Myron Iseminger is excited to be returning to the Egypt-Sudan Field (ESF) in the Middle East North Africa Union (MENA) church region. Serving as treasurer for the Egypt Field from 1996 to 2001, Iseminger is returning 17 years later as president.
Currently working at the Seventh-day Adventist Church headquarters as undersecretary, Iseminger specifically deals with administrative committees, agendas, minutes, and policies.
“While this job is important, and someone has to do it, I have a burden for the Middle East and North Africa,” said Iseminger in an interview on May 7. “Now it’s a good time to return where front-line action is happening.”
Iseminger will be replacing Kleyton Feitosa, who served the Egypt-Sudan Field as president from March 2014 and had to leave for health reasons in early July 2017.
For Iseminger and his wife Candace, their hearts have always been with mission service and in particular Egypt.
He remembers his first love for the Middle East. He was a volunteer in another country, but at the time, two of his friends were working at Nile Union Academy (NUA). In the spring of 1982, he finished out the term at NUA when one of his friends had to leave early. There began his love for Egypt.
When Rick McEdward, president of the Middle East and North Africa Union, asked Iseminger ten months ago to serve as president of the ESF, he initially said no.
“The time was not right,” said Iseminger. “Our youngest son had just started his senior year of academy and my wife, vice principal of the school where she was teaching, had committed to be there for the school year.”
But Iseminger felt strongly for the Middle East and had been praying for a good leader. In February 2018, after returning from India, he was experiencing jet lag. Wide awake and having his devotions, he texted McEdward.
“Have you found someone yet?” he asked.
“No,” replied McEdward.
“Are you still interested?”
It is what triggered the motion that led to the couple’s decision to accept the call.
“We had been praying for God’s direction in finding a new leader for the Egypt-Sudan Field,” said McEdward.
He is grateful to have the Isemingers coming back to the team after 17 years. McEdward believes that the couple, with their experience in administration, will be tremendous assets as they come back to Egypt.
“It is a wonderful blessing that they are returning to a land that they love and where the church members already accept and look forward to working with them,” said McEdward.
The Isemingers don’t expect that 17 years later everything is going to be the same, but they are still hopeful.
“Certainly, our experience living in Egypt before will help us understand more than someone coming in brand-new,” said Iseminger.
Iseminger is very excited about the Ramses Cultural Center that will be opening in the heart of downtown Cairo at the end of July 2018. His wife, Candace, will be the new language director for the Center.
“With these new opportunities we can reach out beyond just our small focus of members,” explained Iseminger. “To be able to minister to the greater population and their needs is going back to what Jesus’ methods were to help people.”
Iseminger expressed his appreciation for the previous president, Feitosa.
“The previous president mentored the younger pastors well, and I hope to continue,” he said.
They will leave behind two young adult children, Michael, who will begin college this fall, and daughter Sierra, who graduated last year.
With degrees in both theology and business from Walla Walla University, Iseminger describes his life as a “very interesting path compared to some people.”
Beginning his career as a pastor, he worked the longest in treasury. He served in both Egypt and later as associate treasurer of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division based in the Philippines.
Johnny Nasrallah, executive secretary for the ESF, expressed excitement. “We are very relieved to have an experienced leader,” said Nasrallah. “The field is going through a growth period, with many projects happening.”
The Isemingers expect to arrive in Egypt by the end of July, in time for the opening of the Ramses Center.