The spring semester of language school at Rio Grande Bible Institute ended on May 10th, but that doesn’t mean we have had a summer vacation. It has been a busy, challenging two months but God has been good and we trust he will give us some rest before school starts again on August 10th. Here are some highlights of our summer break so far:
World Radio Network’s Academia Cristiana del Aire
After taking a week to recover from the busy school semester, I started work at World Radio Network’s headquarters in Pharr, TX. My parents, Everett and Terrie, work at headquarters, and I was happy to be able to help my dad with a project for WRN’s Academia Cristiana del Aire (Christian Academy of the Air in English), a correspondence Bible school that has been providing basic and seminary-level Bible training through the mail and radio for over fifty years to Spanish-speaking people in the US and Latin America.
Currently, Academia Cristiana del Aire (ACA) has over 4000 students, many of whom are prisoners in the United States and Mexico. In fact, I was surprised to see that at least one prisoner in our old hometown of Dixon, IL, was studying with ACA! Another interesting thing I found out is that our neighbor’s father studied with ACA’s materials while in ministry in Santiago, Chile.
My dad had been talking to me for almost two years about putting all the courses on the Internet so that they could be accessed at any time throughout the world, so it was exciting that I was able to work for three weeks in June with him to get the project started. There is still much work to do, and my dad continues the work where I left off, with some occasional help from me over the phone.
Because the courses are set up to guide you as you search for answers in the Bible, they really engage the learner and point them to Christ. For people who are hungry to know God and have limited access to Biblical training, these courses have been life-changing. We hope that, by making these great courses available online, many more lives will be changed through the knowledge of the Bible than could ever have been possible through mail only.
Not only will people get instant access to the books and exams, but they will get much quicker feedback on the results of their exams and will be able to ask questions and interact with the ACA staff in a way not possible through the mail. Because students won’t have to wait for up to a month to see the results of their exams, they will be much more apt to continue on with other courses and increase their knowledge and understanding of God’s word.
Upon This Rock International (UTRI)
The week before we left Texas to head north, Danyelle was able to attend some classes at UTRI, an organization in Alamo, TX, that we have really felt a connection with. Even though Danyelle was only there for a few hours each day, she learned a lot and the experience enforced our desire to be involved with UTRI whenever we can as God allows in the future.
We have gotten to know the founders of the ministry, Clay and Angie Anderson, better as we have had more opportunities to hang out with them and talk about what God has done in their lives and about their passions and desires for ministry in the Rio Grande Valley. Please visit www.utri.org to find out more about their ministry.
We left for Illinois on June 13th, but went out of our way to spend three nights in Columbia, KY, to visit several families who we always have a great time with and are encouraged by. We enjoyed some amazing southern hospitality in our friends’ log cabin and were greatly encouraged by how these families use their jobs, houses, and other resources to share God’s love and His Good News with others.
While Danyelle and the girls had just visited Illinois in March for the birth of our niece, I hadn’t been out of Texas for almost six months, so of course I was extra happy to be back in familiar territory and to see so many friends and family members.
Thanks to Danyelle’s parents we have our own camper to live in on their property while we are here. They went out of their way to set up a nice little campsite for us and we are thankful for our own space to call home until we head back to Texas at the end of July.
On June 24th (which was our 7th anniversary by the way!) we had the privilege of being with the great people at The Refuge church on the grounds of Mendota Hills Campground. I shared what God had done in our lives over the past 6 months since the church so lovingly sent us off and it was an awesome time. We really feel a bond with the church and always look forward to visiting.
We will be speaking at two more churches while here in Illinois. On July 8th we will be at New Hope Fellowship (@ 10 AM) in Rochelle and on July 15th we will be at Princeton Bible Church (@ 10:15 AM) in Princeton. If you can come to either place we would love to see you!