Today was the last day of my current doctoral course, although I still have a couple of projects that must completed within the next sixty days, and I'm just so grateful to God. I praise him for Dr. Sunukjian and all the wisdom for preaching he so graciously shared with us, and I also praise him for the fellow students with whom I shared the week.
John is the Pastor of a small church near Dallas, Texas that has a vision very similar to ours at Glory of Christ. Since they're several years ahead of us and I asked him to lunch and probed him about several aspects of their ministries. I gained some important insights that I think will help us as we begin to build the structures of koinonia in the life of our church.
Roger, Ken, and Ted serve as missionaries in Albania, Czechoslovakia, and Mexico, respectively. I had several conversations with each of them about the nature of missions and the state of the church around the world that fired me up to train and send as many as we can, as often as we can.
Willy is an Indian national who's in the States earning his doctorate and serving as a chaplain at a hospital in downtown Chicago. We met almost by accident but I was so blessed to be able to process some things I've been learning about India with a native whose father struck out and started a church planting movement 47 years ago which is still producing much fruit to this day. He invited me to travel to northwest India and see the ministry first-hand, and it may be that the Lord will open that door some day.
All of these conversations, and more, happened between sessions and were as crucial a part of my education as the class itself. Or better put, they were custom designed by God to bless the ministries of Glory of Christ.
As I began the journey home late this afternoon, I remembered the day in 2007 when the Lord stirred in me to pursue this doctorate. I had been thinking and praying about this possibility for seven years but I knew it just wasn't time. But in 2007 it was time and I eventually chose Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. And though part of the Lord's design was to equip me for ministry through the course work and dissertation, another part was to equip me through the interpersonal interactions with fellow students. He already knew their names--John, Roger, Ken, Ted, Willy, and others--and he already knew how he'd use them in the life of Glory of Christ.
And that is why I just feel so thankful to God in Christ for his gracious, sovereign hand upon our church. He has good plans for us and he is determined to complete those plans all the way to the day of Christ Jesus.
Thank you so much for holding me up in prayer this week, it has meant a lot to me.