Ministry Update

Thanks for your continued prayers for us and for my ministry with Horizon. One of the highlights of the autumn was studying in the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course. It was refreshing to interact online about God’s purposes in the world with a group from around the world. As a result of taking this course, I’ve found another project! I have been asked to consult on the development of Horizon’s Intro to Missions course.

Ministering to missionaries nearly ready to depart for their first term of service was another highlight. During ABWE’s recent Field Preparation Seminar my colleague and I led twenty-seven missionaries through Cultural Intelligence (CQ) training. We explored the dynamics needed to function effectively in a variety of cultural contexts.

My schedule changed significantly this fall from what I had anticipated. There wasn’t sufficient enrollment from Cari-TEC schools to teach New Testament Survey. Offering online courses represents a significant paradigm shift that will take some more effort to make. Another online course is planned for March. Continue to pray for Fairview Baptist Bible College in Jamaica, Bluewater Bible College in U.S. Virgin Islands, and B.S.W.I. in Trindad.

I filled the unexpected time with consulting on a number of Horizon courses in development. It has been a great deal of fun to collaborate with my colleagues on these course design projects. I also devoted some extra time to becoming more familiar with the capabilities of Moodle, our learning management system.

Next week will see me back at the Horizon offices in Grand Rapids, MI. My colleague Dale Marshfield and I will lead the Horizon staff through the second module of our Understanding by Design workshop. Our focus will be on assessment in education. We will ask, “Will you have enough evidence to prove that your graduates are ready for ministry?”

Family News

Family life continues to be busy. A, E, K, A, G, and L are all progressing well with school. They are keeping busy with their studies and with a few extracurricular activities as well… like A & E learning how to drive. Keeping up with all of the homework and schedules is a challenge. They are all getting so big as you can see from our recent family picture. We’re having new prayer cards printed and will send them out soon. Please send us your updated mailing address if you’ve moved in the last year.

Horizon Update

Here are a few of the exciting developments we have experienced over the past few months at Horizon.

Dr. Gerson & Moises with their friend

Dr. Gerson & Moises with their friend

Recently while meeting with our affiliate schools in Brazil, Horizon’s president, Allan Cuthbert, and Brazilian Portuguese Language Director, Moises Moura, had the privilege of meeting one of our online students. Dr. Gerson is a physician who came to Christ only three years ago. This led him to begin looking for a way to study the Bible while maintaining his busy practice. Dr. Gerson found out about Horizon’s program and quickly worked his way through several classes. During just his fourth class, Dr. Gerson became overwhelmed by his need to more fully submit his life to Christ. He dropped the course while he met with God. These changes led him to start a Bible study in his home and then to extend the study to Brazilian friends in Japan using Skype. Through these studies he led a young man from Japan to Christ a few months ago. That young man decided to fly to Brazil to spend time with his spiritual mentor. He just happened to be with Dr. Gerson when Allan and Moises were meeting with one of Horizon’s affiliate schools. This young man told Allan that there are over 20,000 Portuguese speakers in Tokyo alone and wondered whether they might be able to study online as well. This is why Horizon exists! Today, the barriers for training ministries are no longer geographical, but the opportunities can extend within a language group around the globe!

Horizon's Moodle landing page

Horizon’s Moodle landing page

Our Horizon staff has continued to work diligently on the development of new courses. Currently, Academic Dean Rob Hayden is working on a new course entitled “God with Us.” This new course is an introduction to biblical theology which traces the purposes of God throughout biblical history. English Language Director Brian Dix is nearing completion of the first write-up of our Theology of Worship course. Course developer Brant Cuthbert is also finished the majority of the work on our Family Formation course. In both the worship and family courses we have had to wrestle with many cultural implications.

Irish Bible Institute students

Irish Bible Institute students

We also praise the LORD for Horizon’s growing numbers of new partnerships through which we have been able to extend Horizon’s ministries, sharing ideas and resources for the Kingdom of God. One of Horizon’s affiliates, the Irish Bible Institute (IBI) has a strong vision for developing online courses and programs in order to help the church in Ireland reach their land with the gospel. Praise the LORD that IBI’s board voted to fund an intern who will be tasked with encouraging the growth of these courses early on and whose role could develop into a full-time position!

We also wanted to share a praise regarding Horizon’s matching fund. Praise God that to date the LORD has provided $27,060 of the $50,000 matching offer! This means that these gifts are now doubled, providing $54,120 toward these strategic projects! Please pray with us that the LORD might provide the remaining $22,940 to complete the matching opportunity. We would love to see this goal met by the end of this year.

We praise the LORD that He is clearly at work through the ministry of Horizon! It is a joy to serve Him, and to witness His faithfulness at work in and through His church worldwide.

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