Fall has finally found us here in Wisconsin. The mornings are frosty, and the boys wear coats on the way to school. The leaves are showing their colors before they drop, and our trick knees and elbows are reminding us that yet another year has passed and winter is on the way.
Over the years, the end of August was filled with busyness and excitement with new students to get situated and introductions to be made and relationships found, seemingly ex nihilo. Recently though, it seems as if summer’s passing is a bit more bittersweet. “If you know, you know…” As your own leave for THEIR own, it can dramatically change your perspective of the season’s change.
As a ministry update, officially, things are humming along! We welcomed 21 interns to the EBI Internship Program that we “coordinate.” This included a 5-day camping trip where we helped keep a kitchen running for the 120 student leaders and staff that were included. As always, being outside was a great place to experience God differently, and we learned lots about leading WITH each other. As Alumni coaches, the fall is beginning to show itself as that inevitable ‘reality check’ when previous expressed interests meet with phone calls answered (or unanswered) and critical steps are taken to ensure the next steps into ministry (whether it be further training, advocacy, or a combination of all of these with some kind of daily work) to serve the King of Kings.
Many of you are familiar with the challenges of “wearing multiple hats.” Pastors, parents, administrative assistants, curriculum development, financial managers, engineers, mechanics, event managers, landscapers, childhood development specialists, transportation supervisors, just to name a few… In our roles here at Ethnos360 Bible Institute and for the larger organization, we often find ourselves with our hands (and heads!) full of these “hats.” In early September, Joshua went to Florida to share about how the intern program and alumni coaching all fits into the big picture of training and drawing in co-laborers for ministries that Ethnos360 is engaged in. It was a good trip, encouraging and productive, but it’s always more difficult when we aren’t together.
By way of family updates, we’ve “got a lot going on.” Jonah is in 1st grade and loves it, he’s becoming quite the reader. Ezra is in 3rd grade and loves to draw and is currently “obsessed with Legos.” Isaac, or, as his friends at school call him, Ike, fully enjoyed 5-6 Soccer and talking NFL player stats. Addie is taking 2 AP classes and music theory and memorizing lines for her role as Marmie in their school production of Little Women. She’s also a barista at the little coffee shop around the corner and helping in the nursery at church. Josie is a 1st year student across the street and up the hill at EBI. It’s strange to have her so close but still so far away. She’s enjoying classes and new friends but not so much having to balance work and homework and class and friends. It still seems strange to type, “Emma is married and doesn’t live with us anymore.” She and Wyatt have a cute little apartment down the street with all their houseplants and vintage chic (hand-me-down) furniture. We miss them and know that they’re happy and enjoying each other. Tmama and I have been helping teach Sunday School to the 4-6th grader at church. It has been fun to teach kids the big picture truths that we’ve taught at the Bible School, a LOT sillier and fun.