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July Update

July 21, 2008

Dear friends,

We hope that your summer is going well, and that you’ve been able to enjoy some ‘down time!’ Now that we’re starting to settle into our new ministry position, we wanted to touch base with you on a few things.

God at Work in Students

During the summer months, the students are busy with various projects, and many are away. Still, it’s possible to keep in touch and build relationships with them so that we can hit the ground running when they return to campus. I’ve been doing that with many, and here are a few encouraging comments I’ve received:

Thanks for all of the hard work! I don’t know were we would be without your time spent on helping us.

Thanks so much for checking in on us. Everything here is going really well [here at SMI]… I can’t wait to share more with you when I get back. Please pray for [my wife] and I to find comfort/growth in the Lord during our short separation (the next 3 weeks), and also for the Lord to prepare the hearts of those we will be ministering to both here in Texas and down in Matamoros. Thank you so much for everything.

Bryan, I feel in many ways I’ve been blessed with men in my life that I trust with my weaknesses and you are one of them, so thank you.

As you can see, God is at work through our efforts and we are blessed to know that He’s using us to make a difference. We can’t wait for the fall!

The Transition Period

Until the students return in late August, our priority is communicating with our supporters (in other words, you!) about our transition. For those of you who support us financially, hopefully you’ve received a call from us and we have answered your questions on how you might continue to support us financially. If that hasn’t happened yet, would you please get in touch with us either by phone (856.524.2126) or email (stoudtb@gmail.com)? If any of you have questions on our transition (regardless of whether you support us in prayer or financially), we continue to be available to you. We’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to connect with many of you more personally.

We’re also in the process of recruiting new members for our support team. Our goal is to have our full support pledged – and received – so that we can focus our energies on the great mission the Lord is calling us to. Our current goal is $1,000 per month, mostly to replace natural attrition in our support base.

Refining the Scope

In our recent updates, we’ve mentioned that our new calling will focus on two groups – (1) medical and university students in Northwest Philadelphia, and (2) younger people at and around our new church, Pilgrim (also in NW Philadelphia). Among the first group, we also mentioned that there are four potential campuses in the area where we could concentrate our ministry. Since we’ve last written, we believe that the Lord is sharpening our focus to mainly focus on two of those campuses, the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) and Philadelphia University (“Philly U”). We’re excited because this narrowing will allow us to draw upon our experience with both medical and undergraduate students, and make a deeper impact at each campus.


Notes on Contributions

Thanks so much for your ongoing support – your generosity allows us to impact lives for Christ, and we are tremendously grateful! On a practical note, we wanted to address a few questions that have continued coming up over the past several weeks:

Q: Can I keep contributing through Tenth Presbyterian Church, your former church? If not, where can I send my contributions?

A: We know that, for some of you, giving through the offering plate at Tenth made it easier to contribute. Going forward, please send all contributions to: Pilgrim Church * PO Box 35184 * Philadelphia, PA 19128, and mention “for the Stoudts” on the memo line.

Q: Electronic giving helps me be consistent with my contributions. Can I still do that?

A: Probably. Although Pilgrim Church can not initiate monthly electronic transfers, you can (probably) initiate such a transfer with your financial institution in the same way that you would pay your bills automatically/electronically. For most banks, this is now a free service. The bank would need Pilgrim’s account number so just let us know if you’d like that by replying to our email (stoudtb@gmail.com).

OK, that’s all for now. Please know that we love you, and are grateful for your partnership in this ministry!

Warmly,
Bryan & Sharon

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