tim, Brian, and Carol arrived. The last month of sheer craziness – that challenged everything I thought I knew about ministry & finding jobs! – had culminated in this moment.
I was led into a conference room, where the interview commenced. Nervous yet calm, I took a deep breath and we began our discussion. At the end of the interview, I was asked to briefly step out of the room.
When I was invited back in several minutes later, I was officially offered the Staff Writer position.
Is…is this really happening?
Still in absolute astonishment, trying with difficulty to conjure words from my rattled brain, I said I would like to talk it over with Duncan first, and we would deliver our answer before we ventured back to Texas.
Duncan and I stumbled back to our hotel that evening, dumbfounded and not exactly sure what to say.
All the way back in July, when we first began to entertain the idea of moving, we had figured that several months, perhaps close to a year, would transpire before a single good job opportunity arose.
We had never expected something so fast, and so tailored for me and Duncan, to emerge like this.
Now here we stood, in a hotel room in Oregon just off the cusp of my interview with a ministry we didn’t even know existed 3 weeks prior.
Yet, despite the uncertainty, I couldn’t deny that this was God’s sovereignty on full display. God had so evidently been working behind the scenes this whole time – orchestrating events in places 2,000 miles apart – to eventually lead to this moment.
- He was the one who compelled me and Duncan to start looking for new opportunities outside of Texas.
- He was the one who called James Knoop to step out of the Staff Writer position and become a Village Missionary.
- He was the one who, in His perfect timing, led me to the job application for the Staff Writer position on the website Tim Griffiths least expected to find the next writer.
- And He was the one, all along, expertly knitting all these details together.
The weekend came and went, and Duncan and I returned safely back home to Texas.
Had I really just been to Oregon, seen the Pacific Ocean and been offered a job with Village Missions?
The answer was clearly yes, but it still seemed surreal.
Despite the dreamlike state we still were drifting in and out of, one thing was very clear to me and Duncan: God was undoubtedly opening a door, and He was very clearly calling us to walk through it.
Yes, we really are about to do this.