Bill and I are celebrating 20 years helping international college students! Each and every semester since 2001 has brought new friends, precious souls to love and get to know.
We’ve tried food from a hundred countries, laughed at faux pas, and discussed Bible questions for hours. We’ve had tea parties, joined Halloween bashes, camped out, and gone on retreats. We’ve counseled through crisis. Visited students in their home country and appreciated the many thoughtful gifts. Many students have lived with us, come back to visit, or stayed for a night or two. Pictures can be found on the International Website –plus I have hundreds more, maybe thousands! And I can be followed on my site.
We’ve celebrated weddings, graduations, funerals, and baby births. Baptized new believers and won precious souls to the Lord. We have watched amazed as believers became stronger and at the bravery when students return to an oppressed country. God’s work is incredible. We are blessed because He has allowed us to do this ministry.
We are referred to now as Grandparents rather than U.S. Parents! I won’t say we’re getting old, but this last year with COVID has been tough. My mother has cancer and is weak. I’ve been spending a lot of time with her and hope she’ll come live with us. We’ve been blessed with six wonderful children and thirteen promising grandchildren. All precious.
So…we won’t be holding dinner and Bible studies in our home anymore—although we may throw a party or two. Students, you are always welcome to drop in. We’d really love to hear from you; how you’re doing, where you live, how God is working, etc. We pray for you, and if you have a need, please let us know. We love our students and will miss them greatly. This change makes me cry, but I know God’s work will continue. We wouldn’t have missed the last twenty years of ministry for anything and appreciate all the faithful people who helped us along the way.
Philippians 1:3-11 has been one of my favorite passages when a precious student must leave and it is my prayer now.
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.