The past 6 months have been a whirlwind. When we last wrote to you, we were just leaving the Navajo Nation to head up to Alacca Bible Camp for our next camp season.
It was a great but challenging summer. We had to say goodbye to some of the people we love dearly and have worked with for three years. Evelyn and Benjamin’s two closest friends in Idaho moved away to Hawaii and Texas, some married friends moved to Israel, and students we have had from the start got married and moved. Our beloved directors went back into pastoral ministry. But with the leaving of old friends came the blessing of new friends. And we are blessed to have two outstanding new directors, Johny and Bailey Schuster, serving over us at Alacca.
The change in directors at Alacca and Johny taking over the camp portion left a hole in the directorship of The Bridge Gospel Academy. “BGA” is the wonderful gap year school that Ian had the honor of teaching a class at, and leading two ministry trips with last year. Ian and I were approached about the possibility of taking over as the new directors of BGA during the summer. With much prayer, we decided to accept the position. We saw the need for this school. The need to train the next generation to seek the Kingdom of God first in their lives. The need to show young adults that you don’t need to stand behind a pulpit to serve God for a living. The need to equip students to actually KNOW the fundamentals of the Christian faith. And the need to create scholarships for the Navajo, giving them a chance to be trained in Scripture so that they could take it back to their people.
After accepting the position as the director of The Bridge Gospel Academy, we set off on the grand family adventure of traveling the lower 48 states promoting the school and recruiting students. Our children have been amazing through it all. It has not been easy to live out of one bag as we visit churches and ministries, but they have done it with so much grace. In December, we took a break from the fast pace travel to head back to Florida for a bit. We are still busy, but it has been in a more local setting. After the holidays, Ian and I went to Israel to scout out what would be the last trip of the year for the BGA students. To be given the gift of not only visiting the Holy Land but to spend time with the wonderful body of Christ that serves in Israel was something we will never forget.
So what’s next?
Normally we would be on the road heading back to the Navajo Nation, but right now, we are still in Florida. Back in August, Leah found a lump in her breast, and we had to wait until we arrived back in Florida for her to be seen by a Dr. At this point, we have had a mammogram and ultrasound and are waiting on the results of the biopsy and labs. So far, it is looking benign ( praise the Lord), but even so, the doctors might still need to remove it. We will wait until the 10th of February to find out the results and determine our next move. But in Florida, we are making sure to continue with the ministry as much as possible. Along with trying to talk to people and churches about BGA, we are working in other ways as well.
Ian is still working and expanding in anti-trafficking and chaplaincy. He has attended a conference and spoken with two groups about trafficking, specifically with Native America. He is also currently taking classes on “mental health counseling”.
Leah has worked alongside her old Muslim outreach group. Amazing conversations have come from some interactions with Muslim women.
The kids are busy with school, friends, and church. In the fall, Evelyn got to go on her first solo mission trip without Mom and Dad. She went to California to work with “Gleanings For The Hungry” for a week. And both Evelyn and Benjamin have gotten the chance to attend a youth retreat here in Florida for a weekend with a local church where they attend youth groups at. As for the three younger kids, they have been enjoying seeing friends and playing outside in the warmth for as long as they can.
- Pray for the Doctors to have wisdom in deciding what is best for Leah’s health.
- Pray that we can be wise with our time as we decide our next step.
- Pray for the kids to have friends and connections wherever we are.
- Pray that BGA will get the students it needs to run its amazing program.
- Pray that the Lord will always lead us first.
We cannot thank you enough for standing beside us as we serve the Lord. God never wanted us to do it alone. He, in His mighty wisdom, created the Church to work together to proclaim who He is, and we are so thankful for you being the Church for us. Ian often talks about how the Proverbs 31 woman is not one normal woman filling all of those jobs but that she is the Bride of Christ filling those jobs. Thank you for helping in the work of Christ!