Wednesday, October 21, 2009

11 New Posts...Check em Out

To say that life has crazy busy over the past 2 months would be an understatement. We've lived out of a suitcase for most of that time and have traveled all across the East Coast. We've joked (although it's true) that by the time our little girl is born in February, she will have already visited over half of the United States.

We hope you enjoy reading below and checking out video and pictures from our last few weeks. There are 11 New Posts so keep scrolling down...keep scrolling...keep scrolling or click the October links on the left side of your page. Stuff at the top is the most recent...things lower down take you back to the beginning of September.

Changes Continue: LCBC Young Adults - Saturate

Whitney and I are excited to share some more good news! After months of discussion and prayer, I will be joining Lives Changed By Christ (LCBC - our home church) in January and will be serving on staff as their Young Adults Pastor. For the full story on how this developed, email me at and I can send you the details. Whitney will continue to serve at ABWE in the Student Mobilization Department and we're really excited about that. Thank you to all of the ABWE family who have been supportive and encouraging during this transition. I'm thankful we will be staying in the same area, serve through our local church, and continue to encourage missions efforts in the lives of young adults. LCBC put together a quick video to introduce me to the Saturate Community (Young Adult Ministry at LCBC) Check it out.

Meet Paul... from SaturateOnline on Vimeo.

New Life Baptist Church: the TOOL

This past Sunday, I was able to speak to the youth at New Life Baptist Church in New Cumberland, PA. I took them through a modified version of the TOOL which is a session designed for them to evaluate their lives and where they are with responding to God's Word, God's World, and God's Work. It was an encouraging morning with the youth and with Matt and Vicki Riggins. Excited to see what happens this year as their group heads out to several different places.

Moody Bible Institute: Divine Mosaic

From Connecticut, Whitney drove back to Harrisburg and I jumped a plane to the Windy City for Moody's Missions Conference. Chicago was great to visit and it was a wonderful week of ministering on their campus. I was joined by several colleagues: Dan Branda, Debbie Branda, Aurora Branda, George Collins, Ben Collins, Jack Shiflett, and Ron Barnes. Jack and Ron did a great job teaching seminars throughout the week. I met with students interested in short-term opportunities and internships. It turned out to be a busy and productive week. Folks from the Dalit Freedom Network (DFN) were there and shared about what is going on with Dalit's in India. It was great to see them again as our local church is partnering with DFN to help see change produced through the advancement of education, economic development, social awareness, and of course, the Gospel.

Douglas-Neeb Wedding: Connecticut

The following weekend brought just as much traveling. We headed north up to Connecticut for the wedding of Matt Douglas and Jen Neeb...two of our great friends! It was such a privilege to support them as they begin their marriage. It was cool for me too cause it was my first wedding to officiate. The ceremony took place without me messing anything up! Whitney sang with Jason Peaks accompanying on the piano. It was great. We're stoked for you guys, Matt and Jen!

New York City: Brooklyn Tabernacle

From Tennessee we flew to NYC to meet Whitney's mom and dad (Dan and Karin Baker). They were at the Brooklyn Tabernacle for a weekend music conference. We were thrilled to be there and watch Dan's choir from ALCF in California have the opportunity to worship on-stage with the Brooklyn Tab choir. It was a great finish to a busy weekend and it's always good to visit with family...especially when they live on the other Coast. We jumped the train from NYC back to Harrisburg, which was fun, and completed the weekend of planes, trains, and automobiles.

Tennessee Temple University: Next Steps

From Hotlanta, we ventured north up to TTU. We've been visiting the campus for a few years now and enjoy the fellowship we have with their faculty and students. This fall we were able to help them begin their first Next Steps Weekend (modeled from CrossWorld and LU). Next Steps is a missions-oriented discipleship weekend for students going into career missions. The weekend focuses on areas like spiritual formation, local church involvement, equipping and preparation, and mobilizing others. It was great to aid in the start-up of this kind of program fro their university. Excited to see how it aids in impacting the nations. Great job Dr. Owens!

The Claret Jug: Stewart Cink - 2009 British Open Champion

On one of our trips down south we were able to visit with our good friends, the Creasman family. We love them and are grateful for their friendship. After meeting for dinner, they arranged for us to meet Stewart and Lisa Cink and gave me the chance to lay my hands on the Claret Jug: the oldest trophy in sports history (dating back to 1872). Stewart won the Claret Jug at this year's British Open in dramatic style by winning a 4-hole playoff with Tom Watson. The Cink's are an incredible family and make you feel right at home. Thanks Stewart and Lisa for making us feel so welcome...and to Holly for hookin us up!

Liberty University: They're Ready, Are We Willing?

Towards the end of September we were able to travel back to our alma mater: LU for their Fall Missions Conference. The week was great as we were busy each day meeting with students who are either heading out overseas, returning from overseas, or making plans to serve overseas full-time. We enjoy partnering with the folks at Light Ministries and are looking forward to them joining us this year in Thailand, India, and the Middle East. Liberty’s short-term mission department is doing some incredible things and is extremely intentional in their missions coaching and placement for internships. Great to see so many students being helped so that they can follow where God’s leading.

Also got to check out their new year-round ski slope. Not too shabby...especially for the first one in the continental US. Pretty cool.

We're continually grateful for LU and the investment it made in our lives. Always great to go back and see how God is working in new ways as more lives are changed by Christ. I pray LU will always be an incredible place that is set on training Champions for Christ. RIP JF.

Swine FLU: Negative

After Labor Day we headed up to Cedarville, OH to spend a few days at Cedarville University. However, due to an outbreak of the H1N1 Virus, our plans were altered. I was still able to spend some time connecting with Brian Nester, Director of Missions Involvement Services, but Whitney had to remain far from the campus. No need to take any chances with a baby on the way. But we're excited to partner with Cedarville this year as they join us in Albania, Bangladesh, Kosovo, Togo, and the Middle East.

Judah Wise Safstrom

Over Labor Day weekend, I was able to meet my new nephew: Judah Wise Safstrom. Crazy to think that now I’m an uncle. And even crazier to think that in a few months Whitney and I will be parents. But seeing Judah makes us long for February. So happy for my sister, Lori, and her husband, Dave. They’re great parents already! There’s nothing quite like family.

Bible Baptist School Retreat

In September, I had the opportunity to speak at a retreat for a local Christian school. Spoke on “Name-o-tology.” Talked about the what’s associated with a name, desiring the right name, how to get the name you want, and Jesus: the only name that matters. Great time of hanging with students and challenging them. I’m excited to see how some of them make practical steps towards making a good name for themselves by May 2010.