Family and Ministry Update
It has been over a month since my last post, so I thought I would take this time to give a quick update about what the Lord has done in our lives. It truly has been a busy but exciting summer. We greatly anticipate what the Lord will continue to do this school year.[We know not everyone that reads this blog is interested in this kind of update. This is primarily for our family and friends around the world with whom we don’t get to communicate as often.]
We have thoroughly enjoyed watching our boys continue to grow and develop. They have started to enjoy each other’s company and, to some extent, to play together. It is amazing to see how they learn from each other and feed off each other’s energy. Both are healthy and happy.
Pearl and I frequently enjoy the company of her parents as they make a trip out to Lancaster once a year. I used to think they enjoyed being here and seeing us, but I quickly learned that it mostly has to do with their grandchildren. Oh well. We certainly do enjoy spending time with them.
Pearl has taken up some new business ventures specifically with Usborne Books and More. While I have certainly enjoyed watching her try new things, I’ve especially enjoyed the benefits of having some awesome books to read with the boys. We’ve fallen in love with these books, and I know Pearl is happy to share it with other families.
I’ll give more detail in our ministry update, but we also enjoyed spending a couple of weeks with my parents in Romania this summer. While the main reason for the trip was to run a music camp, we were able to spend some time exploring and enjoying some vacation with them.
On Monday, August 21, I submitted the final project for the final course in my doctoral program at Boston University. The journey is still far from over, but to be finished with coursework is a milestone for sure. I will attend one last residency in Boston to prepare for the final steps in earning my degree which include two comprehensive exams (one in music theory and one in musicology) and a dissertation. Upon the completion and approval of these projects, I will be prepared to defend my dissertation and, Lord willing, obtain my DMA. Pray for strength and focus as I finish out these tasks.
I might mention here also that I am so incredibly thankful to my pastor and friends on staff who have been so supportive through this process. I’m thankful also to my students’ support and prayers. Most of all, I’m thankful to my family for allowing me to pursue this goal to be better equipped for the ministry God has given us here at WCBC.
Romania Music Camp
The Lord has given us several new opportunities this summer and now as the semester begins. The highlight of the summer is probably our trip to Romania where we vacationed but also ministered to the churches and college during our stay. I preached seven times in total, three of which I attempted in the Romanian language (if I spawned any heresy in those sermons, I’ll take full responsibility).
It truly was a joy to work with about 25 students during the course of the camp, all from different locations in Romania and different backgrounds. The week culminated in a concert where the choir ended by singing the song “Worthy of Worship” translated into Romanian. We believe that was a sincere representation of those students’ hearts throughout the week. In the morning chapels, I spoke mostly about the will of God and making biblical decisions. It is our prayer that many of these young people will follow God’s plan and make a difference in their communities for Christ.
If you’d like to follow more about the ministry and college in Romania, you can learn more at http://www.tbci.eu.
WCBC Fall Semester
We are excited to begin a new semester at West Coast Baptist College. We’ve welcomed many new and returning students. Orientation week was intense and streamlined, but we are so excited to begin training these young people for the calling God has placed on their lives.
One new college ministry for us this fall is the leading of the senior men Sunday School class. Each year of the college is divided into their own class. When we began this system, I taught the senior men and thoroughly enjoyed every moment. When I started my doctoral program, I stepped down to free up some time for family and study. As my coursework has come to an end, I was excited the opportunity came up again for me to teach. Pray that I will encourage, inspire, and challenge these men. Most of all, pray that this class will minister to their needs as a class. We are greatly anticipating how God will use them as they graduate and commence into ministry.
Lancaster Baptist Church/First Love
We are so excited for a new fall program at Lancaster Baptist Church. Of course, our personal ministry efforts focus mostly on our young couples connection group. The Lord has blessed with growth both spiritually and numerically. It was exciting this last Sunday to share the progress of some of our goals set back in January. We prayerfully expect God to help us fulfill those goals and to continue to embrace the command of our Lord and vision of our Pastor to reach young families in the community for Christ. Serving with this bunch is really the highlight of serving at LBC.
I’m very excited to partner with Real Christian Manliness podcast to teach through LBC’s discipleship curriculum “Continue.” This podcast was started by two men (ironically, two MK’s from Romania like myself) to encourage primarily Christian men around the world to grow in their faith and become disciples and leaders where they live. This ministry has a burden especially for Christian men scattered and in some cases isolated around the world. This can be for military deployment or business relocation. In general, they hope to provide a source of discipleship and spiritual growth for men around the world.
Beginning in just a few weeks, I will teach each lesson from the Continue curriculum as an episode for this ministry. There are special discounts on this podcast to receive the book from Striving Together Publications, so if you are interested or know of some folks who might benefit from this ministry, please pass the word along.
I plan to return to writing soon enough. One blessing of the summer was that fact that my hard drive died while I was in Romania. If you are thinking to yourself, “I wonder if he backed anything up?” just keep that thought to yourself and spare me the embarrassment. You live, you learn, I guess. In any case, this has resulted in quite a bit of work to prepare for a new semester. Once I’m back in a good place, I’ll take more time to continue writing.
Thank you for letting me just share an update. We are glad to serve the Lord and we are especially grateful to the Lord and our pastor for allowing us to serve here at WCBC and LBC. We greatly anticipate all God will continue to do in our lives here. Have a wonderful fall!