College Kids

Macalester Christian Fellowship retreat 2013

Hannah and Justin have finished the college year. Praise God for their exciting summer ministry and learning opportunities. Hannah felt called to do a full-time internship at our home church, Bethel Christian Fellowship. She succeeded in getting funding and was in Tennessee this past week as part of this Lilly discernment grant.

Both of them are very involved in Inter Varsity, which is increasing its impact for God on the Macalester (Mac) campus. Hannah will be president and Justin heading small group ministry next year.  See photo above on MCF on retreat.

Justin and others are at Inter Varsity Chapter Focus Week now. He will spend July at the Inter Varsity Leadership Institute. He is also life guarding at Mac and being a live-in “manny” for Nathan, son of our long time co-worker at BCF and TEAM, Maura and Dan Hackenmueller .

Heavy Hearts at Losing Kirby

The Smiths visit Tanzania in Aug. 2007

Please pray for Steve’s sister Linda in Seattle as she recovers from open heart surgery to repair a valve on May 14. This was exactly 4 weeks after the death of her wonderful husband of 37 years, Kirby Smith.   Pneumonia and leukemia were too much for him.
We celebrate a life lived faithfully – to God, his family, his church and his work.  We treasure sweet memories at family reunions, in Seattle, and especially when he and Linda came to visit us in Tanzania, Aug. 2007 (see photo above).


They were great encouragers to us, TEAM, and LVCC – in their witty comments, through their constant prayers and interest in the ministry, and in their significant financial investment in TEAM (they never missed a monthly check in almost 20 years and doubled it after visiting here).


We will miss Kirby on so many levels.  It has been hard to be away from family, but glad that others including Steve’s sister Lynette, his parents and soon Hannah can be with Linda.

Many out-of-the-ordinary opportunities!

ALS Kenya Team planning, with Dr. Priest

Advanced Contextualization: Suffering, Sickness, Death and Witches – yes, that is Steve’s new PhD class. Pray for the whole class, but especially for one student who buried her mother last Saturday.

This week, Steve meets with an international group of scholars to plan the next steps in the Tyndale-funded Africa Leadership Study (ALS). They will analyze 4000 Kenyan surveys as well as research from the Central African Republic and Angola.

He and 3 other Senior Research Directors will report on influential leaders and organizations they have studied (pictured above).  Pray for the results to contribute to effective church leadership in Africa.

Janice has already interviewed a dozen AIU international students for her MPhil research, which will increase her effectiveness as International Student Coordinator and, hopefully, improve how we all teach internationals.

Praise the Lord, the Bible schools in Tanzania are continuing well.  The Ngara school (near Burundi and Rwanda) is in session right now with 14 students and a line-up of teachers, many who gradated from LVCC.

Rachel and Isaac attend a youth group across town.  They are between leaders, so Steve is leading discussions on “Discerning God’s Will” for 5 weeks.  Pray for a real connection with the kids and for God to speak.

Opportunities in Abundance! – May 2013

God has answered your prayers to open doors. He has given us many opportunities.Now please pray that God will enable us to do his will going through those doors.

 Research and Writing – I have been called to minister through writing. At first, I only met closed doors, but now doors are opening faster than I can go through them. Thankfully two book chapters and a book review were published early this year. The top journal in Missiology is reviewing another article.

 The first of March I led the Africa Society of Evangelical Theology conference as vice chairman and became chairman. I was invited to write up an article from my conference presentation on “Money, Ministry and Middlemen.” This week I have been analyzing the surveys and interviews from our three-year Africa Leadership Study (ALS) and will write a chapter from them.

 June 19-22, I and many of my African colleagues will be presenting on the ALS and also on witch accusations at the American Society of Missiology meetings in St Paul, MN. Afterward, Samuel Kunhiyop and I will meet to work on a book for pastors on how to respond to witches.


Jan’s MPhil thesis draft

Jan (see left) has finished a 220 page MPhil thesis draft on international students at AIU! She has also begun the new PhD in Education here. All of her MPhil credits will apply in the PhD. Pray for how she should use her MPhil thesis.






Teaching – Steve is teaching Intro to Missions and a PhD class on Advanced Contextualization. He taught Leadership Development and Anthropological Research Methods last term. Jan taught Spiritual and Personal Development.

 Pastoring & Administration – For two months I have added another job – Acting Dean of Community Life. This means that I am pastor for the community, including overseeing chapel, grace group, bereavements, etc. but also that I am in meetings most days, sometimes for much of the day.  Jan has settled in another batch of international students and set up a fun hike for international student families in April (see below). 170 international students study at AIU.


AIU international student outing



Pray for AIU Transitions – Please pray for the transitions at Africa International University. After the sudden death of our vice chancellor, the top management is almost all new. Many of our friends and neighbors have also left. Transition to a University is bringing many changes. AIU is trying to sell land to get out of major debt.


AIU gives us opportunity to invest in influential students. They make good impact for God’s kingdom. Some of our alumni and students are former Mus!ims. They have been part of more than 10,0000 Mus!ims following Jesus and more than 100 churches of Mus!im background believers. According to this article, they are not the only ones seeing breakthroughs in the Mus!im world:

In June and July, we have opportunities in the USA to speak in churches, professional meetings and visiting family, friends and supporters. We hope we have opportunity to see you.  Email us or call BCF at 651-645-1534.

 Thanks for your prayer and support!