One constant feature of our ministry here in Philadelphia is change. Students, residents, fellows and even professionals come and go at God’s leading. Because healthcare training is comprised of many transitions, we made this the theme of our most recent Intermed, a gathering of local healthcare students and professionals for teaching, worship and fellowship.
Drs. Jim & Thanh Kirkpatrick shared about their own transitions, both personal and vocational, during a great message that challenged those who came. It’s vital for students to hear personally from those who have walked with Christ down the same roads they are about to travel.
Intermed, though, is about much more than the message. It’s also a time of connecting with others, worshiping together, and, processing the message in community during small group time. By this measure, the event was a tremendous success!
Now that we’re well into the semester, we’re going through a (small) transition of our own. I’ve visited all our campuses (at least) a few times, met the new first-years, reconnected with our returning students, and helped our leaders develop and implement a strategy tailored to their campus. After this season of intensity, Sharon and I turn our attention to investing in the relationships formed in August/early September. From now through early December, we’ll be going deeper with students, helping them to live out the gospel in the day-to-day grind of their everyday lives.
To give you a feel for what God is doing through us, I wanted to share (with permission) a portion of an email we received from one of our closest student friends, following a good conversation with him:
‘Thanks for today and for chatting and musing along with me… [and helping] me do a 180 degree on the recent “wilderness” trek I’m going through — I definitely was lost in the sense I didn’t (and still don’t really) see God’s hand in my life in a tangible way, but when you said that God is blessing me in this moment, I definitely realized that was so true — He loves me so much that He is allowing me to go through this period, molding me and shaping me more into His image; what else can I really ask for, right?’
It’s our tremendous privilege to be in relationships where we can have meaningful conversations like the one above. While we feel our weaknesses and limitations, God seems to use the questions we ask, the attention we give, and, the encouragement we offer to make a consistent difference, and for that we give thanks.
On that note, we would be remiss if we didn’t end without giving thanks for you, our support team. Intermed and the relationships we have are only possible because of our prayers and gifts. May God bless you many times beyond all that you’ve given!
Bryan & Sharon
Here are some prayers and praises for this month:
- Praise God for a terrific Intermed, home bible study brunches, many new first-year students, and, many wonderful times on campus.
- Pray for our student overnight retreat Oct. 12-13. Specifically, please ask that God helps students connect with Him and one another, and, that God blesses Dr. Josh Uy & myself as we speak on the theme ‘Rest for the Weary’.
- Pray for wisdom and fruit as Sharon & I turn our attention to deepening relationships with students, especially our campus leaders and first-year students.