Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happy December!

Oh, the weather outside isn't frightful... in fact, it's quite delightful! 

 After getting quite a bit of rain and chilly temperatures, we have been blessed these past few days with some wonderful, sunny weather here in East Tennessee... today is supposed to be near 70! Great day for a walk! We know that winter will eventually arrive, but for now, we're enjoying the mix. Fall was beautiful, and winter is bound to be lovely as well. We did get a few flurries the other day, and we all ran outside like little kids to see some huge flakes falling from the sky! It hasn't been cold enough for anything to stick, but we're excited to see how everything looks dressed in white. :)

This quarter has been going well, for which we are very thankful! Lee's classes this quarter are: Synoptics II, Christian Evidences, Greek II, Missions I, Bible Geography, Timothy-Titus, Exodus-Deuteronomy, and English II. All of the instructors are excellent and you can just see how much they care about each student. We are thankful to God to have this wonderful opportunity to study under these wonderful men. The wives' class for this quarter is Old Testament Survey, taught by Teresa Hampton. It has been an excellent class; taught by a sister who is a lovely example of what a true Christian lady should be. We are so blessed!

One of the biggest treats we've had recently is that Julia's mom and sister came to visit us! It had been just over a year since we last saw each other, so it was a wonderful reunion. We enjoyed having them with us for about two weeks and were sad to see them go, but so very grateful to have spent time together.

Isn't family great?! 

We're also very, very excited about our upcoming trip to Oklahoma to visit family and friends there over our Christmas break! We are overwhelmed with the goodness of our God and the blessings He has given us. Not only do we have everything we need physically, but we are blessed beyond measure with a wonderful family that loves Him. Remember to hug your families and to thank our God for them! Instead of making the holiday season revolve around gluttony and materialism, let's all use the time we've been given to enjoy our loved ones and to thank our Lord for making it all possible!

Our love to you all,

Monday, October 24, 2011

New York and Break Week!

Hello dear friends!

Today marks the first official day of break week here at the East Tennessee School of Preaching and Missions, and we are enjoying it thoroughly so far! Our first quarter was a great one... and overall it went very smoothly! Of course we've had stretches of stress and feeling too busy, but all in all, school has suited us both very well.

After a week of finals, we were blessed to be able to go with the school to Jamestown, New York to participate in a campaign there. What a wonderful time we had there! Two 15 passenger vans left the school at 6am Saturday, the 15th, and arrived in Jamestown about twelve hours later. The brethren at Jamestown were so warm and inviting and treated us just like family. The entire time we were there, they cared for our every need - keeping us in their own homes and feeding us wonderful meals each day.
Bill Bryant (right) with one of the students, Tom Bowling

The students were headed by Bill Bryant, who teaches Evangelism at the school, and he did a wonderful job each night - delivering encouraging lessons for the members about evangelism and affecting the community for Christ! The Jamestown congregation definitely has some folks that are willing to be put to work in the Lord's vineyard!

During the campaign, each day started at 8:30am with a short devo and planning session before heading out to the streets. The students were divided into teams and we all went out and knocked doors - praying for open hearts.

Lee and I were on a team with the Gillentine family - Jeremy, Amber, and their four children. They were a great team to be with! The kids did great doorknocking and talking to people!
 Jamestown is the hometown of one of the second year students and his wife, so it was great to be able to get to know their families and their home congregation! The fall foliage everywhere was simply gorgeous, and everywhere you turned, there were the cutest little century-old houses! The whole trip was a treat for the soul and the eyes! Just about every house we walked up to, I said to Lee "This house is SO cute!" Hehe... :)

 At 4pm each day, all the teams would meet back at the church building to discuss the day's accomplishments and to turn in contact cards to Rick McCurdy, the preacher at Jamestown. We talked over the good and the bad and what we could do better the next day. I think we can safely say that everyone learned something over the campaign - whether we had been doorknocking before or not! 
Rick McCurdy (left) discussing a contact card with one of the students, Greg Wanderman
Lee and I were privileged to stay in the home of Rick and his wife, Jeanne, who were the perfect examples of Christian hospitality! Rick is a graduate of ETSPM and invited us to come and hold a campaign there with them this year. We know that the church in Jamestown will continue to benefit greatly from their presence and work there!
The campaign concluded on Wednesday night and all the students packed up and headed home. During our 3 day campaign, we knocked almost 3,000 doors and the church there now has about 40 contacts to follow up on! Two specifically requested an in-home Bible study, and we already had a visitor from the community on Wednesday night! Please join us in praying for all those who were contacted during this campaign that they will be receptive to the gospel and for the brethren at Jamestown that they continue to work for the glory of God!

A special "thank you" to all our supporters who are making it possible for us to be involved in this work - we couldn't do it without you! As soon as Lee gets his grades back from this past quarter, we will be sending out our quarterly reports to update you all further on our progress here at school!

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, unto him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20,21

In Him,

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nearing the End of Our First Quarter‽

Hello our long-neglected blog readers!

Yes, I can hardly believe that we are finishing up our first quarter at ETSPM - and hardly a blog post in sight! Terribly sorry about that... maybe one of these days I'll get the hang of consistent posting. :)

In case you were wondering what we've been up to in the last few weeks, I thought I'd share a few noteworthy tidbits!

Of course, first and foremost, much of our time has been devoted to classes at the school. Lee has had twelve classes this quarter, so the schedule is quite full! This quarter's classes have been: Genesis, Intro to Study, Intro to Ministry, Critical Thinking, Greek I, Hermeneutics I, 1, 2 Thessalonians & Philemon, Intro to Bible Study, Synoptics I, English I, Evangelism and Christian Home. Though it has certainly kept him very busy, Lee has done very well and has been enjoying the classes. I've been happy to be able to sit in on several classes, which has been fun!

A while back, Lee and another student from the school, Jesse Nelsen, spoke on a Sunday at one of the area congregations that until the last couple of weeks didn't have a preacher. They did such a great job that the men of the congregation requested that they come and hold a Gospel Meeting for them! Lee and Jesse agreed, of course, so this month we were so thankful to be able to join with the Jefferson City congregation in this effort! They are about an hour away from Knoxville - a small, very friendly congregation that welcomed us so kindly! Lee and Jesse alternated speaking and delivered some wonderful lessons on the blessings of being in Christ with their theme "The Abundant Life." We were so happy to be able to encourage this congregation and to receive some wonderful encouragement from them!

Today marked the end of finals for this quarter, and now we are turning our attention to preparing for the upcoming campaign in western New York that the school is taking part in! Lord willing, we will be heading out early Saturday morning. The plan is to take part in doorknocking efforts as well as to support a Gospel Meeting that this congregation is hosting. We look forward to working with the brethren there in Jamestown!

Autumn is here in East Tennessee, and we have been enjoying the magnificent display of fall colors! It's such a cozy time of year - one of my favorites - and I just can't get enough of the beauty all around us. Our God is certainly the Greatest Artist!

We pray that you all are having a fantastic week and that God's blessings will be with each one of you!

In Him,

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Hello dear friends and family!

What a whirlwind these past few weeks have been! We've been to/through 8 states, unloaded our trailer into our new apartment, visited two supporting congregations, attended a lectureship (at which Lee spoke), set up our house, found furniture on Craigslist, and now we have internet at our apartment!

On the Road to Tennessee!

 On our way from Oklahoma to Tennessee, we stopped and worshiped with the church in Belmont - a congregation that is supporting us. It was so nice to see our brethren there; both old friends and new! The Cozort family kindly let us stay with them in their home, and it was wonderful to spend time with them!

Almost to the Student Housing!
We arrived in Knoxville on Monday, July 25th, and unloaded our 5x10 trailer with the help of a couple of the deans from the school, Jody Apple and Edwin Jones; and a student, Jimmy Robinette. We were all unloaded in about half an hour. Unpacking is so much faster than packing is!

This land was donated by an elder and is home not only to the student housing, but also a camp and a children's home 
 The student housing is located on a hill, just a short drive from the school. We are in one of 8 apartments for married students, and just up the hill a bit is a building for single students. The apartments are very nice... two bedrooms, one and a half bathrooms, nice little kitchen and living room. The size suits us much better than the house we were renting in OK, actually! It will be a lot easier to keep the apartment clean! :)

Home Sweet Home!

Oven cleaner: smells bad, works great. :)
 On July 29th - 31st, we attended the Preachersfiles Lectureship in Courtland, AL. The theme for the lectureship was "Modern Problems, Biblical Solutions" and Lee did a wonderful job speaking on the topic of "The Roles of Men and Women." The lectureship was so uplifting and we're thankful that we were able to go and be a part of it!

On the Road Again!

 This past weekend, we drove to the Greenville area in South Carolina and met some wonderful brethren who are supporting us there. We already knew the preacher and his family, and it was great to see them again. What a treat to meet the rest of the congregation as well! We received such a warm welcome and the elders went out of their way to let us know that they were behind us 100%.

 We left SC early Monday morning and arrived home in time to have a technician come and set up our internet for us! Hooray! Now that we have internet at our apartment, we'll try to get on a regular blog-posting schedule. :)
Coming home to 8551!
 The last few weeks have been a little crazy, but we're getting settled in nicely and are looking forward to starting school! Orientation is on Friday, the 12th, and school officially starts on the 16th. Thank you to everyone who is making it possible for us to be here! We continue to ask for your prayers as we start this new journey!