Since I last wrote, something very exciting has happened: all the students, on all our campuses, have returned! In this update, we want to share with you all that God is doing through us in the students’ lives. Here we go!
At Drexel and PCOM (my two primary campuses), both fellowships have strong leadership teams, and I’ve been honored to provide input and consultation for them as they make plans for ministry this year. Both groups have also seen strong early turnouts, with about 30 students coming out so far. I’m also spending significant time meeting with men for mentoring and discipleship.
One of these meetings, with “John”, was especially good. At the end of last semester, John shared how he had to repeat second-year because of his grades, and that he was discouraged because he wasn’t sure what would make things go differently next year. As we sat down for lunch recently, though, we rejoiced at God’s provision for him. God had helped John form better study habits and put His finger on pride that was isolating him from others who could help and pray for him. I was thankful to learn that God had used me as a part of the process as well, and even more thankful to hear that John is looking for ways to serve our fellowship when it would be easier for him to say he needs to focus only on his classes.
By mid-October, I also plan to visit our other area medical campuses, providing encouragement and input as God leads.
Our ministry council, which serves alongside me on campus, has also been active. Dr. Charlene Brock is meeting with women at Drexel, Dr. Jim Kirkpatrick is planning a panel discussion at Penn that will engage Christians and unbelievers, and Dr. Rich Shoemaker is speaking at Temple, with plans to mentor men and host the group for a retreat at his family’s mountain cabin. I am so thankful for these fellow servants who provide living examples for the students of what it means to serve Christ in healthcare.
Bible Study Dinners
So far this fall, we’ve hosted two bible study dinners at our home, with about 15-20 students attending each time. This Saturday, we studied Psalm 131 in the context of what it means to stay connected to God now that the academic year is heating up. As usual, we enjoyed connecting with students from around the city and talking late into the night.
Praying for Expansion
Although we remain focused on our city’s medical campuses, it’s my prayer that God will eventually enable us to begin supporting the area’s other healthcare campuses. Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with students from Penn Dental, Temple Dental, Temple Pharmacy and various programs at the University of Sciences in Philadelphia (USP). While the council and I cannot personally take on additional campuses, we hope to find other healthcare professionals who can come alongside us in reaching the students.
Over the last few months, I’ve been blessed to develop a closer relationship with Dr. Bob Snyder, a former emergency room physician who now serves as President of International Health Services (IHS). IHS trains international healthcare workers to train others in healthcare to share their faith in medical settings. For some time now, our local students have been seeking more formal training in just this area: like Jesus, they want to treat the “whole person”, not merely their physical ailments. Recently, Dr. Snyder has invited me to come along with him on one of his international training conferences (Kiev, Ukraine, Sept. 24-26) so that I can train our students in Philadelphia. Our hope is that many here will not only want to receive the training, but train others in the city as well!
As you can see, God is powerfully at work. Thanks so much for your prayers and gifts that God is graciously using to make this ministry effective!
Bryan & Sharon
Please keep these prayers and praises before God’s Throne this coming month:
- Praise God for great beginnings at our area campuses! Please pray that: students continue to come out, the student leaders, council and I pour our lives into the first-year students, God gives the council and I wisdom as we help the leaders lead, that our times with the students would be used richly by the Lord, and that God would be aggressively pursuing those who don’t yet know Him.
- Praise God for giving us connections with students from schools who would like more ministry support. Please pray that God raises up new laborers so that we can effectively support them!
- Praise God also for the upcoming ministry training opportunity in Kiev (Sept. 24-26). Please pray for safe travel, but even more so that I will come back excited and fully-equipped to train area students and healthcare professionals to train others in this critical area of sharing their faith at work.
- Finally, please pray for our support. We are currently at 85% of our total need, but the economy continues to affect us, both in terms of donors’ ability to follow-through on their pledges, and in our ability to recruit new support. Please pray us across the finish line – there’s so much more we can do once we reach our total need! See the “giving” link at right if you’d like to start giving, or, would like to catch up on past pledges.