If I were to be completely honest with you, I would say that October has been a month of polar opposites—appointments and no appointments, fun and heartache, freedom and worries. I know all of life is like that, but October has been to the extremes. Thank you for praying for safe travels to and from my conference. It was a great trip—very encouraging for the MPD and personal finance areas of my life. It was also great to see some friends from New Staff Training—I miss them a lot, but the phone helps some. However, home life seems to have been unraveling—my grandma is having physical health issues and it has stirred up things that were already difficult for me. Finally, I have made it home to do MPD. It is SO wonderful to once again be a regular attendee in my home church, to see my Family every week and to be encouraged by them. One family in particular are an incredible blessing, as they are housing me and making me a part of their family. :) On the flip side, being in such frequent contact with my family has intensified some of the personal difficulties I’ve been having. In summary, I praise God for moving me forward in the MPD process, but it has come with many personal difficulties, which have been almost impossible to separate from negatively affecting my MPD efforts.
So as I dream about future ministry, one particular group of students with whom I am most excited to work is athletes. “[A] coach or group sponsor will ask the [SV] staff to be part of the team or group. The staff has the opportunity to get to know the students, speak into their lives, and most importantly, to share the gospel with them. This is a significant SV strategy, and we have seen evidence of its effectiveness for many years.” This brief explanation from our National Directors is what I have a passion to do. I recently heard a story about Chris McClelland, who is on staff in Cincinnati. Chris has been able to volunteer with the freshman football team. Recently, he was able to share the gospel as part of a pizza party outreach for the team. “I told them about my athletic career in high school and how I always hoped sports would bring me lasting meaning and satisfaction, but it never lasted. I then explained how some friends in college explained to me how a relationship with God through Jesus Christ was the only thing that would satisfy me. I think the team was shocked that my past success did not satisfy me. They asked lots of questions about my life back then. At the end of my talk I explained how they could begin a relationship with God. Five of them prayed to receive Christ! Praise God!” Stories like this fire me up and remind me of the passion that drives me forward. I cannot wait for the day when I will be sharing with you a story like that—and it will be to your credit. I sometimes get distracted by the dollar signs, but Paul helps remind me that I do not “seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit” (Philippians 4:17).