What a month of August and September it has been. With Hurricanes in Texas and Florida, devastation and destruction is literally pouring out on parts of America. In spite the negative naysayers and prophets of doom, I am not one that believes this is some sort of special judgment from God (after all, I live in California…the land of fruits, flakes and nuts, and orthodox hedonism), for the rain falls on the just and unjust alike…and some of the strongest and most dynamic churches, ministries and friends live in the path of these storms. More than Facebook prognostications of the end of the world, we need strong, compassionate leaders who will stand in the gap, work to see full restoration and recovery for those devastated by the storms come together as a testimony of God’s grace and love.
Speaking of leadership, this Vision Update features an imperfect, but well thought out student paper submitted some time ago. I saved it because it was written by a dear friend who is now with Jesus, Don Smith. In some ways, I grew up with Don (Smitty) Smith, as we worked together in early ministry days in Youth for Christ. Though I moved on in a different direction, Don remained true to his calling as a passionate and effective Youth Minister his whole life. A year ago this past month Don went home to be with the Lord. He earned his Master’s in Leadership with Vision International University, and we were discussing and planning a Youth Ministry Certificate program when he suddenly and unexpectedly passed away.
I miss my friend, and plan on completing the program in Youth Ministry to be named after him. Just wanted you to get to know a bit of his heart…and mine. So, I hope yiou enjoy the article, and that you will also check out some of our newest publishing features, which will be presented by our editor Rev. Kathy Smith. Please know that our prayers are with all who have been affected by the storms…lets keep believing for God to be glorified in all things.