I know that I've slowed way down on blogging. Please forgive me. Life is going "full steam ahead". Ministry life is filled with ups and downs, good days and bad, light-hearted times and heavy-heart-breaking times. We have loved being here and pray that the Lord will continue to allow us to serve Him here for many years to come!
Summer has arrived! On a college/university campus, it means your campus is almost a "ghost town". This year, most of our students from the year have gone home, graduated, or are traveling. This is different from previous years. That's ok. We are still having a few events during the summer, but not as much on the weekly gatherings. There is just too much going on as a family.
This summer is filled with different types of trips for us a family. We were blessed with the opportunity to travel to D.C. for oldest daughter's senior trip. We had a family host us. They were so gracious! We still have anniversaries and weddings to attend, along with visiting supporting churches and individuals, and taking our oldest to college.
This is an exciting time! But, we also don't want our kids to grow up. :-)
Please be in prayer for us!
It's been a while since I've blogged. Life is still happening here at Purdue! It just can be overwhelming at times (like everyone else!). We have seen students come to Christ, ones who were already believers really grow in their faith, and others just allow us to share who Jesus is. To be honest, nothing is easy, but nothing is really easy in life anyway. :-)
As a family, we seem to always be in a state of flux and change. Most of the change, we have brought on ourselves because of relocating here to Purdue and then all of the changes in family life as the children grow up (from their changes in grade levels to developing interests). Change is something that some people thrive on and for others, it is dreadful. For us, change has brought the best and worst out of us times. The best has shown up in our drawing together as a family as we are always learning to lean upon the Lord to get through challenges. The worst has shown up when we show impatience and irritability towards someone or something when it's not going the way we think it should go. We are still humans with sin natures. Praise the Lord, He is still faithful when we aren't so much!
Which brings me to my point: The Refiner's Fire. In the Bible, God tells the prophet Malachi that He will purify Israel like a silversmith. I desire to reflect the image of my God, like pure silver or gold. However, like the silversmith or goldsmith has to turn up the heat while melting the metals to pull out the impurities of the metals, so God has to do the same thing in our lives sometimes. It hurts! The heat gets hot! But it is because He loves us that the impurities need to be removed. Those impurities aren't always apparent to us. Sometimes those impurities are attitudes, thoughts, and even emotions. I believe that "change" can be used of the Lord as the Refiner's Fire. I truly believe it has been a part of our lives.
In the end, God is so gracious and loving! I'm thankful and honored that He chose us to serve Him here. I look forward to seeing what He has in store!
We are praying for the Lord to show us His plan and vision for our ministry here! He is bringing together a variety of different "pieces", we are just praying for Him to reveal what we can handle of the picture that these pieces would make. We don't know if we are to partner with a church-plant, or add to our ministry? Either way (or any other way), we don't want to attempt to control or determine what the Lord would have us do. This is a big deal! We long for the Lord to lead and guide!
We got the opportunity to share with a Sunday School class today about all the different things we learned and observed during our recent trip to China. It was great! They were even asking some great questions about our experiences and how we will be applying it to the ministry at Purdue. We were extremely grateful for the chance to give great details. Thank you again, Lord!
We have returned from a long expedition to attend a national conference along with visiting family and supporting and praying churches. We have been presenting our needs to those who would listen. Although, we had some make verbal commitments to prayer about what they might do, we are sure what will happen. However, as I'm typing this, the song, God is Able, is playing. We know He is able to do all things, our struggle is to remain faithful in prayer in our appeal to our Father. We have seen Him provide through people and groups so many times. Knowing of His promises, we rest in that.
So, the question is, "What will He do?" this time. I find myself identifying with the Israelites of the Old Testament way more often than I would like. They would watch God do miracle after miracle and yet would forget by beginning to complain about what God wasn't doing or that He might have ill-will towards them.
I don't believe that God has any ill-will towards us, but it is more about my lack of faith even in the midst of His provision. I know of my weaknesses and I'm constantly asking for His mercy and will to be done in my life.
We need Him to provide between an additional $500-$700 a month. Along with that, we are asking for His direction and provision about an opportunity that was presented for either myself or both my wife and I to travel to China this fall (it would be apprx. $3000 for each).
If you are reading this and feel led, go to our Get Involved page or click on the link in the top right.
The Lord has been so gracious to our family as we seek to serve Him! He has provided in ways that no one could have ever expected.
Well, we are at a place in our ministry life where we are praying again for His provision. We have had new needs come to our attention and with the loss of a few of our supporters. We are setting up appointments and asking the Lord to provide at least $800 a month. This is not impossible, but critical to continue without making some additional changes. We are at peace that the Lord will lead and provide, but we are asking Him for the faith to see Him at work. Above all, we are asking Him to provide this in such a way that only He can receive the glory. Please pray with us, if you are reading this. Also, please let us know if there is someway that the Lord might use you whether through the support or connections.
Yesterday was a wonderful day! The greatest reason was to celebrate our RISEN Savior! Second to that, we had one of our Chinese students attend church with us and get to here the Gospel. Second to that, we had 5 (2 Christian, 2 cultural atheist, and 1 Muslim) students in our home for Sunday lunch. During our time, I shared with them what the different symbols of Easter meant from the Easter bunny to the empty tomb. Some even asked questions. It was a wonderful day!
Praising the Lord for opportunities to present this ministry!!! This past Sunday, we got the opportunity to present to Remington Family Church in Remington, IN. It was awesome because for the first time, we had one of our students join us! Being a Christian, it gave him insight as to what we do and why. We were able to share with him first in greater detail before we presented.
We never withhold information from our students whether they are Christians or not! However, those students, who are Christians, can comprehend clearer why we do what we do.
My family and I are always looking for opportunities to share what the Lord is doing. I know that I smaller group of people actually read this blog, but IF the Lord leads you to read this and prompts you to recommend us to share this ministry with those who you know, please contact us. Pending logistics, we will "entertain" all ideas.
I'm amazed at all the things that I have learned but more than that, I'm overwhelmed at how much I still need to learn! Learning about different religions is one thing, but when you add in the aspect of culture, things double. I have been learning a lot about Islam lately. The religion is complex, but when you add in the dimension of culture, not all assumptions apply.
The same goes for attempting to understand any group of people. We apply stereotypes all the time because we believe that it will simply our understanding. But I'm here to tell you that stereotypes only lead to trouble and typically will be wrong. For example: in China, we presume that all Chinese are ping-pong players, know kung fu, and are really smart. First of all, there is no way to judge a people group's intelligence. As for sports and abilities, they are different as your people group. Not all Americans like baseball. Not all Americans like apple pie. Just the same, not all Chinese play ping-pong nor know kung fu. Some Chinese like tennis. Others like basketball. Get to know a person! Learn about them and who they are and what they like, you'll be amazed!
That's all I h
Dennis Runner- a witness, a follower, a student, and a lump of clay in the hands of my God and Savior.