I just thought I would take a few moments and give you a couple of personal updates — for anyone who is interested.
FOSTER CARE: Some of you know that we are going through the process to be declared a family fit for foster care. Lynn and I have talked about adoption and foster care off and own over the course of the years, but it was always just talk. Until one day, after church, I asked Lynn what she got out of my message — a fairly common conversation between us — and she said, “Well, I think God’s saying that he wants us to be foster parents.” And of course I said, “What a minute, I never said that. Foster Care was definitely not one of the fill-in blanks.” But “being interruptible” was one of the points and God whispered to Lynn that the reason we haven’t moved forward was because she wasn’t willing to be interrupted. So here we are.
It’s a fairly rigorous process and of course one of our first questions was, “Do we need to get rid of our cat to be a foster care family?” Unfortunately the answer was no, but we decided to move forward regardless. On the first night of classes — by the way out of 8 families represented at the classes last Monday, three were from Calvary — the instructor made sure to highlight the importance of the whole family being on board with this decision. Lynn and I had already had numerous conversations with “in the presence of” Jake and Josh, and we thought they were on tracking and onboard. But Lynn decided to have a personal conversation “with” Jake and Josh. When she asked Josh what he thought about us being a foster family, he said, “Wait, what’s foster care?” Our kids have an amazing way of not listening to the things we want them to hear, while overhearing ever conversation we think is private! But after explaining foster care, Josh was onboard — but he wants us to get a baby! Lynn negotiated up to 7 years old. So who knows…we’ll see what God sets up.
DOCTOR OF MINISTRY DEGREE: It’s not the same as a PhD, but its somewhat of the equivalent for pastors in ministry. Calvary’s leadership team has given me permission to get one. So I’ve enrolled in a D.Min program through Bethel Seminary. I had actually been looking for awhile and when this particular course came up, it grabbed my interest. The course is on Organic Leadership Development and it will be co-led by a man named J.Robert Clinton who has written some insightful stuff on leadership. It involves two week long intensives a year at Bethel and reading and practical implementation throughout the year. I’m looking forward to my first intensive next week — unfortunately it’s in San Diego.
MYANMAR: The last two Christmas/New Year’s seasons, the Nold family has journeyed to Myanmar to serve our partnership there with the orphanages and the school Calvary helped start. This year for a variety of reasons we could not go — and so we grieved that but started planning a next trip the end of 2011. But the call from the leaders of our partnership to come now kept coming — and as I prayed about it, I decided I would test the waters for a trip in February. One of the tests was to see if anyone would travel with me. Lynn was not crazy about me traveling alone. That test was passed and one, possible two could go with me. So on February 21st we will go to Myanmar and participate in a pastor’s conference and the second graduation of students from International Calvary Seminary. I’m looking forward to it, but appreciate your prayers for the trip.
So that’s a bit about what’s going on.