October 16, 2016 — Pittsburgh and Akron

Last week I put 1,000 miles on my car. The week began with the drive to Pittsburgh to see Derek and Luda Bates and RUF at the University of Pittsburgh. I arrived in time for a bit of exercise before another exciting dinner with Derek and Luda. Among other things we discussed a Christian approach to the current presidential election, with special attention to its effect on Christians in Russian and the Middle East.

Tuesday was packed, but it flew by. I met with the RUF intern, staff woman, committee chairman, and two students. Derek and I got dinner at a terrific Mexican restaurant before attending a wonderful student-led Bible study. I love this ministry! But that’s true of all our RUF ministries. I wrapped up my time in Pittsburgh with breakfast with Derek Wednesday morning.

This is a solid ministry and Derek has nailed campus work. Yet there is still room to grow. One growth area is to produce more men who are called into ministry. Pray for God to call Pitt students into full-time ministry!

On to Akron, Ohio and the ministry of Nate and Naomi Bower. Although Akron is a Midwestern town, I have been asked to supervise the RUF ministry there because it is two hours from Pittsburgh. Nate and I visited in between a book discussion and his Ministry Team meeting.

This is Nate’s third year, and the ministry shows all the rough edges of a start-up group. Nevertheless, Nate is impressive and his students were engaging. This was my first time in Akron, so I asked hundreds of questions as we walked through town and campus all day Thursday. We had dinner with Naomi that evening. There is huge potential at the University of Akron. Pray for Nate as he works to build this ministry.

I got some exercise Friday morning to fortify me for the long drive back to Havertown, near Philadelphia, where I joined a small group of Proclamation Presbyterian Church. This weekend was their Mission Conference, and RUF was participating. I returned for the Saturday program and for Sunday morning activities. It made a busy weekend, but it was worth it!

Now I am flying to Atlanta for intern training. On Wednesday I will fly to St. Paul where Ruth will join me to visit Brandon and Erin Haan at the University of Minnesota.