“Find out what’s important to God and make that important to you.”
Earlier this fall, I got word that a friend and co-worker with who I’ve spent some really encouraging moments passed away after a short struggle with cancer. In one way, this was a hard death for me to “be OK” with. Doug, my friend, was a passionate mobilizer for mission work. In particular, he connected so well with college students and many that he sparked a fire in, are serving with Ethnos360 today. So, losing a team-member like him is like a carpenter losing their hammer. But I am “OK” with this because God was OK with taking Doug home to be with Him. And I know how God is using all that Doug lived for, the lasting influence that he leaves, to push people even more powerfully over the edge of their comfort zones when it comes to what they live for.
The quote I opened with was his frequent message to students and it’s a straightforward way to live your life, shaped around God’s heart. That’s what we should do, too! We should shape what we want around what He cares for. Not the other way around. And this year, when life is super hard, we sometimes feel like we deserve to be the ones who pick out what we shape our lives around. Friends let’s keep striving to make what God says is important, our most important things too!
What we’re doing…together with you.
I don’t say that lightly. You are a part of our community and we can serve as well as we do because you vitally support us. You pray and you give to meet our needs and so, it’s only right for you to enjoy the blessings of our ministry! And right now, that’s the chance for Bethany and I and a team of others, to get to hear from students throughout Asia, how God’s Word is more opened to them, how they get a better and better feel for the big picture of God’s Story and how He wants it understood and taught. One of our students recently shared this:
“What a tremendous job you have done, dear team! Thank you very much for your dedication and a huge contribution to our lives and the lives of many others who will continue to take these lessons. Let there be all the glory to our God! “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Cor 15:58 Looking forward to what’s ahead.”
We get to be a part of equipping Christians who are ready, willing, and able to take God at His word and go and make disciples. Here’s a funny fact: one of the recurring reasons why some of our students are currently BEHIND in their classwork is that they’re out there in their towns and villages, teaching what they’ve just been taught through the videos and content that Bethany and I are producing. I don’t say this to trumpet our own virtues. I say it to make the point that these men and women are going to serve God no matter what. Our content isn’t magical. It’s just helping them obey the way they have been already, more effectively.
What’s coming up for them and us?
We had a truly intense couple of months where there were sometimes only days between when a course was videoed and when I would get to edit it and when it was absolutely “due” on our learning platform. Now, we’ve got some breaks coming up where we can gather our thoughts and feedback and continue to improve the program and curriculum…and breath a little bit too. The students themselves just finished an epic 108 video course that, unbelievably, barely scratched the surface of the big story of God from eternity past to eternity future. It was taught to them, in a way just like how they might be teaching groups of unbelievers in the future.
Next up will be courses that specifically equip them to better interpret God’s Word on their own (Hermeneutics for the nerdy members of our community) and then a solid four weeks with the book of Romans.
Wrapping up 2020
By the time you read this, we may know who our president is and we might be listening to Christmas music, which means not surprisingly, that the year 2020 zoomed by us. And while we didn’t meet our goal of raising an additional $2020 in regular monthly support, God did add to the group of regular monthly supporters in a way that was encouraging. We will continue to hope and work towards that sustaining group growing in 2021 but we do get to Praise God for how He provided for us this year. We do still need sustaining supporters as we end the year and start the next and we’d love you to keep this in your minds when you pray for us!