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October 8th, 2006 Update: In the Trenches
  In this personal update letter, find out about trenches, grace, growth, and prayer requests as the first session of Foundations Ministries is well under way with real live students. Click the Read More link below to discover more.

Good Evening,

The students and I just watched a documentary on The Holocaust, The Last Days—won the 1998 Academy Award for Best Documentary, very disturbing but I believe important to watch—and I will not be going to sleep anytime soon, so I'll take this moment to update you on Foundations.

We are doing very well. Last Monday, we had a group discussion about how, after a month here, each of us has grown to know God better. The students shared significant, personal insights. Several of them have made major decisions about relationships, reconciliation, or life direction. Truthfully, we have been pushing very hard getting this first session underway, and at times I've really felt overwhelmed. But after hearing about their growth, I shrug my shoulders and smile and say, "Well, what we hoped for is happening. It may be a bumpy ride, but God is working in them and in us." What else is there to say?

Well, of course I can think of a few things. We now have over half of the trench backfilled (the technical term for "stuck the dirt and rocks back in it again"), so the long walk is getting easier and closer to a drive again. We're deeply grateful to all those who have helped, especially our neighbors Skip and Margee for loaning us their tractor and for large machinery loaned and operated by a source that wishes to remain anonymous. So please ask God for blessings on the heads of anonymous. We're probably about 2 weeks from having power if all goes smoothly from here.

Today is Friday. I just completed a stretch of three weeks in which I taught through Genesis and Isaiah, had 3 weddings, and preached twice in church (New Song in East Wenatchee). Is there too much of a good thing? Last week, the students went on a 3-day backpacking trip led by a great teacher, Sean Hudgins. That was fine timing, for them and for me. This week was Luke. I love Luke. Jesus is shocking if you really get what He says, but He's speaking Life, and what else do we want? The students each shared how they want to respond to what we learned: to reconsider how they spend their money and time, what "being a servant" means, to spend time with the people Jesus spent time with, and to become more committed students of the Scriptures. We spent more time in study this week than any other, yet the students said the time went faster. It did...but it still took a lot of energy. Happily, my mom is visiting us for the week, so that lightens the load (or at least shifts the balance slightly in our favor).

Jesus once took his disciples away to a lonely place for some rest and to spend time with him. A huge crowd followed. Instead of sending them away, Jesus taught them. When the disciples subtly hinted that perhaps they might let the crowd to go off to find some sustenance, Jesus replied, "You feed them." The disciples can't conceive of how this could possibly happen, but then Jesus makes it possible through them (they do the physical distribution; Jesus makes the food keep coming). I've felt at the end of my strength and then people have come along whom I am certain I need to love. So then I find that there is more strength after the end of mine.


Prayer Requests
  • Kim and I need God to strengthen us and multiply our resources right now. Large multiples, preferably.
  • Praise God for how He has provided in this process of getting power. Blessings on the heads of all who have given generously of their finances, time, energy and abilities. Thanks, you Blessings-Givers!
  • Our study and work and community times have been really good. Sometimes even great! Thanks, Lord. We're still working out being involved in ministry more. Pray that we would work out the necessary details—finishing getting power being the main obstacle—to achieve a better balance.
  • If I had to choose one area I'd like to see the students grow in, it would be their times with God. I don't think they are taking their prayer times seriously enough. Of course I don't mean I want them to be more grim and somber. Okay, a little more somber (if you saw the students, you'd understand that). Everything else here—Bible study, relationships, ministry, work—stems from and builds on their relationship with God, and most of them still haven't really developed the habit of simply being with Him. I mean, they somehow don't get around to sitting down to pray, even though we've built the time into the schedule. Complacency? Spiritual warfare? Lack of children to generate that felt need for prayer? I dunno. Please pray for prayer to develop and deepen in their lives.


Today, one of the students suggested we each come up with one word to describe Grace. How would you describe Grace in one word? One said "agape," another "perfect," someone else "scrumpdilicious." I said "more."

I'd like to hear your answer.

In His Grace,
Mike Rumley-Wells

PS For those who have asked, our reading list is What's So Amazing about Grace? by Phillip Yancey, A Testament of Devotion by Thomas Kelley, Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell, Compassion by Henri Nouwen, et al, and Streams of Living Water by Richard Foster; I'm also having them read essays by C.S. Lewis, Dorothy Sayers, John Piper, Ron Sider, and Dallas Willard.
  Posted by timd on August 19, 2018
 


  
 

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