n has had quite the adjustment at rice university in houston, where the weather is warm (still 80F) and the social life is soaked in alcohol. i've honestly been quite surprised by the reports of student life at what is supposedly a top-rate academic institution, one of newsweek magazine's 'new ivies.' but some things never make it into the promotional literature! she seems to be doing well academically, loading up on languages (french, spanish, and attic greek) to go with her earth science class on the oceans. outside of class, she spends time with 'the people' (the group of friends pictured above), hangs out in the south asian society, and fellowships in a couple of campus ministries and a local church. she would appreciate your prayers, as the spiritual climate of rice is a major challenge.
b is now in her junior(!) year at columbia and still loving life in new york city. she's a history major, and appears to be headed toward a concentration in american history. afterward, she hopes to go to law school (she's studying for the lsat now) with the hope of helping to abolish human trafficking; she is literally a modern abolitionist. her schedule is incredibly packed (the blessing and curse of being a high-capacity person): community impact (the mentoring program she heads up for high school students in harlem), intervarsity (where she led the new student outreach and gave more messages this fall than i did!), and not one but two jobs (in the law school and in the history department). the downside (and the item for prayer) is that she tends to say 'yes' to too many things, frustrating herself and others; pray that she will be able to set a few firm boundaries, even if it means disappointing some folks. in her spare time (yes, she actually does find a little), she works out, plays a bit of soccer, and loves to explore the big apple.
m is in her second year at fuller seminary northwest. though she complains that she is not a student and doesn't know what she's doing, she is doing a pretty fair imitation, getting very good grades and even winning an award this past year for helping to create community among students at the seminary. she is taking three classes this fall - new testament greek, systematic theology, and spiritual formation. it's a bit of a stretch academically and financially, but she is hanging in there pretty well. and she still finds time to encourage her classmates and help them with their greek, as well as to be an active prayer minister at our church. the prayer request for m is that she will not only complete her work, but gain all that God has for her in the process.
i continue serving as a staff pastor at lighthouse, largely in the small groups and local outreach ministries. but i fill in wherever i can, including in the pulpit (only about four times a year, which is less than i've spoken in any of the other 25 years or so in ministry, so i get restless) and helping with web development. i've got my eye on the leadership development process of the church, but time will tell whether i get a chance to do much in that area. we are actively praying and discussing the future; your prayers (and suggestions) are most welcome!
the LORD God has given me the tongue of disciples that i may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. he awakens me morning by morning, he awakens my ear to listen as a disciple. the LORD God has opened my ear; and i was not disobedient, nor did i turn back.