As our last school year came to a close in May, we hit the ground running with all kinds of ministry projects, travel plans, and changes for our family personally. To kick things off, we began our summer with two intensive staff planning weeks in order to finalizeall of our 22-23 ministry programs. During this time, we also were able to expand our current office and classroom spaces, increase our library of resources, and we added three new “support staff” to our team. These three “support staff” are graduates of our School of Biblical Studies who felt led to continue supporting the ministry through various roles of administration, media, and hospitality. We’re so grateful for them!
Right after our staff planning weeks, Samantha and I embarked on some extensive travels to Alaska, Virginia, and Pennsylvania in order to see family and friends while also working to increase our support base. Admittedly, this was a long and stressful learning experience for us in terms of traveling with small children, but despite that, we had an absolute blast and were blessed beyond all expectations by those we saw and visited with! We also had a couple ministry opportunities along the way.
Throughout this time, Samantha and I also experienced a number of miracles. To oversimplify our situation, Samantha and I left for our planned summer travels after just finding out that we would need to raise an additional $600 in monthly support to conitnue our full time role with Emmaus. We also had just learned that our apartment complex was going to raise our rent by an additional $500 a month, and if we wanted to find another place to live, we’d have to do so while we were traveling out of state, and we would have less than a month when we got back to make a move. On top of all this, I (Jacob) had been riding my bike to work because we only had one car, so if we moved, this could complicate our available modes of transportation.
There’s a lot that could be said in explaining all of this, but to once again oversimplify God’s work on our behalf: 1. We were able to increase our monthly support by $600 a month while traveling 2. A friend was able to help us find an even better housing option than we previously had, and for $400 less than what we would have been paying for our increased rent price 3. A family we know just recently offered us a free car (which we definitely ended up needing, since it takes me over an hour to bike to work from our new location). Praise God!
A New Year
We kicked off our new ministry year in August with our School of Biblical Studies. This is the largest student body we’ve had for this program since Samantha and I joined Emmaus in 2017! This group has been a joy to lead thus far and we’re all very excited to see what God has in store for the rest of the year. I had the privelage of once again kicking off this year’s journey by teaching through the book of Genesis.
We’ll also be kicking off one of our regular evening programs, the Biblical Narrative Series on August 29th, which students can attend both virtually or in person.
We’re so thankful for all of the ways we’ve been blessed by our friend and family communities these past couple of months and for the incredible start to our new school year, it’s been a huge encouragement!
- Samantha’s recent visit to the dentist revealed that some past work she had done years ago was not done to appropriate dental standards and is now going to cost us an unexpected $1700 to fix. Yikes!
- Benaiah just recently started his first schooling experience, how the time flies! We’d appreciate prayers for it to continue being a positive experience for him.
- While we were able to hit the necessary minimum support goal for us to continue our role with Emmaus, the financial challenge is still before us. We’re shooting to increase our support by another $1,000 a month to help us continue saving up to purchase a home rather than rent. As a secondary goal, I (Jacob) would also like to attend seminary using the scholarship opportunities afforded me by my time as a student with Emmaus. We’re not sure about the timing of this goal, but we’d like to make it happen in the near future.
Want to help support our family and Ministry?
- Set up a recurring or one-time payment for us through our ministry’s giving page:
- Checks can be made out to “Emmaus Bible Ministries” with a note for Jacob and Samantha McRae and sent to:
Emmaus Bible Ministries
P.O. Box 620473
Oviedo FL, 32762
– The McRae Family