Hello folks! It’s been far too long since we have posted here!
It’s was quite a spring semester at Purdue with the Covid-19 pandemic. The students were basically sent home for online learning immediately after Spring Break. A wild couple of weeks for us all for the students and us! It did not completely stop our ministry as we continued to meet with students and have our meetings via Zoom! The Zoom service has become a verb these days of quarantine and physical distancing.
Thankfully none of our students knowing caught the virus, however some family members/friends have. We have a friend from our church who contracted Covid-19 on a plane traveling to Florida. He was in the hospital for 50 days or so and by God’s grace survived despite many close calls.
We are currently attending our WDA Staff Conference via Zoom. This has added the resource for our International Staff to participate from Brazil to Africa to the Philippines and points in between!
We are excited to share what is on the horizon for WDA on campus at Purdue and as the WDA overall ministry. God has been working in these difficult times worldwide. We trust Him in the midst of hardship and pain.
This semester was a really good one for Sharon and Everette and he wanted to give you a brief update. We finished the Purdue semester with a Senior Dinner honoring the four seniors who are graduating. The time of affirmation was quite powerful as the students who attended shared openly and there was a lot of humor. This was a good year for personal growth for our consistent leaders and we also saw two students make commitments to Christ at the end of the semester. Everette is ready for a break from the pace but will be ready to roll again in the fall.
On the international side, he made a very interesting trip to India March 10 – 18th. At first he was very challenged by the mass of humanity, the pollution, and the chaos in travel. However after a couple of days he was able to recover enough from the culture shock to have a very meaningful time encouraging some young pastors, and there is a possibility he will be returning next year.
A lot has also happened on the home front. On March 4th Myles Edward Albrecht, their first grandson (they have two granddaughters as well), was born to Susanne and Mark in Lake Stevens, WA. Sharon was able to be present and Everette looks forward to seeing him in July as he, Sharon, their oldest daughter Jessica make a trip West. His youngest son Michael is out of the Marines now and is job hunting in Southern California. Their youngest daughter Michelle, who married Luke last year, graduated from Nursing School and is starting her job search. Everette and Sharon love seeing Jessica weekly as she eats Sunday lunch with them. They have a lot of fun interacting with their adult children.
It’s amazing that the 2016-2017 academic year has come to a close here at Purdue!
We are thankful for how God has worked this year in many ways. It is exciting to see young men and women committed to following Christ in their pivotal college years. We have had so many opportunities to work with students and see them grow in all aspects of their lives. Several students from all different backgrounds have become Christ followers which is the most exciting for us!
We certainly will miss our graduating seniors as they move on to their new careers. Please pray for them as they step out into the ‘real world’ and the challenges that await them. In addition, that they find good fellowship with Christ followers wherever their career takes them. This is critical to their continued growth in their faith in Christ.
Over the next three days we will post year end summaries by Parks, Mary and Everette. We look forward to sharing a snapshot of how the Lord has used us in the past nine months.
It truly is an honor to serve the students at Purdue University since 1983!
This has been an amazing ministry year. It all started with an unexpected trip to Romania in August to teach a Discipleship Training Seminar. Fernando Frincu, who I teach for in Brazil is from Romania and was home on sabbatical. He felt like there were some good opportunities to teach similar content in Romania and invited a team of us to come and teach. I have not been to Eastern Europe before so this was a little out of my comfort zone, but it all came together as we prayed about it and a team of 4 of us headed over. I was encouraged by the people and the response to the content. I was also amazed by how beautiful Romania was and since our seminars were on the weekends, I got to see a lot of the county side. An unexpected blessing was getting to see Richard Mauney who was a student leader in WDA at Florida State. He has been a missionary in Romania for 20 years and is a great mentor of young men. I loved meeting some of his disciples.
I got home in time to jump into the beginning of the Purdue year, but at the same time became aware of another unexpected opportunity. Some good friends approached the 5 members of our staff team about making a trip to Israel in October. I would not normally make two overseas trips this close together, but since they were giving us this trip as a gift, it did not take Sharon and me long to say yes. The Purdue ministry had gotten a good start, and we were now off again. In two weeks we got to see a lot of Biblical locations in Israel, also Petra in Jordan, and Sinai in Egypt. Seeing so many locations where Jesus walked and ministered was refreshing and has made the Bible so much more alive as I can envision what happened where. So much of the Christian life is just being faithful in the little things, but this trip was truly a mountain top experience.
We returned home to reconnect with our Purdue leaders and move ahead with Alpha Fellowship, our Fraternity/Sorority weekly Bible study. I truly love these young men and women and am blessed by their heart for God. This year I had a good problem in that there were more interested young men than I could meet with weekly, so I was able to start meeting with men two at a time. A couple of our seniors graduated, but I have a great group of juniors who will be returning in the fall. I have enclosed some photos of the end of the year. Our prayer is that we can continue to build on the great foundation we have and do a good job of reaching out to younger students next year. I was ready to slow the pace and get a break at the end of the school year, but have been blessed as I have reflected on what God did this year.
The school year is over and things are hopping around our house as we get ready for Michelle’s wedding and have Susanne (our daughter in law) and Olivia and Felicity with us. What wonderful chaos. Michael won’t make the wedding as he is deployed overseas with the US Marines. Please pray for his protection. May God bless you with a great summer.
We in invited Steele Johnson, a Purdue diver, to speak at Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity on Tuesday evening, March 22. He won the 2015 NCAA national championship in the 1-meter and 10- meter platform diving, was diver of the year and Purdue male athlete of the year. He is currently training to go to the 2016 Olympics with Team USA.
Steele shared how he got involved with diving at the age of 7. At age 12, during one of his dives, he hit his head on the 10-meter platform and torn his scalp open. He could have easily died as result and was told he might never dive again. But true to his name, Steele is a pretty tough guy! After his recovery he continued to dive and was a 15-time junior national champion. Please watch this video on YouTube where he tells the story:
Steele is currently on Olympic practice waiver at Purdue. He and Olympic gold medalist David Boudia (who also was a Purdue diver) have been training together as synchronized 10-meter diving partners. They just returned from China and Dubai were the pair won a bronze medal in their synchronized diving event.
Steele also shared with us how his faith has become a very important part of his life. He said that he had traveled all over the world and won many accolades in diving, but that this left his empty and unsatisfied. In his testimony, he told us that he had rededicated his life to Christ in January of 2015. He now has his focus on Christ. If he wins that’s great, but he wants to glorify God in all that he does.
We were thankful Steele was able to fit us in the middle of his current busy competition schedule from Rio to China to Dubai, back to Purdue and now on his way to Canada and Russia!
Look for Steele Johnson and David Boudia at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio!