Myron Iseminger is excited to be returning to the Egypt-Sudan Field (ESF) in the Middle East North Africa Union (MENA). Serving as treasurer for the Egypt Field from 1996 to 2001, Iseminger is returning 17 years later as President.
Currently working at the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists as undersecretary, Iseminger specifically deals with administrative committees, agendas, minutes and policies.
“While this job is important, and someone has to do it, I really have a burden for the Middle East and North Africa,” says Iseminger in an interview on Monday. “Now is 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 that time two friends of his 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 10 months ago to serve as president of 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?’ This began the motion that led to their decision to accept the call.
“We have 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 family 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.
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,” explains 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,” said Iseminger.
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 expresses excitement.
“We are very relieved to have an experienced leader,” says 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.