This year has been…well…it’s been very 2020! Unpredictable, unprecedented, uncomfortable at times, and about every kind of unusual! In fact, even as I sit here in a coffee shop socially distant from everyone around me, I just heard someone, in exasperation, say to their friend, “I mean…that is sooo 2020 man!” When a year becomes an adjective for the unusual…that is telling you something.
But even as our kids were suddenly withdrawn from school (and are still online from home), as all of our Emmaus programs moved online this Spring and as we joined you all in spending months in “quarantine,” we discovered that in the midst of the unexpected…God remains faithful in 2020.
In many ways, this year has infused fresh life and depth to our family relationships and we’ve experienced incredible generosity as all of our needs have been met throughout this tumultuous year for our nation and globe. We do not take this for granted, as we know that this generosity came at great personal sacrifice from our team of faithful partners. Our hearts are filled with gratitude!
- Lily is in her sophomore year. She’s really developed a deep and consistent devotional life in her relationship with God over this year. It’s been incredible to see! Also, she was recently interviewed by her yearbook as they want to feature her for her influence on fellow students who have been encouraged by her instagram page about self-image. On a parenting note: She is currently preparing to take her test for her Drivers Permit. Please send help…
- Grace is an 8th grader this year and sings every second she is awake. She is full of energy and adventure and has matured a ton this past year. Softball just got started back up and she is happy to be back at that.
- This year has included some challenges for Maya. She had double eye surgery to restore muscle control, and has had to have some extensive dental work. Along with that, when her sisters all were forced to move their education home it was a major obstacle to our in-home therapy program that we have been running with her. She has been resilient and continues to be a source of tremendous joy, and we are eagerly looking forward to the rest of the girls returning to school so we can dedicate more focused time to Maya’s ongoing development.
- Last but not least, Faith is really enjoying her online 2nd grade class. She’s a spunky, funny, sweet young lady that we are so blessed to have. She’s also really good at asking tough questions and telling you how to do things!
At Emmaus, by the grace of God, the ministry has experienced a year of discovering new ways to flourish as a ministry and fulfill the mission of equipping all people to engage the Bible and grow as disciples. Against all odds, we ended up having students for each of our three Bible school programs that started this fall!
- Our 10-month School of Biblical Studies is now in the midst of the Old Testament prophets with 6 faithful students digging into their Scriptures day by day.
- Our Old Testament Biblical Narrative Series has 106 people enrolled in this course that is now offered both in-person and online.
- This fall, we also launched a brand new Night Course that is studying the Pentateuch (Genesis-Deuteronomy) with 10 students.
- We also offered our first ever online Bible Overview Seminar for a church in Kentucky as we continue to seek to develop diverse ways to equip the Church to study the Bible.
While we continue to develop new ways to fulfill the mission God has given us, it has been encouraging to see that, even as the model has changed this ministry continues to impact peoples lives. Just recently I was sitting with a young man who is on staff with a local church and is also enrolled in our Night Course. We were talking about the course he’s been taking at Emmaus and he said, “You guys always use the phrase, ‘know your bible – change your life,’ and the other day as I was sitting in class I could just tell in the moment, ‘it’s true, this is literally changing my life.'”
Without your investment in the life and mission of our family, we could not be doing the work that we are doing. All these people who are transforming the way they engage the Bible and are being challenged to grow as disciples of Jesus; they are the fruit of your partnership in this ministry. As you partner with us in helping people “KNOW THE BIBLE”, it is truly “CHANGING LIVES.” For that, we are deeply grateful for each of you.
Grace and Peace,
Caleb and Toya