Hello team! Yes, we are still alive. It’s been a busy time for us. Sorry we haven’t gotten a newsletter out since early September, I think. It feels like it’s been forever and there is so much to catch up on. So this might be a little longer than normal.
First off, my computer is finally working again, hence, being able to finally write a newsletter. I ended up upgrading my operating system which then caused more problems but those were eventually worked out. I now have a working computer! The only problem was that then, we didn’t have working internet.
That leads into the next thing. We've moved! Our old landlords finally sold our place and the new landlords were going to significantly increase rent. So with that, we decided it was time to move on. We found a place for under what our new landlords were wanting to charge and cheaper than anything else we could find.
It’s a great place but it’s smaller and a bit farther away from campus. It’s definitely more rustic and we’ll be roughing it a bit more. Its water well doesn’t always produce and has a distinct smell at times. Hopefully, that’s something that can be remedied. There’s pest problems which can be taken care of eventually, too. Oh, and the snow. We’ll get much more of that (maybe even over 200 inches this year if El Nino actually develops) come winter with sketchier roads. We definitely feel like God provided this place for us but it’s not going to be easy.
With the move, it’s been really stressful. Having to pull it off during our busiest time of the year has been trying. I’ll spare you guys of most of the details. But I guess I should tell you why we didn’t have internet. We’ll, after moving in and switching over all of our new mail to the new address, we found out our new address doesn’t actually exist according to the postal service. After talking with them, we finally got that straightened out but not before a lot of our mail went into limbo…including our internet router which was being sent to an address that didn’t exist.
Our cell phone service at the house is also in limbo as we had to order a signal booster but it couldn’t be delivered to an address that didn’t exist. So that on top of everything else has made things fairly difficult. Thankfully, the Lord is working things out step by step so we won’t have to learn how to use smoke signals and carrier pigeons. Still, be praying that things would go smoothly with the housing transition.
Ministry-wise, things are great. Our numbers for our Tuesday night discussions on campus have slimmed down a bit but our small group family dinners in town continue to be consistent and if you combined them, bigger than they were last year.
With FCA, we have cut that back to meeting once a month. Rachel and I have the student-athletes over for dinner and Bible study. With their crazy schedules, this seems to be much more successful with a good mix of old and new students coming. They are more committed to making it this year now that it’s only once a month.
Exchange, our ministry to international students has gone really well too. The group this year has been very open to what we’re doing. They’ve come on our retreats, camping trips, and other adventures where we’ve not only been able to help them with their conversational English, but we’ve also had great discussions with them about Jesus. They end up having a lot of good questions that we get to work through with them. They are a very adventurous group this year and not afraid to step out of their comfort zones in life and spiritually too.
Speaking of adventure, we’ve had probably one of our busiest starts of the semester with events ever. We’ve pretty much had an event every weekend since the start of the semester. I think my favorite so far has been the camping trip we did. We camped and had some rain move in overnight. The storms dropped about 4-5 inches of rain on us. Most had a couple of inches of water in their tents by morning. Thankfully, we had a roaring campfire and hot chocolate to warm us up.
With the storm, our hiking plans ended up getting snowed out in the high elevations so we ended up making snowmen and having a snowball fight instead. The best part was watching two of our freshmen lead devotionals for the group. It was awesome seeing them passionate about their faith, willing to step up and share about Christ with their peers. It’s something we’ve really been praying for.
With discipleship, we’re seeing a lot of growth in the students we’re meeting one-on-one with. It’s been very cool to see. It’s encouraging for us to be able to be a part of what God’s doing in their lives.
It's been such an awesome semester with the ministry so far. We love that at Fort Lewis, we can reach Jerusalem (Durango), Judea (Colorado), Samaria (the rest of America from Alaska to Florida) and the ends of the earth (Japan) all in one place...and we're thankful that you guys can be part of that too!
-That the Holy Spirit would be working on the hearts of our students.
-We praise God that He has answered our prayers and brought us some solid student leaders.
-That our housing transition would go smoothly.
-That God would help us not neglect our marriage.