This is my first update that I am sending to everyone. Since the time is getting closer for my departure to Cambodia, and I have a busy summer ahead, I’ll plan on sending out updates once or twice a month. For the next two weeks, I’ll be focusing on support raising and studying for ordination. Currently, I have 68% of my monthly ongoing support pledged, and 100% of my one-time support has been raised. Here are the places that I’ll be traveling this summer:
–June 7-12 – I will be at Ridge Haven, North Carolina for Living in Grace. It is a “grace-based discipleship course that guides attendees in understanding and applying the gospel of grace to their own lives and ministries.”
–June 12-14 – I will be at New Life Mission Church (Presbyterian Church in America) in Fullerton, CA. I will be speaking in their services about the mission work, and I will be meeting with their session (elders) and missions committee.
–July 1-31 – I will be at pre-field training in New York City. The time will be spent in the field and classroom studying language acquisition techniques, church planting and evangelism, and team building skills.
–July 31- August 3 – I am tentatively planning on being in Illinois and seeing my family and possibly speaking at their church.
Reflections on graduating from seminary
On May 9th, I graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary. Four years and 120 hours later, the degree is finally complete. It is nice to be done, but in many ways it doesn’t mean much. A seminary is one of the few places that when you complete your degree you really have nothing. Sure, I learned many things that will help me in the gospel ministry. But according to Paul in 2 Corinthians 2-3, no one is sufficient for the work of the gospel. No degree, no award, no refined speaking or writing skills, or other human ability gives us the qualifications necessary for the work of the gospel. Paul’s answer is that the sufficiency for the task of ministry and for that matter all of the Christian life only comes from God’s grace. And so may our boasting be only in the cross of Christ for that is all we have and that is fine for that is all we need.
The Alton Telegraph interviewed me for a story that ran in last Sunday’s paper. Alton is located north of St. Louis on the Illinois side of the river. Here is a link to the article: Newspaper article
Thanks for your prayers and support. Feel free to send me a note to tell me how you are doing.
Please note: my new email address is Luke.Bryant.Smith@gmail.com