“You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom..." Luke 22:28 I want to know the reason that the Lord has brought these trials into my life, and if I give up half way through, I may never find that reason out. But if I persevere then God is faithful to show me the good things on the back side of the trial. This semester met us with quite a few trials. Intense sickness, overwhelming circumstances, new challenges. There have often been times of doubt and the desire to give up. But this years graduation 2 weeks ago brought a great redemption. The semester just ended on such a high note, with so many students encouraged, with staff absolutely united, and a bright future in store for the bible college.
The Graduation this semester took place in our brand new coffee shop which was finished just the week before by a mega construction team from Fort Bragg California. When we talk about being able to do the impossible with the Lord, this coffee shop will always ring true as proof of that. What the team was able to do in just a week and a half was astounding. And the astounding nature of it is seen in the picture below displaying what the room right next store still looks like. There is a lot to be done. But the potential and the excitement was fully displayed the night of graduation as we were able to use our new room so soon after it was finished.
This is our great staff for the Spring 2015 semester. The truth is I actually tricked them into taking this picture as an excuse to have them all together so that the students could surprise them with a special dinner.
This is a picture taken of the class of Nehemiah which was taught by Cory Kilgus (middle back) and translated by Matthew Carver (back right).
After handing out certificates to each of the graduates, the staff laid their hands on them and prayed for them. Represented amongst the graduates are 2 Americans, each from California, one Brazilian from Sao Paulo, and 2 Peruvians from Huacho and Iquitos.
I got the chance to present the graduation certificate to one of my favourite guys, Cory Kilgus, who, after graduating, is becoming one of our long term staff members.
One of the great stories of this semester for me is the way that I have been mentored by Pastor Bill Holdridge (seen above on the right). This semester has marked a turning point in the bible college's history in that the Director John Bonner has decided to take a step into a visionary presidential role and take his hands off day to day details of the college. Through much prayer and prodding from the Lord, he has led Ivy and I to be those providing the day to day details and administering the vision of the Bible College to the students and staff here. With this new step being taken, I was so thankful for the presence of Bill training me as a leader. As I watched Bill make decisions and considered what I would probably do in that same situation, I realised all the more how much I was thankful for his input (as I realised that in many situations I probably would have done the wrong thing :). But I have confidence in God's guidance and am looking forward to the next few years as the college just becomes more and more established in the vision that the Lord has for it. Thanks Bill for all your help. (I don't think we ever took a picture together...what a bummer).