As the wave broke, we scrambled back up the beach in vain to avoid the cold water. Antonia, a second-year student, seemed delighted by her wet pants legs—since outdoor activities on the high plains of her family farm in rural Alberta, Canada, are quite different in mid-October.
It was our annual School of Intercultural Studies Beach Day last Saturday, October 11. Among those who joined us were students and friends from Australia, Burkina Faso, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Jordan, Lebanon, Norway, Peru, and the U.S. This is pretty standard for our school. One-third of the new students in our English MA program are internationals this year. Adding to the wonderful diversity are our co-presidents of the Graduate Union, Jalissa from New Mexico (my home state) and Andrea from Texas. Although the temperature was cooler than previous days, the fellowship and fun were warm for all of us. Based on the enthusiasm of the group, we are in for a great year!
Each Tuesday afternoon, our faculty meets for two hours of fellowship, prayer, and a presentation of a paper by one of the faculty on an area of interest or current research. A few years ago, I broke into the routine, taking the second Tuesday of each month for our faculty business meeting. At first it seemed an intrusion, but over the past couple of years we have settled into a good routine. Last Tuesday Bryant Myers shared insights from a paper he presented to a conference on transformational development held in Oregon this past summer. Like many of our faculty, Bryant took a few students with him to expose them to the wider conversation amongst development practitioners. A couple of the students told me that they were so proud to be with their professor, especially when the other students attending commented on how great it must be to study with such an outstanding professor. Part of the thrust of Bryant's message is that our practice of development must not be divorced from our proclamation of the gospel. As he puts it, our actions must result in "provoking the question," which naturally leads to sharing the good news.
This week I will have the privilege of hosting Rev. Enoch De Assis and five Christian leaders from Brazil, Egypt, India, and Venezuela. Enoch is an outstanding alumnus from our school and the pastor of global outreach at Bel Air Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles. I first met Enoch in a class I was teaching on leadership. An ordained Presbyterian minister from Brazil, Enoch now has a ministry that is truly global. Visits from global leaders are a common experience here at Fuller Seminary. It is an honor to host people whose dedication to the gospel spans the globe.
Along with all the hospitality, fellowship, and interaction with students, our faculty are also busy producing some of the most outstanding resources available for the cause of world missions. Last month Dudley Woodberry, a mission scholar who has dedicated his life in ministry to Muslims, published a remarkable study of the state of missions in the Islamic world, entitled From Seed to Fruit. As the senior editor, Dudley brought together a range of significant new articles that will provide important insights not only for missionaries, but also for prayerful Christians who are concerned with our witness to Muslims. If you are interested in purchasing a copy, you can buy it directly from the publisher, William Carey Library, at williamcareylibrary.gospelcom.net.
We are in a very exciting time in the life of our school. Great students and a world-class faculty combine to make this one of the most strategic centers for global mission. As you think of us, please pray that we will discern the Lord's will on an individual basis and as a community of God's people committed to world evangelization.