God has been doing some amazing things through Eternity Bible College. As we look back on 2015, God’s faithfulness is clear. In this short video, Spencer MacCuish, our president, explains some of the milestones we crossed in 2015 and looks forward to some of our prayers for 2016. Please watch this video and prayerfully consider how you might partner with us in this.
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Rarely is training glamorous; rarely is it exciting. Training is usually incredibly difficult and labor intensive. Seasons of training are hardly desirable but almost always necessary. The most compelling part of robust training is often seeing what is being produced. Here is an example of what is being produced from Eternity Bible College.
Lucas Everett is part of an amazing legacy. Over forty years ago his grandparents started the first school for deaf children in the entire country of Mexico, Rancho Sordo Mudo. As a result of this ministry, the deaf of Mexico had an opportunity for education. They now had access to vocational training. But even more importantly, this meant that the deaf people of Mexico could learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the very first time.
Lucas’ father, Luke, continued the Everett legacy of faithfully serving God at Rancho Sordo Mudo. God has given Luke an incredible story, and an amazing ability tocommunicate that story. As a result, awareness of the ranch has grown substantially and now has hundreds of graduates and over 40 fully residential students annually.
In 2009, Luke and Lucas visited Eternity Bible College; soon after, Lucas enrolled and began his training. Four years later, Lucas went back to the Ranch, degree in hand.
Lucas now serves alongside his father in caring for the deaf children. Lucas has served as a teacher, dorm parent, and spiritual mentor to many at the ranch. In addition to serving the students and staff at the ranch, Luke and Lucas are actively engaged in opening other schools for the deaf across Mexico and into Central America. Consistent with the original vision for Rancho Sordo Mudo, this is all being done so that the deaf community can learn about Jesus and be equipped to engage society.
In order for Lucas to be able to actively engage in advancing the Gospel within the deaf community, he needed to be trained. He needed to be equipped to know the Bible well. Eternity Bible College provided that training so that Lucas could think and respond biblically as he leads aspects of this important ministry. As significant as the training itself has proven in Lucas’ life, it’s also true that Lucas could not be doing the work he does if he had accumulated college debt.
Reflecting on his son’s leadership at the ranch, Luke says:
“It has been a beautiful blessing to see Lucas transformed into the Godly man he is because of God and Eternity Bible College. I was really sick and incapacitated during our first week of school at the ranch, and Lucas stepped right in, picked up the mantel, and ran with it. I’m not just saying this because he is my son (many have affirmed this), but Lucas is an amazing Bible teacher. I love hearing him ‘bring it’ to our staff every Sunday. He has such enthusiasm and joy when he is preaching/teaching, and his appetite to continue learning encourages me. Lucas has taught me a lot.”
It is exciting to see the role that Eternity Bible College gets to play in helping equip people for lives of Gospel service. The desire at Eternity has always been to provide biblical training without student debt. Will you consider an end of year gift or a recurring monthly gift to help further the mission of Eternity Bible College?
Eternity Bible College is on the move! God has called us to make rigorous biblical education accessible to as many as possible and we do that many different ways, including this blog. Another means we are employing to fulfill that calling is through extension classes, and eventually extension campuses, all over the US and the world. We are in the process of launching an extension site in Boise, Idaho, and I recently had the privilege of visiting Boise.
Several months ago, after much prayer and discussion, we sent Preston Sprinkle and his family to Boise where they have settled into their new home. Preston is investing this first year to building awareness, exploring the possibilities, and seeking local church support of an extension campus in Boise. He recently set up and scheduled an information event, invited local pastors and other interested parties, and I traveled north to attend that event.
It was exciting! The attendance approached 60 people, and many shared their excitement that Eternity was coming to their city. Numerous pastors expressed support. There is already a financial investment, not to mention emotional, spiritual, and logistic support. Preston is slowly building a faculty. (NOTE: Eternity relies heavily on adjunct professors, employing pastors and others who have the academic credentials, but who are also active, current ministry practitioners.) Locations for the campus are being discussed, and many are offering advice, possibly shared-space, etc. The excitement and enthusiasm was palpable. I even met a young lady who was totally committed to being our first student next fall!
Yes, classes will begin on location in Boise in Fall 2015! We will offer the full first year curriculum in 2015/16, adding each successive year’s curriculum each successive year. So as of next fall, students will have two destination campuses to choose from, Simi Valley CA or Boise ID, as well as taking our full program online.
Eternity is committed to the local church, and it is imperative to us that the churches in a specific location want our presence there. It was abundantly clear to me that the churches of the greater Boise area want us in their city. We are thankful for the opportunity, and excited about the possibilities as we continue to provide opportunities for God’s people to pursue rigorous Biblical education.
Follow the progress of the Boise Campus at the Eternity Bible College Boise Extension facebook page.
I am excited about the upcoming release of You & Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity by Francis and Lisa Chan. The book will release next week: August 26. And while I think the cover design is excellent, I wish Francis hadn’t chosen to use a hand model. So here is my proposed cover revision (which will also require a reformatting of the page layout due to its unconventional height).
This is just a mockup, of course, since nobody knows the actual length of “Francis Fingers.” (Though there are rumors that he can palm an ESV Study Bible.)
You & Me Forever releases next week (Aug 26), and it will be available at regular book outlets and at youandmeforever.org (100% of the net proceeds will fund important projects around the world). For more on the book, and why I think this particular marriage book is vital for the church today, click here.
DISCLAIMER: I am a huge fan of Francis Chan and the message God has given him to preach. His fingers make him neither more nor less adequate as a minister of the gospel. God looks not on the length of the fingers, but on the heart.
On August 26, you’ll get to read another powerful book from Francis Chan.
Francis has been hinting at writing a book about marriage for years now, but other important projects have taken priority. But now the wait is (almost) over. Francis and Lisa have been working together on this book, entitled You & Me Forever, and it will finally be available at the end of August.
Francis and Lisa will tell you that there are many good books on marriage available. If you’re anywhere near the “marriage arena,” chances are you’ve read at least a couple. While You & Me Forever isn’t going to replace the best marriage books out there, it does offer a unique approach—an approach I’ve never seen before. Honestly, I wish this book had been available when I was preparing for marriage, and I plan to use it when I do premarital counseling with engaged couples.
The unique approach is evident from the first pages, when Francis says:
“Even now, I am working to make sure that my family is set up for the future. When most people make that statement, they are talking about financial security for their last few years on earth. When I say it, I’m referring to the millions of years that come after that.”
You & Me Forever is all about viewing marriage in light of eternity. With chapter titles like “Marriage Isn’t that Great” and “Don’t Waste Your Marriage,” the emphasis is on how marriage fits within God’s overarching plan, how marriage displays God’s glory, and how marriage functions as a part of God’s mission for us on earth.
What you won’t find here is a handbook of communication principles, advice to strengthen your sex life, or guidelines for handling finances. It’s not that these things are not important, but Francis and Lisa have written a different type of book—partially because that book has been written many times over, and partially because they wanted to write a book about marriage that didn’t focus on marriage.
To be sure, every chapter is about marriage. But Francis and Lisa insist on every page that while marriage is good—wonderful, even—it’s not ultimate. Our marriage-mania can easily push us to idolize marriage, idolize our spouses, idolize our kids.
You & Me Forever provides an excellent model for thinking deeply about marriage while always subordinating marriage to its proper place in relation to the God who made it and the mission he has given us.
What you will find in this book is a high view of God, a genuine delight in God’s gift of marriage, a passion to work on our marriages for the sake of God and his mission, practical stories that show the beauty and tragedy of marriage, and a call to put God first in everything—which is the only way any of us will survive marriage in the first place, let alone glorify God in it.
Francis and Lisa wrote this book together. In every chapter, the bulk of the material is written from Francis’ perspective (that is, the first person pronouns refer to Francis) and then Lisa adds a section to each chapter from her perspective. At times Lisa’s sections are nearly as long as Francis’, at other times it’s significantly shorter. But even the material that Francis wrote from his perspective was a team effort. Both are great writers, and the combination of their voices adds strength to the book.
Another interesting feature of this book is that Francis and Lisa want to use the book as a donation tool. So 100% of the net proceeds will fund a variety of important charities. As has always been the case, Francis is not looking to get rich off of his books (though he certainly could)—he just wants the book to be used for God’s glory at every possible level.
Where to Get It
You will be able to get a copy of the book at regular book outlets and at youandmeforever.org. Once the book releases, there will also be videos corresponding to the each chapter that you’ll be able to access for free at that web address. A workbook is also in the works that will facilitate group discussion and premarital counseling.
A big thank you to Francis and Lisa for continuing to follow the Lord and for sharing their insights in such a gospel-centered way.