The Experience Magazine Summer 2020

A Letter From Don Lough, Jr.

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March 26 -28, 2021 speakers: Ben Gutierrez & Ray Pritchard Word of Life Bible Institute 50 TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Save the date

Moving Forward!

It is thrilling to see all that God is doing through the worldwide ministries of Word of Life. In spite of the recent challenges that have affected almost everyone, we can clearly see God’s hand at work, and we are moving forward! Throughout this issue, you will read how the Gospel is changing lives, students are being encouraged to grow in their walk with the Lord, and God is providing for the ministry to expand and upgrade facilities. We invite you to join with us as we rejoice in God’s blessing. Seeing forward progress is exciting and encouraging. Yet we move forward because we have a goal in sight – we want to become more like Christ, realizing that our home is not here on earth, but our home is in Heaven.



Campus Updates


Connected to Others


Alumni Giving: Why I give


where are they now?

In Philippians 3:14 the Apostle Paul writes about moving forward in this familiar verse:


Ministry in the Queen City

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.


Alumni Updates


Paul Bubar Home with the Lord

God’s desire for every believer is progress toward our heavenly goal. How are you progressing toward this goal? Can those who interact with you see a difference as you allow God to help you become the person He wants you to be? I pray this is true in my life and in yours, also.

major contributors

Writers – Roger Peace, Eric Messer, Rich Andrews, Mark Strout, Brian Tanedo, Jason Headlee, Josh Ely, Gary Ingersoll, Michael Goad, Aaron Clark, Don Lough, Jr. Designer – Teresa Stursberg Editors – Beth Black, 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.

Thank you for your friendship to this ministry!

With a joyful heart,

Don Lough, Jr. ‘84 Executive Director




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Campus Updates


As you read all of the updates and see the many projects, please know this is only possible because God has gone before us and enabled wonderful friends of the ministry to generously provide the funding. I am also keenly aware that you can see all this and wonder, “Are they losing their focus?” I want to assure you that we are committed to the process of providing a life-changing experience at the Word of Life Bible Institute; an experience that is focused on teaching the Word of God, investing in each student through discipleship, and providing ministry opportunities that teach students that living a life of service is a full and complete life. At Word of Life, we desire to teach the Word of God in such a way that it will become the foundation of your life. As you study, develop relationships with others and get hands-on experience in ministry, you will learn Biblical truth and practical skills that will be invaluable for the rest of your life, regardless of what you do for a living. – ROGER PEACE President of Word of Life Bible Institute

As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated, the Bible Institute and virtually all its teaching sites around the world quickly adjusted to a completely remote instruction model within days. Staff and students in discipleship relationships found new ways to connect. Students were enabled to continue to engage in ministry, and did so with fervency, even as the remote learning format changed the types of ministry opportunities that were available. To say that I am proud of every team member would be an understatement. Their desire to serve students, parents, and one another during this time has been simply outstanding. While none of us expected COVID-19, the team responded with incredible care and Christlikeness. The students adapted withmuch tenacity and excitement, proving their desire to glorify God through their studies and passion for ministry. I am thankful we have been and continue to be connected to God, one another, and connected in our commitment to reaching the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ, even amidst the pandemic. THIS YEAR, WE ALSO RECOGNIZE THE TREMENDOUS TURMOIL IN OUR COUNTRY OVER RACISM AND SOCIAL INJUSTICE. We are resolved in our efforts to listen, learn, and respond with love in action for the people of color on our campus and throughout the entire world. Word of Life Bible Institute is taking bold steps in the areas of listening, training our faculty and staff, as well as our students and Camp Crew, and our overall awareness and effort to serve and love the black community and people of all colors and ethnicities. These past months many from the Bible Institute team, including myself, have been interacting and learning from recent alumni. We recognize that we can do better, and we are committed to doing exactly that. Over the coming months, we will be divulging some of the steps we are taking to serve all people of color and different ethnicities in a way that exemplifies and glorifies the name of Jesus Christ.

We are so thankful for the provision of these projects that equip us to better serve students and guests of Word of Life. I hope you will find the updates encouraging! Turn the page to see!



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Remote Instruction DR. PAUL WEAVER '96 & '97 – ACADEMIC DEAN

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Word of Life Bible Institute students transitioned to a remote learning environment after their spring break. Our resident professors utilized a variety of methods to engage our students in unique ways, including but not limited to: recording and uploading new class videos, hosting weekly Q & A Zoom conference calls, and employing online posts and reply threads. We are thankful that we had the leading Learning Management System (Canvas) in place to make all this possible. We also adapted our guest lecturer courses for a unique online experience. Overall, we are very pleased with how effectively students were able to adapt to this unexpected turn of events and finish their semester strong. Our academic team worked exceptionally hard to serve our students during this season as well as assist several of our international teaching sites to educate and equip their students around the world using Canvas as well. Canvas is also being employed this summer as students fulfill their ministry practicum. We have a team assembled who are ready to approve ministry proposals, answer questions, grade submissions, and assist our students in every way possible. This is truly a united effort across multiple departments (Academics, Ministries, and Student Life).



Florida Campus Projects RICH ANDREWS '92 & '96 – VICE PRESIDENT OF FLORIDA MINISTRIES Recent projects on our Florida campus include new camp cabins, renovations on our student lounge and repairs to our swimming pool.

Dorm Remodels – Work is happening everywhere this summer on the New York campus. Currently, Chile, Turkey, Colombia, Europe, and England are receiving major remodels. Each dorm will have new siding, windows, bathrooms, laundry rooms, lounges, bedrooms and entrances fully remodeled. Check out some of the pictures to the right. We are thrilled to introduce the brand-new Huskies Health and Athletic Center. This facility will be home to our health and security office, providing a lounge, exam rooms, laundry room, offices, and isolation rooms. This building will also include a state-of-the-art gym with 3 courts, a running track, exercise room, and weight equipment room. There is also a concession stand, locker rooms, athletic trainers' room, equipment rooms and public restrooms. Included is a large multi-purpose room in the building for meetings and presentations. The building is 51,000 square feet and overlooks the soccer field. The grand opening is scheduled for October 10, 2020. Huskies Soccer Complex – The soccer field on the main campus will now be a soccer complex. This will include a tiered grandstand section built into the hill by the new Huskies Health and Athletic Center, as well as all new lighting rated for collegiate games, a new scoreboard location, and fencing. The entire complex will be made of Field Turf grass. This will allow for year- round use for camps and the Bible Institute. We would love to see you at Homecoming on October 10, 2020, for our first game in this new complex. Walkways and Entrance – As we have developed the property, we knew we needed to rework our roads, walkways, and entrance to better serve our students and guests. Check out some of the work taking place on the facility!











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Global Campuses MARK STROUT '82 – EXECUTIVE DEAN OF GLOBAL BIBLE INSTITUTES As COVID-19 spread around the world, all 15 Bible Institute campuses were impacted. The South Korea Teaching Site was the only one able to continue on- campus instruction, albeit with guest lecturers teachingvia remote video link. All others successfully transitioned to remote instruction except in Uganda where restric- tions prevented students from completing their spring semester. However, most will finish in the coming year. We praise the Lord for the way He went before us, granting wisdom to respond to the challenge, and protection for our staff and students. Much has been learned through the process, new ideas and opportunities have surfaced, and all campuses are looking forward to what lies ahead in the coming year! Updates

Student Testimonies over spring break Lindsey Lankford God has allowed so many 'outside people', who have never been to my church, to view our church service online on Sundays. We have been able to reach so many more people through social media and people sharing with their friends about our online church. This has opened awesome opportunities to get the gospel out to more people who may have never stepped into our physical church building. The coronavirus cannot stop God's work! Grace Weaver I've seen God work in the lives of my friends and the girls in my discipleship group! I've had really good conversations with my friends about their walk with the Lord and have been able to encourage them in areas that they are struggling. I've also been able to keep in contact with young girls frommy church via Zoom! After sharing verses with them about creation and explaining how God shows Himself to us through creation, it was so cool to hear their response and amazement at our Creator! Jessica Hulsey God has been showing me that my missions field is at home at the moment. God has shown me that people need something as simple as getting groceries because they cannot get out or encouraging someone with a letter, who is battling mental health. It's in the little things and little moments that I have seen the Lord work; it's truly really cool to see that in my hometown. Ethan Shope My father committed suicide during Spring Break. This threw my family into disarray, and I was able to be a light and pillar of strength to them. I was also able to lead my mother to Christ after 2 years of witnessing and praying for her. I have been teaching the Scriptures to my family and having Bible studies with my unbelieving friends. God has taught me much about pain, hope, and trust in this time. Jacob Rink I have been able to use the hardships of being at home because of the virus to share with several of my unsaved friends who wouldn't normally listen to the Gospel. No decisions yet, but they were open to listening!!

will be working to get contacts for both campuses. We’ve also taken a holistic approach to gathering contacts as an organization and have given every area of Word of Life a recruitment goal in order to keep us all engaged and consistently measure where our students are coming from. The Recruitment Team will be directly reporting to Kara Strahan in the Florida office. For Enrollment, we have combined both the New York and Florida teams and simultaneously have begun implementing a brand-new computer software called EnrollmentRX, which works inside of Salesforce, the #1 customer management relations software in the world right now. We are so thankful for this new software that will enable us to operate with greater efficiency and connect with a larger audience of students. The Enrollment team will be directly reporting to Brian Tanedo in the New York office. Even with new processes and systems in place, nothing can replace what YOU can do as alumni. Every year, a large majority of students say that what influenced them to come to the Bible Institute the most was an alumnus or alumna! We want to encourage you to be reaching out to the young people in your life and at your church to consider the possibility of spending a year, or two, at the Bible Institute. Do not forget, if you refer any student to apply, they can receive a $500 scholarship through your referral! If you don’t know how to do this, please email , or call 1.800.331.9673 . We will be providing some tools throughout this year that will make that process easier for you, so be on the lookout! As always, we covet your prayers. If there was ever a time in our nation's history that young people needed to know God and His Word, it is now. Please pray that the Lord would be working in the hearts of young people across the country and showing them the importance of

knowing Him in a real way, and that Word of Life would be the place He calls them to do that. Ministries Update JASON HEADLEE '01 – DEAN OF MINISTRIES We are so proud of all our students who jumped into ministry in a very different manner than we had planned this spring. We were able to wrap up Snowcamp and depart for break just before the COVID-19 pandemic began shutting down New York and, eventually, most of the country. In fact, we had to cancel our Spring Break tour and bring our Spring Break missions trips home early. Despite the crazy situation they found themselves in, our students reported ministering to 24,986 people with 20,898 hearing the Gospel and 93 trusting in Christ. This brings our school year total to: 70,341 ministered to, 60,448 heard the Gospel, and 1,503 trusted Christ. We are well on our way to reaching our goal of 100K this school year and are excited to see what happens over the summer as they are serving all over the country. Here are a few testimonies we received from students ministering from home throughout the spring. (see right) Student Life Update on Remote Discipleship JOSH ELY '04 & '05 – DEAN OF STUDENTS Discipleship was still high on the priority list during our remote learning. We still met with our student leadership teams digitally to talk through how they could reach out to other students as well as friends and family in the community around them. We know of two students who were taking the time to invite their neighbors for a weekly Bible study based on a course they were taking at the Bible Institute. It was an outreach to the lost but also an encouragement for adults to dig deeper into what they believed. It was a real-time application of what they were learning in the classroom.

students during the remote learning time. Our Dean of Men and Dean of Women still had devotionals with the students through Zoom, and it was a great way to stay engaged and encourage everyone. Many staff members were able to meet with their discipleship groups and continue their one-on-one relationships with individual students throughout the shutdown. It was awesome seeing the faith of our staff to know God can work through a screen just as powerfully as in person.

Introduction of 2020-2021 Theme ROGER PEACE

Every year, we prayerfully research and consider different options for our theme for the school year. This year we are excited to announce that our theme will be Trustworthy . The key verse is Psalm 62:8, which says, “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.” The research and statistics of Generation Z are unique, and we believe the Word of Life Bible Institute’s focus on teaching students that they can trust God in all spheres of their lives will be vital. In fact, I think we can agree we all need the reminder our God is trustworthy during this time!

Recruitment and Enrollment Update

ERIC MESSER; BRIAN TANEDO '10 & '12 This year, theEnrollment andRecruitment offices have received an update to our processes. With some of the difficulties that COVID presented to our campuses, we felt the Lord leading us to make a change in how we approach enrollment and recruitment between the New York and Florida Bible Institutes. Previously, each campus has implement- ed their own recruitment and enrollment strategies. With our new system, we have decided to combine our efforts and truly operate as one Bible Institute with multiple campuses! For recruitment, we have taken a national approach and split the nation into regions where the Recruitment Team


As a team here at the Word of Life Bible Institute, we remain committed to praying for and serving you. If we can do anything for you, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you for praying with us as we desire to make much of Jesus this year.

The student leadership team was diligent to continue meeting and discipling other



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Connected to Others

AGAIN (Acts 18:23) with the reported result that Paul and his missionary team “strengthened all the disciples” in the provinces of “Galatia and Phrygia”. Let us now move on to the second example of Paul’s persistent efforts to maintain connections with those people with whom he has had a previous spiritual ministry; Paul’s “connections” with the Christians at the new church at Thessalonica in northern Greece: • Having been redirected by the Holy Spirit from their planned “tour” for their second missionary journey, Paul and his team start a new church at Philippi. While many hearts “were opened” Paul is seized, whipped, cast into prison, and then, after an earthquake, is urged to leave the city. • They proceed “down the road” to the next city, Thessalonica, where for three weeks they “reason” with the Jews concerning Jesus. It is reported that some Jews and a “great multitude” of Gentiles believed (Acts 17:1-9). Non-believing Jews then “stirred up” a riot of people resulting in Paul being forced to leave. • Paul and his team again go “down the road” to Berea, where “many Jews” and “not a few” Greeks believe the message of salvation in Jesus, but they are soon forced to leave this town also by the trouble “stirred up” by the non- believing Jews from Thessalonica. • From here Paul travels down to Athens, where Paul later writes “when I could no longer forbear” (1

Thessalonians 3:1-2), thus he sends his team member, Timothy, back up to Thessalonica to “establish and comfort them” and “know concerning their faith” (1 Thessalonians 1:2, 5). • Timothy reports back to Paul, who had moved on to Corinth, with “good tidings of their faith and love”. Paul is “comforted” and filled with great “joy” by this report. Timothy also brings back several questions from the Thessalonians to be presented to Paul. As a result, Paul writes his first letter to the Thessalonians with the purpose of “the Lord causing them to increase and abound in love one towards another” and to “establish their hearts unblameable in holiness” (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13). • Again, Timothy goes back up to Thessalonica to teach through Paul’s letter. After some time with the Thessalonians, Timothy returns to Paul with several “follow-up” questions to their first series of questions. • Thus, Paul writes a second time to the Thessalonians in part to recognize their “growth in faith” and their “abounding in love towards each other” (2 Thessalonians 1:3). Paul says he also wanted to write so as to help them “who are trouble, to rest with us” (2 Thessalonians 1:7). • Yet again, Timothy is sent back up to Thessalonica to again teach through Paul’s second letter!

• We must note that Paul stayed “connected” with these beloved Thessalonian Christians as long as it was necessary to help them mature in their walk of faith. Let us now move on to a third example from the ministry of the Apostle Paul; Paul’s persistent “connection” with the Christians at the church in the city of Corinth. Towards the end of Paul’s second missionary journey, Paul comes to Corinth and stays there for 18 months. During this stay, he starts a church. After the start of Paul’s third missionary journey, he spends 2 years at Ephesus, a seaport city in Asia Minor (across the Aegean Sea from Corinth). Apparently, from Ephesus, Paul makes a short visit to the church at Corinth then returns to Ephesus. In 1 Corinthians, he states he had previously written a letter to the Christians at Corinth to express his concerns about things he had seen during his visit; Paul writes in 1 Cor. 5:9 & 11, “I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators... But now I have written unto you...” Also, about this time, Paul was visited by a delegation of leaders from Corinth who brought him a letter outlining several problems and disorders that were present at Corinth. They ask for Paul’s counsel. In response, Paul writes 1 Corinthians to direct the church at Corinth towards a godly pattern of life. Sometime later Paul continues his efforts of persistent discipleship by writing another letter to them “with many tears” (2 Corinthians 2:3-4). Apparently, as a result of this “tearful letter”, one of Paul’s team members, Titus, meets up

with Paul in the province of Macedonia and reports of spiritual repentance amongst many at Corinth. This report brings great “rejoicing” to Paul’s heart and was, in part, the motivation for Paul to respond by writing 2 Corinthians (2 Corinthians 7:4-16). With four letters to the Corinthians and multiple visits, we can easily see Paul’s commitment to stay connected! So then, it would seem that the Apostle Paul would want us to mimic his life- long pattern of “persistent efforts” to stay “connected” to other believers with whom we have had a previous spiritual ministry. Letters, visits – both announced and unannounced – and third party “mutual friends” (as well as ongoing prayer!) were all part of the tools Paul used to help others in their walks with our Lord Jesus. Sometimes spiritual progress was wonderfully rapid and life-transforming. Sometimes spiritual progress was slow, accompanied with many “tears”, and only after multiple efforts! WE NEED TO REMEMBER PAUL NEVER GAVE UP ON CONNECTING WITH PEOPLE THE LORD HAD BROUGHT INTO HIS LIFE.


we find Barnabas and Paul on their first missionary journey. After visiting the island of Cyprus, they went to the province of Galatia, where the missionary work was to start churches in five towns; Perga, Antioch of Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. Upon completing this primary goal of the “missionary tour”, they retraced their steps “connecting again” with each of these churches. Their purpose was the “confirming the souls of the disciples and exhorting them to continue in the faith” (Acts 14:21-27). Paul and Barnabas then returned to their “sending” church (Antioch of Syria). While at Antioch, Paul writes his first New Testament letter, The Epistle to the Galatians, a new “mode” of “connecting”! After a few months, they begin a second “missionary tour”. On this “tour”, Paul takes Silas with a plan to press on to the northern provinces of Asia Minor. Paul and his team first visit the churches of Galatia (Acts 16:1- 6). As a result of Paul’s persistence in maintaining connections, it is reported that, “the churches [in Galatia] were established in the faith and increased in number daily”. A few years later we have the story of Paul’s third missionary journey (Acts 18 through 21) and, not surprising, we read of Paul starting out by first visiting the cities of Galatia YET

Our theme at the Bible Institute this year is “Connections”, so we should consider what the Bible teaches us about a strategy of maintaining “connections” with fellow ministers of the gospel. As “New Testament Guided” Christians, we would do well to consider some insightful questions: How long should a Christian seek to stay connected with other believers with whom he has had a spiritual ministry? Are there New Testament examples of Christian leaders deliberately maintaining connections with young believers? What patterns of conduct and steps of involvement are suggested in the New Testament for us to follow? It would seem that the best way to “get at” an answer to these questions would be to carefully look at the record of a persistent discipler, the Apostle Paul. He really worked at staying connected with people to whom he ministered! Our first notable example is Paul’s persistent connection with the churches he had a part in starting in the Roman province of Galatia. In Acts 13 &14,

Rev. Gary Ingersoll has been the Bible Survey Professor at the Word of Life Bible Institute in Florida since 1997. He received his B.M.E. at General Motors Institute, a M.Div and M.R.E. from Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary. Rev. Ingersoll has been a youth pastor for 10 years. He was also a Word of Life Clubs Missionary in the state of Washington for 12 years. Gary Ingersoll


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Alumni Giving: Why I give

a commitment to spread the gospel through international ministries, camps and the Bible Institute. Through our involvement, we’ve been blessed to see how God has effectively used Word of Life and its ministries to serve the Lord. Cameron '11 and Courtney (Wallace) Hoagland '13 When Cameron and I heard there was an Adopt-a-Student program with Word of Life, we were eager to jump on the ball to support a current Bible Institute student financially. Both Cameron and I are Word of Life alum (Cameron class of 2011 and myself class of 2013) and had an amazing and life-changing experience at the school. We loved the idea of being able to bless a current student financially and help encourage them throughout the year that some of their financial needs were taken care of so they could focus on their spiritual needs and the needs of other students. Cameron was a recipient of the Chancellor scholarship when he

was a student, and he said to have extra financial assistance really positively impacted his year. We are thankful for and believe in the ministry of Word of Life and hope to adopt a student for many years to come!

on the field witnessing what God is doing through our financial gift, but this is where faith comes in. When God pulls your heart to give, there is so much joy in knowing that your obedience is allowing you to be a part of His plan for the world to know Him. I can serve God in my community, but I can also serve God in a different area of the country by equipping missionaries to do what God has called them to do. The joy in giving far outweighs whatever other ideas I might come up with to spend those extra few dollars a month. This is about more than money; it’s about joining God in His plan for the world. Victor and Angela Doucet '98 The way we began our relationship with Word of Life foreshadowed the nature of an enduring and blessed relationship to come. We knew little about Word of Life when we embarked on a Youth Reachout mission trip before our first year as a married couple at the New York Bible Institute. On that trip we worshipped and served with wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ from another culture. We ministered alongside youth passionate for the gospel, engaging in evangelism and discipleship as we struggled and grew together, and we watched God work in miraculous ways. Our year at the Bible Institute only amplified those experiences. Fast forward 22 years. We both work regular jobs and serve in our local church, but we have also been mightily blessed by being able to participate in the work of the Great Commission in partnership with Word of Life. Several Word of Life mission trips and marvelous teams, dozens of young people and countless cross-cultural friendships later, and we understand the

meaning of John 10:10. This has been an abundant life.


Loss of vacation time to lead short- term mission teams was no loss at all. It was the gain of iron sharpening iron as we learned, laughed, cried and served together as a unified team; the body of Christ. Lost income as we took our girls on summer missions rather than have them get a job meant gains of a much greater value including an understanding of other cultures, a love for the gospel and the nations, and a fan to flame our love of Christ. And, funds spent to go on a trip or to support new friends or ministries to which we were exposed has merely been an investment in the Kingdom, which always reaps the greatest rewards. We are thankful to the Lord for introducing us to Word of Life through a man whose own life spoke loudly of the abundant life, Paul Bubar. He invited us to be a part of an enduring relationship which he knew could reap abundant rewards if we agreed to participate. We are forever grateful and invite you to consider the same.

Mary (Price) Homoelle '87 Word of Life has impacted my family going on four generations. Both of my parents were saved as adults, at a Word of Life Youth Rally led by Jack Wyrtzen. This changed the course of their lives and that of their children. My siblings and I all went to summer camps and then on to the Bible Institute. My husband and I have remained involved with Word of Life to this day, sending all 5 of our children to camp and to the Bible Institute.



Rachel (Patterson) Arnold ’15 & ‘16 My husband (Ryan Arnold, ’08) and I have the joy of giving financially to what God is doing through Word of Life Local Church Ministries. A year ago, we sat down with two friends over ice cream as they began to share the passion God had placed on their hearts to see American teens grow to love and serve Jesus boldly. As they shared, my eyes were opened to the important gospel mission we have been given right inside the doors of our youth groups. Both my husband and I can look back and see that God was laying the foundations of our faith through our middle school and high school years. My husband was involved in Word of Life Local Church clubs from a young age. During his time in Word of Life clubs, he decided he wanted to serve the Lord through music ministry for the rest of his life. Our teens are desperate for truth that they can count on, and the world is so ready to steal their attention if they aren’t grounded in God’s Word. We are so thankful for our Local Church warriors who wake up every day desiring to mentor students so that the next generation will know the truth of the gospel.

As you are able, your gift to Word of Life helps the ministry continue reaching youth and sharing the gospel with this generation. Make an impact by giving at : GIVE.WOL.ORG

We choose to give to the Word of Life General Fund because we share

word of life by the numbers

Youth and Family Camps (USA) • 5 campuses • 15,193 campers • 1,323 salvation decisions Local Church Ministries (USA) • 955 church relationships • 16,800 young people ministered to weekly • 833 decisions made at Reverb events

Bible Institutes • 2 United States campuses • 14 international locations • 784 students International Ministries • 79 country locations • 1,500+ missionaries • 71,319 salvation decisions • 52 youth camps • 24 Discipleship Training Centers

Sometimes giving financially can feel very distant. We aren’t able to be there



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Ministry in the Queen City Interview with Aaron Clark '13 & '14

where are they now?


Recently I was in Washington, D.C. on a business trip, and while out for a run I found myself in front of Constitution Hall. I stopped for a moment and realized my earliest memory of Word of Life was at a rally inside the Hall around 1970. My father, who was the pastor of a local church and knew Jack Wyrtzen, helped organize the event. I enrolled at the Bible Institute in the fall of 1982 after graduating from Colonial Hills Christian High School in Atlanta, Georgia. I enjoyed living with other guys in Turkey Dorm. It was a challenging year of study, reflection, and service. There are so many great memories, but the ones that stand out the most are from singing with the Collegians. It was a privilege traveling up and down the East Coast with the Christmas presentation, staying in people’s homes, and presenting the truth of the Gospel through each performance. We also travelled on the spring Passion Play tour, which was an emotional and spiritual experience of its own as we re-enacted the message of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Upon graduation I transferred to Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee, and had three wonderful years of challenging growth and development. Most importantly, I met Claudia Ciciliani from Guatemala and fell head-over-heels for her sincere love for the Lord and zest for life. I describe her as “5-foot, Hispanic, and bubbly”... and if you ever meet her, I am sure you would agree. In 1986 we married and moved to Miami, Florida, where I later started a banking career and discovered that I thrived on the quantitative challenge. In 1993 we moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, to work for a Midwest regional bank. In 2001, I joined Cornerstone University as their CFO and enjoyed working with a great team which moved the school forward in many ways. In 2005 I reentered the banking world as CFO of two sister banks, The Bank of Holland and The Bank of Northern Michigan. Seven years later, I started in the credit union industry and moved to South Bend, Indiana, to serve as CFO of Notre Dame Federal Credit Union. I also had the privilege to teach an undergraduate class in corporate finance at the University.

Claudia and I moved back to Michigan in 2018, this time to Midland which is the location of the worldwide headquarters for Dow Chemical Company and Dow Chemical Employees’ Credit Union, where I became the CFO. In April 2020, I was named the CEO. The most important verse for every leader is the first part of Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve”. Last year, Claudia and I were looking for a place to spend the winter months. I remembered Word of Life had a campus in Florida, and when we saw that there was an RV Park, we quickly reserved a lot. Claudia was able to stay through the end of March and had a wonderful time serving students and also building friendships while attending meetings, concerts, and dinners. I was able to join her for several weekends so I, too, could plug into the RV Park lifestyle. As we re-engage with Word of Life, we are excited to see the growth and impact of the ministry, and we are joyful to support the Great Commission work being done in 80+ countries worldwide.

How did you get connected to Word of Life? In 2001, my father attended the Florida Bible Institute as an off- campus student. I attended the Florida campus for First Year and New York campus for Second Year. My brother, Luke, also attended the Bible Institute in 2013 and 2014. Why did you choose to attend Word of Life Bible Institute? I thought one year being deep in God's Word would equip me to be a missionary in the marketplace as an English teacher. How did God use your year there to impact your life? He completely changed the course of my life . . . from pursuing a degree in English, to being passionate about pastoral ministry. As a kid, I had no desire for pastoral ministry, and I didn’t have a love for God's Word. The Lord gave me a love for missionary church planting work through my Second-Year internship. This led me on a journey that He eventually used to radically alter my love for the pastorate, for His Word, and for Himself. Where did you further your schooling? Liberty University Online - Religion in Biblical and Theological Studies How did God call you to your current ministry? In 2014, I was working in the Marketing Department at Word of Life and was praying about church planting. One day, some friends and I visited Burlington, Vermont. While walking on Church Street, we saw deep spiritual darkness, and the Lord gave me deep compassion for these people. What is the Focus/Scope/Goal of your ministry? Right now, my ministry is focused on young adults and college stu- dents in the Burlington metro area. A broad goal is to reach families, people groups, and subcultures of the Lake Champlain Valley area and Vermont through church planting. The Lord has filled up my joy by doing what I had once thought impos- sible here in the Queen City. Let me paint a picture by means of com- parison. The first year I was in Burlington, I didn't know any believers under the age of 30. The church plant started in 2017 with 12 people, and I was the only single adult. Three years later, there is now 1) a growing collegiate ministry at Champlain College resulting in dozens of students getting baptized; 2) approximately 150 people attending Sunday services; 3) diversity in age and race which is rare for our area; 4) a thriving core group of Spirit-filled, Christ-exalting believers. What have you seen God do through your ministry (college students and church)?

How can we pray for you? Financial Support: Living in Burlington is expensive. I may need to transition to a bi-vocational ministry if I cannot complete raising my funds. I need $1,600/month to be on budget. More Leaders and Harvesters: Raise up men and women from our congregation to proclaim the Gospel and shepherd His people locally and globally.

Michael is the CEO and President of the Dow Chemical Employee Credit Union. He and his wife, Claudia, have three children: George (married to Donielle), Katina and Giselle. Michael and Claudia currently live in Midland, MI. Michael & Claudia Goad


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Deborah (Thayer ‘87) McLain and her husband, Charlie, live in Massachusetts where she is a small business owner working as a bookkeeper and is a part-time author. They have two adult children, Jonathan (24) and Michelle (19). David Smith ‘89 and his wife, Ginger, live in South Carolina where he is the Music and Administrative Pastor at Grace Baptist Church. He also travels as a soloist, conductor, and does hymn history concerts. David credits the Bible Institute for a great biblical foundation for his continued education that allowed him to double up in college. He has earned doctorates in Theology and Conducting.They have four adult children. Rachel (Woodard ‘89) Poole lives in South Carolina. She is a Client Service Associate and Operations Manager at Williams Wealth Management. She has two children: Tori (18) and Zach (16). 1990’s Tanya (Stewart ‘96) Monts and her husband, Michael, live in Florida. She is a stay-at-home mom and works with the youth group and ladies' ministry at church. They have three children: Chandler (18), Dawson (13), and Lauren (10). Kristen (Wagner ‘96) Reed and her husband, Will, Jr., live in Pennsylvania. She is a homemaker for their family of two children: Hannah (12) and Will, III (10). Elisabeth (Keyes ‘97 & ‘98) Carter and her husband, David, live in Florida. She has worked as a missionary with CEF, but is currently a stay-at- home homeschooling mom to their son, Joshua (7). Sherri (Pratt ‘99) Oliver and her husband, Bobby, live in Maine. She is a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mom to their five children: Alan (18), Alex (16), Shaelyn (14), Aaron (5), and Leah (4). Jim ‘00 & Rachel (Van Tuinen ‘99) Lockwood live in Michigan where Jim has been the Executive Director of Lincoln Lake Camp since 2009. They have five children. 2000’s Jeremy Chesser ‘02 and his wife, Teesha, live in Ohio where he is a full-time firefighter, paramedic, and Fire/EMS instructor. They have two children: Kayleigh and Julius. Lydia (Lutz ‘02) Brinckerhoff and her husband, Matt, live in Pennsylvania where she is a stay- at-home mom to their six children: Rachel (15), Hannah (13), Ethan (11), Brielle (9), Benjamin (4), and Caleb (1½).

Andrew Yoder ‘06 lives in Pennsylvania where he works as an Audi parts consultant.

Caleb Fetterhoff ‘07 is currently completing his fifth year of ministry with Africa Inland Mission in Lesotho, Africa. He lives and works with mostly illiterate shepherds learning their language and then sharing the gospel with them. Catrina Anderson ‘07 lives in Florida where she is working in human resources for the State of Florida Department of Health. Rachel (Boddie ‘08 & ‘09) Barney and her husband, Oliver, live in Pennsylvania where she is the Director of Marketing & Business Development for JHA Companies, an Engineering & Land Surveying Company. They are expecting their first little one in July. 2010’s Jeffrey ‘10 & Candi (Hall ‘10) Moser live in North Carolina where Jeff is a heavy equipment operator and Candi is a stay-at-home mom. They have two children: Destini and Jeffrey III. Melanie Abernathy ‘11 lives in Virginia where she works as a nanny. She also works in the sound booth and in the kid’s ministries at church. Leah (Segretti ‘12) Williams and her husband, Tyler, live in Upstate New York where she works as a Teaching Aid. Allen Stewart ‘12 and his wife, Tiffany, live in North Carolina where he is on active duty with the Marine Corps. They have a daughter, Kylee (2). Elizabeth (Stevens ‘14) Condado and her husband, Rodemae (WOLBI Philippines graduatate) , are missionaries in the Philippines with Fellowship International Missions. They are expecting their second child in July.




Alumni Updates

1970’s Lauren ’73 and Kathleen (Mowers ‘73) Bitikofer are both retired from careers in Christian education, Kathy at the high school level and Lauren at the collegiate level. Lauren retired as Professor Emeritus last year after 42 years at LeTourneau University. Joseph Terrell ‘74 and his wife, Bonnie, live in Iowa. He has been a pastor since 1987. They have three adult children: Benjamin, Nathan, and Mary. Suzanne (Stratton ‘75) Livermore and her husband, Brian, have six adult children that are all married with kids. They live in Idaho where she is a pastor’s wife with 40 plus years in ministry and 25 at the same church. Tim Kaufman ‘76 and his wife, Alicia, live in Florida where Tim works as a corporate trainer and a worship leader. They have five children: Alexandra (Kaufman ‘04 & ‘05) Claiborne, married to Nate Clairborne ‘04 & ‘05; Amber (Kaufman ‘04) Clark, married to Andrew Clark; Sophia (Kaufman ‘09) Duke, married to Spencer Duke ‘09; Ivan ‘11; and Naomi. Mark ‘79 and Denise (Delithanasis ‘77) Stevanus have been serving as missionaries to southern Italy since the fall of 1988, where they

raised their four children, all of whom actively serve in local or foreign church ministries.


Dan ‘79 & Sherry (Jackson ‘80) Yeaton live in New Hampshire. They have four adult children: Joel ‘07, Tyler, Beth (Yeaton ‘11) Taylor, and Caitlin. They also have one granddaughter, Layla (11 months). Dan works in sales for a lumber company and Sherry works in billing for an oil & propane company. 1980’s Mark Hewitt ‘81 and his wife, Carolyn, live in Missouri where he has worked on the Facilities Team at Antioch Bible Baptist Church for 13 years after retiring from the Ford Motor Company in 2007. They have four adult children: Jacob (29), Kyle (27), Julie (25), and Michael (23) and one 6-month old grandson. Bill White ‘81 and his wife, Lori, live in Indiana. Bill works for Andretti AutoSport. He says “It (the Bible Institute) was a great way to establish a firm foundation before launching into the world.” Maxine (Dopkowski ‘86) Gifford is married to Matthew and works in a hospital and does in- home care for the elderly. They live in Michigan and have two daughters.


Joselyn Clark ‘14 lives in Pennsylvania where she works as a preschool aid at a Christian school.


Caleb Ingvaldsen '14 & ‘15 and his wife, Hannah, live in Kentucky where Caleb is a Kitchen Director at Chick-fil-A. He is also a youth leader and drummer on the praise team at church. They have a 1-year-old son, Rohan. Kaylee (Russell ‘16) Owens and her husband, Caleb, live in Pennsylvania. Kaylee is the office manager for her husband’s auto repair business. She plays bass in the church worship band and she and her husband are youth leaders and each teach a ninth grade girls' and guys' small group.





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Paul Bubar Home with the Lord

Alumni Weddings

Connect with us! To update your information, visit June 20 – Justin ‘12 & ‘14 & Alicia (Hosan ‘12 & ‘13) Cousins June 20 – Micah ’18 & ’19 & Davita (Cochran ’18 & ’19) Lawson June 20 – Emmett ‘15 & ’16 & Lindsey (Shumaker ’17 & ’18) Lorette June 20 – Asher ’15 & ’16 & Emily Rabquer Introducing Mr. & Mrs... March 18 – Peter ’17 & Megan Montgomery April 2 – Adam ‘15 & Anna (Stursberg ‘11 & '12) Gettle April 5 – Caleb ‘17 & Rebekah Farnsworth April 11 – Richard ‘17 & Destiny (Swainston ‘19) McCollum April 18 – Jonathan ‘17 & Madison (Vrabel ‘17) Sims May 2 – Michiah ‘18 & ‘19 & Hannah (Ford ‘18 & ‘19) Maxwell May 23 – Stephan ‘16 & ‘17 & Hannah (Stebner ‘17 & ‘18) Harness May 30 – Andrew ‘19 & Jacqueline (Barnes ‘19) Lintner

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

March 1933 – May 2020


Our dear friend and co-laborer, Paul Bubar, went Home to be with his Lord on May 16, 2020. He, along with his wife, Shirley, served with Word of Life Fellowship for almost 60 years. Growing up the son of an Independent Baptist preacher, Paul began ministry by planting the Northfield Baptist Church in Northfield, Massachusetts, the hometown of Evangelist D.L. Moody. He officially started his pastorate there in 1955. Sensing God’s call to devote his life ministering to today’s youth, he left the pastorate in 1959 to join the Word of Life team and pioneered the Bible Club ministry that today serves local churches worldwide. Paul directed the Word of Life Island in the 1970s, where thousands of teens came and many received Christ as Savior. In 1987, he was appointed the Director of Word of Life’s International Ministries Division. Under his capable and creative leadership, the ministry grew from 26 to 44 international fields. In 1998, Paul assumed the role of General Manager of the Word of Life Inn and Conference Center. Until recently, Paul joyfully served as a ministry representative and engaged in evangelism and encouraged local church pastors and business owners. During his years living in the Schroon Lake area, he loved and served his local church and community. He and Shirley were married 57 years, and God blessed them with four children, three of whom are serving the Lord and one who went to Heaven in 1996 while serving as a missionary with Word of Life Hungary. Paul has left an indelible mark on the entire ministry of Word of Life... and all our lives. What an outstanding example of faithfulness and enthusiasm in serving Christ. Imagine the sheer joy he experienced as he stepped onto heaven’s shores and heard Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” The entire Bubar family appreciates your prayers. On Friday, October 9, at 6:30 PM, a memorial service will take place at the Jack Wyrtzen Center in Pottersville, New York.

Ephesians 3:20-21



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