Last month, classes began on campus. We were so excited to start a new semester and meet the new students, families, and childcare kids. Within the first two weeks, our girls caught RSV and had a very difficult week fighting it off. I missed a week of teaching in childcare, and it was not the smooth beginning we had hoped for. Right as the girls started to recover, we received news that my grandmother passed away. It was bittersweet news as we know she was ready to be with the Lord, but she was such a loving, supportive grandmother whom we miss so much! I am so thankful that I was able to go to her funeral and remember her life and legacy surrounded by family. Our first few weeks of the semester did not meet our expectations, but as I was reading in Colossians, this verse stood out to me:
And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.Colossians 3:17, NLT
Even when I find myself home with sick kids, or in the airport headed to a funeral, God’s grace allows me to represent Him in those situations.
Now that things have settled down a bit, I can update you all on our ministries and some answers to prayer about our involvement at church and in our local community. As we prayed with the word “equip” in mind, God opened up an opportunity for me (Kathy) to continue my own education. I will be taking a course this fall, the first of three levels, to become a certified educational therapist. The training is from the National Institute of Learning Development (NILD), and their stated purpose is “to help students develop tools for independent learning in the classroom and in life.” Our prayer is that this training will equip me to better meet the learning needs of childcare students, older children, and adult learners on campus who can benefit from educational therapy.
Nick remains as busy as ever, keeping up with grounds and maintenance, and solving interesting dilemmas, like a tree root that grew right through a sewer line. In the afternoons, he oversees students who serve around campus. (Every student takes classes in the morning, and then completes their work detail in the afternoons—cleaning classrooms, helping on grounds, working in the garage, etc.) The BGM team also recently completed drilling a new well here on campus, and Nick will be working on finishing details with that project.
This summer, we prayed about how to get connected at our church and with our local community here in Missouri. At church, Nick has started playing bass with the worship team, and I have been serving in the nursery. We also joined a life group of other families where we can study God’s Word and serve in the community together.
We are starting to get connected in town in some other ways, too, which is a big answer to prayer for us! Nick plays basketball once a week at a local church that opens its gym up to the community. The men play basketball together, and then students or staff from Ethnos360 Training lead a Bible study for any interested. It has been a great chance for Nick to get to know men in the area.
Naomi recently started a dance class at a local, family-focused dance center, and she has made so many little friends already. Some of these girls will be in her kindergarten class next year, so it is nice for her to form some friendships through this class. We love our community of people here on the Ethnos360 Training campus, but we also enjoy getting to know people outside of the missionary/Christian sphere and meet people who live nearby. Pray that we can be faithful and gracious witnesses in each of these settings.
- Time management and mental focus as I start my four-week course with NILD
- Nick and the BGM team as they complete and start new projects on campus
- Faithfulness for our family to be representatives of Christ in our local community
If you would like to know more about the “around the world” focus of what Ethnos360 is doing, check out the news on Ethnos360.org to see what is going on. Thanks for tuning in to a small snapshot of the big picture as you keep up with our family and ministry here! We could not serve here and equip students to reach the unreached without your partnership!
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace in your hearts to God.Colossians 3:16, NIV