We are fast approaching the end of our last semester with 2022/23’s School of Biblical Studies students, and like every year that has come before, this one has proven to be a unique gift. I’ve been deeply blessed by the humility, hearts, and commitment of this year’s student body.
We have also seen tremendous growth and transformation through our other programs, such as the Biblical Narrative Series and our Foundations Course. People are hungry to know God’s Word!
Community as God’s Gift
One of the ways God has been teaching us this past year has been through this avenue of shared life and community. We have been fortunate enough to experience this consistently over the past 5-6 years as a part of the Emmaus Team, but recently it has taken on a new significance. Community is one way in which we are able to experience a greater measure of God’s movement in our lives. When Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray, it is within the context of community “Our Father…give us…forgive us…lead us…deliver us…” (Matt. 6:9-13). When Paul relates the gifts of God’s Spirit at work in our lives (“fruit of the Spirit,” Gal. 5:22-23), it manifests through relational interraction: “love, peace, patience, kindness, etc…” (things we cannot experience on our own, apart from others!). Likewise, 2 Corinthians relates how God has chosen the vehicle of his church to further express his loving care: when we comfort one another, we experience the very comfort of Christ (1:3-6), and in God’s design for reconciling the world to himself, he makes his appeal through us (5:14-21). In other instances, Jesus commands us to remember him through the shared breaking of bread and fellowship (Luke 22:14-20), it is also the way he opened the eyes of his disciples (Luke 24:30-32). Never before have we experienced these truths as deeply as we have this year.
There are many more ways God impacted my heart through the notion of community and the church: The shared ability for building one another up (Eph. 4:1-16), the unity of purpose (Eph. 2:19-22) The ability to practice Christlikeness (Php. 2:1-15), etc…. and they have all led to a much deeper appreciation for ways God has designed us to experience a greater measure of Himself through each other. One way I’ve been challenged to apply this personally has been through more engagement with my church community. God has used this to bless our family in tremendous ways! One specific area of application was stepping out of my comfort zone to partake in a couple of church panels on “Hearing God’s Voice” and the Bible, and what a gift these moments were!
A while ago, we launched a GoFundMe campaign in order to help me learn Biblical Hebrew through Kairos Classroom. This is a year long program, of which I am just over 1/4 of the way through. It has been both incredibly encouraging and challenging! We’re so grateful for everyone who gave in order for me to have this opportunity and I’m excited to keep going and continue learning. It was a powerful and somewhat emotional moment for me a few weeks ago when I was able to read my first verse in Hebrew (Genesis 1:1), a passage from a book that has transformed my relationship with the Bible. Thank you everyone for the gift of doing this! And if you’re interested in learning Biblical Greek or Hebrew in a helpful and pressure-free environment, check out Kairos Classroom for yourself!
How You Can Partner With Us:
- Your continued prayers for our family and ministry are the lifeblood of all we do. As we’re wrapping up this school year and gearing up for the next, we need prayers for our team at Emmaus and our future students. (Side note: We really mean this! This year, our appreciation for, and commitment to, prayer has been on a journey of renewal. If you feel your own prayer life in need of a boost, check out these sermons, they were absolute game-changers for us.
- Our family is always searching for people who are passionate about Bible training…or people who maybe just kind of like us…and are open to joining our financial support team. Our current financial goal is to increase our monthly support by $800 before September 2023. Would you take a moment to prayerfully consider joining our mission or increasing your current giving amount? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with questions. Here’s the link where you can Donate.
Thank you so much for all your love and continued support!
– The McRae Family
Obligatory Family Photos