After many snowfalls, we have three feet of snow (more in the drifts) on the ground! This amount of snow on the roofs can cause significant damage to our buildings. Some of our neighbors in the community have already lost roofs to outbuildings. The Massey and Morrison families spent this past Saturday shoveling off roofs that posed problems and salted the over-sized icicles that hung off the roofs. We are so thankful for our donors, whose sacrificial gifts have supplied us with the tools necessary to handle the extra snow that God has given to us this winter!
Our skid-steer is a great tool to move snowbanks further back, giving the plow more areas to move snow. Although not pictured, our brand new plow truck has been a great blessing. Maintaining the property is an essential element of our gospel work! Thank you for partnering with us to share the precious news of the Gospel with these teens.
It causes a lot of work, but we are thankful for the snow. Much like the rainbow that gives us a reminder of God's promise not to flood the earth again, the snow on the ground gives us a constant reminder of three elements of the Gospel message that we have been called to share with our students.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
1. The blemished are in need of snow-white cleansing.
2. The blood of Christ is the agent of snow-white cleansing.
3. The brilliancy of God’s glory is reflected in our snow-white cleansing.
Every time we may be tempted to complain about shoveling the mountains of snow, let us remind ourselves of the biblical picture of thorough cleansing that is offered through the blood of Jesus Christ on our behalf. It is this snow-white cleansing that David sought and the same cleansing that each of us need so desperately. Please pray for us as we strive to teach the cleansing power of Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice on the cross to our students!
The past few weeks have included a lot of miles and events. Lynne and I ended January at the Refresh Conference at Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, Iowa. It was a great time of spiritual refreshing as we heard preaching from some of our heroes like Les Ollila, Marty Herron, and Douglas Maclaughlin. Lynne and I connected and reconnected with friends that we went to school with and others in ministries that have been a part of our “circle” for the last 25 years or so. I also had a chance to meet up with a few students and recruit a bit.
After a few days at home we headed out on a 10-day trip to the Carolinas and Georgia. The anchor for the trip was attending the CORE counseling conference and the Bible Conference at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC. Lynne and I were challenged with the ministry of Harvest USA as they address and invest in the issues the church faces regarding sexuality and gender confusion. The Bible conference theme was “Prayer.” What a fantastic time of challenge and prayer! We also had a display table at the conferences and had many opportunities to inform people about God’s work up here at Victory and recruit staff. These conferences are great times to connect, network, and build relationships with people. We have good friends around BJU, and it is encouraging and edifying to keep up the connections.
While out east, we also stopped in and visited the Ballards, a former student and his parents. John and Beth are great parents and pour their lives into their sons. I think they were as encouraging to us as we were to them. Lynne and I were also able to spend a day with Lynne’s brother and sister-in-law a couple of hours drive away in Georgia.
Ministry is about redemptively connecting with people. Everywhere we go we meet hurting and struggling people. My conclusion is that in some ways we are all hurting and in need of encouragement and exhortation to trust God and dig into His Word. Life can be hard. Our Hope is Jesus. We rejoice that God uses us wherever we go.
Please pray for us as we have major trips planned to Michigan, Ohio, and Minnesota over the next couple of months to visit supporting churches and promote the ministry. Pray specifically for God’s provision for our staffing needs of a Residence Manager and several single Resident Assistants.