A Chapter Comes to a Close: Leaving the Mission Field


Our US furlough time officially ends in a couple of days. We’ve been using our furlough to pray, fast and seek wisdom and counsel about our long-term plans, based on the six-month State of Emergency in Ethiopia and the warning from the US State Department against travel to Ethiopia during this time. As you know – we made the decision not to bring Jackson and Oliver back into Ethiopia during the State of Emergency.

This development in Ethiopia makes it untenable for us to live and serve together as a family in Soddo in the near future. We don’t believe that God wants us to take our family through the exhausting transition of moving to a different mission field. For these reasons, we’ve made the very difficult decision to begin the process of exiting from the mission field at this time. This decision is very sad for us, but we also feel it’s pretty straightforward, and based on drastically altered circumstances on the security situation within Ethiopia, and the impracticality of moving to another new mission field.

We’re grateful for the last two years of service in Ethiopia, and we absolutely have a peace that we accomplished the things that God wanted us to during our time there. In addition to redoing the hospital’s management system , creating a new budget, and helping to promote and train up new managers at the hospital, we were also able to invest in some amazing relationships with young Ethiopian leaders and students. We feel good about how we’ve finished all of these efforts. We believe this is God’s timing, even though it was not the timing we expected when we came home for furlough four months ago.

Our current plan is to settle back in Corvallis for this next season of life. Brad is beginning a search for a new job.

Thank you for joining us on this adventure for the last two years. It was full of twists and turns, and also marked by God’s goodness, provision, and His love for the people of Ethiopia.

With love,

The Canfield family

4 thoughts on “A Chapter Comes to a Close: Leaving the Mission Field

  1. Thanks for the update,
    What an experience your family has had. Your boys will never forget it.
    It will be good to see you in Corvallis again. We pray something turns up for Brad.

    Blessings to your family always. Shelley

  2. God bless you all during the time of transition. I’m sure that you will be powerfully used here in the US during this time as well to stir people and motivate and help as well.
    Praying for you all.
    Thank you for your service to so many and your hearts and examples, which stirs me..even without knowing you, to serve and love Him and people more deeply.

  3. Praying for you at this sovereign crossroads. He is WITH you and FOR you. He will continue to use you mightily.
    With love in Christ,
    Denise Reynolds

  4. Hi Bethany,
    I know this must weigh heavy on you, your leaving the mission field, after all this time. I am convinced your two years at Soddo God is using for SO MUCH GOOD! I have followed your posts since we left Soddo ourselves after our very brief visit, nearly two years ago. You had just arrived! With so much in common, mothering, running and a desire for friendship, how I wish we had go to know one another better. Take care and God bless you as your transition forward.
    Rose (for the meeder family)

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