Hello, dear friends!
Today, as I reflect on these past summer months, I am thanking God for…
- The joy of good fruit… seeing students desiring and taking intentional initiative to reach out to their friends and classmates
- Seeing the Lord wooing and drawing hearts
- God’s patience towards us and desire to give and restore life
- Continued relationship and discipleship opportunity with Gitta and her desire to walk with God and grow in relationship with Him
- Health progress — recent updated mycotoxin lab showing previous high levels of mold toxins mostly cleared
- Growing relationships
Though I feel a bit like I did as a schoolchild on many a first day of school at September’s arrival, wishing summer could extend a while longer, I also welcome it’s coming with excitement for the opportunities ahead in this new season. As has come to be expected and anticipated with the start of September and a new semester, there is much to engage with and lean into these coming weeks and months! I am excited to share with you about one specific exciting new opportunity this Fall:
Women’s Discipleship Groups
We are starting something new! I wrote often in the past about a weekly young women’s Bible study that I led the past few years. What a privilege it has been to delve into God’s word with the young women who took part, some for shorter seasons and some for long, approaching hard questions together, marveling at God’s character and goodness, praying for one another, and walking alongside one another in discovery and pursuit of Christ. I praise God for the growth and fruit that I’ve witnessed over the course of these years!
Last Spring, I began to sense a time for change for our women’s bible study and was praying at how to move forward with our women’s group. At the same time, Leah, our pastor’s wife, began to have a growing vision for the women’s ministry in our church. When she shared the vision in her heart with me at the end of Spring, I was filled with a deep sense of peace and excitement knowing this was exactly the direction to go. Even now, I have to marvel at God’s preparation and hand.
The nature of ministry here, working with many international students, is that much of our church body is only with us for a few years before they move on to other places. We have a unique opportunity to pour into them during these years and then send them out, all over the world. Our vision is that they would encounter Christ in a transformative way, growing in their relationship with Him, and that they would leave here raised up to share the hope of Christ and make disciples wherever they may go. The vision Leah shared was built exactly around this, envisioning discipleship groups with a more focused plan and intentional direction for making disciples who make disciples who make disciples.
Our plan for this semester is an eight week study through the book of Ephesians, looking at who God is and who we are (identity in Christ). We will have a few different small groups throughout the city, with four of us each leading a group. In time, during the study, we want to give opportunity for others to have a chance lead a study. We will meet with them to study the passage together and help them learn and prepare to lead, and our hope and prayer is that next semester and in the semesters to come many of them will go on to lead a group of their own.
Next Thursday, September 9th, we will have our first gathering for this. On this occasion, we are inviting all those who are interested to come and hear more. We will share more about why we study the Bible and what we will be studying, and invite them to consider making the commitment to joining a group for these eight weeks.
There is much we desire and hope for for these women, will you join me in praying for this occasion and for these few key things?
- That Christ will be known and encountered in a real, transformative way
- That these women will grow secure in knowledge of who God is and who they are in Christ
- That they will learn how to study and rightly divide Scripture
- That any who have not yet put their faith in Christ will do so
- That others will be raised up to lead on their own
- That God will be known, adored, honored, and praised.
Thank you for your continued support and prayers! As Paul prayed in his letter to the Ephesians, so I pray for you: “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom, and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead…” (Ephesians 1:17-20)