On May 7, 2011 an 11 year journey ended as I was presented my doctoral hood at Washington State’s commencement ceremony. The chapter of formal education in my life has final come to a close after 4 degrees. This conclusion, I have been told, has resulted in the only ordained Assemblies of God minister with a PhD in Soil Science. (If there are others please show yourself we need to talk). As the person who said they would never continue their formal education beyond a church ministries degree this truly was a divine helped and inspired journey.
One question I consistently receive is “why”? The simple answer – I believed I was placed on this earth for a purpose and that purpose is to bring hope to people, both spiritually and physically. For a more detailed response read https://streubel.wordpress.com/2008/08/27/hello-world/
As you may have assumed or my friends already know – I don’t always fit the normal standard curve. My journey has been a strange one, where at times there no place for me to fit, no model to follow. I was continually caught in a state of limbo. There is no divisional lunch at Network Council for soil scientist pastors with a heart to feed the world. My small group has been rather lonely (and Mary’s even smaller) HOWEVER my creator had a plan….His purpose was just around the corner.
In true irony two years ago when I was at my lowest – my God was orchestrating the beginnings of my new chapter by preparing a unique puzzle piece at a faith based disaster relief organization (Convoy of Hope) suited for someone who didn’t always fit the mold. http://www.convoyofhope.org
The week after graduation I was presented with two job offers – one academic (WSU tenure track faculty) and Convoy of Hope. As I sat around the table with leaders in the children’s feeding initiative everything started to come together for the first time. All the unique experiences from tilapia, chicken, goats, senior pasturing and even anaerobic digesters started to make sense and fall into place – as if my designer was saying “see I told you I could be trusted – you’re not crazy”.
So in the next three weeks Mary and I will be pulling up our roots in Washington and leaving for Springfield, Missouri to work with Convoy of Hope’s children’s feed initiative to development models for sustainability. We will be working with area farmers and children educating them on best management practices that work locally so Convoy can ultimately by their food from local suppliers plus by building the local capacity Convoy can focus on other geographical areas of need.
It will not be easy, there will be frustrations, it will take time, there are still lots of unknowns but most importantly…
I WAS MADE FOR THIS…and now the new chapter begins.