This month, we are sad to formally farewell our Chief Executive Officer, Philip Morris, as he hands over to Ben Thurley. Over his past nine years of service, Phil has served INF tirelessly, and has done a great job at helping more Australians develop a heart for Nepal. He has done so with great humility, perseverance and love, and will be greatly missed! He reflects here on his time with INF and what lies ahead.
What was your journey to INF in Australia?
My wife Elle and I, with our daughter Evie (now 12 years old, but five months old when we started) served in Nepal for two years from 2006 to 2008. We couldn’t return to Nepal when our second child (Jude) had some health issues. We were then invited to apply to come and work for INF in Australia. We came in 2009 thinking it would be for 2-4 years – that was nine years ago.
What have been the highlights for you?
There have been many. Getting an amazing welcome in Australia and immediately feeling part of the INF family; journeying with people serving in Nepal, supporting them and seeing them respond faithfully to difficult situations and uncertainty; worshipping in a church in Jumla and hearing them pray for INF (an amazing experience of the worldwide family of God); and through the exhaustion and uncertainty, the way that so many people prayed and responded generously in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes.
How have you seen God at work in and through INF?
I have seen God at work through the development of the vision for Green Pastures Hospital, and the arrival of visionary Nepal Christian professionals like Dr Dipak and INF Nepal’s new CEO, Krishna. I have seen God at work through the long-term commitment of people like Kerrie, Russ and Jin (who have worked for INF Australia), and in the prayer of many of our supporters (some of whom have never been to Nepal, but pray for the people every day); their long-term commitment is an example and lesson.
And in my own personal journey, I have seen God’s faithfulness and big plan. When I have stepped out in faith, God has shown his faithfulness.
How has God stretched and grown you?
It sometimes seems that change is the only constant in INF, and we are constantly putting out fires and responding to crises that are outside our control – natural disasters, government policy, poverty and injustice. Putting trust in God that he is in control and has a good plan that is bigger than anything we can understand is the only way to respond. Former INF Worker Roz Brain (quoting Mother Theresa) often said that not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.
God has also stretched me as I have seen people respond to INF’s work in ways that we had not planned or foreseen and recognising that as the work of God, and seen answered prayer in my own family, particularly the health of our boys.
What are your plans for the future, and how can we pray for you?
It feels like the right time to stop and pause and see what God is leading us into as a family next, but at the moment, we are not sure what that will be. We are talking to INF in Nepal about a return to serve there (maybe in a role with INF International).
While we miss family in the UK, we feel very much at home in Australia and are grateful to have been accepted as citizens. We are also exploring roles here and would be grateful for prayers for wisdom and guidance as we explore how and where we can serve.
Any final words?
A big thank you to the whole INF family in Australia who have encouraged us and shared ideas and words from God, and for those who pray, give or serve in so many different ways.
If you are in Sydney, there will be a formal opportunity to thank and farewell Phil at our event and AGM ‘Loved by God’ on Saturday 10 November – please join us. You can join the event on Facebook here.
This article was taken from the November 2018 edition of PrayerNotes.