Indiana – Pennsylvania, that is – a charming small town one hour east of Pittsburgh and home to IUP – Indiana University of Pennsylvania. I arrived Tuesday afternoon and had dinner with Oliver and Kim Pierce and their new baby Emilia. Oliver and Kim moved to Indiana in July to start a new RUF on that campus. They are already unpacked and settled, and Oliver has passed his ordination exams. We had a pleasant dinner discussing Indiana, western PA, and the challenges and discoveries in moving to a new place. They will be working with David Schweissing to start a new church to be the base for their campus ministry.
I spent Wednesday morning on campus with Oliver. He has some contacts among the students and is leading two small Bible studies. We discussed the issues involved in starting a ministry, but the dominant concern is establishing a solid financial base for the work. There is a sizable start-up fund, but a lot of work needs to be done to establish ongoing support. Pray for Oliver as he raises these funds.
Wednesday afternoon I drove to Akron, Ohio, to visit Nate and Naomi Bower at the University of Akron. We had dinner catching up on their summer, plans for the children’s schooling, etc. This is Nate’s fifth year in RUF, and his ministry continues to develop. We spent Thursday afternoon disucssing ways to keep the process going. I drove home on Friday, with an extended stop at The County Seat Restaurant in Clarion, where I joined the other Coordinators in a confernce call.
Tomorrow I head to New Jersey to see Brent and Juli Kilman at Rowan University, then on to Vermont to see John and Megan Meinen at the University of Vermont.