October 5, 2015 — Pitt and Penn State

I returned home on Friday after two weeks on the road. But the trip was nice, because Ruth was along for part of it.

After visiting Kansas and Minnesota I flew to Pittsburgh on Friday, September 25. Ruth drove to the Pittsburgh airport and picked me up, and we drove to Grove City, Pennsylvania. It was homecoming weekend at Grove City College, and we spent Saturday and Sunday visiting Benjamin. We went to the football game and worshipped at Hillcrest PCA. We had a good time.

Monday morning we drove back to Pittsburgh where I joined a meeting with Derek, his assistant Callie, and two interns. Ruth and I took Derek and Luda to dinner that night.

On Tuesday I met with the RUF committee chairman to discuss a possible campus minister for Frostburg University, and that afternoon I met with the man himself. I think he is likely well-suited to that campus, but there are hurdles in the way. Pray for Frostburg University! Evangelical ministry there is almost non-existant!

I had a good time with Derek, and Tuesday night we attend a Bible study led by a capable student. Pitt RUF is a solid ministry. Derek started it eight years ago, and he has brought it to maturity. There is still much to learn about ministry at Pitt – many ways to grow and improve – but Derek has put into place all the elements of a solid ministry.

Ruth had to return to Allentown on Wednesday to teach her home school co-op English class. I picked up my car in Allentown and drove out to State College to see Joe and Melissa Dentici. The Denticis appear to be enjoying State College – a big shift from Birmingham, Alabama where they lived until last year. They are even looking forward to snow!

I attended a Bible study on Wednesday night, Large Group on Thursday night, and had dinner with three student leaders. The ministry is noticeably improved over last year. We knew last year would be bumpy due to the shift from Alex Watlington to Joe Dentici. That transition is complete. Last year’s freshman outreach was lacklustre, but this year it was excellent. Penn State RUF is on track.

Now the question is, where does this track lead? In his six years at Penn State Alex took an amorphous group and gave it shape and direction, as well as tripling its size. The elements of a mature ministry are in place, but they are undeveloped. The critical need now is to expand and sharpen the leadership development program. I am confident that Joe will make progress on this during the year, and this ministry will look much different next fall. Pray for Penn State RUF!

Over the weekend Ruth and I took in a homeless Lehigh alum, Dave McClelland, whose sleeping arrangements suddenly fell through. Dave was in town for Lehigh Homecoming and played in the alumni marching band. Ruth and I went to the football game, but left after halftime because of the chill and Lehigh’s poor performance.

I’m heading to Atlanta for the semiannual meeting of our national oversight committee. Then on Thursday I will drive to Millersville to see Trip and Joy Beans.