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The 2011-12 academic year was a blessed time of teaching and ministry. I continue my role as a lecturer in the theology department and my role as director of our Young Life Training Program. It is a blessing to see Whitworth students being trained and serving in ministries like Youth for Christ, Young Life, church youth groups, serving the poor through En Christo, and getting involved in Whitworth campus ministries.
This past summer I had the incredible opportunity to speak for the month of June at Young Life's Malibu Club in British Columbia. One evening I shared the story of the Prodigal Son and I described the father's love for the younger brother as "profound unfairness." The older brother refused to enter the party because he felt the father was unfair, treating his sinful young brother by a different standard. But here's the catch: grace isn't fair. That's how God works – profound unfairness! Parties are thrown for younger brothers who lose it all.
The next day I had kids who felt that they had met Jesus during the week stand up and share. The first kid, Tyson, stood up and said, "Last night I let go of my story and stepped into the Party of God!" I loved that description of coming to the faith – stepping into the "party of God."All the other 50 kids followed suit and used the expression "I stepped into God's party!" I was captivated that, after hearing the message of Jesus for an entire week, kids saw following Jesus as an invitation to step into "God's party."
In October I attended the Association of Youth Ministry Educators (AYME) Conference in Seattle and had the privilege to engage in the latest studies being done in youth ministry and adolescence in the postmodern generation.
This is the second year of our new church-plant "branches" in North Spokane, and we have seen amazing things happen in people's lives. This endeavor had been such a blessing as it forces me to apply what I am teaching to the real world…hey, some of what I teach actually works. Ha!
Lauren is married and living in Portland and just finished her master in teaching degree.
The most exciting part of what is going on this year is with my wife, Linda, who quit her job as the administrator for North Spokane YL and stepped into Young Lives, a ministry that reaches out to teen moms. Each month the staff works with nearly 90 teen moms, ages 13-19. Linda is starting a third Young Lives club in North Spokane in the fall. This ministry is truly reaching one of the neediest segments of society here in Spokane.
We continue the good work and are very grateful.
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