February 10, 2019 — Akron and Dover

I posted last week’s report while waiting for take-off in my plane to Akron, Ohio. The blessing is that I accomplished all my daily internet chores while waiting. The problem was the 3-hour wait on the tarmac. The pilot kept updating us with the news that he didn’t know why we were delayed. Then we discovered that the fuel truck was lost in the airport! I did manage to arrive in time for dinner – barely.

I had a nice dinner with Nate and Naomi Bower that evening, and the next two days Nate and I discussed his ministry at the University of Akron. It is noticeably stronger and more stable than when I first began visiting here. The challenge now is to develop mature, dependable leaders – and that formed the heart of our discussion. Nate has been cultivating leaders for several years. We just need to be more focused and intentional with them. Nate has big dreams, and we always enjoy discussing how to grow RUF’s ministry in Ohio in spite of very scarce resources.

I flew home on Wednesday afternoon, took care of business there, and drove to Delaware Thursday morning. I stopped in Newark to see Anthony Gorsuch, chairman of the RUF committee. We didn’t have any urgent business, so it was good to catch up with each other. My destination was Dover to see Daryl Wattley at Delaware State University. Laria and baby Leia joined us for dinner that evening. On Friday I participated in our biweekly Area Coordinators conference call and attended the Large Group meeting in the evening. Daryl and I squeezed in one last time together early Saturday morning before he left for a ski trip and I left for home.

I love going to Delaware State. It is entirely unlike other colleges and universities – and I have been on dozens! The students are engaging and Daryl is a skilled minister. His Large Group sermons are always very good and he seems to know everyone on campus. The student retention rate here is very low, and that poses tremendous difficulties in ministry. Most of the students come from challenging situations, and everywhere you turn issues demand attention. Daryl keeps working here with diligence and good cheer. I have been wondering what this weekend was like – taking a dozen students skiing who had never been skiing before! Daryl has been cultivating leaders, and like Nate, he is in a position to be more focused and intentional with them. And he finally has a few who may be able to stay in school long enough to graduate.

I am pleased to report that today’s flight was not delayed and I am typing this in the air. Ruth and I are headed to Dallas to evaluate couples interested in RUF ministry.

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