The Month of Transitions: A Look Back at June and Planning for What's Ahead
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A few Sundays ago Pastor Scott Austin at Artisan Church started his sermon by asking a question that I think communicates well what the month of June has been for our family.  

His question was this: “Have you ever had this kind of experience where something happens to you and you know even as it is happening that this is going to be a key moment in your life…a turning point, a hinge?”

While it was not a single moment, the month of June was a significant turning point for our family and our walk with Jesus. 

Here’s what happened…  
We packed . . . 

Then, we moved to Youngstown, NY . . . 


After we settled (and slept!) . . . 


With the other 130 new staff . . . 


and received training in campus leaderhsip, ethnic diversity, misional leadership, and ministry partnership.


 . . . we contextualized and digested what we were learning . . . 

. . . everything except the baby!

. . . I left for 10 days for InterVarsity's Orientation for New Staff in Madison, WI

. . . we learned the history of InterVarsity as a national movement,

(r: Dennis Powell, David Suryk, Jamie Noyd, Rob Narske, Rubens Brotto, myself. Absent: Pete Williamson)

As a small group, consisting of InterVarsity's new graduate and faculty ministers, . . . 

. . . and we prayed together - for our campuses, for our ministry partners, for each other.
In addition to transiting into new stages of life, we also transitioned out of one.

For the past 8 years at LAI, I have had the profound privilege of serving and supporting men and women with developmental and physical disabilities. Although I have served these individuals as a caregiver and as a house manager, I think I am the one who has benefited most from our time together. I am thankful to have shared in the lives of these wonderful people, many of whom have made me a better person and better equipped for ministry.
Reflecting on the Transition

As I look back and reflect, I can see how this ministry is hinged on God's faithfulness and his call forward.

At various point throughout the past year, I have been unsure how we were going to jump each hurdle. Then, as everything seemed to be converging on the month of June, I wasn’t sure how we were going to successfully manage all the details with two small boys and continue to raise the financial support to needed to begin ministry on campus at SUNY Buffalo. 

Well, June came and went, and by God’s grace, the support of friends and family, and new ministry partners, we transitioned incredibly well. The boys were amazing. The small details were not overlooked.  And, we moved from 34% funding at the beginning of the month to 40% by the end!

I am filled with thanksgiving – for God, for each of you, for how blessed we are to journey together.

Now, It is time to plan, pray, and prepare for the next phase of gathering the prayerful and financial support needed for the planting of this ministry.

Below are some specific ways you can be praying. But first, I have a specific need I am looking for one generous person to help with.  

Special Request

In this season of transitions, I realize that I need to acquire a key ministry tool to today's generation of graduate students and faculty: my first smart phone. This is particularly needful as I move towards campus ministry in today's technological context, engage with interVarsity, and look to make contacts and build relationship in Buffalo.

I am looking for some generous souls reading this prayer letter to do the following actions: 
  • Donate a smart phone
  • Add me to your cellular plan or increase your financial support to cover the cost of smart phone service
From my research and limited knowledge, it looks like adding a device would be about $40/month and it is only $.99 for a new iphone 5 with a two-year contract. 

This is one major way you can support the ministry to graduate students and faculty at SUNY Buffalo. If you have wanted to support this ministry financially and have not been able to yet, would you prayerfully consider supporting in this way?

Prayer Requests 

I am always extremely thankful for your prayerful support. I truly believe God listens to and takes seriously the prayers of his people. Thank you for blessing this ministry by coming together in prayer.

Here are a few specific requests to help guide your prayers:

1. As we enter into this new phase of seeking ministry partners, please pray that God would continue to direct our steps and prepare people in Buffalo to give generously toward the ministry he has called and equipped us for.  

In addition to prayer, are there any people you know who might be interested in this ministry to see students and faculty transformed, SUNY Buffalo renewed, and world-changers developed? We will pray that God will bring these people to mind and that you will connect them to us! 

2. This is a significant time of preparation for Sarah and I as we look to minister at SUNY Buffalo. Please continue to pray that God would continually draw near and keep us tethered to his love and to his word.
3. If you would love to support this ministry by equipping me with a smartphone but are unable to add the extra expense, there is good news! You can offer support through prayer; specifically, that God would unleash the resources for some generous souls to give in this way.

Finally, I want you all to know that I am so thankful for each of you and regularly pray for you by name.  If there are specific ways Sarah and I can be praying for you, we would love to hear from you.  Praying for each of you is not just good for you, but it is also good for us.  
"I thank my God every time I remember you . . . because of your partnership in the gospel" (Philippians 1:3a, 5)
For Christ and the University,
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