Christmas Break, Start of Semester.

Verse to Consider: Philippians 1:27 – “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.”

Hello everyone, and happy late-Christmas/New Year! This update is a bit overdue, but we decided to wait so that we could include Christmas and the start of our school semester.

Much of December was spent finalizing preparations for our School of Biblical Studies (SBS). We had just spent months revitalizing and changing the format of our programs and how they operate, so there was a lot of work to be done in terms of updating our resources and manuals for the students. It was tedious work, rewriting the policies and manuals, but it also helped to inspire and excite our team as we looked over all that we would be teaching during the semester.

After the long work of making sure the student resources were updated and ready, the staff of Emmaus Ministries were gifted by friends of the ministry with the opportunity to stay two nights at a local resort on the beach! What a blessing! It was a wonderful chance for us as staff to enjoy each others company and unwind from the long hours of work. And to top off the experience, we got to witness an incredible meteor shower during our stay on the beach!

Once our short adventure to the beach was over, we were fortunate enough to head right into our trip to see family for Christmas. Samantha and I started off our Christmas by seeing our immediate family in Virginia, followed by a trip to Oglebay Lodge, in West Virginia, where we spent a few days with extended family.

Samantha and I were also able to take a quick trail ride in the snow. It was extremely beautiful and fun! (Fun fact: it was also my [Jacob] first horseback riding experience!)

But alas, our Christmas break had an end. And it was back to work in Florida! Unfortunately, we landed ourselves in the middle of a huge storm and traffic jam on the way down, and our 12 hour trip turned into a two day trip.

Once in Florida, we used the next few days getting everything organized and cleaned up for the arrival of our students on the 8th. I am now writing this blog after having held our first class with our new students. It went great!IMG_1372
This week of class is an orientation for the students, where we are introducing them to the inductive study method. Once this week is over, we will start having regular classes on Mondays and Wednesdays as we journey through the New Testament. The Old Testament portion of our school will begin in August.

It was an incredible feeling to see students walk into our classroom after months of prayer and planning. It was a wonderful moment of fulfillment that could only truly be appreciated by the staff here at Emmaus who sought for God’s direction during the biggest transformation this ministry has yet seen. We’re so thankful for everyone who helped to carry us through their prayers and support. You are part of the reason that these students are able to be here. We loved meeting our new students and we’re so excited for them to experience God and His Word in a whole new way!

Prayer Requests: We would love prayer for our school and students as we iron out the kinks in this first month of our program. We want this school to be the best possible version for our students!

-Four years into marriage, Samantha and I have still never experienced a living space that consisted of more than two rooms. We’re currently living in a slightly cramped, single, hotel-style room and are hoping for the opportunity to upgrade to an apartment (or something of the like) within the next year. We would love to do this simply for our own sanity, but also in the hopes of starting a family in the near future. Part of this is going to necessitate reaching our fully funded goal of a $3,000 a month income. We are currently making about $1,200 a month in recurring donations. If you’re interested (or maybe someone you know) in learning more about our ministry and how you can participate in helping us reach this goal. Please contact us through one of the methods listed here, or click here to donate..

Thank you for all of your support. We’re so grateful!
-Jacob and Samantha McRae

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