The Mini Experience: Winter 2022

Small Magazine Big Impact


Issue 1


New Leadership at Word of Life Bible Institute Huskies Soccer: Playing for Hearts, Not Just to Win Ark Encounter Alumni Gathering


Editor-in-Chief & Copywriter – Bree Hayden '13 & '14 Designer – Teresa Stursberg '14 Alumni Engagement Manager – Rebecca Berga '15 & '16 Alumni Relations – Ken Hayden '86

The Experience is a publication of Word of Life. We want to build a community where you can find longtime friends, share testimonies of what God has been doing, encourage others with stories of change, and learn how you, too, can be involved with the mission of Word of Life. ©Copyright 2022 — Word of Life Fellowship. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission. The perspectives of the author(s) in this magazine do not necessarily represent the perspectives of Word of Life Bible Institute and/or Word of Life Fellowship.


Save the Date for The Ark Encounter

Join us on Saturday, March 12, for our upcoming WOLBI Alumni Event – at the Ark Encounter! This event will include admission to the Ark Encounter as well as dinner at the venue, during which we will share updates and have a time of fellowship together. Be sure to follow the Word of Life Bible Institute Alumni Facebook page to learn more and stay updated on this awesome event. We can’t wait to see you there!

@ wordoflifealumni

New Leadership at Word of Life Bible Institute As you may have heard, 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 went into effect on 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. 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 excited to follow His leading into 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. 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.

Brian Baker transitioned into the role of Vice President of the New York Bible Institute and Camps on 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 United States. The Bakers are excited about this new opportunity to reach and train students. Brian shares:

“ My heart spins with emotions as we step into this new opportunity. 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 are 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, the Peaces, and the teams impacted during this important time of transition. These changes are a fresh reminder of our need to completely trust God with every detail in our lives and ministry.

Huskies Soccer: Playing for Hearts, Not Just to Win We’re pleased to share that Alex Hackett and Justin Lough were recognized as Coaching Staff of the Year by the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. They lead our men’s team to incredible heights, both on and off the field.

Men’s Team:

One particular highlight this season was our semifinals match against SUNY ESF. The Huskies and Oaks were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation time, and after two 15-minute overtime periods, no goals had been made. As per men’s soccer rules, the teams engaged in a penalty shootout. The Huskies’ goalie, Mateo, saved all three goals he faced and made the fourth goal shot on the Oaks, which brought the victory home.

On the spiritual side, that game was attended by several guys from Paul Smith’s College, who had developed a great rapport and relationship with several Huskies players. After the game, our players were able to go to dinner with them, and, since then, three or four guys from Paul Smith’s have come down to visit WOLBI on their own time and scrimmage against our team. They’ve built such a great relationship, in fact, that those players are now planning to

bring a full team down to scrimmage with our guys in the spring.

This year, five opposing players professed faith in Christ during games. Coach Justin shared that the highest praise he received this season came from a player who told him, while on the field, “No one else has the guts to say it, but you guys are the best we’ve played all year, and the way you carry yourselves makes you the real winners.”

Women’s Team:

Our first Lady Huskies away game was at Paul Smith’s College. After the game, three girls were willing to stay and talk to our players about Jesus. Since that game, those girls have kept in contact with our team– thanks to the spiritual connection made outside the game and our players’ continued investment in their lives. One specific girl, a goalie, was going to play at a Division 1 college this year but was heavily injured before she got the chance. She attended a Catholic church in search of comfort and had heard the gospel before. Despite that, she does not know the Lord. Thanks to soccer, she connected with one of the ladies on our team, and they have kept in touch and have been praying for one another ever since.

“ One of the best parts for me this year was learning that the coach of ACPHS is a believer – he was so encouraged by our evangelism. The fact that we shared the gospel with his team gave him an extra opportunity to share Jesus with them, which really blessed his heart in an incredible way. Coach Chad Haneman states:

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