Greeting in the blessed name of our Lord! I hope this newsletter finds you well and faithfully engaged in the Lord’s vineyard.
Classes have begun here at the Denver campus. On August 4, 15 new students (20 counting wives) began their two-year program of study and kicked off the 50th year of training preachers at the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver. At our next graduation (May 2015) we will complete that 50th year. So, we’re making this a year-long celebration of a great milestone! Next month (September 18-21) promises to be the biggest lectureship yet for Bear Valley. I hope that you will make plans to attend. You can view the schedule for the lectureship at: http://www.wetrainpreachers.com/2014-lectureship/.
Earlier this month I traveled to Port au Prince, Haiti for the grand opening of our newest extension school (August 9). Classes for the International School of Theology (IST) began on Monday, August 11. I was privileged to teach the first class (Old Testament Survey) the first week. Currently, classes run Monday-Saturday, however, a change will be made soon so that classes will begin on Thursday each week and continue through Saturday, picking back up on Monday and Tuesday. This will give the students a day off and allow the teachers to travel on Wednesdays.
There are 25 students enrolled at IST and they certainly impressed me as those who can carry on training preachers in Haiti in the future. This new school is unique in our program in that we are partnering with Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee, which means that faculty from there will also be teaching some of the courses. Speaking of the courses, another unique feature of IST is that all the classes over the two-year program will be taught in the short course format. That means a whole course in one week. That’s a lot of information to soak up in a short period of time. It is for that reason that in my short course classes I weigh the course more toward notebooks and material that the students can use for decades to come, rather than testing their ability to absorb so much material and reproduce it on an exam. I don’t know the final grades, but I know most of the students did very well. Please keep them in your prayers, as well as, all our 300+ students around the world.
This coming weekend is one of our most anticipated events of the year - our annual staff retreat. For me, the most exciting part of the weekend is hearing reports from every department of the work that BVBID is doing. The work that each one does, the part that each one plays, is exciting to each one doing that work, but on this one weekend of the year, that excitement is multiplied by a couple of dozen or more. It is truly an uplifting and encouraging experience.
Thank you all for your continued interest and support of our work. You are truly a blessing from God to us.