I have to start off this update by saying how very, incredibly grateful we are for all of your prayers leading up to and throughout our time at our seminary training. We know that without that investment of prayer from each of you, we would not have made it through. We wanted to share a recap in an attempt to give you a little insight into what we did and learned.
January 12th we loaded up the van and took the scenic route down to Florida, staying overnight with friends in Alabama and family in Georgia. After orientation on the 14th we attended classes for four hours each day through the 28th. In addition to our lecture time there were roughly four-five hours of reading and homework assignments each night. Our kiddos had a wonderful childcare setup during class-time and two additional hours after class, but if you do that math you can quickly see that it was not nearly enough time. That meant most nights we were up until midnight or later, trying to finish reading or homework before getting up early the next morning. It was definitely interesting to have four little, energetic kiddos cooped up in a hotel room for over two weeks.
We had a couple of days within the mix where there was no lecture time (still reading and homework), where we tried to get out with the kids and enjoy the Florida sun (you may have caught some photos on social media), but that was definitely the exception. To say it was grueling feels like an understatement, but because of your prayers, we amazingly had the energy to get it all done, and not one of us got sick.
Intro to christian theology
Our ICT class was outstanding! The two-hour class time went by quickly and left us wanting to learn more each day. We learned an incredible amount in an insanely condensed time-frame. The primary purpose was two fold—to give us a better understanding of church history and also develop a deeper understanding of Cru’s Statement of Faith—which we will sign each year that we are on staff.
Essentially, our instructor took us sentence-by-sentence through the Cru SOF to help us see where in Scripture each truth was drawn from. This was really encouraging to see—the great intentionality behind each statement, phrase, and even words that were chosen. In turn, this also gives us an even greater confidence in this parachurch organization that we are a part of.
For this class alone we read nearly 500 pages—several published articles as well as large portions of two books: Counter Culture by David Platt and Practicing Christian Doctrine by Beth Felker Jones.
bible study methods
In our BSM class we learned some very detailed methods for breaking down any section of Scripture, thoroughly studying it and investigating it in its context as well as through other translations and commentaries, and then developing our own Bible study from it. For the sake of this class we focused our time in Ephesians. I know both of us walked away with a much deeper understanding of Ephesians, but also a number of new tools in our arsenal to dig deeper into any section of Scripture. And we both aced the class, including our final project. Again, thank you for praying to that end!
- It was the kiddos’ first time to the beach. Lots of fun was had, despite some chilly days. Bright blue man-o-war were regularly washing up on the beach.
- Wren escaped the hotel room, unbeknownst to us, for a short few minutes. I found her up two floors in the stairwell, clinging to the railing and sobbing.
- Same child figured out how to program the safe in the room and locked her “lovies” and “blankie” in there overnight. It took three maintenance men about half an hour to finally break it open.
- Our van keys unknowingly were knocked into the garbage in our room. We didn’t realize until later the next day…after our room had been cleaned and garbages were sent to the dumpster. We did some light dumpster-diving, and miraculously found them!
- On our journey back home to Cincinnati, our check engine light came on…twice. We located a random mechanic in GA, who was able to get us in right away. He then refused to let us pay any more than the cost of the parts. What a blessing!
- We made lots of new friendships and were able to spend a good amount of time with some friends we had made back in May at our new staff orientation. One set of new friends even babysat for us one night to let Nick and I have a much-needed break.
All in all, it was a crazy intense, but overwhelmingly rewarding trip. We’re grateful for all we learned and excited to have more resources and training toward the ministry we are embarking on.