Hello from the Coopers! It has been a while since we have sent a newsletter, so this one is jam-packed full of news We hope you enjoy it.
Another SBS completed!
It’s always bittersweet when the School of Biblical Studies (SBS) ends in June. I (Mike) am always filled with happiness and a sense of accomplishment, but I’m also saddened to say goodbye to the students I’ve come to know and love. Thankfully I didn’t have to say goodbye to all of them. Mary-Jane from the States and Victor and Hebzibah from India are returning as new members of our SBS staff team! I’m excited to help train them and see how God uses them this year. Another student, Stephen, also didn’t leave right away. He received some further training at The King’s Lodge and is now in Uganda teaching the Bible to the hearing impaired. Now that’s what it’s all about! Even though I love researching and teaching the Bible here in England, the point of the school will always be to spread the Good News throughout the world.
Preparing for the 2019-20 SBS!
I’ve always resisted taking on leadership roles. I’ve considered my personality less suited than others…I’m more of a B personality who’s a bit too sensitive at times. But recently this mindset has felt more and more like a worn-out excuse. Recently I read the popular quote, “You’re either growing or dying” and it confirmed to me that I needed to take on more responsibility. As a result, I’ve volunteered to co-lead the next SBS with Andy Thomas. I’m expecting a challenging year but I’m so grateful for Andy who has staffed and led several YWAM Bible schools. I expect some growing pains but I’m very excited about serving our new students in this role.
I’m even more excited about continuing my study of God’s Word. This fall I get to lecture on 1 Corinthians for the first time. So, for the next several weeks I get to research and prepare 1 Corinthians while also performing all my other SBS duties. Later on, I’ll teach Hebrews here, Zechariah at YWAM Cambridge’s SBS, and Bible Overview at YWAM Bristol’s Discipleship Training School. I’m trusting it’s going to be another great year of challenge and fulfillment.
JULY in the STATES
The day after the SBS ended Taryn, Emily and I flew to be with my family in Olympia, WA…another bittersweet experience. We were so happy to attend the weddings of my two nieces, plus spend time enjoying and relaxing with our family and friends. But sadness took over at times because of my Dad’s battle with Alzheimer’s. We had to make the painful decision to move my Dad into a memory care facility. It has been a gut-wrenching experience for my family, but I’m now hearing reports that my Dad is adjusting fairly well.
I (Taryn) am about to enter a very new season. This will be my first season of “full time work” for over 5 years! I went on maternity leave in August 2014 and haven’t worked full-time since. It has been such a privilege being a stay at home mom for so long, although I never stopped being a missionary over those years – I enjoyed volunteering with various community groups and making friends with other moms in the area. I am using the quote marks with “full time work” because I will only be working until 3pm every day, when I will go and get Emily from ‘big school’ and then take her to various after school activities (like swimming and gymnastics).
So, what will I be doing from September? My schedule will look varied (and busy) because I will continue to volunteer with Christians Against Poverty (CAP), help run a toddler group in a local church; run the ladies Bible Study at The King’s Lodge; and be more involved with the various meetings and events on base.
What is new (and very exciting) is my involvement in a brand new school that my friend is pioneering called the Discover Nations School (see the picture below). For now, I am on a team doing curriculum development, and as the school draws nearer I will help with the logistics of setting it up, and intend to staff the school in April 2020. This school is very close to my heart as it is all about Missional Geography – my two great loves (for those of you who don’t know I have an Honours degree in Geography). I am very excited to be a part of this! If you know of anyone who has completed a DTS and would like to be on this school, please spread the word!
Emily is very excited about going to ‘big school’. Just this morning we dropped her off for her first day of Reception (or Kindergarten for American readers) at a local Christian village school. She was excited and nervous, but very pleased to have some friends from the King’s Lodge in the same classroom as her. Please pray for Emily, that she adjusts well to this new schedule and makes good solid friendships.
– For more financial and prayer supporters (as volunteers we depend entirely on the financial support of friends, family, and churches)
– For the year ahead for all us – its a new season and we know we’ll need lots of grace as we adjust to it
– For Emily as she adjusts to school
Impacting lives with the love of Jesus.