March Update

From the Giffone Family


“YHWH has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” (Isaiah 52:10)
__________________
In November, we communicated with many of you that the door was once again open for us to minister at LCC International University in Klaipėda, Lithuania. We have been waiting to provide another update until there were more definitive details to share.
We are happy to report that our plans to return to LCC for the Fall 2017 semester have been confirmed. We are asking for your prayers, encouragement, and financial support as we prepare to return.
  • New responsibilities — LCC will be initiating a new Center for Faith and Human Flourishing, for which I (Benj) will serve as Director. The goal of the center is promoting academic research and application of the Christian worldview in all areas of human activity, including business, psychology, social work, government, etc. The academic VP and I are very excited about this new Center, which will enhance the university’s research activities in all disciplines. In addition to continuing my own program of academic research in Old Testament, I will be working to help other faculty members secure research grants, seeking grants to bring visiting faculty to LCC, and organizing conferences and events related to the intersection of Christian faith and liberal education.
  • Teaching Bible courses — The directorship will be a part-time role, so I will continue to teach courses for the Theology Department.
  • Regional ministry — My role as director will allow me more freedom to teach and minister regionally, including serving local churches through preaching and resource support. Additionally, I have been asked to teach a week-long Old Testament course in March 2018 for Zaporozhye Bible College and Seminary in Ukraine, in the MTh program.
  • Campus/local ministry — Corrie is looking forward to involvement with LCC and the community, as well: hosting students in our home, building relationships with other women from the local church and the community, and perhaps once again leading a choir or teaching music. Daniel and Elizabeth will be 7 and 4, and will probably attend primary school in Lithuanian.

One of the reasons for the research center initiative is to improve the university’s research output in advance of the 2021-2022 institutional evaluation by the Ministry of Education. Therefore, we are committing to serve in this capacity through 2022.

The university is able to provide partial funding for our salary, and so we will need to raise $20,000 per year for those five years.

Here’s how you can help:

Prayer

  • Pray for courage and strength for all of us as we make another challenging move.
  • Pray for comfort and encouragement as we continue to grieve the loss of Corrie’s father, Joe.
  • Pray for community and friendships (old and new) in Klaipėda.
  • Pray for Daniel and Elizabeth as they start school in Lithuanian.
  • Pray for all of us as we (re-)learn Lithuanian language!
  • Pray for spiritual growth as we learn to rely on the Holy Spirit.
  • Pray for the work of LCC, especially the students who do not yet know Christ.
  • Pray that God would provide all the funds we need for this endeavor.

Spread the word — Please share the news of our work with others who would be interested in praying for us and/or supporting us. If you think your church, small group, or a circle of friends would be interested in hearing about our ministry, we would love to present at some point–please email or call me.

Moving/storage — At some point, we will need help moving again! If you live in Southeast PA and have not helped us move at least three times, you are required to lend some muscle at a date TBD. Seriously, though, we appreciate all of you who have helped us move several times in the last few years. We may also need some additional storage space for furniture or boxes. If you have a dry basement or garage and can afford the space, please let me know.

Financial support — As stated above, we will need to raise a portion of our salary through donations. For more information on how to support our ministry, click here, or contact me directly.

We appreciate those of you who are praying for our family through this time of transition, tumult, and difficulty. God continues to be faithful.

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About Benj

I’m a native North Jerseyan, living and learning in Eastern Europe…an Old Testament professor and former liturgist…husband to Corrie…father to Daniel and Elizabeth…eldest sibling to three, brother-in-law to Josh and Hannah…uncle to Marshall.
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