IVP - Strangely Dim - A Countryman Without a Country: Farewell to Christa

October 10, 2011

A Countryman Without a Country: Farewell to Christa

I remember the time when Lisa Rieck and Christa Countryman shot around the corner into my office. They made me a little nervous, standing there together, blocking my exit, with that conspiratorial gleam in their eyes. I wondered what they wanted and hazarded a guess to myself: I wonder if Lisa has recruited Christa to write for Strangely Dim . . .

That wasn't it. They both wanted to get involved with an organization run by an author-friend of mine. So I set them up with him, then I recruited Christa myself.

Now Christa is leaving us, after five years at IVP and two-and-a-half years at Strangely Dim. She took a great position writing and editing for Opportunity International, a Christian microfinancing enterprise based just around the corner from us. This is a natural next step for Christa, as she's had a heart for the developing world forever. Her seasonal jewelry sales to benefit an orphanage in Kenya have been a fixture on the IVP calendar for almost her entire tenure here, and her first job for IVP was helping to organize the bookstore at the 2006 Urbana Student Missions Convention. When we decided to write about hospitality during the month of October, her first impulse was to contact Matt Soerens, author of Welcoming the Stranger, to write a guest-post about immigration as a matter of Christian hospitality. She is, as they say, a global Christian par excellence. Add to that her skills both as a writer and as an editor, and you have a clear win-win for Christa and Opportunity International. Win-loss, on the other hand, for Christa and IVP.

Here are some links to some of my favorite Christa posts. I'm grateful to Christa for introducing me to Battlestar Galactica and Florence + the Machine, and I'm hopeful for the work ahead of her at OI. But before they get her, let's show her some love as she heads out the IVP door, folks.



Posted by Dave Zimmerman at October 10, 2011 9:55 AM Bookmark and Share


Dave, you're so witty: "a Countryman without a country." Unfortunately, for us, it's true. Christa is leaving IVP-country and will, I hope, do great things in another "country" and for other countries. I wish happy things for you, including a fulfilling job and more time to do other things you enjoy (i.e., drinking coffee instead of making it!). We'll miss you!

Comment by: Elaina at October 10, 2011 4:06 PM

Christa, it was fun to read a few things about you I didn't know. As much as you will be missed here at IVP, I'm exited for your new opportunity (no pun). Can't wait to see how God uses you in the lives of people around the globe! Oh, and can you still come back with jewelry? : )

Comment by: Suanne at October 11, 2011 9:51 AM

Thanks, Suanne! I'm excited about this next step, but I'll definitely miss seeing everyone here. And I'll be working on a way to get the jewelry back here. :)

Comment by: Christa Countryman at October 11, 2011 12:50 PM

Thanks, Elaina! We'll have to get together. Maybe shoe shopping over lunch sometime? I won't tell Chris.

Comment by: Christa Countryman at October 11, 2011 12:51 PM

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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