Dear Parents and Guardians,
This morning in chapel, I had the joy of challenging our students to be imitators of God, as found in Ephesians 5:1-2, and not pretenders in the faith. I am more and more confident each day that this class will be a group of world changers! These students are incredibly focused, and they’re committed to intentionally glorifying the Lord in all they do.
We are pleased to report we have had no positive cases of COVID-19 on either of our campuses. The students continue to amaze me concerning their resolve and graciousness towards each other and staff, as well as their engagement in our Protecting One Another by Serving One Another plan.
I have appointed Mr. Micah Melville, who has served as our Assistant Teen Camp Director, as our COVID-19 Response Coordinator. Mr. Melville will be responsible for the coordination, communication, care and compliance of our COVID-19 plan. Mr. Melville will work directly with Mr. Eric Messer, our Executive Dean of Student and Guest Experiences, ensuring that the best protection and care is provided to all staff and students.
As we continue to move forward in our year, we have confidence that our Trustworthy God will continue to go before us. I hope you find the following updates helpful and encouraging!
Discipleship is going very well thus far, both one-on-one and in groups! We have seen almost 80 students sign up, and that number is continuing to grow. This week, I’ve been very encouraged by a student-led initiative of prayer in small groups. These groups were started by four students who are burdened for the campus and the world, and wanted to join together with other students in praying for revival. This is the atmosphere we seek to create on campus, and it’s part of what makes students’ time at the Bible Institute so special. It’s incredible to see this class, in their firsthand understanding of this world’s burdens, seek to be a part of the solution through prayer and action. Please pray for your students, that God would continue to work in their hearts and that authentic and deep faith would be the norm in their lives– on our campus and beyond. If your student is seeking to sign up for discipleship, just let them know to fill out the application on Canvas. We can’t wait to see what the Lord does with this incredible class!
Quarantine Protocols and Information
In coordination with Warren County Public Health, we continue to implement stringent quarantine protocols. Symptomatic students are placed in an isolated quarantine cabin, tested for COVID-19, and remain in quarantine until a negative result is received. Asymptomatic roommates are isolated together in a separate quarantine cabin until the lab results are in from their roommate’s COVID-19 test.
Meals are delivered daily through no-contact drops, and student temperatures are taken twice daily and tracked by our Health Services team. Our Health Services team is well trained, and uses proper PPE whilst in contact with the students. Classes are livestreamed at each location, so asymptomatic students can keep up with their academics.
Once a negative result is received from the lab, the students are released back to their regular student housing. At this point, we have not had a test result return positive for COVID-19. If that occurs, the quarantine will be extended to 14 days, after which the situation will be reassessed and further action will be taken.
We are thankful for a long-standing ministry partnership that we have had with Answers in Genesis (AIG). Next week, our Freshmen students on both the NY and FL campuses will be taking a course on Creationism led by Dr. Terry Motenson. Dr. Mortenson is an international speaker and author on staff with AIG. Additionally, Freshmen will continue their Old Testament Survey course with Professor Strout and Systematic Theology Course with Dr. Davis.
Our Sophomore students will continue their studies in Apologetics with Dr. Davis and World Religions with Dr. Weaver. Our guest lecturer for the week is Professor David James. He will help our students understand the teachings of Roman Catholicism, distinguish them from Protestant Christianity, and provide advice on how to reach Catholics with the gospel of Christ.
Our campus activities are really falling into place. Last week, our team began weekly “Pop Up Parties”, which are little events that take place on short notice all around campus. Sunday, the team set up a giant screen on the Bollback Student Life Center patio and showed an NFL football game, while students enjoyed soft pretzels and cheese. This upcoming Saturday, Campus Life will host the first-ever “.5k Fun Run” where we will encourage students to dress up in fun costumes and race on a half a kilometer route through campus. It’s going to be a blast! We are thankful for a Campus Life team that is creatively engaging students while still maintaining all of the mandates and protocols set in place.
Our focus in the classroom this week in Florida is Personal Evangelism. Our guest lecturer, Mr. Armando Zuniga, comes to us from EvanTell in Dallas, Texas. This ministry exists to encourage and equip believers to clearly share the simple gospel message. As Mr. Zuniga famously states, “Be Clear, Be Clear, Be Clear!” This message is impressed upon the students in a very pointed manner during the Personal Evangelism class.
Six students and three staff members released their video testimonies on social media this week. Our goal this fall is to expose at least 25,000 people to the gospel through this ministry. At this point, these testimonies have reached just under 7,000, and we are aware of six people who have professed faith in Christ as a result!
We also held our first “Moment in Missions” meeting where we began to teach about how God is using the ministry of Word of Life all around the world. Students are continuing to connect with missionaries virtually and through handwritten letters of encouragement. This week, the missionaries we encouraged are serving in Brazil!
We also enjoyed our first student-led campus activity: a movie complete with cotton candy and great fellowship.
As always, it is a joy to serve you and your student. If we can do anything to better serve you, please let me know.