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Hey George

Rich and Jo Ann Davis on March 2, 2013

(Please receive this no frills "Memo" with understanding and love. We receive a request from George, who is a dear friend and also classmate from Bible college days in Denver. He was seeking updated information for the mission's conference coming up at Columbine Baptist church next week. We sent the following letter to him (and now to you) so that you might know that WE ARE STILL ALIVE and NEED your prayers!)

 

Hey George,

Greeting from the tranquil, laid back island of St. Thomas – NOT!! We are so far behind on getting out a newsletter that it’s beyond serious! I will try to give you just an outline of what’s been going on in our lives and ministry as well as a few prayer requests. Please forgive the unpolished form!

December

The fall semester at BBC ended and we traveled to Ohio to spend Christmas with our daughter Shelly’s family. We returned to St. Thomas on December 31 and were too tired to celebrate New Year’s that evening!

January

  • A team of 6 people came to the BBC campus from Grace Baptist Church in PA where we have our associate membership. They worked for almost 2 weeks with us getting an apartment finished so that we might be able to move out of our little “nook” where we have been living for the last year and a half. The financial help for this phrase of the project was a huge blessing:

o    Each member of the team from PA paid their way to come and covered their expenses while here on St. Thomas. PTL

o   The Cornerstone SS class of Calvary Community Baptist Church in Denver raised almost $3,000 to help with construction supplies like paint, flooring, fixtures, etc.. PTL

o   Gifts from individuals provided well over $1,500 to help with this project including a $500 gift for a washing machine! PTL

  • 2 days after the PA team left, we flew to Jamaica to participate in the annual West Indies Baptist Fellowship Conference. BBC is accountable to this group of churches and we gave reports to the association and represented the college there.

  • 2 days after the trip to Jamaica the Fall semester began at BBC which means the flurry of registration, etc.. This was the last few days of January

February

  • Feb 11-18 We traveled to Orlando, FL for the annual meeting of the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) along with the chairman of the BBC board of trustees. Among many other activities at this week long meeting, we attended a 2 day seminar on “Board Governance” which was so helpful. ABHE is an accrediting organization for Christian Colleges and they offer a great deal of training throughout the year for college leadership. You may be interested to know, George, that we also were able to visit for a few hours with Sid Collison (former pastor of the Rocky Mountain Baptist Church) who now lives in Vero Beach. We were mentored by Sid during our BBC days in Denver as we served in that church, were ordained there and sent by Rocky as our original sending church.

  • Upon return from Orlando, we have been trying to catch up with so many things that needed to be done in the BBC office along with trying to furnish our new apartment. No, we didn’t move into the apartment in January for lack of time and also furniture. We didn’t even have the time to send out a newsletter asking for prayer for the needed funds to purchase appliances and furniture. In spite of our failure to request prayer, the Lord heard our prayers along with those of our faithful supporters who may not have even been aware of the specific need. Several days ago we received 2 totally unexpected gifts which amounted to about $4,000. That was very close to what we needed in order to furnish the new apartment! It turned out that our church in PA (Grace Baptist) heard the reports from the team who helped us in January and raised over $2,000 for the furniture. The Lord is so good and so faithful.

  • Jo Ann has been trying to keep the BBC office going while I have been assembling furniture purchased at Kmart! We would not recommend that anyone ever consider asking me to do any handyman type of work as this is NOT my gift! It probably took me twice as long as a normal guy to get the furniture and appliances assembled and installed!! But, we are ready to move and TODAY is moving day!! Yea . . . . . FINALLY!!!

  • This Tuesday the board of trustees will meet here on campus. They will be flying in from various islands and a whole day of meetings are scheduled. I will be giving several reports (which still need to be prepared!!).

Along with all this activity, the Fall course I am taking at the university (CIU) began – “Historical and Philosophical Perspectives on Education (Christian Higher Ed Cohort)”. I am reading several books, writing posts on the forum and interacting with classmates and the professor online. Today I need to complete some forum posts before 10 PM along with moving our things from the old apartment to the new and getting reports ready for the board meeting on Tuesday. It should be an interesting day! 

Prayer Requests:

  • Board meeting on Tuesday

  • Continuation of the strategic planning that we are doing primarily with the faculty – the board will review and approve this work

  • The daily responsibilities on campus in keeping the college functioning well as we work with faculty and students.

  • Rich as he studies at Columbia International University (CIU

  • Jo Ann as she keeps the BBC office functioning like a finely tuned machine

  • Strength and wisdom for both of us as we enjoy this fantastic ministry of discipling young Caribbean servant-leaders for the ministry

  • Future academic projects:

o   The funding and incorporation of Logos Bible Software for the students in the Theology or Christian Education tracts

o   Reviewing the curriculum of making the necessary upgrades

o   Possibly begin pursuing accreditation through ABHE

o   The funding and incorporation of a comprehensive software package which will handle several areas of the college (i.e. finances, grading and transcripts, registration, etc., etc., etc.).

o   Recruitment of new students here in the Caribbean and beyond

o   Raising the financing needed to keep the college functioning properly. Student fees for tuition, room and board do not cover the costs of the overall costs of maintaining this beautiful campus and all of the buildings plus the academic upgrades.

o   Recruitment of qualified faculty

Jo Ann and I truly praise the Lord for the privilege of serving our Lord here at the Bluewater Bible College. Conventional wisdom says that it normally takes about 7 years for a college president to really get a handle on all the facets of the college. We are only a few months into our first year as president and are realizing how far we have to go before truly understanding the job and then meeting the needs. Besides that, we are praying that the board will call a new president to take over the college long before 7 years is completed! In spite of the unknown factors that await us in the future, we keep moving forward one day at a time and simply praise the Lord that He allows us the joy of serving Him.

We want to thank Columbine Baptist, and all our supporting churches and friends for your faithfulness in prayer and giving. Columbine, like many other supporting churches, has sustained us now in prayer and giving for about 40 years. That is a tremendous testimony and we are so thankful for all of you!

Because the time is near,

 

Rich and Jo Ann Davis

Church Planting / Leadership Development

ABWE

(717) 215-0570

www.davis.abwe.org