Indiana, in Pennsylvania, that is. Nestled in the woods between State College and Pittsburgh is the small town where Indiana University of Pennsylvania is. I drove there on Tuesday to see Oliver and Kim Pierce. Last year Oliver and Kim moved to Indiana and Oliver spent much of the year raising funds and learning the campus. This year is noticably different. Oliver has learned a lot about IUP and how things work there. Oliver has a Bible study with 12 attenders. I have met several of them, and five appear to have substantial leadership potential. Oliver and Kim are also helping to start a new church in town. I met with the church planter and although they are not yet ready to begin weekly services, they have made good progress.
I left Indiana on Thursday morning and drove to Akron, Ohio in time for lunch with Nate Bower. Nate has a wonderful ministry at the University of Akron and we discussed a new approach to ministry which may enable them to expand their influence. Funding has been a nagging problem since this ministry began. Several new supporters have joined recently, so the future appears brighter. That night I joined Nate in meeting with the elders in his church to report on the financial situation of RUF at Akron and to ask for increased support. The elders were warmly receptive to us.
Friday I drove back to Pittsburgh for the Western Training Conference where I was to lead the Learning and Growing in Grace track. I arrived in time to spend several hours in reports and other office work, and get some exercise. The conference went well. Peter and Benjamin were there, Peter teaching a track and Benjamin participating in another track. I got home by 8:00 PM Saturday.
Ruth and I flew to Dallas yesterday where are evaluating potential RUF campus ministers.