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The Bridge: December 15

Dear Parents and Guardians, 

As you might’ve heard from your student, Word of Life Bible Institute president, Roger Peace, has sensed the Lord leading him and Cathy in a new direction. With that in mind, he prayerfully chose to resign from Word of Life Bible Institute. Roger’s resignation will be effective at the end of this semester, December 17th. The Peace family has faithfully served in many areas of the ministry, including The Lodge, International Ministries, the Bible Institute, and camps. God has abundantly blessed through their capable leadership and investment in lives over the past 27 years, and they are leaving the Word of Life ministry on great terms and as dear friends and advocates. At this point, they plan to remain in the Schroon Lake area. Roger expresses his heart below:

It has been our joy to serve with Word of Life these past 27 years. The opportunities provided to my family and me have been astounding. As we consider the future, Jeremiah 29:11 comes to focus; “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” We are confident God has clearly shown us that this chapter of ministry with Word of Life has come to a close. At this time, we are seeking His will for the next chapter of our lives. The future for Word of Life looks brighter than ever! Cathy and I are grateful for the many memories and the team we have been able to serve with. Know you are in our prayers, and we will always be thankful for the ministry of Word of Life. I am confident Brian and Lynn Baker will serve you and your student with the utmost excellence and focused Biblical leadership.

As we move forward, Brian Baker has agreed to transition into the role of Vice President of the New York Bible Institute and Camps, effective December 18th. He and his wife, Lynn, have effectively ministered as part of the Youth Ministries (YM) team for more than two decades in North Carolina and New York. Brian is a seasoned leader and communicator and served most recently as the Northeast Regional Coordinator for our YM team here in the US. The Bakers are excited about this new opportunity to reach and train students. Brian shares,

My heart spins with emotions as we look toward this transition. Lynn and I have had 24 wonderful years serving with our Youth Ministries team here at Word of Life. It was a joy to minister alongside our best friends, and we will be sad to close this chapter of our lives. However, we are very excited to lead the team serving our Bible Institute. I believe our best days are before us as we seek to reach and equip the next generation to love and serve Jesus Christ. Thank you for your prayers over the coming days.

Please join us in praying for the Bakers, Peaces, and the teams impacted during this important time of transition. Change of this type is never easy, but it is a fresh reminder of our need to completely trust God with every detail of our lives and ministry. 

A Note from Roger Peace

“Yes, my child is home, but…”

I love being together with family for Thanksgiving and Christmas. In fact, some years ago as a family, we made the decision to stay home for Christmas instead of traveling, simply because we love being together in our own home–of course, it doesn’t help that my home’s interior and exterior look like a winter wonderland! Cathy makes it tough to want to travel.

I will never forget when our oldest came home for break the first time… we had built up so much excitement. The siblings were anxious to hang out; as parents, we had thoughts on his return, and our oldest had expectations as well. Little did we understand–our child had changed, we had changed, and we were about to experience change together as a family. Here are a few thoughts to consider as your child rejoins you at home this Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Manage Expectations: Whether you realize it or not, you, your student, and your family all have expectations. Expectations in any relationship can quickly derail meaningful fellowship into a crash course in disappointment. May I suggest early in the process of spending time together on break, discuss as a family how break will look. I often hear things like, “I wasn’t expecting my child to sleep so much,” “Wow, they are still studying and doing schoolwork” (yes, many will need to study to keep up), “My student spent a lot of time connecting with their roommates and friends,” and “I was expecting them to spend more time with us and their siblings.” You get the idea; all of these are manageable and great opportunities for teaching. However, this often becomes an issue if you do not identify it early. I am convinced one of the reasons expectations damage relationships is because we fail to communicate effectively.

Communicate Often: Take time to communicate often–before and during break–to determine family plans, develop patterns, and organize schedules that work for the entire family. If you sense you are not communicating well, I encourage you and your student to sit down and figure out communication together. Your student is arriving back from an environment where the schedule is rigorous, yet they have a margin to make many decisions. Communicating with one another allows your relationship to grow deeper as you move forward into this new season.

Rejoice with them: The past three months have been an intensive time of studying God’s Word, discipleship, and service for your student. They will have what will seem like countless stories, new biblical and theological discoveries, and hopefully, you will have seen spiritual growth in them. Rejoice with them in these new realities and help them build on them.

Learn with them: As mentioned above, students have been learning from some of the best professors in Christian academia. They will want to share this with you! I want to encourage you to ask clarifying questions and dive in deep with them. You will love the outcome!

Provide Margin: For our freshman students, this will be their first time home since becoming a college student. Yes, they are studying God’s Word, but they have not “arrived.” Has anyone? They will need grace; you will need grace. Provide a margin for growth, provide a margin for rest, and give them time in God’s Word! Transparently, I think we all need time focused on growing in our walks with the Lord each and every day.

This list could certainly be longer, but I hope these words serve your family well. We at Word of Life Bible Institute are wishing you a wonderful and blessed Christmas celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ!

We count it a joy to serve your student–if we can better serve you in any way, please feel free to reach out.

Let’s continue making much of Jesus together,

Roger Peace
Word of Life Bible Institute