Posted by: Jack | April 15, 2017

Looking for Resurrection Power

Why are we continually tired? Is it age? Stress and lack of sleep? Or lack of Dutch sunshine?

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Pat’s Good Friday composition, with an aquarel from one of our young people.

Then we began adding it all up. Ministry at the ETF has become more intense because of the need for Jack to design research projects that could attract external funding and staff – and his responsibilities as chairperson of the department of Practical Theology keep him busy with coordination, mentoring, internships and committee meetings.

Ministry at the church has become busier this year: more frequent board meetings, continual new developments with the church building we rent for our meetings, a greater need for Pat’s musical and creative gifts, challenges with our local contacts and hospitality ministry, and consistently working on the teaching and preaching ministry for the church.

On the private side, things have been really intense: last year, we lost Jack’s mom (March 2016), and last month we moved Jack’s dad to a care facility. It’s also exciting, because we became grandparents of Manuel, whom we love to visit regularly. They call us the sandwich generation, sandwiched between the generations we care for!

Ah, so now we understand.

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Jack’s Dad on his 91st Birthday

We are so grateful for strength and good health (besides some back troubles for both of us), for God sustaining us, and giving spiritual discernment at just the right times, and for the resources to travel and minister in these many ways. When we are weary, God gives strength!

Here’s for some reprieve: We spend Easter weekend with our kids and grandson. Next weekend, we visit the Keukenhof with good friends from Pleasant View Bible Church. Then on May 12, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a special family trip to the US. Upon our return, a seminary friend and pastor from Merriam Christian Chapel will visit us with his wife. We look forward to these visits and the refreshment of good Christian fellowship.

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Jack leading a seminar on Leadership and Hope at an ETF conference

In the meantime, Jack finishes his teaching for this academic year, found a new seminary teacher to take a new course in his department, reviews incoming internship reports, and writes two chapters on pastoral leadership (“Leadership and Hope,” and “Leadership, Spirituality and Discernment”). He is also involved in three doctoral promotions that deal with the Pastoral Epistles, with Church Renewal and with a Baptist Theology of Ministry. A little further off is our church’s summer outreach with Athletes in Action in mid-July, for which we expect to host a number of young people from Stone Hill Church. We’ve never had so many visits from supporting churches in such a short time; we’re delighted!

So, we continue to grow in discernment to juggle commitment and priorities in ministry, and … yes … it takes some perseverance. But thanks be to God who empowers us with the same power with which he raised Jesus Christ from the dead! And thanks to you for your prayers and support in partnering with us!

 

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