Sunday, August 30, 2009

So It Begins

School starts tomorrow!!!! Wohoo!

We're all excited here at the Buss house. Can't wait to see what God has in store for us, for the students and for the campus at SDSU. Please keep us in your prayers as we start out this brand new semester.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


by Val


someone who derives pleasure from receiving pain

I wonder, can someone be a spiritual masochist? I feel like everything I do seems to put a block between me and God, and though I know all the ways to try and tear down this wall...I don't. So I hurt. I hurt myself spiritually. Why? Why am I so content being in pain and isolation from the Great Creator, the Lover of my soul? What sick pleasure do I get from this? Yet every day I continue this dance, twirling and twirling so I no longer see God.

I feel alone. I'm in a house full of people and I feel utterly alone. Not a word can I utter to the "friend that's closer then a brother."So no matter how many people I'm around, I feel alone.

I'm angry. Angry that the "good" I want for Ryan and I, isn't the good God has planned for us. I feel like I can't trust him. I don't understand. Why did he let me quit my teaching job? Why did he let us come to San Diego? I thought we doing the right thing. Is there a "right" thing? Was one choice better then an other? Why won't he fund us? Why has it been an uphill battle? Will it always be difficult? Why won't God let us get a job? And once we get jobs I'm so afraid that the job will keep us from being on campus. I feel like I traveled 300 miles to be on this campus and I would be utterly devastated if this job keeps me from it.

What is he trying to teach me?! To depend on him? To let go of idols? To stop listening to lies? maybe...probably...all of that and more.

But it boils down to...I just don't trust him. My very well being relies on God and I don't feel like I can trust him. He gives me every breath, every heart palpitation, every thought and motion of mine are a gift from Him....yet, I can't trust Him. He's never let me go hungry, he's never let me go thirsty. I have a home, I have a family and I have friends. Yet I don't trust him. He gives me gifts and blessing beyond number. He gives me health, clothes, and even flowers...yet I refuse to trust him. Where is this coming from? Why won't I trust Him? Why won't I talk to Him? Why do I keep him out? What sick pleasure do I get from all this?!! What is to gain from this spiritual isolation?

I'm afraid.

I'm afraid of what's to come. I see the future and all I see is grief and turmoil. I see heartache and pain. I can't see beyond that. Everyday my heart catches in my throat because I feel that this...this is the day will stop providing. I feel like everyone is born with a certain supply of grace and provision, but after that. Well...lets just hope you don't have much time on earth. I feel like our grace and provision has run out. Nothing is left for us.

So now, I must go and finish cooking dinner. To twirl and dance and continue spiritually cutting myself. Why? Because sometimes being honest with the God that knows everything, well it's too overwhelming. And for me, too emotional.

But after dinner. I will stop the twirling. I will stop the dance. I will sit with God and with His help, slowly take down the wall one brick at a time.

Because isolation from God, is the loneliest isolation there is.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


by Val
So, we are now back in San Diego for the school year. It didn't really hit me how much I missed this place until we drove past SDSU. I think tears actually welled up in my eyes, which to me...seems really weird.

You see, I was at ASU for 6 years, 5 as a student and 1 volunteering alongside Ryan. Yet, I can't say I have the same affection for the ASU campus as I do SDSU. I remember a former Navigator staffer at ASU composed a good-bye video for her friends and donors before she left the ministry. I remember being struck by how connected this women was to the campus at ASU. Her video was so incredibly sentimental and nostalgic. I had to rub my eyes a few times just to make sure the video was truly talking about the same campus that I had been to for the last handful of years. You see, I didn't really feel any of that. I was incredibly excited to be off that ASU's campus, and done with the "political money maker" that I saw was ASU. The only sentimental I feelings I had were for the PEOPLE at ASU. However, I think I'm finally starting to understanding a little what she was feeling.

Add ImageWhen I think of SDSU I think of the countless hours Ryan and I have spent praying for SDSU. The miles on campus we've traveled while doing prayer walks regarding the campus. All the lunches and coffee times we've had with students in our short 9 month stint. It all adds up. The events, the Nav nights, the hangs. All for the purpose of proclaiming God's glory in one form or another. Our time at SDSU is intentional, focused and not centered around ourselves. I think that's what makes the difference. I was at ASU for the sole purpose of achieving my degree. No matter how much people told me, it was so difficult to to get out of that selfish mindset. But here at SDSU, there is not that constant struggle between self interest and the "interest of Jesus Christ."

I sorrowfully regret the time I wasted at ASU, focused in such a self-centered manner. But I am joyful for the things God taught me despite my disobedience. I'm beginning to understand more and more the sovereignty of God regarding where he places you in life, be it a college student, a Navigator employee, a resident of Arizona or resident or California. All of it needs to be put under the submission of Christ. My job is to glorify Him no matter what circumstances he puts me in, and to remember that he perfectly orchestrates every stage of life I walk through. It would be a shame to waste any of it on my own self-motivated interests. I want to be like Timothy...

Phil 2" 19I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. 21For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel."

I want to daily exchange my interest for the interest of Jesus Christ. I want to have a genuine interest in the welfare of the students at SDSU but also their professors, the janitors, and not to stop their but also for the barrista I see when I get my coffee, or the women that rings up my groceries, and especially my neighbors who live life just a few feet from my home. This is my continual prayer. I want to get so connected to this campus, to these people, to this community so much so that I hope my heart hurts leaving this place as much it did leaving the home of my family. A home is what you make for yourself. God gives it to me, but I have to learn to open my heart to it. Only when my heart is fully open, does it begin to be a home.

"Father God, open my heart, give me the strength. Help me to see the everyday opportunities you give me as blessings and not mundane circumstances. Show me how to love the students well and to use this period of my life for your glory. Help me to learn what it looks like to continually make this place my home"

Monday, August 10, 2009

Our summers end

By Ryan Buss

Dear Friends and Family,
First off, we want to thank you so much for all your prayer and support! You are truly a blessing to us and we love and value each and every one of you! As many of you know, this summer has been a summer where our trust in the Lord as been grown beyond what we even thought possible. We have had some pretty significant set backs in our funding (such as our salary getting cut back by 50%), but we have also seen the Lord provide in so many other ways this summer (such as a part time job to help supplement some income). We have had many encouraging meetings with friends and family, and God graciously gave us a community of believers to help spur us on to pursue the ministry He has given us!

Valerie and I have been challenged to trust the Lord, to patiently wait on His timing and provision, and to be steadfast and faithful in what we know to do in serving Christ. One of the prayers that I have had recently is for us to grown in our faith by having the "patience of the prophets", the "steadfastness of Job", and the "faith of Abraham". And I feel that we have grown in each of those areas!

Our time here in Phoenix this summer is coming to a close. We are leaving to go back to San Diego on Saturday, August 15th. We feel like our time out here has been fruitful, challenging, and encouraging. One of the neat things that we got to do was to spend some time with the two wonderful, new EDGE staff guys we will be receiving this fall semester! We are very excited to go back home to San Diego and to renew the friendships that were started last year! One of the most encouraging this for me this summer was to talk with a guy that I discipled last school year. He called me and we got a chance to catch up over what the summer has been like and what we had been learning from the Lord in His Word. Over the course of the conversation, he told me that we was coming back to SDSU so that he could get more training in how to minister to people more effectiviely and to continue to grow in His walk with Christ! The reason this was very significant for me was that just before he left for the summer, he was considering dropping out of school and enlisting in the military! Now he in coming back for the express purpose of making disciples of Jesus Christ, getting a degree along the way! What amazing work God is doing in the heart and lives of the students at SDSU!

So, to sum things up, we have really enjoyed this summer with all of its hardships and joys! We are anxiously looking forward to being back in San Diego and being with the students at SDSU. Please continue to pray that the Lord would soften the hearts and minds of the students to be receptive to His gospel, and that we would get to see fruit being born at this campus! As always, this ministry is only possible through your continued financial support to allow us to be on the campus full-time ministering to the students! Thank you all for your support!

In Christ,

Ryan and Valerie Buss