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Standing on the Rock

Rich and Jo Ann Davis on March 30, 2014

Alcatraz The Rock - Alcatraz

When we were growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area and someone spoke about “The Rock” we knew that the reference was to the well-known federal prison, Alcatraz. Most people who lived on “The Rock” in the years 1933 to 1963 didn’t volunteer for the privilege of island life!

Alcatraz is tiny compared to the rock where Bluewater Bible College (BBC) is located. While Alcatraz covers less than a square mile, St. Thomas covers 32 square miles. We are standing on a beautiful and rather big rock, but there is another Rock that is infinitely more attractive.

“Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy” (Psalm 61:1-3).

BBC PICTURE DAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2167 Jo Ann, Pastor Whyte & Rich

Standing on the Rock

Moses once asked the Lord to see his glory. The Lord explained that it was not possible to see his face and live, but ““Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by” (Exodus 33:21).

Yes, we do live on a beautiful rock island that thrills us with breath taking scenery, but it is not Paradise. We find ourselves daily going to the Lord and asking him to lead us to the Rock that is higher than we. We remind ourselves that we are standing on the rock and this rock is Jesus. There are times when we would love to sense that we are hidden in the cleft of the rock with the hand of the Lord covering us.

BBC PICTURE DAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2065 Wally & Jeannie Stephenson - Spent 6 weeks at BBC teaching this semester

Standing still

Job was a man who experienced trials of every kind and when three of his friends had no more to say, among other things, the younger Elihu told him “Stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God” (Job 37:14). It is not hard to practice this here in the Caribbean and we do it daily.

These are some of the things we emphasis with the students who are here preparing for the ministry. Each semester we take the time to stand still and spend an entire day in prayer. When the students are facing trials, we take them to the Word and help them to see how truly great our God is.

Often, we along with the students and faculty feel like we are doing anything but standing still. Several courses that are being taught this semester are done in modular format where the professor is on campus for anywhere from two to six weeks. To take a 3 credit course in two weeks is quite a challenge for both the professor and the students.

This semester, Mark Logan came to teach the Prophecy course. Wally and Jeannie Stephenson were here to teach The Life of Paul as well as the Principles and Practices of Missions. Dr. Dennis Bellew is here now teaching a module on The History of Western Civilization and Hazel Campbell just arrived to teach a 3 week module on Music. Pastor Audley Charlton is teaching Greek 2, Pastor Glenroy Whyte is teaching Homiletics as well as History of the West Indies. Brother Jones Jean-Marie is teaching Doctrine 2, and Brother Clement Joseph Literature 2.

Among other activities, Rich is teaching Curriculum and Teaching Methods and also training some of the staff to use Logos Bible software using the new video course "Logos Academic Training." We are so thankful to the Lord for providing the financial resources to get started with this inovative upgrade to improve biblical research at BBC. Many thanks to those of you who prayed and those who also gave! Please continue praying for all the improvements that the Lord is leading us to implement.

Rainbow Over Bluewater Rainbows are often seen around our island and remind us of God's many promises. PTL that he does answer prayer!

Stand in awe

“Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him” (Psalm 33:8)! One area of prayer for both Jo Ann and me concerns the need for more full time faculty residing here on campus. At the beginning of this semester, it was necessary for the board to asked a couple who were resident faculty members to move off campus. Then, Pastor Whyte who also lived on campus was called to shepherd the Grace Baptist church and live in their parsonage. He now lives across the valley about 10 minutes from BBC. Jo Ann and I are the only full time faculty members residing on the campus at this time. This might help explain the delay between our regular newsletters!

We have been asking the Lord to draw godly and qualified faculty to BBC as well as students committed to serving the Lord. The awesome thing is that in the last two weeks we were contacted by a pastor and his family who feel called to train servant-leaders in the Caribbean and then by another person who feels called to the Caribbean with high qualifications and experience in administration! These precious servants appeared “right out of the blue” so to speak and all we can say is that OUR GOD IS AWESOME! Please pray with us that the Lord would guide these folks through the process of confirming his will and call in their lives and allowing them to become a part of the BBC team.

DSC08198 Jerome, Keithroy & Rich

Stand firm

“Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ 11 calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it” (Isaiah 46:8-11).

Rich continues to study at Columbia International University (CIU). This semester he is taking the course “Leadership and Organizational Behavior.” The studies are a huge blessing and everything that is covered is exactly what is needed to do the job here at BBC. Your faithful prayers have sustained us with staying on top of the work load.

There are several factors contributing to this decision, but Rich is praying about taking 3 courses this summer on the campus of CIU. Without going into detail, please believe that he will need a great deal of prayer support to do anything that challenging. We plan to be in the states for about 6 weeks from the end of June.

Yanelle - Raul - Duni y Ray Freedom is SO fun!

Stand by me

A few weeks ago we received a phone call from one of the board members of BBC telling us of two refugee Cuban families who landed on St. Croix and imediately found a taxi to take them to prayer meeting at a Baptist Church. They are believers and found shelter among those who love the Lord. St. Croix is part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, but the main government offices are here on St. Thomas. The Cuban families needed to come to St. Thomas to process their paperwork in order to fly to the mainland. 

After clearing it with the board of trustees, we invited these two families to stay with us on campus as we had room and also because Jo Ann and I could help them with translation. Rich spent several days with them at Homeland Security and in other government offices in order to help them in the journey that the Lord had led them to begin.

Our part in this story ended this weekend when we took them to the airport and prayed with them before sending them through customs and security to fly to the mainland. Compassion ministries are a heartbeat in our lives and we praise the Lord for allowing us to serve the larger Body of Christ in these small ways. Thank you for allowing us to represent you and your church in the opportunities to serve those who need a helping hand.

BBC PICTURE DAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2189 Keneesha Saunders - Graduating in May

Stand up

Graduation will soon be upon us here at BBC. Two young ladies will be graduating with their BA in Christian Education. Graduation weekend will be May 9-12 with several activities planned. Special speakers are scheduled to arrive from different islands around the Caribbean and we are excited about what the Lord will do at this special time as well as in the lives of the two graduates. Please do pray for Keneesha Saunders and Michellea Simmonds as they launch out into the next phrase of their lives to serve the Lord here in the Caribbean and beyond. 

To complete one of the important requirements for Keneesha, Jo Ann drove her to Calvary Christian Academy every day for weeks to do her practical internship in the classroom, and then picked her up to return to the campus on the west end of the island. That responsibility on top of all that Jo Ann is doing to keep BBC running efficently was a real challenge, but we are thankful that the internship is completed and the strain on Jo Ann's time has been reduced.

Please continue to pray for strength as both of us try to do all that needs to be done for the students and the college. Along with the regular responsibilities that we both have in the BBC office, we also serve as the dean of men and women along with Pastor Whyte as he helps Rich with the men. Rich is also now the primary officer representing BBC before SEVIS which is the US government office granting student visas. This means that Rich needs to be in constant communication with SEVIS and learing the official requirements for processing new students who apply to BBC. 

Speaking of new students - there are 4 student applications being processed for young people who desire to begin studying this coming fall. Please pray for each of them that all their paperwork for their student visas will be completed on time and that they will arrive ready to begin formal training to serve the Lord.

Standing in the gap

We thank the Lord for so many of you that have stood by us all these years. You have stood in the gap and held us up with your prayers and concern. Thank you for your love and patience with us as we do our best to keep all the balls in the air! Your prayers and financial support sustain us in this great opportunity of strengthening Bluewater Bible College.