Lambert’s Cove, near our Martha’s Vineyard Study Center
Track-and-field relay, Amherst College circa 1980
“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus…”
These New Testament words, written to the first-century Hebrew Christians, have been a lifelong encouragement to me: physically, spiritually, and in my various roles with FOCUS. I’ve been a runner for as long as I can remember – from the 4×400 meter relay at Amherst College to the Richmond Half Marathon and dozens of 5K races along the way. I enjoy the physical exhilaration and sense of accomplishment, but I also appreciate the solitude – a chance to reflect, pray, and be alone with God. Like the oft-quoted Olympic runner Eric Liddell, “When I run, I feel His pleasure.”
Running analogies are so popular they risk being cliché. Nevertheless, I’ll venture a few to illustrate the commitment and contribution of our FOCUS staff. Sometimes their ministry is a sprint – as during their final preparations for a school meeting or an unexpected opportunity to be on the sidelines of a student’s sporting event. During the summer months it’s a marathon – requiring consecutive weeks at our Martha’s Vineyard Study Center or off-island programs, while still connecting with individual students back home. Lastly, it is always a relay – as some staff conclude their time with FOCUS and God provides new team members to take the ministry baton and run with it. As highlighted in our latest magazine’s Area Ministry Updates, the past year has included several such relays. Please join us in celebrating new leadership in our Boston, Fairfield/Westchester, Great Washington, New York City, and New England Boarding Schools areas, along with new Field Staff in Raleigh and in Richmond & Central Virginia.
Thankfully, our staff doesn’t run this race alone, but is joined by our FOCUS community of students, parents, volunteers, and school faculty – as we all look to Jesus and the gospel mission entrusted to us.