Summer 2023 Update

Dear and Hope Family,

Greetings in the name of Jesus. I hope your summer has been going well. Mine has been a little intense. On August 2, I wrapped up trying to learn Hebrew in less than eight weeks. The pace was fast; we averaged a chapter per day, quizzes three days per week, and a test every Friday. It was hard to maintain that pace, but I survived…and I passed!

Now, I am on break from school until the Fall quarter begins September 5. However, that does not mean I am resting on my laurels. I am still helping with services each Sunday, and with chapel at the Seminary. Around the house, there is so much to do that has been waiting for me to have free time. We harvested another 150 bales of hay from a neighbor’s field, and I repaired a fence line bordering the sheep pasture. 

Yesterday, we moved and spread out two tons of rock along the house to prevent

erosion and muddy shoes. We have also been working on other smaller projects around the farm to get as much done as we can before school starts. All this physical labor can be exhausting but it is a nice break from sitting in a classroom, the library, or at home studying.

A “Thank you” seems so inadequate to express the gratitude I have that you have chosen to support Jeanette and I on this journey. Your prayers and financial support are very much appreciated and help to sustain us through the fast pace of school and the added stress being in school creates at home. Knowing you are behind us to support us is a such comfort to us. May God continue to bless you and your commitment to his kingdom.

In Christ,


Spring 2023 Update

Dear Hope Family,

Well, the first year is complete. It was very challenging and stressful at times but, as always, rewarding. I am writing you today from sunny Huntsville, AL where Jeanette and I are visiting our son and his family. And adding excitement to the visit, we are celebrating our oldest grandchild’s (Elizabeth) fifth birthday. When we return to Fort Wayne, we will be celebrating our second oldest grandchild’s (Calliann) fifth birthday (they were born 17 days apart). Oh what a joy and blessing children and grandchildren are from the Lord.

Since I last wrote, I finished off the winter quarter and completed the spring quarter. During the spring quarter, I had four classes in addition to New Testament Greek readings and Field Education. I took Pauline Epistles in which we studied Galatians and Romans. These are what are called exegetical classes, which means we really dig into the Greek to understand what is being communicated. I have come to really enjoy exegetical studies and thoroughly examining scripture. I find that digging into the original language gives a much deeper meaning than only reading an English translation. I also had more church history. This course covered the history of theology between post-reformation (~1550) and today. It has been a wild ride, theologically speaking, since the Reformation. It is interesting to see how many groups have splintered off as they interpret scripture differently, or take portions of scripture out of context, or try to explain the mysteries of God that we as human beings just cannot comprehend.

Next is Pastoral Theology I. This was a course that covered different situations that pastors will face in their ministry and how best to respond to them based on Scripture and the advice and guidance of those that have gone before us. Finally, I had Catechetics. In Catechetics, we learn how to teach Luther’s Small Catechism to confirmands and to adult new members. We also covered teaching in general to prepare the Bible studies that we will give as pastors. For my final project in this class, I created an eight-session class teaching the Lord’s Prayer from Luther’s Large Catechism that is geared toward adults. I found reading what Luther writes about the Lord’s Prayer fascinating. I had never imagined the Lord’s Prayer carrying so much meaning and weight as it does. If you have never read Luther’s explanation of the Lord’s Prayer in the Large Catechism, I highly recommend it.

For an update on things that have been happening outside of the classroom, on March 8, I gave my first real sermon in front of a congregation. That was scary and intimidating but also very rewarding to share God’s word with his people. I look forward to continuing to develop into a stronger sermon writer and feel more comfortable in the pulpit. My pastor says I will have more opportunities over the summer to deliver additional sermons. On nearly every Sunday I am reading scripture or leading the congregation through the Introit and trading off with our vicar in helping pastor distribute communion.

We started raising sheep this past year as well. We got our first adults in August; they had babies in January. It has been fun watching them grow and seeing how much we humans are like sheep and why Jesus uses that as an example throughout the Bible. Another thing we will be doing when we get back to Fort Wayne is harvesting hay. This will be my first time, and I am sure it will be a lot of “fun” and hard work. We will also be planting our garden. We will have plenty of hot peppers, tomatoes, herbs, corn, squash and of course a few pumpkins for the grandkids to paint and carve. Oh, and lest I forget, we are also raising Guinea Fowl. After observing these birds for a while, I think I know where the term bird brain may have originated. The Guinea Fowl are not very smart when it comes to common sense, or any sense for that matter. They routinely run in front of oncoming cars in the driveway, and somehow, they forget they can fly over fences. Instead, they squawk like they are trapped because they cannot figure out how to walk around the fence. They also have not figured out that they need to lay on their eggs to get them to hatch. Therefore, we are adding Rhode Island Red chickens to the flock to help with the incubation because they will incubate any egg you put in their nest. Regardless of all the quirkiness, it is good to enjoy God’s creation from this perspective.

Well, pardon the interruption. I got busy with a birthday party and a day at the Huntsville Botanical Garden. We are now back in Fort Wayne. They hay has been harvested and some of the garden planted. Yesterday, we spent a lovely day at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo for Calliann’s birthday.

What is next? This week is the second week of a three-week break before my summer term starts on June 12 when I will be attempting to learn Hebrew. The course lasts 8 weeks meeting 4 hours per day in class plus 1-2 hours per day for tutoring. This seems to be shaping up as a real challenge. I have started some pre-gaming by trying to learn the Hebrew alphabet and learn how to write it. The other big obstacle is that it is written/read from right to left. At this point, Hebrew seems scarier than Greek.

Well, I better get back to studying. Thank you again for your prayers and financial support.

In Christ,


Winter 2023 Update

Dear  Hope Family,

Greetings from “balmy” Fort Wayne, IN. I pray you are all doing well and surviving the winter...LOL. We miss you all, our Hope family, and wow, do we miss Florida in the winter. It was quite chilly here at Christmas dropping down into the single digits...brrrrrrr. The temps returned more to normal for this time of year, which is in the 30’s.

It seems like time is really flying by. I just resumed winter quarter on Jan 9 after three weeks off for Christmas break. The break was very nice for Jeanette and me -aside from the below average temps.

We hosted 36 members of our family at our house on Christmas Day, including our son and his family from Huntsville, AL. We were also blessed with the birth of grandchild number six on November 22. Her name is Rosalee. As added bonuses (blessings), she was baptized on Christmas Day, and I had the honor of assisting as the field worker (see picture). A full house is such a wonderful feeling of love and a nice reminder of what a blessing family is, especially when you can get all six grandchildren to sit still-ish long enough to get a picture (see below).

However, break wasn’t all relaxation and reunions. I had to read a biography on Martin Luther and write a report about the book. I read, Here I Stand, by Roland Bainton. It was the first biography of Luther I have ever read. I enjoyed learning about Luther finding it fascinating. If you have never studied Luther, I highly recommend it. 

Other things I am learning about this quarter are the Reformation, the Gospels

of Luke and Mark, the Lutheran Confessions, and learning how to write sermons. The seminary is challenging, but I enjoy it and love the learning.

Thank you again for your prayers and financial support.

In Christ,


Fall 2022 Update

Dear Hope Family, 

Greetings in the name of our crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ! 

This is a quick update to let you know I passed Greek with flying colors. Praise God!! Now for the “real work”. Fall classes began September 6. I have a full schedule with Gospels I, New Testament Greek Readings, Church History I, Liturgics I, and Dogmatics I. 

In addition to my classes, I have Field Education. Fieldwork, as students call it, involves being assigned to a local church to participate in the life of the church. I will be helping with services and possibly a Sunday school or confirmation class; basically, learning the ropes of the pastor’s job. This past Sunday, October 2, I was installed as a Fieldworker at Faith Lutheran Church, Churubusco, IN. It certainly was a strange feeling to wear a “collar”. The photo of Jeanette and I (below) was taken after the service for the newsletter. 

This class load keeps me very busy and feeling overwhelmed many days. I know that the only way I am progressing through this journey is prayers from those lifting me up to the Lord. I am excited that you have joined me on this journey and will be praying for me; God knows I need your prayers! Thank you again for your support and prayers. 

The Peace of Jesus be upon you, 



Summer 2022 Update

Dear Hope Family,


I am grateful and humbled by your prayers, generosity, and adoption.  I received the $750 gift in my account, which helped me to cover my health insurance premium for July.  It is greatly appreciated and timely.  What a blessing it is to work together to fulfill Mathew 9:37-38; “Then he [Jesus] said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’”


As far as my journey is going, I am exactly halfway through Summer Greek.  Wow is it intense.  I have class beginning at 7:30AM Monday-Friday for 3 hours (4 on Tue/Thurs) and spend the rest of the day doing homework, studying, and helping my classmates.  I come home around 5:00PM for a supper break then study again from 7PM-10PM.  It is exhausting but rewarding with only five more weeks to go..  I have never formerly learned a foreign language before and was apprehensive about this class.  However, it appears God has blessed me with a knack for learning other languages (or at least Greek…we will have to see how Hebrew goes) as I am doing quite well up to this point. I pray this trend continues. I find it very exciting to open the Greek New Testament and be able to read it in the original language.    


Now, as you may have already concluded from my schedule, Jeanette has become a “Greek Widow”.  If she asks me about doing this or that, I say, “Let’s talk in September.”  She is keeping herself busy with the two grandchildren and their parents that live here in Fort Wayne.  Speaking of grandchildren, we are now up to five with number six due at the end of November.  The other three live in Huntsville, AL so we do not get to see them as often.  Oh, Jeanette is doing a gut-and-remodel of her dad’s bathroom too. Busy, busy 😊


I look forward to sending future updates (and maybe a visit) as our journey together continues.  Thank you again for your support!


ἡ εἰρήνη τοῦ Ἰησοῦ,

(The peace of Jesus)