September 29, 2019 — West and Bethlehem

We’re in the fall travel season! Two weeks ago Ruth and I headed to Indiana, PA – but first we stopped in Lancaster for lunch with Trip and Joy Beans to catch up on the latest at Millersville. We arrived in Indiana in time to check-in before dinner with Oliver and Kim Pierce. Oliver is starting the new RUF ministry at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). I spent most of Tuesday with Oliver and had lunch with the man who is starting a church in town. I met two impressive students who are part of Oliver’s ministry. Oliver has met a lot of students, but his ministry is still small. This is normal for the second year. Oliver is doing good work. He needs a few more years before the ministry will fully take shape.

Wednesday morning (September 18) Ruth and I drove to State College to visit Cam and Kaela Smith, newly arrived to take over RUF at Penn State. I picked up a stomach bug somewhere and was not feeling great, but I was able to keep all my scheduled meetings. I had dinner with the students leaders, met with the RUF committee chairman, attended the Large Group Meeting, and spent a lot of time with Cam in the next two days. It has been a big adjustment for Cam and Kaela to move from a small college in Tennessee to Penn State, but they are adjusting very well. It helps that Cam is a Penn State alum and his parents live in town.

I dropped Ruth off at home Friday afternoon and headed to Manchester, CT where I was scheduled to speak to the Southern New England Presbytery on Saturday. It was a good day, and I met with the RUF committee to discuss some important business while I was there.

Last week I did chores and office work on Monday and Tuesday. Then I visited Lehigh RUF, starting with the Large Group Meeting Tuesday night. On Wednesday and Thursday I met with students and with Michael Goodlin. Michael had some disappointments last year, but this year is going much better. His students are quite impressive, and Michael is doing a wonderful job with them. Ruth joined me with Michael and Natasha at dinner Thursday night.

Along the way I’ve been working on a sermon for a missions conference next month. This week I head to D.C. and Delaware.

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