dcswinford's blog

Still Alive in Malawi


In Malawi

Greetings. Just wanted everyone to know that Mark and I made it safely. I am having some internet issues – it keeps cutting out, so I hope that you receive this email. I haven't been able to read any that I have been sent yet, but hope to find a good connection soon. It might take a few days. We had a scheduling issue (our itinerary didn't match times on ticket) that cut short our time in Johannesburg, but we made the flight and are spending the night in Lilongwe before driving 6-7 hours tomorrow to the Lakeshore area in the far North.

On The Road Again

It's that time again.  Time for another excursion to witness the great things that God is doing around the world and to participate as God opens doors.  It is amazing to see what Sunset is doing on the African continent.  It is such a blessing to serve at the Sunset International Bible Institute in the International Studies Division through our 57 ministry training schools.  Mark Samsill and I will be visiting preachers, teachers and ministry trainers in Malawi, Botswana and South Africa. Normally, this trip would also include Zambia, but I was able to meet with David French of the Mapepe Bible College while he was in Lubbock.  It should be a great opportunity.

Back at LCU

Thanks to my good friends from college on facebook, I am getting to see some pictures of my days as an undergraduate at Lubbock Christian. Pictured here are the men of the social club Alpha Chi Delta.  I am on the 2nd row, just above the "a" in Delta, surrounded by close friends from college days.  What a blessing it was to be at LCC (I was in the last class of LCC before it became LCU).

Now our two sons walk the same campus that Brenda and I walked years ago.  Alan and Daniel are both students at LCU and we are, of course, proud of them.  What's even more amazing is that there are famiy members of other students in this picture that are walking the campus as well.

The Glamour of Mission Work

Truman Scott, pictured here teaching our faculty and staff at a SIBI retreat, has one of the great mission hearts of our generation. While not able to travel as he would like, from his computer he keeps in contact with the world and his leadership and expertise still affect the nations today. As my "forefather" in the International Division, Truman is precious to me and has provided the foundation for any of the good works God has done through my hands. More than that, Truman is a great scholar, author and thinker. He wrote a bulletin article and I thought it would be great to share it with all of you.  He has entitled the article, "The Glamour of Mission Work". 



SIBI Retreat

What an incredible thing it is to gather with the faculty and staff of Sunset and spend time praying, singing and being inspired! It's hard to believe that another year of classes is beginning and tomorrow we will be gathering for chapel and getting back in the flow of ministry training. I am so blessed to work with the greatest group of men and women imaginable.

There were about a dozen or so of our SIBI International Division personnel there as well as those from the Residential and External Studies Divisions.  We had a myriad of meetings, but the most amazing thing was the fellowship and devotion. I have included a picture of the group gathered to sing and spend time reflecting on the things of God. It just doesn't get much better than that! 

Moving Out!

It was an amazing experience to see our older son Alan (pictured in red) head off to our alma mater, Lubbock Christian University a couple of years ago. We were proud of Alan and knew he would do well, but we were also a little grateful to have Daniel (in purple) still at home. This weekend the boys are loading their stuff in the back of our van and pickup and hauling it off to the apartment they will share while they go to LCU. It's quite traumatic and thrilling, which is sort of odd since their apartment is only about a mile away from us! It's a small step, but an important step for the family.

There are several great blessings that come to mind at the moment:

1. Having two sons that are faithful Christians is one of the greatest blessings that Brenda and I share.

Focusing On Missions

Several of us at Sunset were blessed to be together at the Global Missions Conference in Arlington, Texas. It was a great gathering and many of our mission partners were there. Brenda, along with her mother and her sister Sharla, taught the third through sixth graders who attended the conference and several of us (Truitt, Jay and I) were able to teach classes there.

It was great to be reunited wth several of our graduates, including David and Olivia Nelson who are on their way to Kharkov, Ukraine as a part of a church planting team from SIBI and MRN. They met while Olivia was an AIMer in New Zealand. David had lived there most of his life as part of a mission family and was raised as a 'Kiwi'. David and Olivia graciously offered to come a assist in teaching the third through sixth graders about missions.

Danger! Keep Off!

Mission work is not for the faint of heart. It takes courage, boldness and a faith willing to take a step where most in the world would retreat to safety. Daniel Peters from the Auckland AIM team probably shouldn't be in the hanggliders ramp, but his picture reminds me of the heart that you have to have to choose to leave what is comfortable and be thrown into a new and different world for the cause of Christ.

The Sun Sets On Another Wonderful Mission Journey

This will likely be my last blog entry for this missionary journey. My next one will be from the Global Missions Conference in Arlington, Texas this coming week (make plans to come and attend my class if possible - should be a great time for all). Pictured here is the sun setting over the city of Adelaide, Australia. As I was listening to Ron Bainbridge and Craig Peters speak yesterday (Dwight speaks today), I was reminded all over again that "the sun never sets on the work of Sunset". While we are sleeping in Lubbock, our co-workers are already at work on the other side of the world. In fact, with students in 37 countries around the world, there is likely not an hour of the day when a Bible is not being read or a prayer is not being offered by one of our students around the globe. It's awe-inspiring to be a part of such an effort and I praise God for his providencial care of our work and his continued blessing.



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