By Mennonite Mission Network staff
Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Every organization has a purpose; an answer to the deceptively simple question, "Why?" At Mennonite Mission Network, that "why?" is to lead, mobilize and equip the church to participate in holistic witness to Jesus Christ — across the street, all through the marketplaces and around the world.

In this Q&A series, Mission Network asks staff members to consider their role in the agency, and how they see their daily work joining into what God is doing around the world.

Karen Horsman reflects on her role as the director of development.

 

What brought you to your role with Mission Network?

A friend and former colleague saw that Mission Network was hiring a director of development. He forwarded the job description to me and said, "I think that this looks like you and you should explore it." I read through the job description and my eyes welled up with tears because he was right, it was me. It was just what I had been looking for.

I applied right away and the very next day I got a call. The following week, I came to Elkhart for an interview. I started just a few weeks later. It was that quick! It was an immediate connection and knowledge that this is where I'm supposed to be. That doesn't happen often in life. But I just knew it.

 

What is your favorite part of your role with Mission Network?

There's no question — it's meeting all the wonderful people who support the vision and mission of Mission Network. The thing about development work is that you have to be authentic about what you do. When I talk to people at churches and make presentations, I am sincerely interested in them, their stories, and their journeys. I always have been. That's been God's gift to me — I love listening to people and their stories and I love talking, too!

 All of these wonderful, generous people and churches have a story about what God has done in their lives, or where they've put their faith into practice. I'm honored to meet some of the most fantastic people who have stepped out in faith and gotten involved in places all around the world. They've experienced their faith in profoundly impactful ways, and they want to share that with other people. It is a joyful place to be — meeting all these people.

 

How has your perspective on your role with Mission Network changed over your time with the agency?

When you step into a role, you learn about how things are put together. You learn some of the history. It takes a while for you to begin to understand the deeper relationships and the nuances of how an organization operates. One of the things that I have been in awe of is the interconnection between Mission Network and its partners.

The perspective here is that we are truly in partnership with many people and organizations. There's an incredible connection of history and purpose. I didn't really appreciate that when I started, not the way I do now. How we do mission is especially important. It's not a proprietary relationship — it's a collaboration.

 

How do you view your role with Mission Network fitting into God's mission for the church?

I see my role as helping to facilitate the funding and ability to truly step into the Great Commission — that sense that we are to go out and to be representatives of Jesus Christ. In order to do that, we must move away from our small world and perspective, which usually requires resources and funding.

Even in the early days of the church, small groups supported one another. Interdependence has always been a part of God's mission for the church. That's how I see my role: to help individuals and churches find ways to support one another.

 

What is something that has surprised you about your role with Mission Network?

I really enjoy what I do. In this environment with Mission Network, I am flourishing. It is an extraordinary joy to be able to do this. I feel so privileged and blessed. I felt like that the very first day I read the job description, and it's a wonderful thing to be able to say that five years later. That's what really surprised me. I knew that I would enjoy this work. But I had no idea of the level of satisfaction, joy and love that would come with doing it. I am profoundly grateful to God and those that I work with that I'm able to come to work and be a part of this ministry.

 

 

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https://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5039/Here-with-purpose-Karen-Horsman

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