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Meet Theresa

Hi Everyone,

Meet Theresa. Theresa came from an outreach that La Tascha did in her Bible College days over 25 years ago in the projects of Baltimore. She still faithfully comes to church every Sunday and Wednesday. For the past 20 years, Theresa has been trying to get her GED so she can come to Bible College but she cannot read or write. This semester, under the supervision of our care, the Bible College has made an exception and accepted her with a full scholarship.

Every Monday and Tuesday, Theresa comes proudly to class, grinning from ear to ear to listen. She records the classes on her phone so she can listen to them again later. Midterms are coming up and she has some papers due. She asked us for some help. So far, she has been using voice to text as she speaks into her phone to write her papers, but she is not sure that her papers are saying exactly what they need to say.

We learned last night at Bible study that the day we knocked on her door 25 years ago, was the day she was about to start doing drugs. The guy she was with at the time was already doing drugs, and she had made the decision that she was going to start that day as well. I cannot imagine what her life would have been had we not knocked on her door. What an amazing testimony for the urgency of soulwinning. We also learned last night, as tears were streaming down her face, that her parents have disowned her and taken her daughter from her, calling her "stupid" and "dumb", and "unfit to be a mother". She said, "words hurt." But, as she spoke about Bible College, she said with confidence, "I know God has something really big for me."

We will start tutoring her several hours a week to make sure that she is understanding classes and completing her assignments. She will speak her papers to us, and we will type. Life's Theresa's are important to God. Thanks for joining us in supporting those like Theresa as we continue to help these new Bible College students get through the school year and find out just how big God's plans are for them.

 
You Were Born For This

We've had a busy past few weeks. At the Bible College in Baltimore, we hosted our first new student gathering. The turnout was great and the fellowship was rich. Hearts were knit together as the new students continued in their fourth week of school. We believe that these events are important for the success and longevity of their Bible College careers. Everyone needs a little encouragement. Actually, we all need a lot of encouragement and it is our privilege and duty to be a Proverbs 18:24 friend that sticks closer than a brother. The onslaught of Satan against an effective Christianity today is, might I say, intense. So, we will be hosting these events once a month as they continue on in their studies.

Separately, the York Bible College is going strong. Pastor Scibelli was the guest speaker this past Saturday. He was only supposed to teach an hour and a half, but answered questions for two hours beyond his class time and then had the time of his life leading the students on evangelism in the neighborhood. Please pray for the students there as well. God bless Adrienne as she cooks for them every week so they can go the full day (from 8am to 5pm) in intensified study. One of the students lost his job and asked us if he should stop taking classes because he would not be able to continue to pay tuition. Caroline told him the one thing he is not doing is stopping classes, but each student is going through it of their own accord, I am sure. So is the day in the life of warfare for a Bible College student.

Lastly, this past weekend, a group of twelve of us hosted a church retreat at Mount Monadnock, NH for our sister church from Marlborough, MA. The theme of the retreat was "You Make Me Brave". We were asked to prepare skits, mime, and special songs for each of the services. Just meditating on the theme and practicing the skits and mime was a reward in itself. The skits were about God being with us in these days, whether they seem monotonous or tumultuous. He is Emmanuel, God with us. Furthermore, one of the skits was about the warfare of who or what gets to occupy a Christian's mind. If we are not careful, thoughts of fear, suspicion, apathy, tolerance, or compromise will take residence, uninvited and paralyze the believer rendering him or her ineffective. Lastly, we did a mime to the song "Born For This". The song is about how there is a time to keep quiet and to keep your head down, but that time is not now. With the passivity of the church and the aggression of ungodliness that we face here in America, it is imperative that Christians stand for truth, for the word of the Lord endures forever.

The retreat was a huge success. The church in Marlborough was deeply blessed, enough to make a six foot four grown man weep... multiple times. We are glad to be going forward in the plan of God, keeping at the forefront that we were, indeed, born for this.

 
Find The Christ!

It's been an incredible few weeks. Watching the new students in our York Extension Bible School blossom has been a true privilege. Many of them drive to Baltimore for Friday night class, and then get back late only to come back early Saturday morning for 8am class. The first week, all of them said they were so excited after Friday night's class, they couldn't sleep. Cute!

Last Saturday, we were double booked. We had the kick off of our Extension Bible School, as well as our annual Women's Labor Day Retreat. La Tascha became very ill Saturday morning, but managed to speak (sitting down) Sunday morning and boy, was it worth it. She spoke about finding the Christ in our brothers and sisters because unity is paramount. In a day and age where the world is pounding down our doors, the only way to withstand this assault is to find power in a united front. Therefore, there is no space for sloppy thinking about another brother or sister in Christ. What we do not know or do not understand must be given to God and we must believe the best. The person you are judging may be another Mary with a bump in her belly (that tramp!). No, actually,... a blessed virgin. Things don't always look the best at face value.

On our end, she said that it's important to find the Christ in a person. Hunt for it. The benefit of the doctrine of eternal security is that if the person is born again, you know Christ is in there somewhere. She gave an illustration of a three-sided creature. The first side is the good, the second side is the bad, but the third side is the Christ. It is easy to know a person after the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Heck, our eyes were opened and we were made to be like God, right? But, the Bible is clear in that all was concluded under sin, and one person's good will eventually offend us, the other shoe will drop, so to speak, and then they will become marked in our mind. It would be so much better to throw all of that old thinking out (it stinks!) and look for the Christ in a person. Each believer is blood bought. Christ paid a high price for each one of us. How much more, then, shall we value our fellow believers in the same light. She ends the message with some practical tips for helping to find the Christ in a person. I highly recommend listening to the message. It's posted here if you'd like to listen. Thanks for all your prayers. God is really moving.

 
BC 10 and Beyond...I Mean Really Beyond

As I mentioned before, in the beginning of the summer we set out with a goal of the BC 10. This stood for adding ten new bible college students to the school by the beginning of the fall semester (Bible College 10). The open house had been great, but registration was where the rubber was going to meet the road and boy did God do above and beyond. We registered twelve new students ...in Baltimore..., and somewhere around fifteen new students in our new extension school in York, PA! I'm sure you're thinking to yourself, "wait, what? where?. It's a crazy story and I can't wait to tell you.

About four years ago, we lived in a rental home in Towson, MD. It was our first, true Grace Women home. For two years prior, we had been moving from place to place (for a while living in a 2 BR apt with up to 11 people in it) just waiting for the right place to open up. Well, finally God gave us our house on Providence Rd. During this time, the property manager contracted some guys from York, PA to service the house for all of our maintenance issues. Why York, PA? Probably because labor is cheaper out there. Either way, we're grateful, because the main electrician was a very humble, sweet-spirited Christian. I used to encourage him to consider Bible College and although he liked the idea of getting more training, he was petrified of going to school. So, he sat in on one or two classes, but it never seemed to stick. Since then, we have moved a few times, and hadn't really kept in touch.

However, a few weeks ago, out of the blue, he contacted us saying that he is at the end of himself and is desperate to get more training. His church is going through a hard transition and has caused the church members to become very hungry for God. So, voila, he signed up for Bible College in Baltimore as a full-time student. A wonderful addition to our BC 10. But, the story gets better.

In order to make the transition easier, we decided to visit for a Sunday morning service. It seemed like he was getting a lot of questions and other church members were a suspicious because it sounded too good to be true. So, we thought, what better way to settle any doubts or suspicions than by meeting face to face. As the day approached, it seemed like we were going to get ambushed with questions and potentially accusations and we were hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst... And we did get ambushed, but not in the way were expecting. These people wanted to ask us questions because they wanted to know how they, too, could get Bible College training! Weeknight classes in Baltimore were too difficult to attend, but nevertheless, the desire for intensified study of the word of God was evident. So, we decided to pitch the idea of an Extension School, taught all day every Saturday, that if attended to faithfully, would be equivalent to the amount of hours they would be getting in Baltimore as a full-time student. The schedule is rigorous and intensified, but they were game. Documents were furiously prepared, materials purchased, and professors secured. This past Sunday, we visited the church again to do registration and the room was packed. Wow. Thankful to have been available and sensitive enough to the Holy Spirit to be used for such a time as this. It was a real privilege to be a part of. Classes will begin next Saturday and continue through December. The first two weeks will be open for all who are curious. Please continue to pray for God's leading as we embark on this new endeavor.

 

 
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