Thoughts From The Hill…

Dear Friends:

Early this past August I attended a two-day Leadership Conference, which was one of the highlights of my year. One speaker told about participating in naval aviator training exercises on the east coast. One of the most rigorous and dreaded operations is water safety egress training. He described it as a required activity designed to prepare a crewmember for surviving the most perilous experiences he or she may ever face. Every few years, the pilots renew their skills by demonstrating their ability to escape downed aircraft submerged in dark ocean waters. Each pilot is strapped into the cockpit simulator wearing vision blocking goggles, without an air tank, and dropped into several feet of water. As the contraption sinks it inverts. Disoriented and unable to see or breathe, the pilot must unbuckle the straps and find his way out of the dark cockpit. In some cases, he is responsible for ensuring others make it out safely as well. It’s enough to give me a panic attack just thinking about it.

August 25th marked five years since Bob moved on to his forever home. I can’t decide if it seems like a short or long time ago. But for a good while, after he left, I participated in my own water egress training. My world flipped upside down and I felt like I couldn’t breathe or see very far ahead. I heard the question, “How will you all keep things going?” more times than I can count. “No idea,” was my main answer. But looking back, how we managed is best explained by the speaker’s statement, “The key to survival is maintaining your reference. You wait for the violent motion to stop and then find your reference.”

So with the most extraordinary committed team members, board of directors and close friends of the ministry we made a decision. Relying on our Father for vision and the Holy Spirit for guidance, knowing we could never work hard enough or come up with enough good ideas, we waited for the turbulence to settle and moved forward with Jesus, The Cornerstone, as our reference point.

Therefore thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly corner stone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.” (Isaiah 28:16)

Five years later we continue to be astonished by God’s opportunities for us. Two weeks ago we received our first shipment of Romanos, the Spanish translation of Bob’s Roman’s study. We are thrilled this dream has come to fruition. Our deep gratitude goes out to Sarah Cunningham who spearheaded the translation project. She spent many long hours pouring her heart into this effort to make the message true to Scripture and the English version. Also, working with Sarah were Jaim Masso, Jair Tapia, Leonardo Vargas, and Brent Armstrong. We appreciate all the input and time given.

We have four new additions to The Hill. These young adults, some students at surrounding colleges, some working jobs nearby, participate in the day to day life of the ministry, and provide the adventurous part of life for us all. We credit them with keeping us young, at least at heart. We are privileged to join with them in talking about the things of God, studying Scripture, and building lifelong relationships.

Walking alongside believers for the purpose of nurturing one another in the faith continues to be the motivation behind all we do. We are praying to be more accessible to Millennials and Generation Z. Please pray with us. We are developing podcasts as a more effective way to reach them with the truth of the gospel.

Thank you for your continued love, phone calls, and notes of encouragement, and for standing by us faithfully with your prayers and financial support. And thank you for remembering Bob. Our hearts have been touched by yours in a profound way and we are thankful for how you minister in your communities. We look forward to the next five years and beyond as we continue to listen for direction.

I pray The Cornerstone will be the reference point for your life.