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.
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.
In October, Everette & Sharon, Parks & Julie, and Mary were able to go to Israel! It was an astonishing, unexpected gift from some supporters!
Lon Solomon, a Messianic Jew from McLean, VA, led the tour. He has led over 45 tours! Lon gave great messages at each location, making it memorable in so many ways.
We have always heard, “You’ll never read the Scriptures the same again!” It is true! We can now clearly picture where Jesus was in places like the synagogue in Capernaum or out on the lake (Galilee) or along the shore and the Jordan River. It moved us all to see Jerusalem for the first time. We were able to step onto the Temple Mount (equal to 27 football fields) and see the model of what it would have looked like in Jesus’ time. To add to the experience, Everette & Sharon were also able to go to Mount Sinai and Petra.
The opportunity to add our prayers at the Western Wall (aka Wailing Wall) was very emotional and powerful. Especially knowing what happened in that area over the centuries and knowing there will come a day when the Eastern Gate will no longer be blocked. The Lord will come back in Glory!
Our reading and teaching is now richer because of this trip and we will never forget it!