Greetings! Vanessa and I have just entered into the world of blogging (who would have thought!). We pray this blog will be a means for us to share what God has done and is doing in our lives. We desire that all who read will “stop and consider the wondrous works of God” (Job 37:14) which he has so clearly manifest throughout our relationship, and which we expect him to continue to manifest throughout our lives.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Concerning Our Future (Update) - 10/22/12
Dear Family and Friends,
I'm writing to you all because, in one way or another, you have played a big part in both Vanessa's life and mine. I wish we could have done a better job in keeping up with many of you, but we wanted to at least inform you where we are at right now.
As you may or may not know, this is my fourth and final year at Bethlehem College and Seminary. A lot has changed over these three and a half years. I moved to Minneapolis as a single man and I will be leaving with a wife and daughter! I am unbelievably grateful for both of them! But it has been an amazing spiritual journey as well. God has met us here and shown us more of Jesus than we ever knew, and he has given us a greater love for his Word and a desire to teach it to others.
Two passions in particular have blossomed in me the past few years. First, as I have become more aware of the massive need for theological education among pastors around the world, my heart has been inclined to move overseas and play even a small part in building God's kingdom where his name is not known.
The second passion is the study of the Hebrew language (also Greek, but especially Hebrew). The summer Vanessa and I spent in Israel studying Hebrew changed the trajectory of our life. I benefitted immensely from learning Hebrew the way they taught it there (i.e., communicatively, like any other spoken language), though I already had years of experience with the language before we went (i.e., by learning it in college and seminary from grammar books). There is a real need for more teachers to be trained with this method of language learning, and thus more students and pastors around the world equipped with the biblical languages. I believe God has given me the vision and desire to play a part in this process. I have been using this method to teach Hebrew in our church's institute the past two years and have absolutely loved it (so have the students)! This has only fueled the desire in me.
As Vanessa and I look toward the future, we are uncertain how and where God is going to use us. Both of us have had a desire to advance God's kingdom overseas. The big question we have been wrestling with is how will these pieces fit together (i.e., theological education overseas and teaching Biblical languages)? There may be other possibilities that we have never considered, but from our limited perspective these seem to be the contexts that fit our gifts and desires:
(1) Teach in a seminary or college in the US and regularly take trips overseas to teach pastors (there are many ministries that lead these kinds of trips).
(2) Teach pastors overseas, probably in a seminary where it is more likely that I could teach the Biblical languages. (These two possibilities are not necessary mutually exclusive)
That being said, we have been seriously praying about returning to Israel after I graduate for an extended amount of time (~2 years) where I would study at Hebrew University and learn both Biblical languages well (through the communicative language learning method). At that point, Lord willing, I would be equipped with the tools to teach the biblical languages in a communicative manner. This is a massive decision, and it raises all sorts of other questions, but we are trying to trust God one step at a time. Some of you are already overseas and some are stateside, so you all have different perspectives on where these particular gifts might fit. We would love your input!
Please join Vanessa and I as we pray about all of this. We are confident that God has influenced us the way he has, giving us both gifts and desires that he will use for his kingdom purposes. We will try to keep you up to date with where we are at in this process. We are grateful for you all and are blessed to know that many of you pray for us regularly.