My name is Gail Gorfe (nee Rietdijk). I was born in the Netherlands and immigrated to Canada with my parents as a child. I grew up in a CRC in Northern Ontario. I moved to Ethiopia in 1995 with my Ethiopian husband and have lived here for most of my adult life. We have raised 4 children here and they are now spread around the world (which is great but difficult)!
I have spent my working life in different careers in administration, specifically looking to use my skills and talents to support development in Ethiopia. For the last five years I have been working in missions (as a Resonate partner) though I have been invovled in missions since our move to Ethiopia through my husband, who has been working as with the local Lutheran church here (the Evangelical Ethiopian Church Mekane Yesus/EECMY), often as a volunteer staff, since 1995. I am also involved in leadership in our congregation in Ethiopia, Redeemer International Congregation of the EECMY.
You can see our Resonate profile at Gail and Yonas Gorfe (resonateglobalmission.org)
I am currently open to new career opportunities to use my skills and talents to support othes and expand to my knowledge.
Posted in: The Work of Administration in Mission Schools
Posted in: Has Your Church Undergone a Name Change?
As council chairman for our international congregation in Ethiopia, I was part of our name change process here, just last year. Our old name was the International Lutheran Church (ILC) and it was constantly getting confused with IEC (International Evangelical Church) which is a much bigger church then ours. Plus we were missing foreigners who were unfamiliar with what it means to be Lutheran (at least half of our members are not Lutheran, including me), but were not from a denominational background, or anyone new to church.
We put together a google document with our mission and vision and included a few bullet points on what it means to be a brand. Then we shared it with anyone in the congregation who wanted to be included, though in the end not all of them participated. There was a place to make a name suggestion and include a reason (if they had one) or how it related to our vision. We had a good number of responses and some people just endorsed what someone had said, which was fine.
The council then took all of those suggestions and we talked through each one, how it would be understood (including in our case within the context of different local languages as well as culturally), how it would be branded (we did not want another acronym), and was it mobile (we did not want to be locked into our location).
We ended up with the name Redeemer International Congregation (of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus - the denomination), but just as Redeemer for short. Because we had allowed a lot of input, when we brought our recommendation back to the congregation for approval we simply explained how we had gone about our discussion and we had full approval for the new name. It was a good experience and then has been great to bring new focus into our congregation.
Posted in: Honesty and Short-Term Missions
I just read this post today, and even though we are eight years further along, there hasn't been much change in the way that short term missions are 'advertised'. Lets continue to work on moving away from service trips, to the idea of building relationships, or simply immersing oneself into the daily experiences of the countries we travel to. Lets learn from these "eye-opening" experiences and acknowledge the great privilege that we have in making these trips.
A few months ago I completed my capstone research on the topic of the cultural dynamics of volunteerism between the global North and global South. There are so many level to this topic but hopefully we can find a way to do it right.