Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Life as I know it...

Life as I know it is about to change.

My wife and I are expecting our second child in May of 2010. This child brings with it a variety of emotions, as well as expectations and questions. As far as my emotions go, I'm so excited about having a new little one in the house... I'm nervous for my wife during the pregnancy, labor and delivery... I'm anxious to see how our 3-year-old will respond to having a newborn around... and I'm full of joy when thinking of the promise of this new life!

My expectations with this pregnancy are closer to reality (at least I think so). I expect to have no sleep for a good long while once baby gets here. I expect to be on full-time dad duty with our 3-year-old, while my wife recovers and takes care of a newborn. I expect to have even less one-on-one time with my wife after baby arrives. I expect to fall head-over-heals in love with our second child (just like I am with our first). I expect to learn even more about how amazing my wife is (both as a wife and a mother) with the arrival of baby. I expect that I'll become a better follower of Christ, man, husband and father as God teaches me how to be a father to another child.

My questions are pretty ordinary ones (I think). Questions like: How are we gonna afford another child? How are we gonna afford a vehicle with more space? How long will it be before this baby sleeps through the night? What are we gonna name this one? What will the gender of the baby be? Will the Boston Celtics win the title again this season? Ok, the last one is not really necessary. Of course the Celtics are gonna win the title this season!

So, my life is changing.

I've got to say, I'm glad. Don't get me wrong, I love the life I have now. It's just that I am excited about what God has in store! He is in control! Worrying will do me no good! Whatever comes along, I have the Spirit of God living in me. God has promised that nothing will take me out of His hand, Jesus promises to never leave us or forsake us! So I can face the future with peace of mind and being calm in my spirit.

I'm so glad that God is with us. I'm grateful that God is with me (even though I still don't have it all together).

I'm Nate and this is what I think is essential.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dreams and Visions

Several years ago, while I was the student pastor at First Baptist Raytown, I was able to see the fulfillment of a dream in the completion of an amazing student facility called "the Underground." For more pictures, click here.

Recently, I have been blessed with an opportunity to see another dream come to fulfillment! It is called the Mobile Church Unit, or MCU!

Here is an article written by my assistant, Julie Johnson, for our church newsletter to explain the MCU! Enjoy!


For Ralphie Parker in 1983’s A Christmas Story, it was an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model BB rifle with a compass in the stock. The dream, though, -- regardless of how passionate or factual it was presented – was always met with the begrudging response, “You’ll shoot your eye out!”

Fast forward 26 years. It’s April 2009. Dr. Nate Bock, the student pastor at Ridgecrest, has just returned to Springfield from a student ministry leaders conference where another pastor told the story of how his ministry took a bread truck and made it into a portable stage.

“For awhile, I had been trying to think of a way to have a presence in the community,” Bock recalls. “I wanted to find a way to take Ridgecrest into neighborhoods and to school campuses. I knew the bread truck wasn’t the idea I was looking for, so I started praying for clarity.”

As he traveled Republic Road on that fateful day, he moved west, past PriceCutter and its makeshift used car lot. “And there it was,” he says, “the van.” But not just any van. The van that caught Bock’s eye was a black 1989 Ford Econoline E150.

“My original thought was the A-Team,” confesses Vickie Hicks, a parent and teacher in the student ministry. “But beyond that, I was intrigued.”

The van, now known as the Mobile Church Unit, or MCU, was presented to Ridgecrest’s leadership team the next day. “I shared the idea of using the van to be a presence in the community, to make connections, to build relationships and to be outward focused,” Bock explains. “Then I showed pictures of the van. It received a lot of laughs at first, but Hosea said, ‘I like it; go for it.’ I began to share the idea with people in the student ministry, and before I knew it, God provided.”

And He hasn’t stopped. The MCU was paid for with donations “of people who believe in the vision of being outward focused in a unique way,” Bock explains. “The MCU has been known to make grown men, even big, tough guys, giggle. There is something about the first time you see what lies behind the back doors and what is packed away in the cargo area that causes such wonder and anticipation that you cannot help but giggle in excitement. Trust me, I’ve heard a lot of giggles.”

Be it the giggle of a man or the glow from a screen, people are curious. “It’s a wonderful attraction to make students want to come over and talk and hangout with us,” says Joe Lamar, a senior in the student ministry. “It’s a good way to interact with other students in the Springfield and surrounding areas and build relationships with them that could eventually lead them to Christ.” Emilee Garrison, 8th grade, agrees. “It’s such a great outreach opportunity.”

In August, Bock took the MCU, along with volunteers, Poweraide and water to two local high schools. The group served numerous organizations, such as band, softball and football, as well as the coaches and directors of each. “In a two-week timeframe, we made connections with more than 400 area students and the adults that work with them,” Bock says. “In fact, one of the coaches started attending church at Ridgecrest the following week.”

Although the student ministry provided water to sports teams two years ago, the practice had little effect. “The difference is the MCU,” he says. “We are recognizable. Students see the MCU on campus and immediately take notice and ask questions. The MCU helps us start conversations. It opens the door for us to be an influence in our community.”

Hicks has also experienced this in her professional life and as part of the Road Crew, a team of students and parents who set up/tear down, serve, start conversations, pray, cook and share Christ during MCU events. “I really think the MCU can become a presence,” she says. “It draws people in by allowing them to have an encounter with Christians and to help them become familiar with Ridgecrest – no obligation, no cost. I have talked it up at work and in the community. People think it’s brilliant.”

In addition to the outreach in August, the MCU hosted tailgate parties through October at area high schools. The manner of his students left Bock impressed. “I’ve already seen students talk about the MCU, invite others to church, talk about Christ’s love and give food to hungry people. It’s truly amazing what God is already doing through the Road Crew.”

The feeling isn’t lost on Road Crew members Kayla Whorton, freshman, and Hicks’ daughter, Hannah Hicks, also a freshman. “I like to be involved because making other people laugh and smile is what makes my day,” Hannah says. “Serving with the MCU has just been really fun and a good experience meeting people.” Whorton agrees. “It’s a ton of fun just to talk to people and serve them just because we can. I like to talk to people at the games and see how they are doing.”

If you would like more information about being part of the MCU and its events – tailgating, backyard Bible school in neighborhoods, sports camps in neighborhoods, block parties, etc. – or if you would like details of Bock’s dream of another MCU – a Ford Transit Connect – or his dream of a discipleship/missions program, please call the student ministry at 885.5232.

“We need your prayer support,” he adds. “Everywhere the MCU goes, we are razing Hell. Pray for God’s mighty right hand to be on us and the MCU. Pray for the salvation of everyone who encounters the MCU.”

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Feel the need...

Lately, it seems that God is bringing to my attention two things, prayer and Scripture intake.

In fact, it seems that my soul is yearning for more time in prayer and in God's word than ever before.

I don't know why this is... but if I had to guess, I would say that God is trying to prepare me for something... or maybe I just need to spend more time with Him!

Either way, I am certain about what I need to do.

Will you join me? Will you spend at least 24 minutes every day in God's Word listening for His voice. And then spend at least 10 minutes three times a day in prayer.

This is my minimum. What will you do?

I'm Nate and this is what I think is essential.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I'm trying to understand...

I spent some time this morning reading from the book of Nahum. From this Old Testament minor prophet, I am learning about God's jealous avenging wrath, slowness to anger, great power, vengeance and goodness toward Nineveh, Israel, and the nations.

As I read this book, I see how the author goes back and forth between (1) telling of God's great anger and vengeance toward his enemies and (2) God's goodness and love for those who take refuge in Him.

There is a great truth to be seen here.

God is right in being jealous, angry, and avenging with a people that are full of evil. God extended mercy to Nineveh by allowing them to repent from their evil ways and turn to Him -- as seen in the book of Jonah, which was written some time between 783 B.C. to 772 B.C -- before turning away from him again and going back to their evil ways -- taking the ten northern tribes, Israel, captive in 722 B.C. Yet God was still slow to anger.

But Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire after 702 B.C., continued to do wicked and horrible things. Nahum 1:11 says, "From you came one who plotted evil against the LORD," giving depth to the idea that Nineveh was evil. No only did they act wickedly toward people and nations, they actually thought up new ways to be evil toward the One who had given them mercy and love.

The Lord is just in acting as he did toward Nineveh. In fact, if he did not act in this manner towards them, then he would be unjust. He could not allow such evil to continue, especially after being so patient and showing so much mercy towards them. He would be going against who He is if he allowed it to go on too long.

So, what is my point with all of I talking about the world today? I talking about America?... am I talking about the church?...where am I going with this?
God is just. He will not allow injustice to go on for long. And just like in the case of Nineveh, He will pour out his wrath to put a stop to injustice. God will not apologize for ending injustice. In fact, Nahum shows us that he will go to great lengths to make a spectacle of those responsible for injustice. God poured out his wrath on Nineveh through the Babylonians. Nineveh was decimated in 612 B.C. by the armies of the Babylonians and Medes.

God's wrath will come against all injustice at some point. And God is just in bringing his wrath. He is perfect yet allows injustice and wrong doing to go unpunished for a time so that man might repent of evil and live for God.

I'm trying to understand what I need to do to stop injustice. Obviously, God cares about justice. He has taken action against it over and over again, and --each time -- he uses humans to carry out His plan. So, where do I start?

I am Nate and this is what I think is essential.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer is almost over...

In the student minstry we have experienced an amazing summer!

Mission Trips...amazing!

Camp...God moved in our students (here is a picture of us at the Bock family farm)!

Lately, God has continued to move and we are looking forward to a busy and hopefully fruitful start to school!

Small Groups...we are jumping into new teacher training and connecting students with new teachers for the upcoming school year!

Off Campus "Home Groups"...I am praying for God to raise up 10 students who would agree to start an off campus Bible study group and boldly tell others about Christ!

Fall Calendar...our publicity piece for all events in the fall of '09! It will be out in a couple weeks!

fALL nighter...our Fall Retreat! It will be unreal!

This is only a small portion of what is happening right now with rbcstudents. We also have a new weekly schedule starting in September! We will have student worship services on Sunday nights and discipleship and serving on Wednesday nights.

Anyway, this is what is on my mind! All of these changes and what God is going to do in us during the fall of 2009! Pray for God sized things!

I'm Nate and this is what I think is essential.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Summer Rush

The past month has been full of ministry, missions and fun! At the end of May, I had the honor of baptizing Jesus (on my right) and Cristian (on my left), brothers who came to know Christ at our DNOW back in February! They look like they could be my sons...

Then, I started the summer missions rush with Hammer, Nails & More in Park Hills, MO. I took a group of 40 students and sponsors on a 4 day journey of work projects and Vacation Bible School (VBS).

Next, I joined with 18 students and adults to spend a week doing missions in a 1 Mile radius around our church, Ridgecrest Baptist Church. Every evening the students worked with VBS & VBX alongside the rest of Ridgecrest, while working in the community each morning and afternoon. It was a very worthwhile trip!

Another group of 15 went to Camp Barnabas to provide support during Term 3 of the summer camp schedule. These students and adults walked through life with 7-15 year-old campers with special needs. I'm certian that everyone on that trip was dramatically changed by the end of their 8 days.

Since then, I've officiated a wedding in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa; played guitar in a wedding in Kansas City, Missouri; and been crazy busy preparing for rbcstudents CAMP Missions as well as trying to get the MCU (Mobile Church Unit, see previous post) ready to go by August 15th (my self imposed deadline).

Summer has been busy so far, but the next two months look even busier! I can't wait to see what God does!

I'm Nate and this is what I think is essential.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My Time with Amarillo

From May 31-June 5, I had the privilege of being the speaker for First Baptist Church of Amarillo's student ministry. We had an incredible week while at Sky Ranch at Cave Springs in Quapaw, OK.

During the week I taught over two different topics. In the four morning sessions, we discussed the beliefs of Christianity compared to four other religions (Judaism, Mormonism, Jehovah's Witness, & Islam). In the evening sessions, we discussed the Omniscience of God (in Christ's Supremacy, in His Blessing, in His Love, in the Future). The students did an outstanding job of asking questions, taking instruction, and following the Lord's direction as they responded to His word.

I was blessed (and amazed) by the students, sponsors and staff from FBC Amarillo. I have been to a lot of camps in my lifetime with many different groups of students, but I've never seen a group of students (rbcstudents excluded) have so much fun together while being so attentive to what God was teaching them!

I learned a lot from watching my friend Bradley lead his team of staff and sponsors through the week. I also learned a lot about leading students! Thanks, Bradley (and FBC Amarillo), for letting me be part of your CAMP!

After such a great week, I started thinking about our upcoming CAMP for rbcstudents! I am so excited about our time coming up (July 16-20) at Hannibal-LaGrange College! We are going to have an amazing time!

I am Nate, and this is what I think is essential.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Your Ministry

I have a re-occurring dream about student ministry, but it's not identical everytime. Let me explain. I'm not talking about a dream I have while I'm asleep. I'm talking about a dream like what Martin Luther King, jr. had ("I have a dream..."). The kind of dream I have is one of a near future where things are different than they are in my present reality. So to tell you about the dream, I need to start by defining my present reality.

It has been two and a half years since I came to Ridgecrest. At that time, we continued some of the existing programs (Sunday morning Bible Study, Wednesday night service, D-Team), while only beginning a few "new" things (mission trip training, overseas missions, annual parent party, BASH w/ After Party, MIX events). All-in-all, we didn't change too much. It was, for the most part, a very smooth transition.

Since then, we've seen God do some pretty amazing stuff (for example, in 2008 we had 122 participate in student missions, our average weekly attendance grew by 35% , and we began serving the poor multiple times a month as a part of D-Team). Over all, I've been pleased with what has taken place thus far.

However, I don't think we've reached the full potential of our students. By-in-large, in the past two and a half years, we've not seen our students' friends coming to know Christ. We've not seen our students get passionate about sharing Christ with others. We've not seen a large increase in the number of students participating in ministry (serving others) on a weekly basis.

This leads me to believe that it is time for some changes to take place. The old saying is, "Keep doing what you're doing; keep getting what you've got." Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for the student ministry at Ridgecrest, the students who are involved and the volunteers who make ministry possible. But I cannot ignore the fact that students are not getting involved in ministering to others. I think that getting students active in sharing their faith is more important than continuing the status quo. It's more important than "playing it safe" with our programming. So this is my present reality.

In my dream...which is the same, but different each time...I see students who don't just show up for services each week. I see students actively sharing their faith through serving others. Students leading Bible Studies in their homes. Students sharing Christ with their neighborhoods. Students passionately worshiping God in their school gymnasiums. Students who are not bored with the idea of church, but are invigerated by being the church! Students who are not only part of a ministry, but students who have a ministry!

Sound good?!?!

The great thing about my dream is that in it, students from all backgrounds, social networks, and geographic areas are involved. They are active in ministry (sharing Christ) in a way that best fits their situation! They get to do what is most comfortable to them or what is the most uncomfortable -- but they are active in sharing Christ!

What does this mean for rbcstudents? It means that you have an opportunity to be the church and not just show up for church. It means that you can...
...lead a Home Group (a home Bible study you lead for your friends). the My World Project (serve fellow students at your school through clubs, sports, and organizations).
...try to Rock Your Block (reach your neighborhood through backyard Bible schools or sports camps). part of our Road Crew (the ministry team with the Mobile Church Unit).

These are just a few ideas. You might have more!

Here is the short answer for how my dream is different, yet the same...every student owns (is active in) ministry and none of the ministries look the same!

For rbcstudents a shift is coming this fall. A shift from doing church to being the church.

I'm Nate, and this is what I think is essential.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Mobile Church Unit

For awhile now, I've been toying with the idea of finding a vehicle that we could use in our community for various opportunities of outreach. A vehicle that we could use at local schools (tailgates, serving Gatorade to teams, on-campus Bible studies and services). A vehicle that we could use at "Rock Your Block" (our backyard, week-long camps and/or vbs... coming in the summer of 2010). A vehicle that will allow others to see Ridgecrest Baptist Church's students in "motion," making an impact in their community for Christ!

In April, I attended METRO (a conference I attend every year), where I heard from two other student ministers that have similar vehicles. After the conference, I had greater clarity about using such a vehicle! I began praying that the Lord would show me what to do next!

Upon returning to Springfield, as I drove past our local Republic Road car lot (you know the one ... the PriceCutter parking lot) there it was ... a 1989, Ford Econoline E150, with 83,xxx original miles...the van! As soon as I saw it, I knew that it was just what I was looking for!

So the following Monday, we had an all-day leadership staff meeting where we were to present our outreach plans for 2010. I shared the plan for the student ministry, with part of the plan including the van! I showed pictures to everyone around the table and after a lot of laughing, kidding around and my promising that I was serious, our executive pastor named it the Mobile Church Unit (MCU). So now, I talk about the "MCU" not "the van"! Here are some pictures!

Seriously, put a red strip down the side with a spoiler on top and you've got the A-Team van!

About a year ago, someone gave a donation to the student ministry for "something creative," so I've been waiting and praying! The MCU is pretty creative, so I talked to the family that donated. They felt is was a great idea! We now have a van that we want to turn into an MCU. To do that, we will have to do some work to get it ready for the Fall.

Here is a short list:
1. sound system (able to be a PA or car stereo)
2. rear projection screen and projector
3. custom detailing/vinyl wrap on exterior
4. tie-down system in floor and on walls to hold coolers/grills/etc. in place while traveling
5. flooring
6. trailer hitch/tow package
7. custom panelling on inside of rear doors
8. mounting for projector/sound system amps/etc.
9. mobile power system & auxiliary power supply (a long extension cord!)

I can't wait to see what God does through this MCU. We have some work to do to get it ready before August! Pray for us!

Also, if you know of anyone who might be willing to help knock a couple items off our list, please let me know!

I'm Nate and this is what I think is essential!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ministry, Kari and I

My wife and I recently did a photo shoot with Randy Bacon (a photographer here in town). We had a great time and came out with some wonderful photos! One interesting part of these pictures, we did them all at the church.

This year celebrates my tenth anniversary in ministry. However, 2009 will mark the ninth anniversary of Kari and I tying the knot! Believe it or not, this is only the second time we've ever done a photo shoot and last time it was with our son. The dynamic was totally different without a young one! We laughed, smiled, cuddled, kissed, and pinched each other!

If you are one of my students looking for some kind of information about SEVEN (the perfect event) then let me tell you this hint...AR.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My Friend Brett

I have a friend. Hard to believe I know...but I've known Brett since college. He is probably the funniest and most "fun" person I know. He married Amy, who was my summer camp sweetheart (in the first grade) and they have two beautiful children. He is incredibly talented in many ways including photography, video production, graphic design, playing the drums and preaching the Word! He joined my student ministry staff at First Baptist Raytown in May 2005 and is still doing great things there!

Brett recently had brain surgery (about three weeks ago) to remove a tumor (non cancerous), which resulted in the loss of hearing in one ear, and a loss of balance. Traumatic enough to say the least, but this week Brett was suffering from serious back pain so Amy took him to the hospital where they found a tumor on his back.

So, Brett will have surgery again next week which will take another four weeks (at least) to recover from. Please join me in praying for Brett, Amy and their kids as they are facing another difficult week followed by difficult weeks to come.

Brett's grin...classic! He was up to something! Picture taken at Kari's 30th surpise party!

I'm Nate and this is what I think is essential.

Monday, March 2, 2009

DNOW pt 2

DNOW ended over a week ago and I'm still processing all that God did.  

We had two brothers (who came as guests) place their trust in Christ!  We had one student surrender to the call to ministry!  And we had many students rededicate their lives to Christ!  

Throughout the weekend we had some intense times of worship, intimate one-on-one with the Lord, and a ton of fun! 

Thanks to all who volunteered at DNOW!  Thanks to all who came!  Thanks to You Lord for meeting with us at DNOW '09!  

DNOW pt 2

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Coming up this weekend is our big weekend retreat called DNOW! Every year I'm excited about this event because of what it does in the lives of our students (not to mention all of the fun and junk food)!

This year, we are kicking things off with The David Crowder Band! I'm expecting a "melt my face off" good time of rock 'n roll and worship (ok, so actually I think DCB would be classified as techno and worship, but you get the point)!

For me, personally, I think I'm most excited about the small group sessions and the impact that they will have on the individual students. There are five small group sessions that consist of teaching, practice, reflection, teaching, practice, & reflection. Everything the students are taught during the teaching time will immediately be put into practice and then discussed by the group.

What makes this so exciting for me is that our topic this year is "Secrets of the Secret Place: Secrets to finding intimacy with God." So everytime the students have "practice" they will be spending time alone with God, in His word, one-on-one with Him, practicing ways of growing closer to Him!

Throughout the weekend, each student will spend a minimum of 100 minutes alone with God!

This is why I'm so excited about DNOW! Spend 100 minutes alone with God, and there is no way you can remain the same!

Next time I post, I'll give you a recap of what God does during DNOW09!

I'm Nate and this is what I think is essential!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


It's Tuesday again -- my day to have some freedom in my schedule! My day started off with taking my son to school before heading to the office. When I arrived, I had email waiting for me, so I dove in!

I have a lot of student pastor friends who frequently send information about speakers, bands, and other "trade secrets" that they might have. My friend, Steve, from North Carolina sent me an email about a passionate young lady named Abby Tracy.

Abby is 22 years old and is a missionary to Uganda. While she was finishing college she raised $50,000 to build a home in Uganda so that she could get street kids off the street. If you are unaware, 51 percent of the population of Uganda is under 18. It is estimated that there are some 10,000 children living on the street, alone, with no family.

Abby, with no denominational backing or support, started this home and finds the funds to keep it going. She is passionate about saving these kids from the street and sharing the love of Christ with them. Her stories are quite remarkable.

Please take some time right now and visit her blog ( Mark it as a favorite and go back often.

Why am I pushing you to do this? This morning, I realized that my focus has been way off. Maybe your focus has been way off too.

May God grant us a renewed vision. May we have His vision for the nations, His vision for people, His vision for the work of the Kingdom.

I'm Nate and this is what I think is essential.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I Heart Tuesday

Tuesdays are great!

Many reasons come to mind as to why I think Tuesdays are great. One being "date night." Kari and I try to carve out time to get a bite to eat and enjoy each other's company while Landon enjoys the company of a babysitter!

Another meetings. Typically, I do not have meetings on Tuesdays so I get to do all of that office work that quickly builds up. I also get to do some worship planning and sermon prep, as well as have time with my office door closed!

But the reason this Tuesday is so special is because of new music! Record labels release new music on Tuesdays. While I'm not excited about any new releases, I am excited about some of the music I purchased on iTunes and now get to listen to and worship all day! No doubt these songs will work their way into our student worship services very soon!

Here is a list of what I'm listening to today:

"To Know Your Name" Artist: Hillsong Album: Saviour King

"Let Us Adore" Artist: Hillsong Album: Hillsong: God He Reigns

"More Than Life" Artist: Hillson United Album: The I Heart Revolution

"You Deserve" Artist: Hillsong Live Album: This Is our God

"Holy" Artist: Vinyard UK Album: Holy

As you can tell, I've been downloading Hillsong stuff! Not all of these are brand new songs, but I am finding them to be refreshing to my soul as I sing along and worship the living God!

Have a great Tuesday!


Friday, January 30, 2009

January's over.

The next couple of days will be very busy for me. I've got YouthQuake all day on Saturday (literally, all day) and on Sunday following morning services I'll be back at the church at 3:30pm to get all set up and open the doors for the Super Bowl Party (Bring Your Own Living Room)! I'll get home at about 9:30-10pm each night, so no Landon and Daddy time this weekend.

Traditionally, January is usually a pretty slow month in student ministry, but January '09 has been packed! Oh well, only one more day! It has been a good month. I think we've got good momentum from the activities, events, and services we've had.

Two of the highlights of January have been (1) Ski | MISSIONS and (2) The Annual Parent Party.

(1) Ski | MISSIONS was a trip that didn't happen like I planned. Once on the bus took off to Colorado I received an emial from Chad (the missionary we were working with) telling me that everything we planned had fallen through. So, we had to try to figure out what God was up to! I've learned over the years (from my good friend Walker Moore) that, "Our disappointments are God's divine appointments!" (Day 1) After arriving at Copper Mountian we checked in our rooms, picked up our rental gear and hit the slopes! Chad came over after that night and talked with our group. We decided to send the group out that night with the purpose of iniatiating conversations with people so we could pray for them and/or tell them about Christ. Overall, the students did a good job of accomplishing what we sent them to do. Many students struck up converstaions, but none lead to any salvations. (Day 2) The weather was perfect and the skiing was great! The second night we prayer walked for an hour and then tried to engage others in converstaions that might lead to sharing Christ. It was a little easier on this night as the village was busy with visitors coming to see En Fuago (sp?), the big nighttime festival with street performers, fireworks, etc... On this night, I got to talk to a Doug who is one of the performers. We stood around a fire pit and he told of all he has experienced in his short life. What a story! All of us who were talking with Doug were blown away by how much he has lived though! I asked Doug if it was ok if I prayed for him. As he rode away on his bike he said "yes" and that was the last I saw of him. So, I've been praying for Doug. (Day 3) In short, I got lost in the back country (out of bounds) with two students and an intern for about three hours in all. We made it back, we left no one behind! Just before supper, Chad and his family came by to visit. I got to talk with him about 2010 and I got to pray for him and his wife and son. They don't get much help from groups like ours. Most just go to ski and relax. I pray that Chad and his family don't get discouraged! At the end of the trip we had all returned home saftely.

(2)The Annual Parent Party is a chance for me to see parents (some new to the ministry, some experienced), celebrate what God has done in the past year, and cast vision for the upcoming year. We had a great turnout of parents as well as our small group teachers. We had good converstaion, great food, and almost everybody took home a prize! I love getting with parents!

January was full of many other activities as well, not to mention that I was sick with the flu and strep during the month! I'm looking forward to February and to feeling better.

Pray for students to come to know Christ!