Today’s update gives a very personal and up-close look at the day-to-day happenings of Bethany, written by President Dan Brokke to Bethany associates, ministry interns, and students in his weekly update.
It has been some time since we all prayer walked the campus. [We did this last Tuesday]. It was again great to hear what each ministry department is believing God for and other challenges and opportunities they each face. I took time to join up with different groups as they visited various areas. One thing that really touched me was how one group prayed for and laid hands on the Services Team one at a time. Embedded in these prayers were statements of appreciation and testimony of the impact they had had in various lives. I agree. Another testimony was from John DePree of how God has provided just this week. Early on Monday BPI was preparing to shut down for four days – they had enough orders for one day’s work. John and Henry Krell (volunteer chaplain for BPI staff) met at 11am for a time of prayer asking God for sales – by the end of the day they had new orders for 700,000 more books to be produced by the end of September. John asked, “Was it our prayers that made the difference?” We may not know, but this we do know, “Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights.” God loves it when we His people approach His throne seeking grace and help in time of need. He loves it when we set aside time to seek His face, ask for His wisdom and understanding, and humble ourselves under His mighty hand.
Chapel – Alumnus Pete U.
I wish all of you could have heard Pete U. (’76) share in chapel. Pete and I had never met before today. He arrived on campus in late August 1975, the week that I moved away.
Pete hit a homerun in all that he shared. He encouraged us to endure, to stay with it, to keep trusting God no matter how long it takes to see answers to your prayers. He spoke of God’s leading beyond (and better than) our plans and ideas. Pete and Carol served for a number of years with Wycliffe and now serve with them in the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics where Pete teaches and prepares workers for translating scriptures. I so appreciated the way Pete used stories of God’s work to bring truth to life – the story of the TESOL teacher who invested wholeheartedly to friendship and relationships; the way God went ahead of Pete to use a godless professor to point Pete to the right person in the right town to bring a breakthrough. And, while here at Bethany, God met him and revealed Himself to Pete in his personal prayer closet (one of the boiler rooms on campus), through the answered prayers of Reba Dahlen and Helen Strand (their brother’s salvation after decades of prayer), and the impact of truth taught and demonstrated day after day.
Encouraged in the Lord
The past six weeks have seen the change of a fiscal year and preparation for our annual audit, wrapping up of a school year, an internship team coming back from Thailand, the senior retreat, graduation, getting dorms fully ready for new students, a sophomore orientation, a freshman orientation. The first 3-week class, Evangelism, Discipleship and Community, has all the students together – nearly 90 students. Others have traveled, are preparing for evaluation and selection of 35 applicants for next September’s Global Internship, moving offices, a number of special events that demand more on our services and kitchen staff, and several special projects such as upgrading our high speed internet service throughout the campus (still in progress). As well we are heading into the last six weeks of sending in our first round of accreditation reports and the self assessment and improvement plan.
So, where is the encouragement? Sure, we continue to operate with tight budgets, but I feel for the first time in more than four years, that we are able to focus in a new way on the future. I hear it in reports, I see it in our appointments, it is seen in our meeting agendas, and shows up in our projects. In the next few weeks we have opportunities to meet with other ministry leaders who want to work with us. Next week we have a phone conference with our partner regarding a mission training project in Asia; I meet with a dozen ministry leaders at Wooddale Church regarding the upcoming Lausanne conference; in a couple more weeks the leadership team from YouthWorks will visit the campus; I have a meeting with the President of Oral Roberts University…others have many other connections. This is a short list.
So, again, where is the encouragement? God is here. He is worthy of being trusted. He deserves our worship. It is His presence, it is His provision, it His power that brings all fruitfulness. Our first value statement is “We Join God.” Where is He working, where is He leading, where can we align with Him! We don’t really know that without taking the time to listen, to seek His face and to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. This starts in the place of prayer, of worship, and by listening.
I can feel the pressure of the work load – it never leaves me. But the oppressive burden of it is lifted when I find my heart settled in the knowledge of His love and will. I pray that you are encouraged in the Lord. He is with you. And, please know that you are prayed for. Take time to carry each other’s burdens. Share yours with someone else, and stop to carry someone else’s as well.
I know that for me the load of responsibilities is not going to be less, but in the Lord it can be lighter.
You are loved,