A New Secretariat Member
Paul Ippel has joined the Integral Secretariat as their new Fundraising and Grants Manager. By way of introduction, we asked him some questions …
Where are you from?
Grand Rapids, Michigan USA.
What were you doing before joining Integral?
I retired in July 2013 and was enjoying playing with my seven grandchildren and traveling to interesting places.
What attracted you to the Integral fundraising role?
I enjoyed my previous experience working with the Christian Health Association of Liberia - an association of Christian health workers, Christian health institutions and churches, all come together to improve the health of the Liberian people. I also have worked for public and non-profit organisations that required significant support from grants and fundraising. The Integral role is a great opportunity to better inform the donor community of the importance of collaboration among evangelical relief and development organisations and show that we want to be wise stewards of the resources with which we have been entrusted. Our God expects us to reach out to the poor and needy effectively with the resources we are given. Integral and its Member organisations model this. What a great opportunity to share this message with the donor community and encourage them in this important work.
What has been your most interesting job, apart from your current one?
I loved my job as Executive Director for the Christian Health Association of Liberia. We started the work with one cardboard box and few thousand dollars and were able, through the hard work of the members, staff and God’s blessing to us, to provide significant support and encouragement to members through training, grant funding, and health prevention activities.
What would you say is the main motivation for your work?
God has blessed me with many rich life experiences and I believe that I have an obligation to use those gifts to serve. I also know that it is very easy to be consumed by the things that immediately surround us, but I am energised by seeing and hearing about God’s work going on in difficult circumstances around the world. This work opens my eyes to the many needs people around the world are facing, and also how ultimately only the hand of God can provide solutions to these challenges. I remain amazed at the resilience and faith of those who daily face obstacles of disaster, war, and poverty.
What has been your most memorable work experience, and why?
I have witnessed the tenacity of the individual spirit to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles - a small community dealing with a ferry disaster, a family dealing with the turmoil of a child struggling with mental illness, a community with few resources pulling together to create a school, clinic and church with little external help. And God working through each of these people and groups to do the impossible!
It is early days, but what do you think you will enjoy the most about your new role?
I have enjoyed getting to know the Integral staff and Members. It was wonderful to meet so many Members in Toronto during my first week on the job.
What do you think the most challenging aspect will be?
Learning to live and work in a virtual world bound to a computer. Also, encouraging donors to recognise that the Integral Alliance is a unique opportunity for them to multiply the value of their funding many times because of the partnerships and collaborations of our Members. We must show them that we are truly making a positive difference.
What do find inspiring about Integral?
The spiritual grounding of our work. We are doing this to build God’s kingdom and he will show us the way.
How do you relax?
I like to hike and garden. I also have taken up jogging about 3 miles a day.
What skill do you have that many don’t know you possess?
I make pancakes and waffles with my grandkids.
What’s your favourite quote?
“When prayer is authentic it will always lead to actions of mercy: when actions of mercy are attempted at any depth, they will always drive you to prayer.” Richard Rohr.
What is the most useful piece of work advice you ever received?
Listen for a long time before you speak.