June 17, 2022
Today smoky haze follows the horrendous winds of yesterday that threatened to uproot the giant Ponderosa surrounding my little house. And before that, there were fires. Driven by ferocious gusts of up to 70 mph, they chased hundreds of families from their homes for weeks at a time. People are angry, confused, and frustrated. Is it really supposed to be like this?

First, a pandemic upended our world, stealing away the lives of hundreds on the reservations, drought continued to take its toll on our area with catastrophic wildfires while other parts of the country experienced unprecedented rainfall and resultant flooding. Oh, and we tasted flooding too last year after the fires destroyed ground cover and the long-awaiting rain finally came in torrents. Instead of filling the empty reservoirs, the rain tore away topsoil, washed stray burned logs into the roadways, and ripped unheeding through homes. Heat, political tension, unrest, everything seems to be in disarray.

Oh yes, and the violence. School shootings, looting, violent protests, threats against Supreme Court Justices, and more. The stress is enough to send us spiraling into despair! As the wind kept me from sleeping for several nights, Romans 8:22-23 kept coming to mind. “For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now, and not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.”

This is NOT how it is supposed to be. And how better to be reminded this is not our destination. Indeed, we groan, as does all creation around us. But it’s not all about the here and now. As I see God transform the lives of IBC students, I long to be increasingly transformed too. I, too, wait eagerly for the consummation of my adoption.

I’m sending this additional update because the dates of my mini-sabbatical have changed since I sent out the electronic update, and I haven’t sent a snail mail letter in a long time. I probably will not be sending another update until the end of July or early August. In the meantime, please continue to remember the following requests that were mentioned in the previous update:

Prayer requests for IBC:

  • Pray that current students would stand firm in their faith, those who are serving in ministry would minister with integrity and passion, and those who are working other jobs would work well while maintaining their walk with Jesus.
  • Pray the students still on campus (about half) would hold each other accountable, encourage each other, and be intentional about their relationships with the Lord.
  • Pray for 15 new, God-called freshmen students for the Fall semester.
  • Pray for the 4 bachelor graduates involved in various ministries, that they would serve faithfully, continue to grow, and would maintain lives that please the Lord in all respects.
  • Pray for the alumni of IBC, that they would walk faithfully and serve Christ purposefully.


Personal prayer requests for me:

  • I will be taking June 18 through July 24 away from IBC to pursue a deeper relationship with the Lord, do some reading, get some rest, obtain counsel, evaluate some things, and slow down.
  • Please pray with me that I would use this time to the best advantage and that God would meet with me, refresh me, and renew me in my relationship with Him. I will be going “dark” (not accessing most email, phone calls, or texts) from July 9th through the 18th so will not be available by those means. I would SO MUCH appreciate your prayers.
  • Lord willing, in partnership with my church, on June 25 I will be attempting a neighborhood outreach in the form of a block party. Plans are moving ahead, and I am anticipating that God will do something good as a result of our efforts.
  • Please pray God would use me and the team from my church that is working with me, and He would be glorified.


Martha Gushee