Each time I started writing this month’s update, something changed and I had to rewrite it. In September, it felt like “smooth sailing” on campus. A group of students successfully moved out to the woods on campus to experience their Simple Living course (a 17-day course focusing on practical skills and teamwork). The rest of us seemed healthy, and a few people with colds tested negative for COVID-19, which was a relief.
Now, this week, I am home with my daughters because childcare is closed for the next few days. Unfortunately, we had our first positive case on campus a few days ago, so everybody is working to adjust to the needed precautions. Thankfully, technology makes virtual classes an option for the students. However, many of the students here are parents as well. Any parent who has experienced working from home with babies or toddlers understands that it can be a juggling act.
I miss my childcare students because I love that early educators are “foundation layers.” I have the privilege of helping lay the foundation for future learning. Nick has been working on foundations lately too, but he has been working on actual physical foundations at work. His team is adding an extension to one of the well houses that provide water on campus, and he dug the spot for the foundation. As we discussed the different types of foundations we are building, we agreed that both required intentional effort. Nick followed a plan as he excavated, and I plan lessons and activities intentionally to help my students learn and grow. In the same way, God plans every detail of our lives as He lays foundations for us to be equipped to know, serve, and glorify Him.
I’ve been discouraged this week that the students here are having such an unusual semester. But God reminded me that He is laying foundations in their lives for future ministry. Will they face unexpected challenges? Will their plans change at the last minute? If they continue in ministry, the answer is a definite yes. While I don’t always know each detail of God’s blueprint, I know that He is intentional with us and does not waste a single event in our lives. I trust that He is laying foundations in the hearts of the missionaries in training here, and I know He is using recent events in my heart as well. It’s not what I would pick (as a very social person, I do NOT enjoy social distancing), but I do trust that God is at work.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.Ephesians 3:20-21
- Please pray for the mitigation efforts here on campus and that everyone can be flexible and learn new ways of engaging in course content.
- Pray that this unusual year can build strong foundations for the students who plan to serve globally among the unreached.
- Pray for our Ethnos360 coworkers who continue in Bible translation and church planting around the world, and for young churches in newly reached people groups who are growing up leaders in their local congregations.
We are currently healthy, COVID-19 free, and Nick is working diligently on projects around campus. I am enjoying a few days at home with my girls (my first and favorite students), but also sending some learning packets home for parents to use with their kids during class hours. I can’t wait until I can be back with my young students, but I’m thankful that our leadership here values everyone’s health and safety so well!
Thank you so much for the many ways you partner with us in ministry. We pray for you often, so if you have any prayer needs, please let us know!