Newsletter -Summer 2018
Dear friends of the ministry, We are in the midst of an Arizona desert summer, combined with ongoing drought. Psalm 63 is a constant yearning for those of us who live and serve in the dry Southwest.
O God, you are my God Earnestly I seek you, My soul thirsts for you, My body longs for you, In a dry and weary land Where there is no water.
Yes, David (and Jesus, at times) knew a similar landscape – and how fellowship with God (the Heavenly Father) could satisfy our deepest longings.
On the ministry front, if you were to visit our mission field in the summertime, you might think that there was little to do here. Arizona State University has no summer school to speak of. (And what classes there are … are mostly online!)
But there are students to be found: inside… in air-conditioned libraries and laboratories. They are the international students. Too long a trip and too costly to travel home. So many of them remain here. And the campus is theirs. And ours. We maintain all of our regular English-skills-building classes over the summer: English Corner (conversation), Writing Workshop and Reading Circle. We also take over one of the study rooms at the library – yes, the air-conditioned library – to teach a class, “An Overview of the Bible. Thank you for your constant prayers for these opportunities. The English classes enable us to serve, help and befriend these scholars. The Bible Class leads students to Jesus. (After all, Jesus famously said, “Search the Scriptures – for they testify of me.” (John 5:39)
We also find that, for our students, who are nearly all graduate scholars, the summer offers them a more relaxed schedule of research and classes. Lately, several of them have joined Barb and me for church – we have a wonderful church in our area, New Valley – and for trips to the museum and to Arizona’s high country. Did you know that you can drive two hours from the Arizona desert and find yourself in a climate where the evening temps require a jacket?
We ask for your prayers for 20-or-so students that we minister to actively this summer. We also ask that God will prepare us for the most crucial two weeks of our year, in August, when we welcome new arrivals from abroad – at several welcome events where we can meet new friends and, hopefully, gain their trust and friendship. Classes begin at ASU om August 16.
My screenplay, Taiping, is being read again this summer and fall in three writers’ contests. Thanks for continuing to pray for this effort, as well a second screenplay that I may undertake soon.
Most important family prayer need this summer will be the arrival of baby boy (grandchild #8), expected in September. This will be first child for daughter, Bonnie, and husband, Jeremy. And, as always, continue to bring Bethany and Micah and their kids (church-planting in Florida) and Ben and Heather and the boys before the Lord.
Serving Christ with you,
Bob and Barb Thompson