Oral Defense

At 1pm today (in about 2 hours), I report for my oral defense, one of the very last elements in my DMin studies.

I’ve been in this doctoral program now for 8 years, while working full time as a pastor, and later, as a missionary.

In addition to my doctoral studies, I also did my MDiv here at Fuller, so the place is quite sacred to me. I’m spending a couple hours here before the oral defense to pray, reflect, and prepare.

This courtyard has always been my favorite spit on campus.

The motto of this program (at least when I enrolled) was “fire for your ministry, oxygen for your soul.” I signed up for the oxygen. At the time I didn’t really think I would finish the degree. I just really needed someone to be teaching me while I taught others. I was afraid if I was only pouring out and no one was pouring in, then I’d dry up. I realize I’ve now mixed metaphors of both air and water, but they both reflect how the program first felt to my mind, heart and soul.

Early on, I did a lot of work on church health (including the life and family of a pastor). I took a brief detour I to C. S. Lewis (including a stint on his home turf in Oxford and Cambridge). Finally, because I went to Ghana to work with International Justice Mission in its fight against Child Trafficking, all my final doctoral work shifted to biblical justice and mobilizing the Church (particularly in Ghana) to do the work of justice.

My final project (in place of a traditional dissertation) was to design a Bible study curriculum for the Ghanaian context on biblical justice and child trafficking.

This picture shows the evolution of the book through multiple versions we used for field testing to its final published version launched this year.

Please pray for me and root for me in this oral defense! Thank you to so many of you for your prayers, support and encouragement to have made it this far!


Thankful day forty three

When one is transitioning back to life in their home country (for us the U.S.), it is surprising the things that become REALLY exciting. For the kids – parks, goldfish crackers, Pirate’s Booty, fresh berries and libraries are all at the top of their lists. Matt is delighting in an abundance of Mexican food. And I love the endless sidewalks and the vast, colorful produce section of the grocery store.

Today Matt bought us a new vacuum. And I am over the moon with excitement. I didn’t know I could get so excited over an implement of cleaning. I am thankful for this moment of delight!

And even more thankful that he is willing to vacuum the house!

P.S. As a result of the 6 floods and a bedbug scare – we moved out of our apartment to a quaint little house owned by Pasadena Covenant Church. The outpouring of support from the church and extended family to help furnish this house, as we transition, has simply been amazing. I am VERY thankful! And grateful we get to stay in Pasadena.