“He was only 8 years old!” the student exclaimed incredulously in reference to the young boy’s gang-like saunter. The IBC student was sharing about some of the kids she worked with over the summer on her reservation. She told how one day when she was driving the van she used for picking up kids he requested that they stop for a beer and how he talked about his goal in life being to go to jail because that was “cool.” My heart broke to hear how desperately needy these kids were. The IBC student lamented not having training to work with such troubled youth and how she felt like a failure. But I saw her passion for their souls, her love and compassion for kids growing up with no adult role models that were worth emulating, and her ability to empathize because of her background.
One thing she did was to name her van the “Truth Van,” encouraging the kids to tell the truth. She committed to being truthful with them as well. This may have been the only place they had where they could count on the word of another person. When she left at the end of the summer to return to IBC, this little boy hugged her legs. God worked through her, lack of training and all, to demonstrate the love of Jesus even in a secular environment.
This is why we have IBC. Stories like this remind me that our reach goes far beyond the individual students with whom we work. They, in turn, minister to those around them.
Staff retreat went well. It seems like months ago now . . . Thank you for praying. Beforehand I enjoyed a week off, getting things in order at home before coming back in to the office full time.
Classes are now underway! We have survived the first week. Enthusiasm is still fairly strong. Below is a photo of the new students. We are blessed with a total of 23 full-time students this semester. They represent Navajo, Seminole, Hopi, and White Mountain Apache nations. One student is the daughter of Anglo missionaries working among Navajo people. They come from Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.
I am teaching Basic Study Skills, World Religions, Piano (3 students), Guitar (2 students), and Voice (1 student). I am also training a chapel music team from among the students, am overseeing and developing the life coaching program while working with another young man who
will take over next year, and coaching two students.
Please pray with me for the following requests:
- Perseverance of the students over the long haul.
- Wisdom for me, especially in putting together the World Religions course, that the students’ faith would be strengthened and that we would become more effective witnesses.
- Wisdom for Wade and myself as we further develop the life coaching program.