I can hardly believe how quickly the summer is passing by! So please allow me a few minutes of your time to fill you in on some of the happenings both with ministry and personally.
Fiscal Year - Ending & Beginning...
Thank you for the prayers and generous gifts for the ending of the fiscal year in June. The Lord provided through you and covered my expenses so that I can start the new fiscal year out with no deficit! The last two years of serving with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship I have pretty much broken even. Each and every gift made that possible! So thank you!
For this next year, I am starting out behind again. I receive about $1800 in monthly gifts and I need around $4000 per month. The last two years special gifts at Christmas and end of fiscal year gifts have supplied my needs. I praise God for this, but I also would love to have a consistent support team that would ensure my budget is balanced. If you would be interested in supporting my ministry visit http://toddjerdon.weebly.com/support--donations.html and fill out an interest form. I would love to meet with you and explain more about what it is God is doing through InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Washtenaw Community College. I have been making phone calls to set up appointments. So hopefully I can talk with you soon!
Preparations for the Fall:
Have you ever considered "what makes up your identity?" This is a question that I see in students but I have been seeking myself as well. How often we build our identity on what the crowd says about us or how we interpret what others say about us. What makes us who we are? Is it our job? A talent or skill? To better define this for students this year we will ask this question along with "what is God's identity?"
Everyone has beliefs about themselves and beliefs about God that just are not true. So through scripture we are going to ask these questions and I pray that as students and faculty seek God's identity they will find their identity in Christ!
As I have been planning for the fall I get excited about all of the ideas that run through my head, the possibilities, the opportunities, the students and faculty who will grow and who will believe in Jesus because of our witness! But I also understand that my imaginations and dreams are not always God's plan. At community colleges students are uncertain of many things: their finances, their career, their relationships, their living situations, their faith... For two years, I've seen students come and go and often I have no certainty that any students will indeed be back the following semester. This case holds true even for this fall. A student who I had anticipated being one of our main leaders has postponed her return until winter so that she can work and earn money for school. Many community college students do not want to hold any debt and so they pay as they go. Other students surprise me and though I had thought they had transfered end up showing up once school begins. At times it is discouraging for me to continue to build community with this context of fluidity. However, I still see God at work!
Over the past two years I have been getting to know several faculty members at WCC. Particularly the Christian faculty members have expressed a fear or lonesomeness as an instructor. So last semester we gathered a couple faculty together to pray for each other and offer encouragement. InterVarsity desires to RENEW the campus and faculty are a major part of that renewal. Faculty need community just as much as students. And it may surprise you but faculty have doubts and fears about their faith too. It is an integral part of my ministry to support, encourage and develop faculty at WCC as well. This is often quite challenging as they are very intellegent and ask deep penetrating questions. This does not even begin to penetrate building community with unbelieving faculty, of which I have been pursuing as well. Faculty are integral to renewing the campus! Please pray to this end!
Other doors of opportunity have been creeping open due to the seeds that have been sown over the last two years. International students, WTMC (high school charter) students, nursing students, trades and art students are also natural networks within WCC's campus community where we are building relationships and establishing small group communities.
Where will God show up on campus this fall? I watch and pray! Will you join me?
1. God will send a core of students and faculty into authentic Christian community with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at WCC who are passionate about sharing the Good News about Jesus!
2. God will grant me wisdom as I seek to set vision and develop students and faculty.
3. Isaiah 58 & Luke 19:1-(10) & Luke 14 as prayer focus for students, faculty and me.
4. That the Lord would reveal his "identity" to us more and more every day!
5. That unbelievers would "listen, see and understand" the good news about Jesus!
6. Personally: for Laina, Kysa and me as Laina will begin working only part-time by September 4th.
7. Pray for Laina as she is doing a Spring Triathalon over Labor Day weekend!
8. Pray for Kysa that she would grow into a "girl after God's own heart."
9. I praise God for all of you and your committment to read this far and to pray! :)
Personal stories of the summer:
101 ways to travel...
Prior to our vacation Laina, Kysa and me ran the Plymouth Father's Day 5k. Laina and I ran, but Kysa was in a stoller. However, Kysa did toddle the 50ft toddler dash. She had a little assistance from dad, but had a blast - as you can see! :)
Then within a week later, Kysa was beginning to walk on her own. I guess she figured I was slowing her down and she will be much better prepared for next years race. We did kind of spring it on her this time. But I'm sure she will find ways to do some training.
For our vacation we flew out to Vancouver B.C. (That is in Canada). The purpose was to visit a seminary and then check out the city sights. We traveled by plane, taxi, bus and walking while in Vancouver. It is a very beautiful city and has ocean views, mountain views, forests, beaches, cityscapes, suburbs and many multi-million and billion dollar homes! One of our favorite adventures was walking through a park and noticing a domestic rabbit. Then another... then another x about 1000! Yes, Vancouver has a location where people drop off pet bunnies that they do not want to keep. So, well... you do the math. There were lots of pet bunnies and Laina and Kysa loved it!
The main objective for our trip was to visit family in Seattle. So next we hopped the train and headed to Seattle. Once in Seattle we took another sky tram to city center where Chilhully's glass exhibit is and where Frank Gary's (Architect) music hall of fame is located. We met with Laina's sister and her husband and had a wonderful visit with them. Then later that afternoon we caught up with Laina's parents and grandmother and took a ferry to visit her cousins.
After the visit with the cousins we headed out to stay on Orcas Island off the coast of Washington state. My favorite was a walk down a trail to a water fall and looking through tidal pools. Laina found an 18+ legged sunfish! There were several starfish as well. Laina and I also went sea-kyaking and saw a seal. When we got back to land, I found that I had not brought my sea legs. So I needed some time to rest. The rest of the family enjoyed what they said was a "wonderful dinner."
The last leg of our trip was to be on a train for nearly three days! But alas, the train was delayed and they transported us by bus to Spokane, WA because of a freight train derailment. We had a sleeper car and so we slept well on the train. Kysa was also learning how to walk during this entire trip. That was entertaining and challenging as she can now escape quite rapidly! As we continued the train was delayed yet again. This time a piece of the track was warped and the inspector caught it just in time before we traversed over it. It was definitely God's hand of protection that we were not derailed!
Eventually we arrived in Chicago and then again were delayed. Train rides are comfortable but not timely. But we did make it to Ann Arbor and were greeted by our wonderful friend Melissa Kloostra who served us by taking us home.
It was such a blessing to see the northern part of the United States and see what wonderful things the Lord has created! But I am thinking next years vacation will be a bit more stationary. :)
Here you will find updates, thoughts, discussion and prayers for my life and ministry...