Monday, August 18, 2008

like his 'mon oncle' jon


call any time!

first day of classes


I just wanted to send a quick update as today was really the first full day for the new and returning students here at New Tribes Bible Institute. There was really a buzz of energy that you could feel as the students roamed the hall. Many are excited to be back and to complete this time of training that the Lord has brought them here for but still many more, brand new freshman are wandering the campus, probably wondering what comes next as they embark on what will surely be an epic journey. I was talking with some students last night, upperclassmen, about how freshman are always so eager to find their place amongst the student body. That desire leads to all kinds of behavior, some good, some not so good and some infamous. So far, mostly harmless.

Bethany and I are so grateful that what we get to call our job and career and ministry is to be a part of these students lives for the time they spend here. These students are our next set of missionaries, potentially the next set of tribal church planters, or support workers, or pastors in local churches or mature lay people in their communities. Some could even be martys or give their lives like a recent mission airplane pilot back in our adopted country of Indonesia did! It’s sobering to realize all of those possibilities.

I had the chance to meet the musical worship team that I’ll be workign with and discipling for the next year, this past weekend and this morning to kick off the day, we played our first set of praise music together. Again, that I get to do that and call it my job is incredible! They’re a great group of students and I look forward to filling you in on what our God will do in their lives. As these next weeks go by, my role in the evangelism aspect here will also increase as I work along with another teacher, Chris Darland, to equip these students to effectively communicate the true Gospel to a world who increasingly knows less and less about God and sin and the basic concepts that we who have grown up in solid churches understand.

I can’t wait to communicate more as the semester goes by. I know there’ll be many tired and frustrating times still to come, but today I’m grateful for what God has us doing. Thank you for standing with us the way you do! Please keep praying for us and for the students we serve here.

Also, some co-workers here have lent us an extra camera (ours broke in Indo) so we hope to communicate through some images as well. Look for more of those soon!

Saturday, August 09, 2008


Joel and I have attempted to keep dating in our married life these past five years.  At first, before kids, it wasn’t too hard to fit in a date every week or so, but then after kids, it became more complicated.  Well, then you add in the number of moves we’ve had this year alone and well, dates have become few and far between. 

A few weeks ago, some frineds here offered to watch the boys for us if we wanted to go out on a date!  We were so excited but at the time, money, or lack there of really hinered us having more than just coffee together.  Then this week, God provided several gifts that enabled us to meet our budget needs for the month, including a date!  So today we get to go on a real date and we are so excited. You’d think it was Christmas morning or something as we anticipate an adult day out as a couple, sans kids!  Thank you to JP and Sue and your generosity to care for our boys so we can get this much needed break.  We love you guys and are so thankful to be serving here with you again. 

I have to also mention my friend Denise who watched the boys a week or so ago so we could go grocery shopping.  Although the day was a bit different than we planned, having that time together was really important.  Thank you for your sensitivity!


Friday, August 08, 2008

the calm...

here at NTBI, it's only a matter of days till this place is flooded with new students eager (mostly) to see what God has in store for them. we're so excited to be a part of that work of God in their lives and we so need your prayers as we begin this new ministry!

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Today is a day of new beginnings for me, Bethany. I start working again today. I am excited, mostly, at the thought but then am a little nervous too as it’s been 6 years since I have done office type work. Thankfully, Mike, my boss is a great and gracious man whom I have worked for before and so I think we’ll get on just fine! If you think of it today, pray for me to be confident and to be able to grasp all that I’ll be doing. On another note. As you all read months ago here on the blog. I really had a tough time with all that led to us coming home this year. There has been some healing along the way but these past few months have continued to be a struggle for me as we have faced more trials financially. I am asking for prayer, a humbling thing to do. Please pray that my faith would be strong and that I would trust WHATEVER God has in His plan for us, that it truly is His best and that He will enable me to endure in His strength. Never in my life has this been such a battle. I want to be able to have a viable ministry here at the Bible School and I don’t want this to quench the Spirit in me by a lack of faith. Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement to us. It is amazing to know we are surrounded by people who love and care for us!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

summer days and nights

wow, what a week!

It was a week where we saw God's provision of our 'daily bread' like we've never before seen it!

Praise our God!

It was a week with alot of ups and downs...

But, our God gave the strength for it!

And after it all, we were able to get to Dairy Queen last night to maybe celebrate a bit or just enhance the warm summer evening. Much fun!

These next two weeks will be very busy as the students will be returning during that time. I (Joel) still have much to do to prepare for their return. The musical worship team that I'll be working with hasn't had alot of interaction with leadership up to this point and I'm ambitious to really get to know them. But at the same I must be careful to not overdo it. It's our first semester here as a family on staff and I know my tendency to have way too high of expectations. Please be praying for me to be aware of that tendency and to make conscious choices to not take on more than I should.

Thanks for your prayers for us last week. They were evident. And it goes without saying, we still need them this week.

Please do keep praying for the Lord to increase our financial support base. I know that many missionaries around the world are facing similar support decreases and some even have to return from their vital ministries overseas just to raise more support. Please be asking the Lord to faithfully provide for His work here on this earth of ours. Many of us are looking to Him to do that.

And if you have time today, maybe check out our school's website New Tribes Bible Institute.