Merry Christmas Everyone
I remember growing up and celebrating Christmas every year with family. It was always so good to renew the different traditions that made us look so forward to this season. Celebrating the birth of the Savior was a big deal. Silent Night in German was sung, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and other songs just made the season so special. We are glad that we were able to grow up under this influence and my parents even “rented” a man who lived in our small town to come by dressed as Santa Claus and bring presents. I can still see Mr. Stinnett, even though I did not find out who he was for several years. Good times.
Sharing Christmas With Others
Another kindness that God has shown to us is that he allowed us to go to a people who had not heard the gospel of the grace of God and share the whole story with them. The birth of Christ was very powerful because it meant the end of man trying to earn his own way to Heaven, which he never could do anyway, and send the only person who could fulfill the requirements of the Law and deal with sin once and for all. I can’t even imagine what the angels must have been thinking when they saw the Savior of the world being born. I am sure that they could only think, “Only God.”
Travels this semester
This has been an extremely busy semester for which we are thankful. It started off with visiting some supporting individuals and churches and then going up to Kansas State University and spending some time with a college group called Stumo which stands for Student Mobilization. They are a college ministry that continues to grow in the central US but is moving out of those boundaries more and more. They are very effective at bringing young students to the Lord and then discipling them to ask the Lord what He wants them to do with their lives. We actually have several from K-State who are in the training as we speak.
In October, I was only home 5 days. I went to the Ethnos360 Bible Institute (which was renamed from New Tribes Bible Institute) in Waukesha, WI and shared and helped the mobilization team to host a Catch the Vision event, kind of an open house to help possible students understand why we have a Bible Institute. Then I traveled to Moody Bible Institute and partnered with the Luse’s, a family working in PNG, for the mission conference. Good times.
I left Moody to head down to our Missionary Training Center to host 55 Stumo students from K-State, Missouri State, University of Arkansas and Northeastern University in Tahlequah, OK. We spent the weekend explaining what it takes to see mature churches established in very remote areas of the world where there is no written language and where the Word of God has either not been heard or not understood. It was an amazing time.
Then I followed up with some of the students from Missouri State to debrief and hear what their thoughts were on the weekend at our MTC. I proceeded to Grace College in Winona Lake, IN and the Ethnos360 Bible Institute in Jackson, MI. That finished out October.
In November, I headed to Kansas State & the University of Kansas to visit Stumo folks and that was a very encouraging time also. Finishing up the month, I headed to Dallas to teach 4 Perspectives classes, spend time with a family heading overseas with Ethnos360, another wanting to come into Ethnos360 and spend a little time with our daughter.
Right after I returned home, I (Doug) had a severe bout of Vertigo. It really knocked me out for a couple of days. I am working on finding out what may be causing it and I had to cancel a trip to one of the colleges but I will get with them next semester. I was able to go to the University of Missouri and the University of Arkansas to finish up the year. By the way, I forgot to mention that we have several students from UofA in the training and four families on the field as church planters. Three of those families were part of Stumo also.
I am glad to be back home and am going to rest up a bit. Thanks for your prayers for travel.
We appreciate you all
Cheryl and I want to thank you for your prayers, gifts and hospitality this past year. Without you all, we would not be able to do what we do as effectively as we have been. Many new young folks are entering the training because they see that God’s purpose was to send His Son into the world to save it. And if it is important to the Lord to do this, then it should be important to us also.
Take care, all. We are praying for you and trust that the Lord will continue to let us work together to see interested people join the ranks of missionary work to reach the world. We love you all.
Doug & Cheryl