July 21, 2014


Seventeen years ago I left the United States on a one-way plane ticket to Moscow. A new college graduate, I had US$700 in my pocket, no job, and no place to live.

But I had a plan: to embark on a career in journalism in Russia. I sought adventure. Without Jesus.

A month after arriving, I landed an entry-level job at an English-language daily. In the four years that followed, I rapidly rose to the number two spot.

Then my priorities changed. After five years, even though I had never made Jesus part of my plans, I wondered whether He might have made me part of His.

My mom pointed to Jeremiah 29:11: “ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ”

A few weeks after I began pursuing Jesus’ will, I learned that I would be promoted to editor in chief. Then the adventure really began.

The new job fascinated and frightened me. Guiding the daily’s coverage and overseeing a staff of 70 people offered a challenge. A subsequent need to downsize and adopt a digital focus took me in unanticipated directions. I loved my work, but a thought lingered: Did Jesus have a bigger plan?

Seven years passed.

A phone conversation with Adventist Review editor Bill Knott in late 2013 led to an interview and a job offer in April. Within two days of the offer it became clear that Jesus’ plan involved me leaving Russia after 17 years.

What will happen next is less clear. But I know that no matter what I have done, no matter what you have done, Jesus has a plan He is eager to implement. Only then will the adventure truly begin.