USA (MNN) — As of February 1, Alec Hill, former president of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, has returned.
Hill was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer last April. The medical treatment required a bone marrow transplant, forcing Hill to step down from his presidential role.
“Thankfully my brother, who is 18 months apart, and we always were sibling rivals, but he gave me his bone marrow. And I’m now almost 6 months post-transplant and doing well enough to return to work part-time.”
Though he’s improving, Hill is unable to see people due to an immune deficiency. Essentially his immune system is now like a baby’s, and though sickness won’t be terminal, it will cause problems. Still, Hill sees the fact he’s alive as a gift from God.
As Hill returns to work, he’s taken up a new and flexible part-time position with InterVarsity as the emeritus president. “It’s a completely new position. I’m not really coming back at all to the presidency.”
In the next six months, Hill will be mentoring rising leaders in InterVarsity as part of the position. Mentorships will take place via Skype and other various communication options, as he isn’t be able to see people in person or fly until Fall 2016.
Hill explains, “Basically the mentoring calls are set up [so] they can talk about whatever they want to talk about. It’s very one way and we just talk through issues. And the issues really are wide, and I mean in terms of personal to professional to education.”
And for Hill, a very social person, these calls are extremely welcomed and appreciated after having spent the past 6 months in solitude. The past year has been quite the journey, but a lot of good has come from it.
“What I’ve learned is that I used to have an illusion of control, that I was sort of captain of this and that. And I think this [cancer] has been humbling in a good way, in the sense of showing how little control I actually had and how little I actually have…. I feel free. It’s kind of a paradox of this cancer…. At the end of it I feel more liberated than I did before.
He adds, “If I could describe this [cancer] as a really hard journey but God’s presence has made it rich, I think that’s how I would tell the story.”
As for Hill’s role as emeritus president, in six months, once things begin to change and take more shape, Hill and the president will look at redefining the role to fit various needs. But for now, Hill is just thankful to be living in the present and serving with the Lord with the days he’s been given.