Well, here we are in San Diego or, as Will Ferrel argued against, "Saint Diego". I am not sure who Saint Diego was to have a city named after him, but it is a really cool city. He must have been a really cool guy. Anyway, we actually aren't here permanently because we are still below the funding mark to be allowed to actually move. But, we were given special permission to be out here for the week of staff and student planning for the year, as well as the first week of school. So we are into our first week of being in San Diego.
Just to give you all an idea of what has been going on, we have had several days of planning sessions with the staff and students, as well as just getting to know the city and looking for places to live! It has been a jam packed week and we are tired, but I am encouraged with what is going on out here. First I want to talk about our staff team. They rock. I really like being around them and listening to them because they each have such a humble attitude about what God is doing in their life as well as what God is directing them to do with the ministry here at SDSU. The staff team is as follows: Myself and Valerie, Tim Nelson (UCLA graduate), Anne Palawski (4th year on staff), and Dave and Heather Molascan (campus leaders).
Our staff and student leadership sessions have been really encouraging because everybody seems to be on the same page as far as where to take the ministry. Also, Dave has really done a great job of sharing the vision of the Navigators at SDSU in such a way that the staff team especially, is united together in spirit and purpose. The staff team is brand new and the students leadership team is new, but already we have sensed a deep love for one another and the possibility that this ministry can really be one of transparency and reconciliation. Not to mention fun and a whole lot of love thrown in there :)
So, in way of history of what God has been doing here with the ministry, it is pretty simple. Last year the staff team saw that there was a need to really challenge the students to actually take their walks with Jesus seriously, and as a result most of the students left. What was left was the remnant that God wanted to help rebuild the ministry on a solid foundation of people who love Jesus and take seriously His command to "make disciples of all nations". This is where we come in. We have joined the staff and students (total numbering about 10) for this new season of rebuilding and casting our nets out to "be fishers of men". There is no where to go but up at this point.
I am super excited about this because it wasn't too long ago that ASU was in this exact same position and I got the privledge of seeing God take a few and grow His kingdom into many. This time also reminds me that I am inadequate in myself to go and make disciples, but Christ makes me adequate and He is the one who really grabs a person's heart and soul for Himself, I just happen to be the vessel through which the news of Christ comes. I am praying that God will give me just one or two guys who are thirsty for Christ and His word "as a deer panteth for steams of water" that I can pour into and invest myself in. As the founder of the Navigators is famous for saying: "You can't have two 'till you have one". Simply put, we cannot grow unless we are investing in the individual, being careful and intentional to help that person become a mature Christian (Colossians 1:28) and equipped to "go and do likewise".
Another praise is that God has been connecting Valerie and I with many, many Godly friends with whom we get along with well. We went to a small church service at a church plant called Kaleo and I will tell you what, those people made us feel so welcome and we met almost everybody there! That is what a church is supposed to do, and they did it! We really felt connected to that church and we had just met them. The pastor was not afraid to speak truth, but he also reminded us that all we do and everything we have as believers is because of the Gospel! He is also laboring to see the church really be a community where people are actually involved in each other's lives daily, not just once or twice a week. Now that is a picture of the early church seen in Acts 2!
Here are some things to be joining us in prayer for:
1. Meeting new students on campus starting tomorrow!
2. Getting the rest of the funding in place so that we can actually make the move out here. We need about $15,000 to move.
3. That Valerie and I would be content with where we are in our funding and living in Arizona still when our hearts desperately desire to be in San Diego with our new friends and ministry.
4. Energy. We are physically and spiritually tired. Please pray that we can know what it means to find our rest in Christ!
Thank you all for your prayers, they have been especially felt this last week! We are encouraged but tired. Please continue to pray that God's kingdom would continue to be advanced on the campus of San Diego State University!