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Three for Thursday


Three for Thursday

Hello Family,

I’ve been praying for you this week, specifically that “the Lord who sits enthroned forever” would be “the stronghold that you run to in times of trouble,” and that he would “not forget your cries for help” (Psalm 9).

When I first started working in the television industry at a small station in Ohio, the News Director, Stuart, had a sign above his desk that read, “Whoever said, ‘No News is Good News,’ was a boring sap.’” I don’t fully agree, but there is something invigorating about hearing an untold story or receiving a good word. One of the reasons I started writing this weekly entry entitled Through a Glass Darkly back in January 2014, was to keep you abreast of the goings-on within the church body. Sometimes the essays are devotional in nature, other times they’re theological or instructional, and then sometimes they’re just news. With that in mind, here are three items that I want to pass along:

1. Houston Relief Effort. With all the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, those on the ground expect that it will take months, perhaps even years, to undo all the damage inflicted by this historic storm. According to a report on MSNBC: “Dr. Tatyana Deryugina, a professor of finance at the University of Illinois who studies the economic impact of disasters, was hesitant to put an early dollar sign on the damage, but she said there was a good possibility that Harvey would end up being the costliest natural disaster in the U.S. history.” In the spirit of “doing good to everyone with every opportunity we have” (Galatians 6:10), a host of Evangelical Free churches nationwide are lending their help over the next few months. Our desire is to send a team in November to assist with recovering and restoring lost and damaged property. You’ll hear more about this over the next two months.

2. New Junior High Intern. Over this summer, James Aeschliman has done a wonderful job teaching, leading, and shepherding our students as our Junior High Intern, but with a baby on the way (his wife, Caitlyn, is due in January) and other responsibilities, he has determined that he is unable to continue in that role. (In fact, today is his last day in that position.) Thankfully, God has provided another under-shepherd, and one with whom many of you are already familiar. Beginning September 6, Jacob Williams will be joining us as our Junior High Intern. Jacob recently graduated from the Bachelor of Applied Theology program at CBU, and before that, he did a tour in Iraq as an Airborne Infantryman, where he lost his hand after an IED was detonated while he rode in the lead Humvee of a four-Jeep convoy. Jacob has an amazing story and an infectious joy, but most importantly, he loves Jesus and loves students.

3. Coordinator of Special Needs Ministries. It’s clear in Scripture that God has a special place in his heart, so to speak, for those who live with special challenges. We care about children with special needs because God cares about them. Recognizing that all children are fearfully and wonderfully made, we see, honor, and seek to develop the image of God in them. Also, in caring for one another as the Scriptures command, if we can help parents of children with special needs lighten, even for an hour or two, the extra burden they bear, we delight to do so. That said, on September 1, Chelsea Grant will assume the role of Coordinator of Special Needs Ministries. Chelsea will be putting her studies and experience to good use, in assisting parents in the beautiful and daunting challenge of training up their children in the knowledge and grace of God.

There’s the news you need to know! Would you please take a moment to pray for each of these ministries, asking God to use us to serve and minister in ways that he desires?

Serving together with you,

Pastor John