Praise the Lord for your prayers for me and Immanuel Mission. Please talk to the Lord about us right now if you would. School starts Monday and we’re acutely seeing our need for the Lord’s help. One student came by yesterday with his mother to enroll. He didn’t want to work last year and John questioned him about that. He wasn’t sure if he would work this year either. He questioned why he needed to have a Bible class. He left in a rage and the mother returned later seeking help as he was throwing things and destroying things at home. Her desire was for John Bloom to go to the home and apologize and tell the boy how much we wanted him. When John wasn’t willing to do that, she also was angry. It was a reminder that we are in a battle for people’s souls and often it feels like we are on the front line. Ephesians 6:18 says, “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.”
The Lord is always good to refresh me in between battles. The summer at Kansas Bible Camp was great. We saw kids trusting Christ and growing in grace each week. One example of God’s goodness: My jr. high girls’ camp was stuck at the big camp for 24 hours due to the road being flooded between the two locations. I was very frustrated as the program director since so many of my great plans were thwarted. The counselors, however, were ecstatic. They had all this free time with the girls and got to have meaningful conversations with each girl. They perceived that only 4 of the girls were not yet believers and 3 of those trusted Christ that day. The Lord loves to turn what seems like a disaster into eternal good. It is a good reminder for me right now as I’m anxious about things here at Immanuel Mission.
A fun refreshment was my trip to Johnny Bloom’s wedding in North Carolina in July. It was a good road trip with favorite nieces and nephews and we visited other favorite nieces and nephews along the way to and from the wedding. Highlights of that trip were: attacking the rapids of the James river in Richmond, being attacked by the waves of the Atlantic Ocean in Virginia Beach and a state park in Delaware, fishing with my great niece and nephew in the Potomac river less than a mile from Mount Vernon, playing hide and seek with dear friends in the National Cathedral, cheering for the Royals at Camden Yards in Baltimore, and climbing through a fuselage and many other crazy things at City Museum in St. Louis. Oh, yeah, the wedding was nice too.
My roommate this year is Elizabeth McNeal, (Tim’s daughter) from the St. Louis area. She is 18 and will help in many areas around the school I’m sure. She has already proved herself invaluable (shouldn’t that be valuable?) doing dishes and helping me with bulletin boards. She plays games too, which is a bonus. We’ve played Agricola, Nertz and volleyball so far. I think she is eager to get to know the students and will be really used by the Lord when school starts. The kids respond to younger people in ways that they don’t respond to me anymore. Along that lines, my great nephew called me “Grandma” within hours of my being at his home. I loved it but kind of wondered, “How did he know?” I’m closer in age to his dad than my sister (I had to put that sentence in). I’m delusional about my age and most of my nieces and nephews reinforce that delusion (thanks).
I’ll be teaching exclusively in the upper grades this year. I’m teaching HS English, world history, and Algebra I and will also teach music to the 7-12 grade as an elective. The English and history are new subjects for me, but Megan Thurston is coming to visit starting today, so I’m hoping she will help me plan curriculum and map out the year. She taught both of those subjects multiple times when she taught here. (Just between you, me and the Lord, I’m praying that she might extend her visit from a week to a year. We’ll see.)
Thanks again for your prayers. I was glad to see many of you over the summer and would love to have you here for a visit. My guest room is occupied, but we have a whole house that is available for guests and I’ve been known to squish up to 20 in my house for meals and games.