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Passing the Baton of Leadership

The World Mission Board announces a change in leadership in the home office. This coming summer, Mark Surbrook will be retiring from his role as Director and passing the baton of leadership to Dr. Jim Lo.


Gratefulness for Our Current Director



Director Mark has served many roles in relationship to World Missions through the years, beginning with his role as missionary when he and Linda first traveled to Haiti in the 1960s. Through his work on the ground and in countless visits through the years, he was key in establishing our work there, which thrives today. Later Mark worked in the mission office under the leadership of David Mauck, he served on the World Mission board for some 20 years, and for the last nine years he has served as Director.


His role as Director has led him to visit fields of ministry overseas, travel at home representing missions to our churches, and have innumerable conversations by phone and email with mission fields and missionaries. We appreciate Mark’s enthusiasm for Christ and his love for people of all nationalities. He is a reader, always eager to learn more and deepen his walk with Christ, and he places a high priority on prayer.


As Mark feels God leading him to retire in August this year, we pray God’s rich blessings on him and Linda. We are grateful for his leadership and the godly example he leaves for us all.


Looking Ahead



In a move that at the time seemed unrelated, former missionary Jere Gowin invited his friend, Dr. Jim Lo, to travel with him to visit Pastor George and the churches in Ghana in January of 2024. Dr. Lo, who was completing his last semester of teaching at Indiana Wesleyan University, had developed a curriculum called God’s Call to Holiness, which he taught to our Ghanaian leaders.      


This was the Board’s first introduction to Dr. Lo, a man whose heart beats for cross-cultural ministry. His retirement from IWU was coming after 28 years of teaching intercultural studies. Prior to that, he had also served 14 years as a missionary in southern Africa and Cambodia, as well as various ministry roles in the U. S. One of the ministries at IWU for which he is beloved was his role as Campus Intercessor. His frequent prayer walks on campus in the early morning hours were a key component of his ministry there.


As the Board began talking with Dr. Lo about serving as our director, Jim and his wife, Roxene, began praying about the possibility. Long ago when Dr. Lo first began teaching at IWU he’d had a dream of someday being back in the “front lines” of cross-cultural ministry. But this opportunity would mean a lot of change for Jim and Roxene. However, they both felt that this calling was from the Lord. Dr. Lo agreed to accept this position.


Board member Travis Sayler was one of the mission team that traveled with Dr. Lo to Ghana. He wrote, “I will always consider my time spent on the mission field . . . with Dr. Lo, as a master class in missiology. I learned so much from him every day. His passion for the global church and the great commission shines through in everything he does. The COGH will be blessed for generations to come by his leadership!”


We are excited about the ways God will continue to work through the ministries of World Missions in the coming days. Please pray with us for Mark and Linda during this time of transition; they are loved and appreciated. Also pray for the Los as they move to the Midwest and take on their roles in the World Mission office; they are friends and co-laborers for the Lord.


*****


New Office Manager


Ashlee Englund has felt it a privilege to work for World Missions as office manager. However, due to the increasing responsibilities she has with her family, she felt it was time to step down from this role. Dr. Lo’s wife, Roxene, has served as missions secretary for her district in the past. She has accepted this position and will join her husband in working for World Missions in August. We are looking forward to what she will add to the ministry of World Missions.

 

 

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