YOU and I, along with the organizations in which we are involved (family, business, church, etc.) are constantly faced with various transitions. Missionary TECH Team is in the midst of such a transition – a process that has been on-going for a number of years.
Birne Wiley and his friend, David Carnahan, joined hands in the fall of 1968 to lay the groundwork for a new service mission to help with the technical needs of ministries worldwide. Consultation with a number of recognized “experts” in mission organization said that it would be impossible to implement and sustain such an agency.
There were several basic reasons for such an assessment. First, qualified technical persons would be wary of joining an organization where they would be responsible for developing faith support. Second, if they did join, it would be virtually impossible to generate adequate finances since they would be located predominately in the states rather than in a foreign setting. Third, it was to be the policy of the organization to not withhold support from personal ministry accounts for financial under-girding of the Mission.
But God! For these 47 years, God has faithfully met the personal and organizational needs for Missionary TECH Team to provide Technical Engineering and Consultant Help to more than 1,000 ministries located in every state and in over 100 countries.
The transition process involves virtually every person that is associated: boards, missionaries, prayer and financial partners as well as those whom we are privileged to serve.
Scripture give us numerous examples of leadership transition: Moses to Joshua, Elijah to Elisha, Paul to Timothy and a father to a son. It has been the fervent prayer of we at TECH that the “product” would be outstanding AND that the “process” would honor Christ in every detail.
We believe that goal has largely been accomplished with the installation of Randy Harris as TECH’s new President on October 30. Birne Wiley served as the Founder and President for 47 years and now continues to serve as Founder and through Ministry Partner Relations activities.
TRUSTEES began asking the Lord for wisdom in the selection of a new leader after Birne had a heart attack in 1996. In God’s sovereignty, that process continued until the fall of 2013 when it became clear to the Board and to the Harris’ that Randy would meet the established requirements for the new President.
Absolute requirements included: 1) A person deeply committed to Christ and a man of the Word; 2) Enthusiastic agreement with the Biblical stance of TECH; 3) Fervent commitment to the ministry purposes of the Mission; and 4) A wholehearted assurance of the “by faith” principle of personal and organizational financial support.
As in most transitions, an effort is made to build on the strengths of the past while being cognizant of areas that require strengthening . . . or even eliminated. The world of missions has made significant changes since TECH’s founding in 1969. An intense effort has always been made to accommodate such changes.
Those foundational principles are evident in the life of Randy and it is a great joy to welcome and endorse him as the new President of Missionary TECH Team. I strongly urge and request that you under-gird him in prayer just as you have done for Lynella and me these previous 47 years!
Randy and Connie first came to TECH as missionaries in the early 1980’s and served faithfully for five years before returning to their previous ministry at Camp Barakel in northern Michigan where they served for the next 30 years.
Randy was invited to serve as a TECH Associate in 1999 and in 2001 became a member of the Board of Advisors. In 2003, he was appointed to the Board of Trustees and in 2006 became Trustee Chairman where he served until rejoining TECH as a missionary staff member in 2014.
A great blessing is that Randy comes into this new ministry assignment without being encumbered with any organizational indebtedness. TECH’s facility and ministry “tools” are outstanding. The dedicated missionary staff is deeply committed to the purpose of TECH by using their training, skills and experience in their respective ministry assignments.
One great challenge TECH faces is in the recruiting of experienced and qualified professionals that gives stability to the organization. Simultaneously, there is a great desire and effort to recruit vibrant, enthusiastic younger people desirous of using their passion for serving God with an eternal perspective.
Global conditions make this a daunting task! It takes a “people person” having administrative skill and spiritual discernment to meld all these elements together. Randy has served not only in direct faith mission endeavors, but also in leadership roles on other board memberships. He is a voracious reader, a quick learner and a builder of people in teamwork. We rejoice that God has led him and Connie to TECH!
From theinception of TECH in 1969, the purpose has been to accomplish the ministry goals through teamwork. That entails not only missionary staff, but also boards, prayer and financial partners. Therefore, any accomplishments can be attributed to our united working together for the cause of Christ. Our motto, “To know Christ and make Him known”, is our fervent goal and ambition. Paul admonishes us in Ephesians 3:20 “Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” (NLT) Together let us make the future ministry God gives TECH the greatest yet!
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