October 2016

Dear Friends,

Our last letter asked you to pray for our upcoming training conference for students who had come to Christ and were returning to their home countries.  Ten intense, wonderful days left us exhausted as we strove to prepare them to live in Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, animist and communist environments in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere.  Thank you for praying; most students expressed how valuable the time here was in their current and future walk with God.

 

Summer can be an odd time of year when ministering amon international students. during school years, we generally know where 'our' students are and what they're doing:  in class, up late cramming for an exam, sleeping in...but during summer, a few are here taking summer classes, some are home (India, Kuwaits, China, Nigeria, Finland, wherever) eating mom's cooking and relaxing, and some have internships with local companies.  But we have no idea where many are until they show up again in August and tell us about their summer.

 

Among those who stayed here for the summer, I took several on excursions into the mountains - camping, fishing, hiking, and 'four-wheeling' The Indian city of Chennai has a poplulation of 10 million, with one tree for every 33 residents.  Imagin what our Colorado forests look like to Thiru & Malathi, from Chennai.  We had deep conversations when I took Thiru camping and fishing, and when I took both of them up a rough 4WD road up to a buautifully remote site near Mount Princeton.  While I've known a lot of Hindus and have read about Hinduism, it was my first chance to ask a believer many questions about his religion.  Pray for my relationship with Thiru and other Indian men.

 

As I mentioned in our last letter, most of my international friends are Muslims, and I'm learning a lot about Islam.  I recommend Nabeel Qureshi's book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus - a fascinating account of his difficult journey to faith in Christ.  Only 34, Nabeel died of cancer a year ago, but not before writing three excellent books.  You can also find videos of him speaking on YouTube.

 

One dear Muslim friend, NS, planns to join my elk hunting group in mid-October.  I hut with two guys from our church; pray that we'll have a week of fruitful conversations.  Beth says it would also be great if we came home with some groceries...

 

Last month started out with a big international potluck/picnic on Independence Day.  Not many Americans celebrate July 4th wtih delecious Indian biryani, spicy Thai curry, tasty Arab lamb kebabs, and sweet French pastries - but that's what we did.  To be fair, there were also some hot dogs and watermelon, but they weren't the main attractions.  We also played a lot of fun games together in the hot sun.  I especially enjoyed a long conversation with a student from China.

 

In late August we'll have our annual "wild West Welcome' at a ranch north of town - we'll have square dancing, a bit of rodeo, some games, and of course lots of food.  This will be our chance to welcome the newly-arrived int'l students studying at the fice colleges in town.  It's a great chance to begin life-changing relationships.

 

Sept 21-23 I have been asked to speak to a large gathering of Colorado's int'l students from universities in Denver, Boulder, Fort Collings, Greeley and Pueblo.  It'll be a weekend conference; I'm scheduled to speak once Firday, three times Saturday, and once Sunday.  These will be unbelievers from all over the world, and I'll be grateful for your prayers.  May the Holy Spirit guide me in speaking Turth and open the hearts of those who hear it.

 

Beth recently returned from Virginia, where her mother has been staying with Beth's sister, Donna.  You may recall that, a year ago, Mom fell and suffered debilitating spinal injuries.  After a very difficult year, Mom is now finally settled in a fine assisted living facitlity close to Donna.  We thank God that, with much physical therapy, she has also recovered some of her mobility.

 

Thank you for praying for my recently-widowed mother.  She is healthy and God is comforting her as she misses Dad.  My sister, Jennifer, has just moved from Vietnam to live near Mom in Florida.  Jennifer will continue to have a ministry, though - focusing on Vietnamese living here in the U.S.

 

We have previously mentioned our efforts to get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for Eva.  Without it she has little chance of ever moving out to other supervised houseing.  After being twice denied, we now have the help of a lawyer.  After gathering all that we know of to document Ev'as disabilities, we finally have a court date for our appeal - Sept 18th  Please pray.

 

In June, Anke and Jay come to stay in our house with Eva for two weeks so that Beth and I could take a vacation.  Other than a night or two here and there, it was our first extended getaway since 1994.  We drove 3,987 miles through Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Nevada - camping most night and staying with friends or relatives a few nights. 

 

Beth has now returned to school and I will start teaching a community college class soon.  While we'll be busier, we have much for which to be grateful, among them your great kindness to us.  We thank you for your concern, prayers, support and love.  As you have blessed us, may our God richly bless you in many ways.

 

 

Jeff & Beth Stebbins 

 

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