The Experience Fall 2020 Edition

A Letter From Don Lough, Jr.

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When we think about where our world is today with natural disasters, health crises and political unrest, who can we really trust... scientists... politicians... the media? It all seems so complicated and even overwhelming. If you’re like me, there are seasons when my trust wavers because things just don’t seem to add up. Times like these help me relate to David in Psalm 62:3 when, under attack, he described himself as a leaning wall and a tottering fence. This is why I love the Word of Life Bible Institute theme this year – Trustworthy. God is the only One who is completely worthy of our confidence. He is a refuge and shelter for us – always present and available to hear us and to give guidance through His Word. Trust in Him at all times, you people, pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:8 In this issue of The Experience , we invite you to read how believers just like you are practically living out their trust in God’s presence, peace, provision, and purpose. PS: It would be a privilege to pray for you. Just fill out the online form: , and one of our staff members will pray for you in the days and weeks ahead.



Remember When


I Will Trust God No Matter What




Summer ministry testimonies


New York Campus Update


When God Asks, Do You Trust Me?


FLorida Campus Update


Where are they now?


Alumni Updates

major contributors

Writers – Ben Gutierrez, Kyle Gray, Deb Nightingale, Mark Strout, Roger Peace, Mike Bush, Ken Hayden Project Manager – Rebecca Berga Designer – Teresa Stursberg Cover Photo – Sarah Smith (current Second Year student) Editor – Bree Hayden Director of Alumni Relations – Mike Bush 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 2020 — 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.

Trusting Him,

Don Lough, Jr. ‘84 Chancellor





Stuart Page Dean of Students

Jack Wyrtzen President

Paul Brownback Academic Dean

Class Letter We, the first class of Word of Life Bible Institute, are very fortunate to have Jack Wyrtzen, a man of prayer, faith, hope, and great perspective; founder of Word of Life Fellowship, as our President. He is a very active man, traveling and evangelizing all over the country. We have followed him this year in our prayers, sharing the blessing of answers to prayer with him. It has been exciting to see the Lord work in the year we have shared with the ministry of Word of Life, and the witness of this man has given each of us more of a vision in our own lives. We count it a privilege to have Mr. Wyrtzen as our President and pray for God’s continued blessing in his life.

– Class of 1970-1971


Mr. Jack Wyrtzen – Spiritual Life Rev. Hermann Braunlin – Personal Evangelism Rev. John White – Acts and Ephesians Rev. Tunis Mouw – Leviticus

Dr. John Mitchell – John and Romans Rev. Richard Bennett – Minor Prophets

Mr. Don Robertson – Colossians Dr. James Jeremiah – Jeremiah Dr. Lehman Strauss – James Mr. Harry Bollback, Rev. Alfred Larson, Col. Jack McGuckin, Rev. John Gration – Missions Dr. Charles Anderson, Mr. Elmer Taylor – Spiritual Inventory Week

Dr. Charles Ryrie – Dispensationalism Rev. Ernest Woodhouse – Hebrews Mr. Gerald Twombly – Mark and Luke Dr. Jack Murray – Ezra and Nehemiah Dr. Clarence Didden – Revelation


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J ohn chapter 11 encapsulates a myriad of interesting details that passionate Bible students find captivating – unique First Century narrative elements, climactic salvific theological themes, pure human emotional drama, exhibitions of Jesus’ divine omnipotence, omniscience coupled with human tears, along with the second shortest verse in the Greek New Testament (John 11:35). This stuff captures the attention of avid Bible study students, scholars, and peer- review journal contributors. John chapter 11 contains the description of the moment Jesus’ consummate action puts into motion human activity to precipitate Jesus’ death by crucifixion. Theologically stimulating. Soteriologically significant. Eternally impactful. But that’s just half the story… At this moment in time, the participants of this drama are emotionally stirred, hurt, and confused because their brother just died. They don’t so much care about theological treatises on the most acute points of doctrine – they just need a hug. And they desire answers. They experienced a universal reaction to those hurting during uncertain times. John chapter 11 inserts the reader into a colossal event in the lives of some of Christ’s most faithful followers, Mary and Martha. Jesus did not react to their specific request and respond in accordance to how His followers felt He should have responded, and as a result, their brother, Lazarus, died. They were confused. They had seen Jesus on three occasions respond to mere strangers’ pleas to come and heal their loved one. They saw Jesus call an audible right on the spot and heal each one of them. But Jesus did not extend to them the same courtesy, even though they were His close followers. WHAT WAS JESUS DOING? WHY DIDN’T HE RESPOND TO US THE WAY WE PRAYED TO HIM? WHY IS HE TREATING US SEEMINGLY WORSE? At this moment in the drama, the reader is a bit more enlightened about the person, work, sovereignty, and providence of God than the participants of the drama. We have available to us the entire counsel of God’s Word and have read about the mighty promises of God and Jesus’ divine power and authority given to Him by the Father. We have even read and celebrated scriptures that vividly describe the final days when every knee will bow

I Will Trust

God No Matter What



JOHN 11:40

Ben Gutierrez

Dr. Ben Gutierrez serves as the Senior Pastor/Lead Servant of Grove Avenue Baptist Church, in Richmond, Virginia. He is a frequent lecturer at Word of Life Bible Institute and has authored, co-authored or edited over 12 books throughout his years of ministry. Ben is happily married to his wife, Tammy, and is a proud father of two daughters, Lauren & Emma.


and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! (Philippians 2:9- 11) The people in this drama have only the Old Testament, three years of experience with Jesus, and are still developing their faith as they make application to their lives revelation by revelation. We, the reader, find ourselves cross-referencing scores of scriptures that further galvanize in our minds that God is always in control. The people in this drama, however, are struggling like the desperate father they saw once admit, “I believe, help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). It is tempting to scoff at the lack of faith of the participants of this drama while we sit in this privileged position. But the people in this drama are not reacting too much differently than how we often react when we ourselves experience deep pain – or, a colossal pandemic. In this season, we are all experiencing deep pain and uncertainty. We have sincere questions for God. We have not received too many desired answers. It is no doubt that when pain strikes, our theology is also put to the test. Out of the myriad of life lessons that can be extracted from this vivid drama found in John chapter 11, believers of all centuries would do well remembering that the Creator of the world and the Savior of our souls loves us unconditionally. And, as a result, we should commit to trust God no matter what we are experiencing in this crazy season of life and ministry. Rehearse Jesus’ unfailing love for you. Immediately before the Apostle John rehearses three confusing responses from Jesus to Martha and Mary’s plea for Him to come heal Lazarus (e.g. “So Jesus then said to them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there!’” John 11:14-15a), John inserts a reminder to the reader that no matter how things

look in the next few moments of this drama, never forget that Jesus loves these people. “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus” (John 11:5). This one truth is constant, trustworthy, and sure. John knew we needed to be reminded of this simple, yet profound, truth prior to reading the remarkable details of this story. When you are unable to discern God’s plan, and the details of your life seem unpredictable or, worse yet, unloving, begin to rehearse the profound truth that “Jesus loves ME, this I know.” You can find comfort in the attributes, character, and promises of God to carry you through each day when you cannot discern the details of the day. Make your own decision to trust God no matter what. Do not be tempted to fracture your trust in the Lord just because others have become weak in their faith. Do not allow yourself to divert from your default reaction to trust God no matter what. Do not entertain thoughts that would attempt toput God’s sovereignty, faithfulness and love into question. Jesus turned to Martha and stressed this very point when stating, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40). What is difficult to discern in English is crystal clear in the Greek text; that is, every “you” in this verse is singular. While Jesus certainly desired faith and trust from the masses and could have shouted this question to the doubting masses who surrounded Him, Jesus turns directly to Martha and asks her this singular question requiring Martha to make her own decision. Jesus requires the same from you and me. Do what it takes to remind yourself that God is trustworthy, always in control, and has a bigger plan of which we may not be aware. In this drama, Jesus required His followers to be disturbed for four days as He

allowed Lazarus to die so Jesus could raise him from the dead in order to precipitate the united effort of all the haters of Jesus to declare that Jesus should go to the cross. And, in dying on the cross, Jesus provided salvation for “whoever will call on the name of the Lord [will be saved]”! (Romans 10:13) God had a bigger, colossal plan which the participants of this drama (and us today) are all so grateful He remained faithful to and did not divert from despite our prayers for relief from the immediate circumstances! God is trustworthy. During this challenging season, the Christ Followers at Grove Avenue Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia, have committed to trust God no matter what! We all have written and posted a message in the most frequently trafficked areas of our lives in order to remind us that God is trustworthy and that we have committed to trust Him no matter what:

As we all attempt to navigate this extremely colossal and novel season to remain faithful to God, join your brothers and sisters in Christ who have committed to. . . TRUST GOD NO MATTER WHAT!


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THE COAST at Word of Life Florida

BY KYLE GRAY '99 & '00

S ummer 2020 was incredible at The Coast. We had the amazing privilege of watching God's hand move in the hearts of both staff and campers. We were able to experience six weeks of camp, during which God brought us 1,597 campers! Our theme this summer was Authentic . The heartbeat was to see campers challenged to live out real faith, not just a “faith” of talk, but of action and substance. Praise God, we saw lives changed! 307 campers made the public decision to trust Christ as their Savior, and over 1,000+ made the decision to dedicate their lives or an area of their lives to Christ.

After being cooped up in quarantine, there were so many who just couldn’t wait to “get out and live life” during the summer. Many parents and campers, with tear-filled eyes, thanked us for providing an opportunity to step out of the madness and breathe fresh air. We were able to connect with our faithful returners, as well as many whom we had never met before! This summer, we were joined by two churches from Ohio, a church from Michigan, one from Delaware and even a church from Connecticut. These, as well as from Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and the surrounding states, made for an incredible summer.


CONSTRUCTION AT THE COAST We rejoice that God has provided the necessary funds for the following projects on the camp property: The Activity Center • A competition lap pool which will allow us to reach local high school students and invite others from out of state to participate in training and in competitions. During the summer, the starting platforms will be removed and acrylic climbing walls will be added in the deep end to provide more activities for campers. • A smaller activity pool (four feet deep), which will have a volleyball net and basketball hoops for campers to enjoy. • A concession stand, which will be located next to the pool along with outdoor seating. • A separate building to house restrooms and a locker room for pool staff.

We’d like to share just one of the hundreds of stories we had the privilege to be a part of. We received this testimony from the youth leader of Jane Smith*, who joined us at The Coast this summer: Let me tell you about Jane. Her parents are divorced; her mom wants nothing to do with church, and her dad is a recovering drug addict. Six months ago (before she attended camp), Jane flat out said she didn’t want to attend. She was totally uninterested. Because of the pandemic, however, she was a last-minute addition to camp – and it changed her life forever. Jane met Christ – this year, in the middle of the pandemic, at The Coast. After Jane got home, she was a new person. She even joined us for a church missions trip! We were especially amazed that she got her mom’s permission to do so – it’s a testament to God’s faithfulness to His children as they seek to serve Him. Jane also said she’s been playing the music from camp ever since coming home. Jane has been opening up and asking very deep and very real questions because she wants to grow closer to the Lord. What a difference from just six months ago. It’s not set in stone yet, but we’re praying she gets baptized at the baptismal service next week.

Jane was just one life changed for eternity. *Name changed for confidentiality

Cabins • Three additional cabins, which will complete the original goal of 24.

Thank you so much for your prayers. God has done and is still doing an amazing work here at The Coast. Praise God for this summer and the lives who were “Reached and Changed for Eternity.” Would you join us in praying for the campers from this summer, as they seek to reach those around them?

Kyle Gray

Camp Director The Coast Pursuit Camp


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Summer ministry testimonies Summer ministry at the Bible Institute looked a little different in 2020, but students were still able to apply what they learned during the year, and the gospel still went out! Read on for two testimonies from Bible Institute students who were able to share the love of Christ in unique ways this summer.

I can’t stop thanking the Lord for the incredible summer He has provided! He orchestrated things so perfectly. By teaching me about the spiritual ignorance of children in the modern-day church, He stirred up my heart to share His truth with them. With their questions, He taught me that I must carefully take into consideration their sharp minds to find out how to best challenge them with His Word. By bringing me teens who were missing a mentor, He brought me into a greater awareness of the impactful life change that occurs from a discipling relationship and has impressed me with the need to live an exemplary life for others. By allowing me to struggle, God taught me of my need for a firm foundation in Him and provided me with a tool for telling others about the amazing victory that comes from Christ Jesus. By teaching me how to be a follower, God enabled me to identify with those who I am leading this fall. By giving me the opportunity to lead this summer, He enabled me to lead them better for His glory. The knowledge that only God can create a changed heart frees me from the pressure and the guilt that comes from the responsibility of trying to do so myself. By showing me His ability to use my failure for His glory, He has enabled me to walk through life with confidence.

During my summer ministry, I was privileged to lead a weekly Zoom Bible study and prayer meeting for Christian freshmen entering the Stanford Class of 2024. When summer began, I was incredibly optimistic. That is, I was eager to focus on the teenagers in my church. However, I quickly realized that interest within the teen group at my church was dwindling, and, because of this, I was left discouraged and disheartened. God taught me through this experience that although people will fail you, He will remain faithful. When God closes one door, He opens another. In this situation, God closed the door to in-person teen ministry and provided me with an online ministry I never could have imagined. Back in May, I was introduced to a group chat specifically for Christian freshmen at Stanford University. I will be attending Stanford in the fall, so discovering like-minded Christians in my class has blessed me tremendously. By early June, I began leading a virtual Bible study which covered the book of James, and it was a wonderful success. Together, we have walked through James, 1 Peter, and Galatians. This week, we are about to begin a study on 1 Corinthians together, and we have become exceptionally close. This virtual outreach has proved to be very fruitful, and I have personally witnessed abundant spiritual growth take place in the lives of many Stanford students as a result.


New York Campus Update

from the outside walls in. You really should consider visiting sometime and check out your old dorm! You won’t believe the changes. We have fully remodeled the Stu Page Administration Building and renamed it the Page Center for Student Success, as both Stu and Bette Page were instrumental in the foundation and growth of Word of Life Bible Institute. The Ryrie Library and Study Building was refreshed with new siding and landscaping. As I previously stated, we are committed to the process of teaching students the Word of God and how to apply it to their lives. All of these campus changes are for God’s glory and their spiritual development. I am humbled by His blessing and the growth we have seen in this class throughout the past few months. Would you pray that we continue to experience a healthy, spiritually vibrant, and growing campus? Maybe you know a student who would benefit from studying the Word of God. Attending Word of Life Bible Institute could be “the best year of their life,” spent diving deep into God’s Word! We would love to have you visit the campus! You’re welcome to stay in our Alumni Cottage for a night or two on beautiful Schroon Lake – we would count it a privilege to serve you.

Fellow Alumni and Friends of WOLBI, As I write this, I am sitting in my office, looking out across our amazing campus. While I am blown away by all God has provided this year, especially considering these unusual times, I am more amazed by the incredible students walking this very campus right now, learning and growing in their faith day by day. As a team of faculty and staff, we are beyond grateful to see these bright young people attentively learning God’s Word and applying it to their lives! Word of Life Bible Institute has always been and will always be about these things: God’s Word and God’s people.

capacity. In our classrooms, students now sit in groups with their roommates, which has created an incredible sense of camaraderie and community amongst them. One of the biggest challenges – and blessings – this year concerns student ministries. With limited travel and gatherings allowed, we were forced to think outside the box. We found a way students could put this into action right from campus: sharing their testimonies. On both campuses, each student’s ministry will involve recording and sharing their testimony on social media. We are praying the gospel goes forth in a powerful way as students share the message of salvation through their personal stories of life change. Campus Facilities Update The Huskies Health and Athletic Center is now complete, and students have been enjoying this amazing facility. The roadways and walkways on our New York campus have all been resurfaced and paved, and we have installed additional lighting on campus. Colombia, Turkey, Chile, England and Europe dormitories were fully remodeled this year. In keeping with our other remodels, they have been rebuilt

This academic year is off to a great start, with 370 students on site. As of now, we have had no confirmed COVID-19 cases on our New York or Florida campuses. Our students and staff have been amazing as they have navigated the restrictions and guidelines placed upon us. I can say with certainty the Class of 2021 will have experienced Word of Life Bible Institute like no other class before. COVID-19 Update As a team, we have learned to pivot quickly concerning serving meals, dorm roomassignments, service assignments and ministries. In the dining room, for example, we are operating at 50%

Serving those who serve, Roger L. Peace, Jr. '94 President Word of Life Bible Institute


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DEB NIGHTINGALE When God Asks, Do You Trust Me?

At the end of July, my husband, Dave, and I contracted COVID-19. Neither one of us had any serious health issues, and we never imagined either of us would die from the Coronavirus. In fact, we often said to each other jokingly, “no dying, ok?” Four weeks later, our seven children and I said goodbye to Dave from the parking lot of the hospital. Two days before the Lord took Dave home, God all but audibly spoke to the core of my soul and asked me, “Do you trust Me?” The last time the Lord spoke that to me was 20 years earlier when my unsaved father died. I knew what He was asking of me. I knew Dave would not survive COVID. Did I trust Him to take Dave home, to leave me behind? To be my all… truly my all in all ?

“Do you trust Me?” The Lord’s ways are higher than my ways, and His thoughts are deeper than my thoughts. He has come alongside me in this journey in ways I’ve never experienced nor knew I could. Over the past few months, several people have shared stories of friends and family members who have been much older, had many pre-existing health issues and survived COVID-19. For a brief second, my mind goes to ‘Why Dave?’ And God again whispers in my soul, “Do you trust Me?”


The words below are what I shared on August 22 at my beloved Dave’s Celebration of Life Service:

I would never have imagined the journey the Lord brought me through this last month. And as I have reflected, these are the things I believe Dave would want me to share with you. • God means for you to be exactly where you are. (This did not take God by surprise.) • God is sovereign. • God doesn’t make mistakes. • God is good. When Dave started his ministry to the nations, my husband was changed by God. His love for God deepened and his love for people grew. As many of you know, I believe in prayer. I have never known more saints to pray so fervently for a miracle. If Dave was to be spared, surely God would have done so. But His plan is far greater.

Deb’s passion is reaching people of all ages and helping them learn who they are in Christ. For the past eight years, she has served at Word of Life and is currently the Director of Advancement. Her prior experience includes working as Director of Human Resources and Development for Wings of Hope Hospice, while faithfully serving alongside her husband, Dave, as a pastor’s wife. DEB NIGHTINGALE


Charles David Nightingale ‘73

JUNE 1953 – August 2020

On August 16, 2020, Dave Nightingale, who dedicated his life to the proclamation of the gospel in both action and word, at the age of 67, entered into the presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Dave resided most recently in Hudson, Florida, where he served as Regional Director of North America and the Pacific Rim for Word of Life Inter- national Ministries. Dave was born in Colon, Michigan, on June 24, 1953, to Charles (Chuck) and MaryAnn Nightingale. He was pre- ceded in death by his mother and first wife, Cheri Kline Nightingale (1990). He is survived by his beloved wife of 26 years, Deborah Bott Nightingale, and his 7 children: Chip (Audrey) Nightingale, Chad (Tracy) Nightingale, Catherine (Darryl) Martin, Candice (Joshua) Dykstra, Christin (Ryan) Adams, Joshua (Laura) Dickinson, Jake (Lisa) Dickinson, his father, Charles Nightingale, and 31 grandchildren who were his pride and joy. He is also survived by his sisters: Cynthia (Dwight) Hostetler and Cathy (Dave) Mostrom, and his brother: Christopher (Renee) Nightingale. Dave’s love for people was made evident through his role as a coach, pastor and shepherd to missionaries around the world. Someone once described Dave as “Grandfather to the Nations” because of the amazing ability God had given him to encourage people and make them feel loved. He was a man full of godly wisdom, insight and grace. His impact in the lives of people was profound, and we give glory to our God for allowing him to be an instrument of the gospel.

Psalms 116:15 says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”

A Celebration of Life service was held for Dave on Satur- day, August 22, in the Bollback Performing Arts Center at Word of Life, Hudson, Florida. We believe the greatest gift we as a family can give him is by giving you an opportunity to be a part of celebrating all God has done through the ministry he loved so much. Please consider making a do- nation to: . In the summary box put “ In memory of Dave Nightingale ” and your gift will go to International Ministries, which was Dave’s great passion.

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FLorida Campus Update


Even though our summer camp season was cut short and we were not able to hold our graduation ceremony, students were recognized for their achievements during the academic year (see right). Marshall Wicks was honored for his many years teaching at both the NewYork and Florida campuses. He is a 1974Word of LifeBible Institute alumnus and went on to graduate from Tennessee Temple University

and Grace Theological Seminary. Marshall became a resident professor on the New York Campus in 1980 and on the Florida Campus in 2011. Gary Ingersoll was also honored for his many years serving with Word of Life Local Church Ministries and for teaching at the Florida Campus. He has degrees from Kettering University and Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary. In 1985, Gary became a missionary with Word of Life Local Church Ministries in the state of Washington. He then became a resident professor at the Florida campus in 1997. We are thanking the Lord for a student body of 103 students from 21 states and 10 countries. We’ve set a goal to display the gospel to 25,000 people by recording and posting students’ testimonies to their

Class of 2020 Student Achievements

Dean of Women Award Bridget Deardorff

Dean of Men Award Isaac Kitchen

Ministry Excellence Award Tyler Bock

Personal Evangelism Award Caitlin Quesenberry

Musical Vocal Group Award Genesis Auli

social media platforms. So far, we’ve reached over 51,000 , with 8 professions of faith. Despite the restrictions preventing us from being out and about with ministry teams, students continue to be involved in reaching out in different ways including the following:

Musical Accompanist Award Joel Sathyadass

• Online prayer and counseling ministries

Drama Award Mercy Ferguson

• Online Good News Clubs with Child Evangelism Fellowship

Academic Excellence Award Caitlin Muller

• A new initiative in which every student is paired upwith amissionary somewhere in the world with the goal of regularly praying for and encouraging them Guest lecturers this fall include Dr. Ray Pritchard, Dr. Matt Vander Wiele ’95, Mr. Dalend Pearson (Family and Biblical Counseling), Dr. Armando Zuniga (Personal Evangelism) and Dr. Terry Mortenson (Creation).

Word of Life Board of Directors/ Christian Leadership/Abram S. Horst Award Cody Britts

Achieved a 4.0 GPA • Caitlin Muller • Bridget Deardorff • Allison Bradley

We praise the Lord for safety with no cases of COVID-19 on campus to date.

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REBECCA (BECKY) ROENTSCH MONTRONE ‘80 where are they now?

What was your first connection with WOL, and why did you choose to attend WOLBI? I had had a spiritual reawakening around age 19, after drifting from the Lord in my teens. One of the deacons in the new church I was attending told me about WOLBI and recommended I go.

nutrition. One of my major roles is that of teacher. I don’t like to foster dependency in my clients, but teach them to make better decisions and to take responsibility for themselves. Despite the fact that my life’s work involves helping people live healthier and longer lives, I readily admit we’ll all face death. But that’s something I’m prepared for, guided by the spiritual journey I began as a young woman. My faith is very important to me. Jesus Christ is the only thing that matters in life; we’re all here to be instruments of God. I’m eternally minded. Who was your favorite staff professor and guest lecturer? I would say my favorite staff professor was Dr. Tom Davis, and my favorite guest lecturer was Dr. Tom Figart. Do you have any words of advice for prospective students? I have never regretted taking a year to do nothing but study the Word of God.

What was the highlight of your time as a student?

It's hard to say; I was in the Collegians, the class treasurer and on the missions committee. I was a dorm supervisor; I ruined the grading curve a few times, too. I was the women's head of the supervisors for the camp program and was a clown on the Ranch during shows. I also wrote and acted in some humorous dramas. A funny story: As class treasurer and a Collegian, I traveled in a smaller van with the stage crew and Jack Wyrtzen (ahead of the rest of the group) to get to Madison Square Garden for a run of performances. We broke down on the highway as we were approaching NYC. I sat in the driver's seat guiding the steering wheel as the "boys" pushed the van, and Jack Wyrtzen walked behind praying all the while, head down, hands folded behind his back.

Rebecca Montrone

How did God lead you to your current ministry?

It's been a lifetime of following Him, and there's just way too much to mention here. My work as a holistic health practitioner gives me great opportunity to share the love of Christ. I have been on staff in two churches over the years as worship leader and have done lots of work with children both in music, Sunday school, etc. At the present time I serve on the worship team and in the children's ministry at Elm City Church. What is your current profession? I am the owner of Wondrous Roots’ which offers holistic products and consultation. My husband, Dale, and I moved to Keene, NH in 2012 and set up shop at our current location, focused on holistic


SETH BEEBE ’97 & ‘98 where are they now?

What was your first connection to WOL? My local church, Wayside Bible Baptist Church, in Livermore, Maine had a Word of Life Teen Club and Olympians. Why did you choose to attend WOLBI? My parents recommended taking one year of my life to devote myself to God's Word. My older brother attended before me, and I could see how the Lord was working in his life through the ministry’s impact – I wanted that, too. What was the highlight of your time there? Through the daily quiet times and summer ministry, the Lord revealed to me that my identity was found only in Jesus Christ. Who was your favorite staff professor and guest lecturer while at WOLBI? My favorite staff professor was Joe Jordan, because of his passion for the Word. My favorite guest lecturer was Tim Patterson who taught Children's Evangelism. What did you do for your summer ministry? I was a Camp Counselor at Word of Life Ranch ‘97, Camp Counselor at Word of Life Island ’98 and Unit Leader at Word of Life Ranch '99 (as a member of the WOL Impact Team). Did you further your schooling after WOLBI? If so, where? I attended Baptist Bible College in Clarks Summit, PA, and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. What is your current occupation and how did God lead you to it? I am a cross-cultural missionary and church planter in Toronto, Ontario working in Diaspora Missions through Global Gates Canada. I was led

step by step into the youth ministry and then to evangelism and missions. After being informed about globalization, immigration and urbanization issues, as well as the need to engage the nations coming to the west, the Lord led me to Toronto and to Global Gates Canada for His purposes of making disciples and through them reaching the ends of the earth. Can you share an example of what God is doing through your ministry? During this season of the Coronavirus, the Lord has allowed us to continue weekly Zoom and in-person Bible studies, as well as discipleship groups, to sustain and prepare us. One such group has been meeting since January involving students like Edgar, Nikita, Abilash, Sushant, Vishal, Pamela, Natalie and others. Most of these disciples are former Hindu and Catholic students who are learning that Jesus' presence, through His Spirit, and His Word are what sustain us, while Jesus' mission gives us purpose.

Seth Beebe

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Alumni Updates

1970’s Cynthia Rydelnik ’72 lives in Upstate New York. She is retired and serves as a church choir director. Robert Earll ’75 lives in Florida where he teaches high school art at a Christian school and is the Street Painting Coordinator for Chalk the Walk in Winter Park. He has three adult children. Selwyn Schultz Sr. ’79 and his wife, Christine, live in Michigan. They have five adult children and three grandchildren. Selwyn works for Gordon Foods as a System Administrator. Karen (Jones '79) Brown lives in Pennsylvania. She is a shift manager and caregiver for her parents. Karen and her late husband have three adult children. She also works in the children's club at church. 1980’s Tammie (Robbins ’80) Jurek lives in Texas where she is wife to Walt, mom to their four adult children, and Garbomb to her two granddaughters. She works as a Donor Relations Officer at Grace School of Theology.

Daryl Swartley ’80 and his wife, Melanie, live in Pennsylvania. Daryl is a pastor/church planter with Imago Dei Communities. Lisa (Kropat ’80) Weber and her husband, Michael, live in Texas. Lisa is a Virtual High School Teacher at Texas Connections Academy. She and Michael have two adult children. Jon ’82 and Tonya (Sellers ’83) Perry live in Ohio where Jon is a school bus driver. They have an adult daughter and one granddaughter. Ruth (Yeager ’84) Sanborn and her husband, Tim, have two adult sons. They live in Indiana where Ruth works for Indiana University Health. She is involved with Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree Program and the Indianapolis Great Banquet. Jodi Davis ’87 is in Japan where she has served for 13 years with Word of Life SYME teaching English, discipleship, and evangelism to young adults. Prior to this she spent fifteen years teaching junior high and school administration in the U.S., South Korea, and Japan.





Richelle (Moyer ’04) Westerhaus and her husband, Joshua, recently moved to Colorado. She owns her own business, Wreaths and Things by Richelle. Joshua ’04 and Tiffany (Nickum ’04) Shiffer live in Ohio where Josh is a Corporate Facilities Director for Ameritas, and Tiffany is President of PKE Enterprises. They have three children. Jamie ’04 and Kara (Ford ’04) Meyer live in Michigan where Jamie works as a Data Engineer at Priority Health. They have five children. David ’05 and Rachel (Shubert ’05) George live in Michigan and have five children. David is currently on sabbatical. Amy (Hall ’06) McConnell and her husband, Elliot, have two children. Amy is a homemaker and “cyber school mama.” They just moved to Alabama after almost five years in Italy. Samantha (Wolfe ’07) White and her husband, Troy, live in Florida. Samantha works for a global company as a Customer Care Specialist. Tim ’07 and Tori (Gray ’07) Carey live in Pennsylvania where Tim is a USPS mailman, and Tori works as a Telephonic Loss Control Analyst for Berkshire Hathaway Guard Insurance. Tim is an Elder and Trustee at their church, and Tori is Director of the Children’s Ministry. David ’07 and Sarah (Wright ’07) Graham live in Pennsylvania where David is a Firefighter/EMT and a Confined Space/High Angle Rescue Tech. They have four children. Stephanie (Wellbrook ’09) Oakes is a stay-at- home mom. She is married to Nicholas, and they live in Maine. They have two children and one on the way. 2010’s Rebecca Van Daniker ’11 lives in Florida and is an ESL teacher for VIPKid teaching English as a second language to kids in China online. She is an Awana teacher at church and serves as an assistant teacher for the kindergarten Sunday School. Steven ’12 and Sarah (Wagner ’13) Boyce recently moved from Florida to California. Steven does landscaping for commercial and residential properties. Sarah is an entrepreneurial florist and started her own business in 2017 doing weddings and special events. Nathaniel ’14 and Rachel (Etter ’14) Perry live in Pennsylvania where Nathaniel works maintenance at Harrisburg International Airport. They have two children.


Julie Garrison ’90 lives in Florida and attends Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa.

Shawn ’90 and Tina Marie (Hamilton ’90) Ressler live in Michigan where Shawn works at Brembo, the leading automotive company in high performance brakes. Tina is a homemaker who has homeschooled their children for most of their education. They have five children and six grandchildren. Chad Muessig ’90 and his wife, Stefanie, have five children. They live in New Jersey, where Chad works as a Correctional Police Sergeant for NJDOC. He is also the Student Ministry Coordinator at their church. Jeff Wylde ’94 and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. They live in Virginia where Jeff is an Associate Pastor and a Campus Pastor at Fincastle Baptist Church in Southwest Virginia. Angela (Pestor ’94) Griffin is a nurse, mom, and youth pastor’s wife. She and her husband, Josh, live in California and have four children. Tim ’98 and Bethany (Wittmer ’99) Raymond have five children. They live in Indiana where Tim is the pastor of Trinity Baptist Church of Muncie and a Chaplain (Captain) with the Indiana National Guard. Jessie (Dik ’99) Walters and her husband, Jay, live in Massachusetts where she works for Regional Home Care. They have one son. Ryan ’99 and Rebecca (Johnson ’99) Beachy are missionaries with Ethnos360 in Chihuahua, Mexico. Ryan is the Director of the Mexico Bible Institute. They have four children. Elizabeth (Mullen ’99) Yeck and her husband, Matthew, live in Pennsylvania and have three children. Elizabeth worked for 15 years as a Blended Case Manager. She has recently resigned to raise their three kids. Jeff ’99 and Karen (Benson ’03) Briggs both work at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia refueling and maintaining nuclear submarines. Jeff is also in the Naval Reserves and recently returned from time in Japan. They have one son. 2000’s Peg Clayton ’00 is a graduate of the Word of Life Bible Institute in Hungary and serves as a missionary with Word of Life in Japan.






Selwyn Shultz, Jr. ’02 lives in Michigan and works in manufacturing and is also a student.


17 t h e e xp e r i e n c e

Rikki Shingledecker ’14 lives in Michigan where she works as a Project Assistant at Under Deck Oasis. She is involved in children’s ministry at church from Sunday School to Awana and nursery. William Krembs ’14 is a student at New York Chiropractic College with an expected graduation in December 2021. He lives in Upstate New York with his wife, Angela, and is also a youth director at church. Damian Diaz ’15 is married to Chelsea and they have a three-year old son. They live in Florida where Damian is a youth pastor. Chandara ’16 "Dara" and Emilie (Reist ’14) Him live in Ohio where Chandara works as an aircraft mechanic. They recently had their first child.

Bethany Boyle ’18 graduated from the Bible Institute in Hungary. She lives in South Carolina and helps run the children’s ministry at church and serves in the nursery and music ministry. Nathan ’17 & ’18 and Mikayla (Nolt 17 & ’18) Goepfrich live in Indiana where Mikayla is a Special Education Paraprofessional, and Nathan is a dog trainer. Carrie Kennedy ’19 & ’20 is living in Florida with her daughter, Riley. Carrie is working for Walmart as part of their overnight remodel team. 2020’s Amanda Randazzo ’20 is currently a student at Lancaster Bible College and working at a café on campus. Annie Bullock ’20 lives in Upstate New York where she is working as a Care Manager at the Salvation Army Family Health Services of Syracuse.


Nathan Gray ’16 is married to Gillian, and they live in Florida where Nathan is a youth pastor.

Lee Cliff ’17 and his wife, Emily, live in Indiana where Lee works as a barista at Starbucks, is a professional musician with Calder the Band, and is Worship Pastor at Living Waters Community Church.


Alumni Weddings

Introducing Mr. & Mrs... June 1 – Nathan ’17 & ’18 and Mikayla (Nolt ’17 & ’18) Goepfrich June 20 – Justin '12 &'14 and Alicia (Hosan '12 & '13) Cousins June 27 – Thomas ’20 and Rachael (Robertson ’20) Richards June 27 – Jocsan and Kayla (Miller ’15 & ‘16) Morales July 11 – Steven ’17 and Kate (Gregory ’17) McDougal July 18 – Lee ’17 and Emily Cliff June 20 – Alberto and Kenzy (Parker ’15) Andrade July 25 – Jonathan ’13 & ’14 and Lauren Lough July 31 – Daniel ’15 & ’16 and Sara Smith August 1 – Cody and Lauren (Ries ’15) Franklin August 8 – Ryan and Carey (Stone ’13 & ’14) Chessher August 16 – Ben and Anna (Everson ’15 & ’16) Williamson August 29 – Elijah ’14 & ’15 and Avrey Knowlton September 5 – Marcelo ’19 and Teagan (Bennett ’17 & ’18) Diez October 3 – Chris ’17 & ’18 and Cara (Harrigan ’17 & ’18) Heimerle October 3 – Austin ’14 and Laura (Rew ’13 & ’14) Worden October 3 – Aaron ’13 & ’14 and Jenna Clark October 3 – Steffan and Ashley (Newell ’18) Meikle October 10 – Matt ’13 & ’14 and Lyndsey (Reck ’15 & ’16) Filler October 10 – Jason and Rachyl (Wicks ’96 & ’97) Evans October 10 – Ben ’06 & ’07 and Emily (Donley ’08) Vosburgh October 10 – David ’17 and Mickayla Fizzano October 10 – Riley ’18 and Claire (Clifford ’18 & ’19) Cornish October 10 – Corey ’16 & ’17 and Autumn (Johnson ’16) Millett October 15 – Josiah ’14 and Karley Fox October 17 – Tommy ’16 & ’17 and Gabby (Parsons ’16 & ’17) Grooms October 17 – Micah and Ashleigh (Adams ’16 & ’17) Smith





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19 t h e e xp e r i e n c e

April 9-11, 2021 Word of Life Bible Institute 50 TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Save the date

speakers: • Ben Gutierrez • Ray Pritchard

Location: • New York Campus

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@ wordoflifeedu @ wordoflife

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