We started this year off with a bang. Usually January is kind of quiet as the students get back into the swing of school after Christmas Break, but this year we hit the ground running and never looked back. We did ALL the things in January. It was nuts, but it was a good month for us.
It started with all the students drifting back from break and two new ones joining us. One is David Ritchie, who I mentioned in the last mail out. He moved up here from Texas to go to a nursing school in Rapid. The other is Brooklyn Schauer, a young lady from the Faith congregation. She transferred in at semester and is roommates with one of our other students, Hannah Valentine. Since joining our group back in January, David and Brooklyn have both been getting involved and showing up just about any time the door is open. It is great to have them on the team!
Around the same time, Alan Hardison, one of our elders at the Northern Hills Church of Christ, started joining us for our Monday night Bible studies as well. His lovely wife Deb started working nights most Mondays, so instead of sitting at home, Alan is staying up late and participating in our studies. I love having him there to help me with the difficult theological conundrums we tackle at out studies and the students have definitely accepted him into the tribe.
The same weekend that all the students came back for school, we had a lovely visit from Jefferson and Cris Lessa, who are friends of ours from our mission trips to Natal, Brazil. They attend the church we work with down there and are heavily involved with the LST program there. They flew up just to visit us because they are big sweeties. Bailey Hoeft drove down from Moorhead, MN to see them and we all had a fantastic weekend together reminiscing and looking forward to future mission trips. That same weekend, I went and spoke at the Gillette Church of Christ in Wyoming and talked about what's been going on in our campus ministry. It was a big weekend for ministry. Here is a picture of us and our Brazilian friends:
Us And Our Brazilian Friends
The next day we had our first Bible study of the semester. We started our study of Romans and had 17 people there. The study gelled. It came together nicely. This study of Romans is going to be a good thing for us this semester. The heart of Romans is about “unity in Christ” and it seems like unity is a rare and beautiful thing these days.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”
- Romans 1:16-17
The next week we had our area preacher meeting, I started a weekly Bible study with one of our students, and we got ready for our Student Organization Booth Fair. The Student Organization Fair in the Spring is usually not a big recruiting event for us and this year was about the same. We had 6 of our students help run our booth and we got signatures from two interested students, but they never ended up visiting, so that was a bit of a wash. I'm still proud of our students for helping out anyway.
During the middle of the month, Northern Hills Church of Christ put on a Teacher's Workshop to help teach teacher how to teach. Sarah and I both showed up and enjoyed listening to our presenter Carl Feril as he shared his teaching wisdom with us. It was time well-spent all the way around.
Northern Hills Teacher Workshop
At the end of the month, Sarah and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary with a weekend trip to Arizona. Why Arizona, you ask? Because it is warm and sunny and South Dakota in January is neither of those things. My mom watched our kids and we took some time off of ministry to celebrate the last decade. Our actual anniversary is in May, but this fell into our laps, so we took it and had a wonderful time.
While we were gone, the students organized a movie night and had some fun. I love that they love spending time together so much. This is a special group of college students.
The last thing we did in January was my monthly trip to Faith. Since Hannah and Brooklyn are both from Faith, they came with me this trip and we invited David as well. The four of us piled into my old Prius and drove out to Faith. I taught the lesson and we all had a good time visiting with our church family in Faith.
Thanks for reading and you have a great day!