This week has been SLS Retreat (Servant Leadership Staff), last week was RA Retreat (Resident Assistants), and the week before that was RD Retreat (Resident Directors). That sums up my August and explains my online absence during the past few weeks. Tomorrow is WOW Saturday (Week of Welcome), and we have thirty-four new students checking into the dorm. All I know about them is what I see when I place them in their rooms via the online housing system — basic descriptors like name, age, hometown, and whether they have a car or not. But the fact that they will live in this dorm during the 2007-2008 school year is not a bad accident, a good fortune, or a random neutrality. They are here, for however long they will be here, because of the providence of God. The implications of this reality are manifold.
My schedule is more low-key during WOW because the students stay busy with orientation, but there’s still plenty to do. Some of my family arrives over the weekend to see Judah for the first time, closing out a month in which multiple family members visited for extended periods of time to meet him. The TMCS semester starts on Monday, August 28, and my first seminary class will be on Tuesday, August 29.
This is my final year as an RD, a fact that is neither celebratory nor secretive. I don’t plan on talking about it a lot since that would distract from relationships and ministry, but it does influence how I’m thinking about the year. In the next few months Cindi and I plan to make a decision about the next four or five years, if God grants clarity. Our main options at this point seem to be missions or doctorate, but I frankly don’t know which one (or if God may have something else for us to do). Each possibility is dependent on several other factors, so we will wait and see as God leads. I’m not against serving here in the States, and there are some types of ministry that would make me want to stay in America, but those opportunities aren’t present right now. God would have to make that calling very clear, and there are some particular things that I know I ought to be involved in if we stayed in the U.S. for the next few years. No one’s beating down our door right now, and I consider that to be God’s encouragement to be actively looking and initiating regarding our future.
Judah is doing very well, and the adjustment has barely been an adjustment. He sleeps well, he’s happy almost all of the time, he’s much more comfortable with new people than he was when he first arrived, and our feelings of love for him are beyond what we can describe. There’s lots more I could say, but not the time to say it. He is a very normal part of our family, and he is an absolute delight to be around.
After several full weeks of silence, it’s difficult to know what to say besides giving a general update, so that’s where I’ll leave it. Perhaps God will grant the grace and time to write more of substance in the days to come.
Our First Tickling Video (July 20)