Our Ministry To Couples

Chen-Mosebrook Wedding Liz & Bridesmaids

Liz & Dave’s wedding. Sharon was a bridesmaid.

My beloved spoke and said to me,

“Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me.”

–Song of Solomon 2:10

 

 

Tim & Tiffany - together at the rehearsal

Tim & Tiffany – together at the rehearsal

Dear Friends,

We have been blessed to be part of five weddings over the past twelve months!  There are too many joys to list, but here are some highlights:

  • having the couples over to our home for premarital counseling sessions after our kids are in bed, sharing & praying together, often late into the night
  • discussing: what is God’s purpose for marriage, anyway?

    Dan & Rachel with our five-year-old Braedon, who served as the dashing ring bearer.

    Dan & Rachel with our five-year-old Braedon, who served as the dashing ring bearer.

  • getting one-on-one time with both the bride & groom, to get to know them more deeply and care for them individually
  • premarital counseling is a great way to remember how much God has matured our own marriage, and weddings are a great time reminder of God’s covenant love!
  • watching the love grow between our children and these couples.  Braedon was twice a ring bearer, and Carissa was asked to greet guests at one of the weddings.
  • and finally, watching Bryan pronounce them “husband & wife!”
Bryan with Mike & Youna, just after pronouncing them husband & wife

Bryan with Mike & Youna, just after pronouncing them husband & wife

The verse above is the one Bryan had engraved on the inside of my wedding band nearly 17 years ago (by grace!)  As we recount God’s many blessings to us, I are reminded His gifts are rarely for us alone, but intended to also be a blessing to others.

Hopefully the photos capture just a hint of the great joy we’ve had in being involved in ministering as a family to these younger couples.  I love hosting brunch Bible studies in our home, meeting up with the individual women on campus by text, email or in person, as I’m able — as well as mentoring couples.

 

Sharon and Patricia

Sharon and Patricia

Steve and Bryan

Steve and Bryan

I feel like the blessings are all mine – but I know that’s not true! I trust God is also blessing YOU richly for your partnership in these things.  None of it would be possible without your support.  We remain deeply grateful.

    Yours in Christ,

    Sharon

Please join us in the following praises and prayers:

  • Praise God for the privilege of being involved in the lives of young couples. Pray that God sends more our way!
  • Praise God for the Grace Prescriptions course we’re using in our bible study brunches.  Students are learning to share their faith with peers and patients in their everyday, secular contexts.  One student decided to pray with patients just two days after our first session!
  • Praise God for a great Graduating Student Roundtable, where our students interacted with practicing professionals about issues they’ll soon face upon graduation.
  • Praise God for a medical student who came to Christ at an Easter service!  God used the witness of the Christian community, and getting hit by a bus (he’s alright now), to lead him to faith.
  • Pray for our campuses as leadership transitions are taking place.  Pray for us as we assist them through the transition.
  • Pray for us as we spend more time developing our ministry team.  There are so many opportunities that we need more laborers to take advantage of all that God is doing!
  • Pray for the many personal interactions with students God is giving us in person, over the phone, email and, increasingly, via texting.

 

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New Year Ministry Trifecta (Or, The CMDA Philadelphia January Update)

Winter Conf - group photo

Our 2015 CMDA Northeast Winter Conference Group!

Recently, we’ve been sending out monthly updates through MailChimp so that our support team can save a click or two.  In retrospect, though, I’m realizing that not using our website might make it seem like we’re not up to anything.  This would be – in the words of The Office character Dwight Schrute – ‘false’.  We may send out future updates in both places (here and MailChimp) to give you the best of both worlds.

Here, then, are some recent happenings since our last update in December.

Men’s Night

One of my (Bryan) passions is raising up men who are difference-makers.  Men who will change the world for Christ and make a mark for him wherever they go.

To that end, in early January we held our annual men’s night at ‘The Shabazz’, a home where 6 guys training for healthcare are living together.  (Although it sounds like a hookah bar, the home takes it name from Shabazz Napier, one of the guys’ favorite basketball players).

As the New Year rolled around, our topic was how to make – and actually follow through on – goals that change us and the world around us for Christ.  Toward the end of our time, I walked the guys through exactly how to do it and gave them the chance to set a goal right there.  Not to mention all the wings we consumed and fun we had.  One of the guys even suggested having another before this one finished.

Women’s Night

The very next evening, Dr Marcie Macolino joined Sharon in hosting our annual women’s night. The topic – how to balance life in healthcare with the rest of life – is always one at the forefront of everyone’s mind.  Although an exhaustive, once-for-all solution was not achieved, God gave the women a great discussion and tremendous food and fellowship.

CMDA Northeast Winter Conference

All of us want to make an impact for God’s Kingdom right where we are, everyday.  Have you ever felt, though, that you can’t?  Or aren’t?  I know I feel like this all the time.  We get overwhelmed, feel ordinary, and forget that God is at work.  And become isolated.

Our Annual Philly Area Denny's Run at Winter Conference!

Our Annual Philly Area Denny’s Run at Winter Conference!

These are the very things that our healthcare students and professionals are struggling with every day, and why we hold our annual CMDA Northeast Winter Conference.  This year, our theme was ‘The Extraordinary Life Of An Ordinary Christian in Healthcare: Lessons & Stories From The Field’.  We had a great turnout, with roughly 180 in attendance.  (In fact, we had to close registration early).

Without a doubt, this was the best Winter Conference I can remember, largely because our speakers were so transparent about their failings, yet pointed us to God’s work in and through them.  As we closed the conference on Sunday with a worship service and communion, there was a tremendous sense of God’s presence.  And, best of all, one of our dental students put her faith in Christ for the very first time.

Sharon and I were privileged to play a role in planning the conference, helping with logistics there, and, many meaningful conversations with the students.

In a way, you – our support team – were there, too.  Your support allowed us to represent you and your prayers were the fuel behind everything God did through us.  From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you.

With Christ’s love,

Bryan & Sharon

Please join us in these matters of prayer and praise:

  • praise for several fantastic events: our men’s and women’s nights, as well as Winter Conference.  Please pray that everyone would apply what God showed them!
  • I (Bryan) give God praise for Sharon.  She did so much for the women’s night and especially Winter Conference.  Everyone was raving about her work and she frees me up to focus on what I do best.  [End of bragging session].
  • Praise God for a solid December financially.  At the same time, our ministry account remains lower than normal at this time of the year, so please pray for me as I will be conducting more personal support appointments.
  • Please pray for these upcoming events – our home bible study brunches (2/7 & 28), focused on the theme of how to discuss faith with your patients, and, a wedding I’m officiating for two of our favorite medical students on Jan. 31st.
  • Finally, pray for our times with our students, the heart of our ministry. We need God to give us wisdom help us help them in their relationship with the Lord, and, impact others.

For The Nations, From Philadelphia

Our panel at Fall Intermed.

Our panel at Fall Intermed.

Throughout the year, we keep a pretty full ministry calendar. Sometimes, though, God surprises us.

That’s exactly what happened a few months ago when I received an unexpected call from Steve, the CEO of CCHF, Christ Community Health Fellowship, a ministry that promotes Christian healthcare among our country’s underserved populations.

He explained that CCHF’s board, comprised of physicians and leaders from Christian clinics around the country, would be here in Philadelphia for their board meeting in late September.  ‘Would it be OK’, he asked, ‘if we put together an event where his board could interact with our local students and help them gain a vision for their future?’

‘Why yes’, I replied, ‘it would be more than OK’!

So that’s what we did.  On September 20th, we held our ‘Fall Intermed’ at Esperanza Health Center around the theme of using healthcare to serve the underserved. Roughly 80 healthcare students, residents and providers from all around the city gathered to:

  • Learn about the overwhelming need for quality healthcare right here in America, and, how healthcare providers are uniquely positioned to share the gospel. (Did you know that a Gallup polls shows that people trust their physicians and dentists more than their pastors?)
  • Hear real stories of God’s faithfulness from real clinicians serving real patients in Christ’s name.  It was inspiring to see how deeply these providers love their patients and get involved in their lives, as opposed to the usual (and understandable) tendency to hold them at arm’s length.
  • Receive a strong challenge to hold onto, or rekindle, their passion for missions. So many times this is lost amidst the financial, emotional and spiritual toll training exacts.
  • Prayerfully consider – near the end of our time – a next action step to practically respond to what was shared.
  • Eat great food.  Generous contributions made it possible to eat Chick-Fil-A not once, but twice.  This might have been the most exciting part of the event.  (Just kidding!)

You may remember that 1 in 5 physicians in America (and countless other healthcare providers) passes through Philadelphia for some portion of his/her training.  As a result, we recognize that God has entrusted us with a special opportunity to share Christ’s love with the country – and even the nations – simply by being faithful right here.

Thanks to God, beginning with a surprise phone call from Steve, we took another major step forward toward reaching that goal.

Thank you, friends, for making it possible through your prayers and gifts.  Together we are making a tangible difference in the lives of the patients and colleagues our local students and providers touch every day.  As the years go by and students continue to go throughout the country, your investment is multiplying exponentially.

For the Gospel,

Bryan & Sharon

For prayer & praise:

  • Please praise God for a fantastic Fall Intermed and the many people who helped it happen (especially CCHF, Esperanza and our student leadership team).  Please pray that God leads those who came to take specific follow-up steps of love and obedience in response!
  • Please pray for our upcoming Fall Student & Resident Retreat (Oct 11-12). Specifically, please ask God to lead many to register (ends Oct 1st – tonight) and connect deeply with God and others in their situation.  Also, please pray for me and the providers as we interact with students and lead sessions.  Finally, pray for Sharon as she provides a great deal of the logistical support for the event.
  • Praise God for many new first-year students throughout the city!  Each year God is faithful.  Pray that God grants discernment to know who to invest most deeply in, and, how best to do it.  We want to make a lasting impact!
  • Praise God for three student couples Sharon & I are counseling, two of whom I’ll be marrying in the winter/spring.  Pray for us to provide wise counsel, and, to model the sort of marriage we desire for them to have.
  • Finally, please pray for God’s rich financial provision.  We are at a lower point right now.  I’ll be attending a fund-raising conference Oct 28-29 to gain fresh ideas for adjusting our strategy so that we can setup the ministry to accomplish all that God has in mind.  Your prayers for the conference and resulting fruit are coveted!

 

Campus Leadership Summit!

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Campus Leadership Summit 2014!

Campus Leadership Summit 2014!

Over recent months, God has challenged us to think about how we can focus on what we do best, and, where we can bring unique value to the students and professionals in our area.  With 8 different campuses, we want to have an increasingly clear focus on what matters most!

Without a doubt, one way we can ‘mak[e] the best use of the time’ is to invest in our student leaders.  Since they impact others in their campus fellowships and experience nearly 100% turnover each year, equipping them is one of our highest priorities.

This past Saturday, along with Medical Campus Outreach (MCO), God allowed us to do exactly that.  Fifteen students from 7 of our 8 campuses joined us for a half-day event that exceeded our expectations. In addition, a resident and three professionals currently supporting the students joined us for portions of the day. Later, one of them shared this:

I was glad to come! Thanks for organizing it! I was able to get in some catching-up with [two of the women], and to hear the Temple guys out as they formed their “keys to the game” for the coming year – both very excellent things!  Especially that last little bit was helpful and I feel more aware of their priorities for the coming year and also more able to be involved. 

Here are the topics we emphasized:

  • What Matters Most: Your Walk With the Lord
  • Servant Leadership (led by Steve Munz, MCO)
  • 12 Principles of a Successful Campus Leadership Team
  • Everyone’s Back: Now What?  (Reaching First-Year Students, Establishing A Clear Vision)

Throughout the day, we allowed for small group sessions by campus so that the leaders could personalize what we discussed.  Afterwards, I emailed some key follow-up questions and will touch base on them as I go around to our campuses.

All in all, it was a tremendous time of teaching, fellowship and application.  We trust that God will multiply our small investment in the months to come.  Thank you, dear friends, for making it possible.  You are an absolutely essential part of our team!

With love,

Bryan & Sharon

Please join us in praise & prayer for the following:

  • Praise God that the students are back!  And, that the Campus Leadership Summit went so well.  Pray that God helps our leaders apply a few things God impressed upon them, and, that he helps me (Bryan) follow-up faithfully.
  • Praise God for a new (to me) ministry car.  So thankful!
  • Please pray for great wisdom as I visit all our campuses as much as possible this first month.  I need God’s help in discerning what each campus’s leaders needs are, how I can help, and, which men to start/continue investing in.  Pray also that God helps Sharon connect with the women He has in mind.
  • Pray for many first-year students to get involved: they are the future of our campuses and next year’s leaders!
  • Pray for new donors, and, our overall account balance, which is lower at this time.
  • Pray for Intermed (teaching, fellowship, worship for local healthcare students and professionals; domestic missions theme) on Sat. 9/20 from 9a-1:30p at Esperanza’s Hunting Park location.
  • Finally, pray that many students and residents would come out to our Fall Retreat on 10/11-12.  We’re praying for 25 to sign up, in addition to several professionals to serve on a panel and connect with those who come.

Summer Snapshots

Chao & Stoudt Crop

Chaos & Stoudts at the rehearsal dinner

Sharon and I recently took a self-paced DVD course in photography. Although we’re not exactly shutterbugs yet, one of the principles that kept coming up went something like this:

Don’t miss life in the process of taking the perfect picture – just take a few snapshots and move on!

This month, we’re going to give you just that – a few snapshots of what God did.  We hope you’ll enjoy reading about them as much as we did participating in them!

  • June 12th – met with a ministry leader and friend about supporting a new campus in our area.  One of our council members serves as adjunct faculty there, and, there’s a strong faculty adviser already in place, so we’re excited to see how we can help.
  • June 17th – first meeting with a new couple we’re mentoring.  Great time getting to know them and their stories.
  • June 18th – nice time of discipleship with one of our campus leaders.  In response to the question, ‘What was one key thing God has been teaching you this year?’, he mentioned ‘God has taught me to be quieter and listen more to what others have to say’.  Priceless.
  • later that day – reconnected with a physician I hadn’t seen in some time.  I appreciated his candor in asking for prayer to overcome cynicism and living for comfort.  His request itself is a sign of God’s work.
  • June 21st – spoke with a physician who wants to get involved with PCOM, one of our medical campuses.  Her willingness to jump in and see what God will do is exactly what the students need!
  • June 22nd – hosted a gathering for students, residents and practicing professionals at our home.  God gave a true spirit of openness and vulnerability, with a theme of ‘trusting God when life is hard’ emerging among our professionals.  Great for those who are younger to listen in and learn.
  • June 25th – met with a student leader at one of our dental campuses.  Met with two of his co-leaders on different days because their schedules are so intense we couldn’t coordinate!  We’re working together to see how we can create a community in this environment.
  • later that day – met with a local pastor who’s completed medical school before receiving a call to ministry.  Curious to see how God will let us work together!
  • July 2nd – terrific time of discipleship with a student.  God used his questions about a relationship and his future calling to lead us into even deeper issues that, more fully explored, will lead to great blessing in his life.
  • July 4-6th – officiated the wedding of two of our student leaders!  We had done their pre-engagement/marital counseling, so it was a privilege to be there for their special day.  We also had the chance to visit two couples from the area who are good friends and supporters of our ministry.

So, there you have it… or, some of it, anyway!  A lot more happened, but hopefully this gives you a feel for this past month.  Thank you, thank you for allowing us to do what we do!

With love,

Bryan & Sharon

For prayer & praise:

  • praise for a balanced month where we enjoyed time with students, but, as many are away or busy, also with other people who are both friends and essential to the ministry.
  • praise for the privilege to share in the Tim’s & Tiff’s wedding.  It was such a great joy to see them officially starting their new life together!
  • praise that God has provided us with a cost-effective, solid car I can use for ministry. Thanks to the many, many people who prayed, networked and contributed to this effort!
  • praise for our first-ever picnic for residents and fellows (7/12) and the two local physicians who graciously hosted.  Those who came want to meet on a semi-regular basis and stay connected with each other.
  • pray for our support development efforts to yield fruit.
  • pray for our next summer gathering (7/20) and citywide campus leadership training (8/23).
  • pray that our family’s time away at ‘Joni & Friends Camp’ (7/28-8/1) is both restful and a time to grow in what it means to have Matthew as part of our family.

Strengthening Our Foundation

Dr Jim Reynolds, sharing with the students during one of our last brunches for the semester

Dr Jim Reynolds, sharing with the students during one of our last brunches for the semester

Now that June is here, our students are either gone or engrossed with finals or board exams.  Thus begins our summer, which will last until the students return in mid-August.

Although we miss them tremendously, it is also a special season where God gives us time to strengthen our foundation, the part of our ministry that, although unseen, provides the basis for the more obvious, public parts of our work.  In this update, we’d like to let you in on part of that foundational work.

Our Council 

Without a doubt, the volunteer healthcare professionals that help us in our work are a critical part of our ‘foundation’.  Some serve on our ‘council’ in an official capacity where they play various roles – working with students, spear-heading new ministry efforts, and/or, helping me think through issues and vision on a more strategic level.  Over the summer, I check in with our council to see how they feel about the role they’re playing, and, how we might work together to put them in a place where their gifts, time and talents may serve the Kingdom best in the context of our ministry.  

Residents Ministry

One of those new offerings is our ministry to residents, those who have graduated from medical school but still have (approximately) 3-7 years of further training before becoming full-fledged physicians.  Working roughly 80 hours per week, they are busy, but need to continue connecting with God and other Christians so that, at the end of their training, they will be in a position to serve their patients and colleagues.  (And, simply be in a healthy place themselves).  

To that end, I’m thankful for Drs Alex & Kim Lin, who have agreed to take the lead with this.  We’re busy identifying residents in the area and will then invite them to a ‘welcome picnic’ on July 12th, where they’ll have the chance to meet others in their situation and hospital for future connection.  In addition, we’ve been asking them what would serve them best given their unique situations.  No doubt there will be lots of trial, error and adjustment along the way, but we’re excited we can take steps to support them in this critical time!  

Growing Our Support Team

This past year has been one of tremendous blessing, but it takes an increasing amount of resources as our vision grows.  Sharon, for example, has been serving as our part-time administrative and ministry assistant (focusing on our women) for roughly 9 months now. She has been such a blessing to our work that it would be hard to overstate her impact.  At the same time, her salary, in addition to normal donor attrition, has led to the need to increase our support base.

So, over the summer, we plan on asking you, our current supporters, for the names of a few others who might want to hear about our work.  It’s also a fantastic opportunity to catch up and hear how we can be in prayer for you and your family!

Well, there you have it.  A short, but representative, look at the unglamorous yet essential work on the foundation we tend to during the summer.  The truth is that you, through your quiet prayers and gifts, are also an important part of that foundation yourselves.  Without you, the whole house would crumble in a second!  But with you, each day God is adding to it in ways that only He can fully comprehend.

In Christ’s love,

Bryan & Sharon

For prayer & praise:

  • praise God for the conclusion of another year of phenomenal student ministry at our 8 campuses.  Many, many signs of God’s work in and through our students!
  • praise God for the blessing Sharon has been to our work as her role has expanded.
  • please pray for the informal summer gatherings on 6/22 & 7/20 at our home.
  • pray that God helps us to identify our Christian residents (they can be difficult to find due to busyness and isolation), that they can attend our welcome picnic on 7/12, and, that we can figure out how to best serve them throughout the year.
  • pray that God connects us with new individuals and churches who will support God’s work through us.
  • pray that God provides me (Bryan) with another car.  Mine recently died and we are working on a very limited budget in finding a new one.  (Let me know if you hear of anything!)

 

 

Transition Time!

relay raceThe look of stress on the faces I pass says it (without words) all.

This last month before classes end, and ‘boards’ begin, is a trying time for most of our students.  Things have a way of piling up at the end of the semester, and (understandably) everyone tends to be a little more distracted and a little less available.

So, every May, we adjust our strategy.  Our meetings with students are less frequent and shorter.  We check in more through emails and texts: ‘How’s it going? How can we pray for you?’  And, with new leaders onboard, I work hard to set up meetings with them to strategize for the coming year, address any areas of concern, and help them establish their key priorities.

To give you a feel for how it works, I had an especially good meeting with the leaders from one of our dental campuses.  They’ve been extremely committed in re-launching the group during their first two years, but, understand their commitment next year will be more sporadic because of clinic, which involves seeing patients.  In addition, we will only have 1 leader next year who won’t be in clinic, but he has some other factors that may make it harder for him to ‘run point’ and lead the club.  All of this can feel overwhelming, and, make it challenging to continue the group’s recent success.

This is why I’m here!

Over lunch, I helped them develop a simple, but effective strategy:

  • reach out to first-years – they will be our future leaders and help the fellowship stay strong;
  • I will support the leader who’s not in clinic – so he has guidance and doesn’t have to ‘go it alone’;
  • keep meeting weekly – to provide continuity and much-needed refreshment, even during exams and seasons of busyness;
  • seek the support of the professor who’s been coming – although faculty can’t come frequently, their example of following Christ in the academy is irreplaceable.

It sounds simple – almost too simple, right?  It’s certainly true that this would not qualify as ‘rocket science’, but in the midst of schedules with precious little time, I feel privileged to help the students stay encouraged and take the small steps that will help them obtain God’s vision for their group.

Each campus leadership team’s needs are different, but real nonetheless.  As leaders stay focused on the Lord and His vision for their group, their fellowships thrive.  Thank you for making it possible for Sharon & I to support our leaders; together, we’re making a difference.

In Christ’s love,

Bryan & Sharon

Please join us in praise & prayer for the following items:

  • Praise for great leadership teams at our area campuses and the opportunity to speak into their lives.  Please pray that God gives all of us wisdom to discern His vision for each, and, the strength to live it out.
  • Pray that God gives the students strength to finish well academically, and, to keep growing in their love for Him.
  • Pray for our ministry team as we start to minister to medical residents (the stage in training just after medical school, but before becoming a full-fledged physician).
  • Finally, please pray that the Lord provides a reliable, cost-effective car for me as mine is, as they say, near the end of the road.

 

 

 

Changes!

For those of us in the Northeast, this past week or two has finally brought a change in the weather.  We’re still experiencing a colder day here and there, but temperatures are now generally in the range worthy of the designation ‘spring’.

It may be coincidental, but, spring is also always a season of change for our ministry.  We’d like to share just a few of them with you here.

Bittersweet goodbyes.  On March 21st, our graduating fourth-year students went through ‘the match’, the process that determines where they’ll spend the next 3-5 years of their training as residents.  Although most are moving on to new locations, we’re thankful that a few are staying close.  Without fail, there are always some surprises as the computer algorithm works its magic.  (Under the Lord’s direction, of course!)

Jen, a graduating student from Jefferson, was one of this year’s pleasant surprises. We’ve know her really well for these last four years and watched her serve as a key leader at her campus.  Along the way, God led Jen into an interest in general surgery, a specialty that definitely fits who God has made her.  But, we (including Jen) didn’t expect her to match here in Philly, so we were overjoyed we learned that she’ll be with us for another 5 years!  Although most of our other students will be going to other locations, we trust that God will multiply what we and others invested in them during their time here.

New campus leaders.  Each year, each campus fellowship gets an entirely new leadership team as the year’s current leaders move on to their clinical rotations, (generally) month-long experiences where they learn about the different branches of medicine.  Every year, we marvel at God’s faithfulness in providing for each campus group new students who are ready to step up and serve.  Over the next few months, we’ll be meeting with the new leaders, helping them discover and implement God’s vision for their particular campus.

One Constant.  Throughout all the changes, one thing remains the same: our call to invest deeply in the students God has given us.  Currently, Sharon & I are involved with ‘couples counseling’ (i.e., pre-engagement or -marital) for 6 different student couples, one of whom I just had the privilege of marrying.  In thinking through my schedule for the next few weeks, I realized that I have been meeting with about 15 men on an (at least) somewhat regular basis.  Sharon invests in many of our women.

To mention just one example, recently I had the chance to meet up with ‘Jeff’, a local student leader over a cup of coffee.  The group is fairly new, and I had the opportunity to not only rejoice with him over its successes, but also to suggest what it might look like for the group to keep moving forward.  We discussed the need for more intimate community, connection among the men, and, identified outreach opportunities as a key medium-range goal.  I also had the chance to show Jeff that the confidence he can have in Christ is a key step forward in his growth as a leader, something that will make him more effective not only now, but as he moves throughout his training.  I feel so privileged to speak into, and encourage, the students God has given us!

So, as we head toward year’s end, many changes are taking place.  And yet, we are staying focused on our core priority of investing in students’ and leaders’ lives. Thank you, dear friends, for making it possible through your prayers and gifts!

Warmly,

Bryan & Sharon

For prayer & praise:

  • praise for four wonderful years with our graduating, fourth-year students, and, for God’s faithful leading toward their next stage of training.  Please pray for us as we invest in them for these last few months, and, that God provides solid mentors and churches for them in their new (as of July) locations.
  • praise for new leaders for each of our campuses.  God is faithful!  Please pray that God gives wisdom as we begin investing in them.
  • Pray for Sharon & I as we mentor/disciple the different students God has called us to invest in.  We need discernment to see where God wants to encourage and challenge each one (or couple).  Pray that the Spirit takes our admittedly small efforts and powerfully multiplies them for His glory and their good!
  • Finally, please pray for our next student brunch tomorrow at 9am.  We continue to focus on the topic of ‘sharing our everyday faith every day’.  This semester, practicing professionals are joining us and sharing their real-life experiences to help the students gain a vision for this area.

Community Life & Relationships Seminar Update

Community Life & Relationships Seminar Group ShotJust wanted to provide a short update on all that God did at our Community Life & Relationships Seminar this past Saturday.

God answered your prayers in bringing out 32 people to learn more about what it means to live in community and approach relationships from a biblical perspective.

I opened our time together with a biblical framework and overview on relationships, then Liz Mosebrook (a counselor) did a great job helping us ‘diagnose’ the common relational challenges we struggle with, and, providing specific help in moving forward.  Especially helpful was a time of personal reflection where we had the opportunity to consider where we struggle in particular, and, set specific goals for progress.

Later, one student mentioned that God had shown her that, while she was willing to put herself in risky situations physically, she has been less willing to do that on a relational level.  Seeing this disconnect in her life was very helpful and will be a blessing in moving forward.

After a fantastic lunch, we ended the day with two seminars, one on dating and relationships (Sharon & I), and one on life in community (Nurse Practitioner Deborah Moss).  These were rich times of teaching and personal interaction.

On a related note, Deborah has been casting vision for forming intentional community among healthcare students, and several have expressed a desire to possibly live together in North Philadelphia beginning in the summer or fall.  Among other things, it’s our hope that these students would both gain a heart for using healthcare to serve the underserved, and, be blessed by all that these communities have to offer.  Stay tuned as God unfolds this story!

As you can see, God blessed our time together.  Thanks again for your prayers!

Prayer Needed: Community Life & Relationships Seminar TOMORROW

puzzle piecesPlease pray for our Community Life & Relationships Seminar tomorrow (Saturday) morning from 9am-12pm, with optional seminars running afterwards until 2pm.

We’ll be thinking about God’s vision for relationships, the obstacles we encounter in them, and, how we can practically grow in this area.

More specifically, please ask God to:

  • bring those who would most benefit, and, to give them receptive, teachable hearts through His Spirit;
  • help the many details to come together and go smoothly;
  • bless Sharon, Liz Mosebrook, Deborah Moss, and I as we provide the teaching;
  • work in our lives long after the seminar ends; we are asking God to use this event as a springboard toward lasting change that honors him and blesses many others through those who attend.