Verse to Consider: 2 Corinthians 2:14-15,
“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.“
Greetings and Testimony
Hello readers and welcome to our monthly update! Samantha and I are continually being reminded of the encouraging and generous hearts that surround us as we work here in Florida with Emmaus Ministries, and we are eternally grateful!
We love our job! It’s difficult for us to express the level of joy that comes from being able to take an active part in seeing lives transformed by the gospel on a daily basis. It’s so easy to take for granted the power of knowing God through His Word. Samantha and I both went through this transformation when we became students of the Emmaus School of Biblical Studies, and we’re so excited to now work as staff, helping to equip people with tools, in order to more effectively study God’s Word.
You’ve heard all of this from me before, and since I can’t do it justice, we’d like to share with you a testimony from one of our current students, Morgan Phaneuf. We had recently asked Morgan if she would be willing to briefly share how this school has impacted her, and this was her reply:
“Most often, we aren’t aware when we are in the midst of a moment or experience that is shaping us into the person we will become. I don’t mean things like weddings, births, or deaths, but more the things that happen that deeply and truly impact the way we see the world around us. The things that dictate how we relate to other people, how we see ourselves, how we interact with life in general, are usually things that are reflected on later, rather than watched in real time. My name is Morgan Phaneuf, and I have the honor and the unexpected privilege of actively participating in one of those experiences in real time. Emmaus School of Biblical Studies has changed not only the trajectory of my own life, but also, how I see myself and more importantly, understanding how my Creator sees me.
I’m a very nontraditional student, my husband and I have been married almost 11 years and we have two children, an 8 year old boy and a 6 year old girl. I’m not fresh from a DTS (Discipleship Training School), I don’t have a passion for missions (in the traditional sense of the word), I’m a stay at home mom. However, I knew that my Bible was supposed to mean something to me, and it just didn’t. I wasn’t just Biblically illiterate, I was Biblically ignorant. I couldn’t have discussions with my children after church on Sundays because they were learning stories I had never heard, Keep in mind, I have been a believer for almost 15 years! Emmaus has pioneered a way for people just like me, your average mom, to know my Bible in a way that was absolutely not accessible to me before.
There is no way for me to express how just 3 short months have changed my life. I could go on for hours about revelations, surprises, frustrating passages and truths that I have needed to hear my entire life! However, there’s no time for that, so I will just say this: I am not just having an experience that is changing me forever. I am on the cusp of leaving a legacy so that my grandchildren’s children will know God. Emmaus is teaching me how to love scripture so much, that I want to write it on the hearts of my children in a way that I know they won’t be able to help but write it on the hearts of their own. I am living out Psalm 78:6-7:
‘…so that the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children, so they would put their trust in God, and would not forget his deeds.'”
This is the type of impact that we seek to have among the community here in Central Florida. And we feel so incredibly humbled by the chance to see God working so powerfully in the lives of our students. To you who have supported us along the way, this is your legacy as well! Thank you!
In other recent goings ons, I (Jacob) just finished teaching through the book of Titus for our school, and it went great! It’s a wonderful book for exploring the inseparable relationship between “sound doctrine,” “good works,” and the gospel of grace that works through both of these in our lives.
And with the conclusion of Titus, we’re now heading into Spring Break for our school, where Samantha and I will be visiting family in Virginia, pray for our journey!
– For those who missed the announcement on our last blog, Samantha and I are having a baby! Expected arrival: Sept. 2. We were so blessed by the people who responded to our needs and gave towards our mission here after our announcement, thank you! But Samantha and I are still in need of further financial support. Our current living space consists of a single hotel-style room, located here on campus. With the expected arrival of a new family member, it would be an incredible blessing to us if we could manage finding a small apartment to move into. We’re still trying to increase our monthly support by about $1500 a month, but in order to meet our more immediate need of finding a new home, we need to increase our income by at least $800 a month. If you have questions, we’d love to talk with you. If you’re interested in starting a monthly support plan, or if you’d like to make a one-time donation, you can find directions on how to do so by clicking here.
– We would also love continued prayer as we seek to prepare faithful class lectures for our students. To be quite honest, neither Samantha or I are public speakers, so it’s a challenge each time! Our aim is for the students’ relationship with God to deepen with each book we study together.
– Our staff also seems to be fraught with car troubles! Every time one car gets fixed, another breaks down ha. Please ask God to bless our vehicles!
Thank you for your love and support 🙂
-Jacob and Samantha McRae