Steve  &  Virginia Clinton

 

BIG  49th

August 30, 2013

 

                                       Anniversary Home            

Six Steps Forward

 

 

1.  Our story begins at Wichita State University in 1962. 

 

Virginia came as a freshman in 1961 on two weeks notice when the Logopedics scholarship was granted after all, and she set records all over campus.  She had the highest freshman grade point average (including a B in golf).  She joined the Alpha Phi sorority and the next year was president of the Panhellenic Council.  She lived in the women's' dorm and the next year became a floor counselor. She double majored in Logopedics and Elementary Education and she worked in the School of Education office.

 

Steve came in 1962 on a one week decision.  He had been enrolled at Emporia State College.  He lived in the dorm and planned to major in Accounting and go on to Law School.  He learned how to play bridge and shoot pool.  He lettered in track (javelin), and began weightlifting.  He also lettered in weightlifting his sophomore year.  He worked 20 hours a week for a Petroleum Accounting firm.  After his first philosophy class he changed his major to Philosophy, with an unknown job future.

 

Steve and Virginia knew each other causally in the dorm cafeteria and in First Evangelical Free Church, led by Rev. Marlin Jones.  We met occasionally through her sorority and his fraternity.  In January '63 Steve invited Virginia to go to the WSU basketball game that night; she accepted.  On April 30th, after Hippodrome one night, Steve saw Virginia come into the Pizza Hut with some friends.  A little later he asked her to come sit with him and talk. On the way back to the dorm, he shared several personal concerns and she said, "I know God loves you and has a plan for your life."  That was the beginning.

 

The next night we went to see The Birds, having no idea who Alfred Hitchcock was.  We did something together every day or night for the next two weeks.  One Friday afternoon Steve called her and asked her to go out a lake to go swimming.  She first said she had to work, but her supervisor gave her the time off and warned that these brother - sister relationships could keep her out of circulation for something better.  We went to the lake.  For two weeks Steve had been experiencing a new set of feelings he had no words for.  Virginia talked to him, ate with him, did activities with him, listened to him, and seemed to be enjoying the times together.  He knew he was crazy about her.  He said to her, "Wouldn't it be funny if we got married some day?"  She replied with a laugh, "O' that would be funny."  Later that night while sitting in the car just outside the dorm Steve asked her to marry him.  She thought he was trying to be funny and put him off.  Then he said, "I mean it.  I love you and I want to marry you." 

 

Because of her position as director of the Panhellenic Council, Virginia was asked to coordinate the invitations for a leadership prayer breakfast for a visiting Christian speaker, Bill Bright.  He seemed nice and his approach to sharing the gospel was very clear and straight forward. This was our first contact with Campus Crusade for Christ.

 

About five weeks later she was at the house she and friends were renting for the summer and Steve dropped by to talk.  She was in curlers and jean shorts and they were just talking and he referred to "when we are married."  Virginia said, "What do you mean 'when?' "You have never really asked me."  Right there he got down on his knees and asked her to please marry him.  She decided that if he could love her in curlers then maybe he really meant it.  She said, "Yes, I will marry you.  But you have to ask my father."  That summer Steve did.  Then he bought a six year old Buick which had been wrecked and repaired and rebuilt it. When he sold it he used the profit to buy her engagement ring and they became officially engaged on September 30.

 

The next fall at their church two students from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School spoke about the great education they were getting and their future hopes for ministry.  A month later Ken Kantzer came; he had just been appointed Dean of the Divinity School.  The message of these speakers raised the possibility for Steve of going into the ministry in some fashion.  He talked with Rev. Jones who encourage him to pray about it and ask God to confirm it in his heart.  About a month later Steve told Pastor Jones he had talked with Ginny and prayed and now really felt that God wanted him to be in full-time ministry in some way.  Ginny did not see it as clearly as he did, but decided she was called to be with Steve.

 

Steve was not sure which part of the ministry he should plan for: youth work, pastor, teaching, or missions.  Pastor Jones said not to worry about that, just to go to seminary after college.  Steve asked, "What is a seminary?"  Pastor Jones replied, "Just go to Trinity after you graduate." 

 

That August 30th Pastor Jones married us at the Institute of Logopedics Chapel.

 

It was an exciting 20 months.

 

The fall of '64 Campus Crusade began a chapter on the Wichita State campus.  Because of Virginia's earlier involvement with Bill Bright, we were their primary contacts.  We heard the Four Spiritual Laws on a 78 rpm record.  Steve was working 40 hours a week at Harper Trucks and carrying a full load of classes in night school.  Virginia was doing internships in both her majors.  Life was busy.  Virginia graduated in May and we moved in August.

 

 

2. 1965-69 Trinity Evangelical Divinity School 

 

Within three weeks of our decision to go to Trinity College (Deerfield, IL) for Steve to finish his BA, Ginny had 14 job offers in the area.  She took a job in Northbrook, IL and spent the next four years helping elementary children with learning disabilities. She also finished her Masters in Communication at Northwestern University. 

 

Steve finished college the first year with majors in social science and philosophy.  He went to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and finished a Master's degree in Philosophy and the Master of Divinity.  He served as youth director at Protestant Youth of the Chapel at Ft. Sheridan for three years and as youth pastor at Lake Zurich EFC for three years.  His second week in seminary he had the opportunity to become the assistant to the dean, Dr. Kenneth Kantzer and held this post for all three years at the seminary. He was also the student assistant to Dr. Wilbur Smith and Dr. John Gerstner. Because of his job with Dr. Kantzer he came to know many of the faculty much more personally than most students. He also met many famous leaders who were speakers and teachers at TEDS: Carl Henry, Leon Morris, Dermot McDonald, Clark Pinnock, and a dozen others.  He also joined a professional organization, the Evangelical Theological Society in 1967.  He served on the Graduate Student Council and knew many of the student leaders.  He taught classes at the college, subbing for Dr. Norm Geisler.

 

Apart from schools and jobs our personal life was exciting.  It was fun to live in the Chicago area in terms of culture, events, and people.  But the winters!!!  Our best friends were classmates from the seminary: Clinton and Joy Wood, Larry and Bonnie Hass, Duane and Bonnie McDonough and Gadiel and Margaret Isidro.  We also made many friends at the Lake Zurich Free Church, including Mayne and Kay Saxby.  Steve did a lot of teaching and preaching and he and Virginia were active together in ministry.

 

 

3. 1969-71 Tabor College (Matthew)

 

At the end of seminary we wondered what God had next.  One weekend Steve was interviewed as a senior pastoral candidate at a church.  The next weekend he was interviewing for a job as professor at a college, thanks to a contact through Dave and Carol Breese.  The school, Tabor College, called him to come and teach Bible, theology, and philosophy.  Tabor later employed Virginia to teach elementary education and to supervise student teachers.

 

By the time we left TEDS for Tabor we knew Ginny was expecting.  Our son Matthew was born in November of our first year at the college. There were a number of problems with his birth and the doctor told us "if he lives, he will probably be retarded, mentally and physically."  He was about a year old when he went for his first motorcycle ride and his first word was 'zoom.'  By the time he was two years old the doctor commented that his healing was a miracle.

 

Because Tabor was a Mennonite Brethren school the two Mennonite professor taught New Testament and Christian Education classes and left an odd set of classes to Steve.  He taught Old Testament, Greek, Philosophy, Essentials of Christianity, Logic, Gospel of John, Ethics and other classes.  This appealed to his wide range of interests, but it made preparation very difficult.  He also worked closely with students and was asked to be the sponsor for the student Campus Crusade group when it started. His first professional publication on issues related to dating the book of Daniel was in 1970.  Steve continued membership in the ETS and began presenting professional papers.

 

Through the student connection with Campus Crusade for Christ, Steve and Ginny attended a faculty conference in June 1970 at Arrowhead Springs, CA - the headquarters of Crusade. That fall in the Tabor CCC student group, every student saw someone accept Christ as savior and 20% of the students from the college attended the fall CCC conference at Rock Springs Ranch with Josh McDowell.  Another faculty was present at the Christmas conference in Denver, Dr. Walter (Butch) Bradley.  Josh and Butch both recruited Steve to come on full-time staff with CCC.  In February God clearly led us to apply for staff with Crusade.

 

 

4. 1971-1974 Campus Crusade in Kansas (Michael)

 

We were accepted, and Steve attended staff training in July of 1971.  Ginny was home having our second child, Michael Alan. When Mike was just three months old we knew his personality was very different than Matt.  They were wonderful, active boys!  The first year with Campus Crusade we were at the University of Kansas.  Steve worked with the staff team on the campus, led by Pete Brosemle, and also traveled with the Area Director, Gary Olander, to the other seven campuses in the area, doing evangelism and discipleship with faculty members.  The student discipleship group Steve began on the campus that year continued to multiply for twelve years, with a number of the students joining staff. 

 

In the summer of 1972 we helped staff Explo 72 in Dallas where 84,000 gathered for training, and then Steve taught at the Institute of Biblical Studies (IBS) at Southern Methodist Univ.  Josh McDowell was the director of the IBS, and Steve was asked to teach Apologetics and Old Testament.  He spent the rest of that summer working with Josh's team on Evidence which Demands a Verdict.

 

After that one year, Gary Olander asked Steve to become the campus director at Wichita State University.   We moved to Wichita and Steve directed the ministry there for two years.  The student group grew from four students when we arrived to over 50 students in action groups and more than 70 at the weekly club meetings.  That was considered very good on a commuter campus.  Steve preached a series in the evenings at Westlink Christian Church for Pastor Gene Carlson and also served as the college pastor at Central Christian church.  The next year he was interim senior pastor at Faith Presbyterian church.  Ginny was busy with the boys and enjoyed the personal contacts at various churches.  She helped disciple some of the women in the movement. The year at Faith Presbyterian was good for both of us and we made a lot of friends.

 

In the summer of 73 at Purdue University Steve was the assistant director of the big IBS under the leadership of Ted Martin, who had started the whole IBS program in 1961.  At the end of the summer Ted asked Steve to move to Arrowhead Springs and become the next director of IBS nationally.  Because of our commitment to stay at Wichita State that fall, we could not move till summer 74.  Steve became the director the summer of 1974, which was Campus Crusade's first year for training at Colorado State University.  While in Wichita in 1973 Steve was ordained in the Evangelical Free Church.  He was also a founding member of the Evangelical Philosophical Society and beginning the second year he was the journal editor for 17 years.

 

 

5. 1974-1991 Southern California (Shanna)

 

With our three and four year old boys we moved in September '74 to Southern California.  Thinking we had a house rented, we arrived with a moving van and our car.  Within ten days we had purchased a house and moved in, with major clean up to do.  Steve later found out that our realtor walked all the paper work around to each office to close that fast.  

 

Steve's job was to run the IBS program for training CCC staff, which included the large summer IBS (from 1974-82 there were about 1500 staff and students each summer) and smaller IBS conferences in various locations in the summer and in the winter.  Steve led in developing 12 correspondence classes for staff and by 1976 about 600 staff were taking these classes each year.  After Steve joined the office, Bill Bright asked him to help begin a school which would be based at the headquarters but would offer certificates and  Masters degrees.  We began work on this in January 74 and had State of California authorization by October 75, which was very fast.  The residence school, called the International School of Theology (ISOT) was begun in fall of 1976, with 13 students.  By 1986 there were 130 students.  The extension programs continued to increase also.  During that time we began the first three overseas schools.

 

When we moved to California we visited the Evangelical Free Church in Riverside, CA, about 30 minutes from our house.  The third time we visited, the pastor, Rev. Bucky Buchannan, asked Steve if we were going to be coming there from now on. Steve looked at Ginny and said, yes we plan to come.  Then the pastor asked him to be the associate pastor and share all the duties and functions.  That was a great ministry and an excellent training time for three years.  Steve really enjoyed the relationship with Bucky.  Ginny and Steve were both in leadership in the church and enjoyed the people.  Ginny found a lady in the church whose husband had just died and asked her to be her mentor.  They met until the lady's death 27 years later.

 

After looking at private and public schools we enrolled the boys at the local public school.  Later that year Ginny began praying with the kindergarten teacher.  Ginny also joined the PTA, which Steve knew nothing about.  After the first meeting she shared with Steve that over 100 of our neighbors had come to the meeting.  He joined the PTA that week. They both served in school and PTA leadership from 1975 to 1996.  The boys were one year apart in school.  As they each reached first grade they were put in the Districts' Gifted Education Program.

 

Steve was encouraged to pursue further education with the hope of someday completing a doctorate.   In addition to his Master's degrees in philosophy and theology, he completed a Master's degree in counseling and another Master's in gifted education.  He also completed a Ph.D. in Religion, a post-doctoral program in Philosophy, and a Ph.D. in Education at University of California.  Because he, Ted Martin and others were beginning a new school there was no time to take off work, so he had to balance family, home, work, church, teaching, and graduate school. He learned a lot about putting Jesus first and Ginny second.  He did not always get it right the first time, but he learned.

 

We really enjoyed our boys!  They were so close in age that they sometimes were in the same sports, for example soccer, but on different teams.  They were in the gifted program and it was placed at minority schools to help integration.  When the boys were in 4th and 5th grade, Steve was the PTA president at an 85% African-American school.  The PTA Board was the center of volunteer leadership in the school and we all worked together for the children and for the school.  Matt and Mike were bright, active boys.  In our family devotions we read through the Bible twice and we read the stories behind hymns and tried to sing them.

 

Ginny continued to take classes at IBS and at the residence school, just taking whatever she wanted.  About 1977 Steve encouraged her to apply for the Master's degree in religion.  The registrar evaluated her records and said she already had enough classes to graduate but she would have to take the comprehensive exam.  Steve challenged her to just take it without much preparation and see what happened.  ISOT did not flunk people on this comprehensive but if there was a deficiency then the student had to do additional work.  Ginny passed on the first try and graduated that spring.  That is the only time Steve has kissed one of the graduates as he handed out the diplomas.

 

Our daughter, Shanna Michele, was born in 1979, when the boys were 8 and 10. At first it did not seem so long since we had young boys.  But by the time she was in kindergarten the boys were in high school.  That was a big difference.  Shanna was a delight.  Steve's best friend, Gary Stanley, said, 'Having a daughter at this age will keep you young.'  And it was so.  Shanna has a great, outgoing personality.  For her, growing up around Steve, Ginny, Matt, and Mike was like having four adults.  Her competitiveness kept her in everything from winning speaking contests every year to high grades, from acting in theater performances and gymnastics to soccer and reading contests.  And lots of pets.

 

In 1976 we changed from the Free Church in Riverside to Community Bible Church near our home.  For the children's sake and for building better contacts with our neighbors we felt the time was right.  All of us were involved in ministries in the church.  One day when we were going to an adult Sunday School party Steve was going to drop off some things in the kitchen area and then take Shanna to the nursery.  She was three years old.  As Steve dropped off the materials Shanna commented, 'why is that man so sad?'  Steve looked at the man and did not notice anything.  He took Shanna to the nursery.  Later that day he had a chance to talk to the man, and eventually found out that yes, there was some tension going on and a difficult decision to make.  Shanna at three was more emotionally perceptive than Steve with a Master's in counseling.  Today Shanna has a Master's in counseling psychology and is working on a Masterís and Doctorate in Medical Anthropology, focusing on mental health.  

 

On November 24, 1980 a Santa Anna wind was blowing about 90 miles an hour, which happened three or four times a year, and someone set a fire in a canyon, which came down into the town and burned 280 homes in one afternoon, including ours.  We learned a lot about friendships, physical and emotional support, insurance companies, contractors, and many other lessons.  Eventually we decided to rebuild the house and Steve did the initial design work on the new house.  He has always enjoyed drafting and had taken a couple of classes in design and architecture.  We lost many things which were never recovered or replaced.  Loss happens, and we move on as best we can.  God brought good from it, but it was a very tough time.

 

The year after we rebuilt the house Matt was going into junior high school and Mike would the next year. Steve decided to buy a computer for the boys.  In 1981 computers were very new.  The schools did not have a computer lab, but planned to have one computer in each classroom.  On recommendation, Steve bought an Apple II +, with no hard drive and two five-inch floppy drives.  While Steve was figuring out how to set it up, 12 year old Matt booted the graphics program and drew a picture of a horse.  Later that day he wrote a program to make the horse's legs move.  By the end of high school Matt had a Computer Assisted Drafting license, programming skills and C+ and Cobal training.

 

One of Steve's ministries was to direct the counseling program at Community Bible for four years.  He and one woman shared the duties and cases, each seeing about four people or couples a week.  That fit well with another responsibility.  At the seminary the students were all assigned to teams for field ministry.  For two years Steve and Ginny led the Counseling students' ministry team. 

 

For another two years they led a team of Asian students.  Steve is still in touch with four of the five families 30 years later.  We had great experiences with this group and began teaching and researching overseas partially due to these men's influence.  Our first trip was to Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore in 1987 at the requests of Dr. Victor Koh and Dr. David Hoc Tey.

 

Ron Jenson had joined ISOT in 1979 as President and Steve moved from Director of ISOT to focus on building the extension and overseas schools as Director of Extension.  As the overseas schools grew, the U.S. training programs, correspondence classes, IBS conferences, etc. it was too much for Steve and his team to cover.  Steve recruited Roy Rosedale to take the lead with the overseas schools.  Today there are seven international schools and Roy and Steve are still involved thru the International Leadership Consortium. 

 

Through recruiting faculty for IBS and the residence schools and through the ETS and EPS societies Steve has kept in touch with many faculty in the U.S. and overseas.  One of the faculty at Talbot Seminary, Dr. Robert Saucy, asked Steve to teach a class on Contemporary Theology.  Steve Douglass approved this but added, don't try to do too much.  Teaching that Th.M. class led to Steve being asked to teach a basic doctrine class in the spring, and he was able to bring in another ISOT faculty, Alan Scholes, to teach a separate section.  All these efforts lead to further contacts with leaders and teachers around the world.

 

Steve received a phone call one day from a CCC senior staff, Paul McKean.  Paul was building a ministry with professionals in China and had a unique request.  The director of all education for the city of Guangou (Canton) had a son at UCLA and wanted to come visit the son.  But he needed a professional reason to come.  So Paul asked Steve to put together a top level group of educators for a dinner with this education director and his assistant.  Steve was able to bring the superintendent of schools from San Bernardino, the director of the school of education from Cal. State San Bernardino, the dean of the graduate school of education from the Univ. of California at Riverside, and a professor of education from UCLA.  The dinner went very well, and the relationships begun there led to a great deal of ministry opportunity in China and, years later, led Steve to work on a doctorate in education at UCR.

 

Steve and Ginny were asked to join the state organization California Association for the Gifted (CAG) and to help start a Parentsí Council.  The local gifted education coordinator for the school district began to promote Steve and Ginny to speak at conferences and to serve on committees.  A couple of years later the governor of California threatened to cut all the funding for the gifted program, about 3 million dollars a year.  The professional association decided to ask parents' association to join together to write a bill and to pressure the legislator and the governor to continue the program.  Steve was asked to be one of the 12 state reps to the parents' committee and the first year he was made the chairman of the group.  We passed a four year, 16 million dollar bill.  It was fun to be part of the politics and use some of the personal agendas to create something good for children and for the state.

 

Back in San Bernardino many parents wanted to have more of a role, so Steve and the coordinator began a parents group called AGATE, Advocates for Gifted and Talented Education.  Steve became the director of the group and Ginny took over being the county parent representative again. This is when Steve finished the Master's degree in gifted education.  Steve was on the Board of the Center for Individuals with Disabilities for four years (as an appointee from the San Bernardino School Board) and served as chairman 1987-1988.  One year we decided to hold a dinner honoring 300 teachers in the San Bernardino school district.  Steve was the MC, Dana Howard sang, and Josh McDowell spoke.  It was a great evening and the top teachers in town heard the gospel.  Steve served on the San Bernardino Unified School District Advisory Council for Gifted and Talented Education from 1984-1987 and on the review committee on Social Studies Curriculum in 1986.

 

With the children in elementary school and high school we were busy with plays, games, soccer (all three at once, sometimes), and social activities. In 1988 and 1989 Matt and Mike graduated from high school.  Shanna was in fifth grade.  In 1990 Campus Crusade decided to move the headquarters from southern California to Orlando, FL.  Bill Bright and Steve Douglass asked Steve to start a new school at the new headquarters which would train laypeople and pastors as well as grant degrees and eventually build extensions around the world.  The plan was to begin a residence school and quickly move into distance education.  Steve, Ginny and Shanna moved in January, 1992.

 

 

6. 1992-present  Orlando Florida (Cole)

 

The decision where to move the headquarters was difficult.  The Campus Crusade staff are spread all over the nation but more are east of the Mississippi.  CCC looked at about 30 sites and narrowed to six.  Finally, Orlando was chosen.  The organization moved in the fall of 1990 to a temporary facility and the new headquarters was finished in 1995. 

 

The idea for a new school was difficult to achieve.  People already in Orlando did not want to come to the headquarters, which was about 6 miles outside of town.  The resident school grew to 10 faculty and about 15 trainers/ mentors, with 30-40 students.  The distance education programs grew also but the same faculty and staff were working on both programs.  When we finished a major curriculum program in 1998 we made the decision to close the residence school and do all distance education.  That was finalized in 2000. The goal was to offer a variety of equipping programs, from one-time conferences like IBS, through online training classes, extension classes in one week modules, up to community based training centers.  The strategic change was very good for us.  The school grew quickly. We took the training to where the people are.  Within four years we had six extension centers.

 

We made many friends in our greater Orlando community.  In the early years our contacts were with parents in Shanna's middle and high school and through our church, as well as other CCC staff.  We were both active in school activities, community volunteering, Shanna's soccer club, etc.  Steve was a Junior Achievement consultant working in Colonial high school with seniors in 1995-96. We helped to plant one church and then Steve pastored one for a year.  Ginny's ministry is to encourage and disciple women.  She does that everywhere.  We moved to Northland Community Church in 1994 and have been based there ever since.  In 2000 Steve was the interim pastor at First Baptist Church of St. Cloud for ten months.

 

In our first six months Dr. Bright volunteered Steve to work with a new group being started, named Vision Orlando.  The goal is to pray, care and share with everyone in the greater Orlando community. The first event we held was a week long area wide evangelistic campaign in February 93.  We saw over 5000 people make new commitments to Christ and over 40 churches were involved in the follow-up.   

 

We began to travel internationally to teach in 1987.  Since then Steve has been on over 32 trips to 18 countries.  Ginny has been able to go on some of these trips.  She is the one who loves to travel and meet new people.  On Steve's fourth trip to Singapore the staff all knew him and what his strengths are.  Since Ginny was not going on that trip, Steve told the men to put him to work.  He was there 17 days and spoke 45 times to all kinds of audiences.  It was great!  But it is great when Ginny goes, because he values her presence and because of her value to the kingdom. Some of the classes taught overseas are just like the ones here in the U.S.  Some classes are different, ministering to students and pastors in their culture.  On most of the trips we stay with staff, not in hotels, so we get to know the culture up close.  We live like they live and eat what they eat.

 

In Dec. '95 our first grandson was born to Michael and Kim. They named him Nicholas Ryan Clinton and call him Cole.  Ginny says now she believes in love at first sight.  Mike continued his college work and then went to work for Boeing.  After eight years many in his division were laid off and he chose to go to diving school.  He gets to build bridges and blow up old ones. For six years he has been diving from Seattle, to the Gulf (oil rigs and hurricane cleanup) and to Italy (cleaning up a naval base the U.S. Navy was moving out of). 

 

 

In 2003 Steve, Ginny and Shanna went to Ireland for a week and were able to spend some time with relatives we had not met before.  Steve's great-grandfather had come from Ireland in 1878 and lived in the U.S. till his death in 1943.  We connected with a cousin Daniel Joseph Leahy and his son Patrick and their clan.  We saw the house where the last five generation have lived and the new house build for this generation.  Ireland is a great place to visit.  The people are friendly, the food is good, the scenery is great.  But the roads are narrow and half of them have no street names or highway signs.  We visited Tara, where the Irish crown their high kings and where St. Patrick preached.  We spent four days in and around Dublin.

 

One of our school's big projects was to take the curriculum (Bible and ministry) used to train new Crusade staff all over the world and revise it.  As designed years ago it is 100 hours of lecture with fill-in-the-blank notes and then a lot of field experience with a mentor.  Staff complete this in eight months full time.  We changed it to all adult educational methods, such as group discussions, case studies, practical application assignments, demonstrations, simulations and field experience.   We have designed this version for laypeople and pastors to use over two nine-month years.  By planning the field work carefully we achieve all the experience in about ten hours a week.  Over the last eight years we are seeing all of the students develop successful ministries of evangelism and discipleship and over 80% see their disciples begin leading people to Christ.  Once you have seen this spiritual multiplication work and God accomplish it in and through you, it changes you to believe God for a multiplication ministry forever.  When we finish translating it into Spanish and Chinese we will be able to reach over half the people in the world in their own language.

 

We now have 18 staff in The Orlando Institute.  This past year, 2009-2010, we had 330,000 people in training conferences and about 14,000 in certificate and degree programs.  A number of senior CCC staff have joined TOI in the past two years and they bring with them all the contacts and ministries they have developed.  This helps us multiply.  We also give copies of our materials to other national CCC teams and they use it as they wish in their country.  In a few countries we are partnering with the local staff and pastors to help build training centers in their cities.  We don't have exact numbers on their ministries but it all adds up to a lot of training.

 

Back in Orlando Ginny and Steve are teaching in the Premarried program in our church.  We disciple 3-4 couples for 14 weeks each semester and we teach the class on Communication in marriage. It is very fulfilling to work with couples for 14 weeks and see the changes in their lives and marriages.  We keep up with some of them for years afterward.

 

We both volunteered at Leu Gardens (a 54 acre garden estate in the middle of town) for four years, at the Maitland Historical Society helping do events, genealogical research and photography.  Steve has been on the board of the Maitland Area Chamber of Commerce for eight years and was chosen as chairman of the board of directors in 2006.  We both have individuals we meet with for discipleship.  In addition to directing TOI, Steve still does what he loves and teaches about 10 classes a year.

 

 

The city-reaching group here is called Vision Orlando and is led by a Board of Directors.  In May of 2005 the Board asked Steve to become the executive director.  His boss in Campus Crusade, Steve Douglass, gave permission for Steve to do this.  The past four years we have done a number of small outreach events and a number of prayer events.  For five years we had prayer for the city every month at local churches.  Steve felt it was necessary to build a new kind of infra-structure.  We have four groups who have now built networks of colleagues:  pastors, intercessors, marketplace ministries, and social workers.  This fall the first unified group of ministry leaders will meet to develop a master plan for the whole area, about two million people. The goal is to pray, care, and share with every person.  We are all wonderfully created, tragically fallen, redeemed in love and destined for glory. In 2013 Steve was asked to be the President of Vision Orlando - praying, caring and sharing with greater Orlando.

 

The foundation of our lives is found in knowing God through Jesus Christ.  We pray with each other.  We share the same faith and beliefs, which are seen in our daily walk.  We are living for the same goals: to help everyone build better lives through knowing Christ and seeking to build Godly character in ourselves and those around us.   Day by day we love each other and look for opportunities to love and help those around us.  We look forward to grandchildren, new disciples, much ministry and eternity with Jesus.  Pray for us!