October 2016

Dear Friends,

December in Colorado Springs in unpredictable.  I rode my bycycle in sunny 65* yesterday, but we may get a bit of snow later today.  Weather forecasters here have to ready for anything.

  Our Fall academic semester will end soon.  Beth has kept busy dashing around to teach or supervise her students (children of recent immigrants) at four different schools.  This year her schools are much closer to each other and closer to home.  She now spends much less time in traffic than she did last year, plus she can occasionally dash home for lunch.  I've been teaching one English writing class at a nearby community college, and soon I'll be grading their finals.

This is also a busy season for International Student Ministry (ISM).  Here in Colorado Springs, ISM works very closely with another ministry called International Students, INC (ISI).  ISI has lots of events throughout the year.  Between ISM and ISI, there's something going on every week - a game night, a hike in the mountains, dinner & discussion, or one of the holiday events.  These are all chances to meet students and build deeper friendships toward sharing the gospel

For Thanksgiving and Christmas break we have had many students for other countries over to our house.  When their campus is empty, the international students who don't have money to fly home can feel pretty lonely.  Early this year we had an Asian potluck, in which our friends each brought their favorite dish.  Dong and Shayne and Patrick were there.  We plan to do another Asian potluck to invite these guys and a few more.

One of my 'fishing buddies' Y--, from Kuwait, who appeared in my last letter, have become friends and he feels free to ask me about almost anything.  I can also learn a lot from him about Islam.  Other Muslim guys (from Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt) also want me to take them fishing, but the lake is now freezing over, so we'll have to wait until Spring.

My last trip to the lake was with A--s.  He came from Iraq, where he was an interpreter/translator for the US military in Bagdad.  We met a few weeks ago, and he really wanted to go fishing.  God answered prayer for perfect weather and fish-five big trout - plus some deep conversations!  We talked about almost everything but he especially wanted to talk about faith:  What's the difference between Jews and Christians?  Between Catholics and Protestants?  What is grace?  What does the Christian holy book say about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Mary & Joseph, and Jesus (who also apprear in the Muslim Koran)?  How can Jesus be God if he got himself killed?  He rose again?  What's this 'trinity' idea all about?  We had a long, fascinating discussion.  Pray for my relationship with A--.  I'd love to study the Bible with him.

In November, the Navigators ISM had a conference here in Colorado.  Beth and I were happy to get better acquainted with some wonderful colleagues.  Like us, most of these folks ministered overseas somewhere before working among international students here in the US universities.

Beth and I would also like prayer for our parents, who are in their mid to late 80's.  Beth's mom fell, broke 2 vertebrae, damaged her spinal cord, and is no longer able to get around.  Beth and her sister, Donna, will be moving their mom from Florida to Virginia, where Donna lives.  Beacuse they are both teachers, they need to move her between sememster, during the Christmas -  New Year break.  Pray for Beth, Donna and Mom - this will be a difficult process.

Finally my dear frind Patrick would like to thank you, so I have included his note below.

Dear Friends of Jeff:

Hello!  My name is Peng Cheng (or Patrick), a chinese guy working here in the US.  I met Jeff last year during an international Sutdent Christmas party.  I was quite astonished to learn that Jeff lived in my hometown, Wuhu, from 1989-1992.  Later, I ran into tough times, and Jeff starts to have regular meetings with me and hear my problems.  I was so grateful that he was there when my problems seemed overwhelming.

Looking back.  I can see Lord Jesus arranged Jeff to by my mentor to bring me closer to Himself.  Since then I've been meeting with Jeff every week to study the Bible, discuss important questions and pray together.  I believe God is using Jeff to equip me for His future work

I was led to know a few more mentors later, and their viewpoints on important issus like God's charachter, conditions for salvation, etc. all agree, and are confirmed by Holy Spirit living in me, so I know I got a good mentor that was sent by Himself.  I am so grateful for that.  Besides all this, Jeff really cares for my wellbeing, it's such a blessing to know him!

Now I really want to thank you who financially support and pray for Jeff and Beth.  I'm so happy that they have friends like you to support his work, so now I can worry less about him. 

I pray that God will bless you for your kind effort and faithful heart.  I look forward to meet some of you one day in Heaven if not here on earth.  Be blessed by God and have a wonderful day!

             Patrick

 

Forgive this lengthy epistle - much to share with you.  Let us end, though, by agreeing with Patrick, thank you for your faithful kindness to us.  May you have a merry Christmas!

 

Jeff & Beth Stebbins 

 

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