June 20, 2016

Summer Break!

Wow! It has been a busy Spring. I did not intend to go three months without a written report, but the good news is that I have been able to see most of you in person since my last written report.

I noticed in reading over the last report in March that I mentioned that we had had two snow days so far in the school year and both of them were on days I was teaching. The date of my last report was March 15. On March 23 we had our third snow day of the school year. Since that was at the beginning of the fourth quarter, I was not teaching, but it was in the middle of the Masters in Missions Blitz Week. Our Blitz Weeks in the Graduate Program are designed to cover two full courses in one week. As you might imagine, missing just one day that week would be very costly in the class time for those courses. So, the instructors and students agreed to tough it out and come to class. We had enough four-wheel-drive vehicles to make it work. The rest of the school was out for the snow day, so six of us were here and the guys worked hard. It was a good week. So, the 3-5 inch forecast turned into 14-18 inches with high wind. 

In April I started traveling to give reports. So far, I have been able to visit King Ryder, AR, Redland, OK, Bagwell, TX, Blossom, TX, Wapanucka, OK, Wagoner, OK, Cave Springs, AR, Hugo, OK, and Tecumseh, OK. I still need to schedule times to visit with the good brethren of Calera, OK and Slim, OK. 

In other news, on May 8 I was one of five men installed as additional elders of the Bear Valley congregation. I am deeply honored to have been considered for this work, but am, at the same time, quite humbled by the responsibility. I covet your prayers for me and the other elders. In addition to that big change, I was asked to take on the responsibilities of Academic Dean over the Undergraduate Program, which is similar in responsibility to the Dean of Graduate Studies. I am replacing our outgoing Academic Dean, Mark Hanstein. Mark has done an outstanding job and I hope to be able to do half as good a job as he did.

On May 22 we graduated 24 students, including 3 who graduated with their Master of Biblical Studies degrees. On May 27 we left for our Summer trip to see supporters and family. We returned to Denver on June 6, in time to finish out the VBS at Bear Valley. Then, beginning Sunday, June 12 we began our annual FPTC (Future Preachers Training Camp) and the Gospel Meeting that accompanies the camp. This year Jason Moon of the Waterview congregation in Richarson, TX was our speaker and he did an outstanding job. We had 36 young men come from all over the country and from outside the country to study for this week. It was a great week and these young men did a great job with their sermons.

Today begins my Summer Break. For me, that means I don’t have to wear a tie when I go to work. :-) I will be working on classes coming up and the class schedules for the Undergraduate Program. With the personnel who have moved, we are making some changes in the curriculum and class schedules, so those have to be worked out in the next seven weeks.

Let me say again how much we love and appreciate you all. God bless! 

Donnie Bates

Posted on June 20, 2016 .