Written by Micalah Yarbrough
The start of week five began with great fellowship at Immanuel Bible church. Ryan Francis taught an amazing message on Romans 4:5 and explained the beauty of the good news of Jesus Christ. Next we attended Foundry, the college group, and heard Jordan Standridge teach on Luke 10. For lunch we got to join a family from Immanuel in their home. After having a moment of relaxing and doing a little grocery shopping, we attended the evening service with a teaching from Alex Hairgrove. The message was on psalm 51, reminding us of the wonderful gift of God’s mercy and the importance of confession. For dinner, we went back to the home of our host families and enjoyed a relaxing night of fellowship.
Monday was Columbus Day, so we were blessed with a day off from class. We got to relax and do our reading on a nice rainy day. We read Nehemiah, Esther, and through Job chapter 4. These books were very encouraging, and reflect God’s sovereign plans and the praise He deserves. The rest of the day was a movie and game day. It was a blessing to have a day of resting our brains and relax with one another.
Tuesday began with a devotion with Ryan Francis. He taught on Matthew 5:5, where Jesus spoke of the meek. We learned that being submissive to God, and allowing Him to be in control, is a continual part of the Christian life. Next we read Job 5-24. In these chapters, we learned that God is incredibly sovereign. Man is passing, but God is everlasting. He is in charge of time and all plans: “But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back? What he desires, that he does” (Job 23:13). This was comforting to me because I was reminded that the God I trust in is high above all mankind, and worthy of my trust.
Then we got to join staff lunch, and hear an update on all the Lord was doing in various ministries. Then we had a time of prayer together.
Tom Joyce, the discipleship pastor at Immanuel, taught on leadership this week. On Tuesday, we got to listen to his amazing testimony. He left us with a very important question: God gives you breath every day, so what are you going to do with the rest of your life?
That night we had dinner with the Drum family. Bethany Drum is the leader of women’s ministry, and a wonderful cook. We had a great time of fellowship and prayer.
Wednesday morning we began with a devotion by Alex Vocature. We did a different type of devotion where we all read different parts of Proverbs. We read aloud the verses that stuck out to us. Next we read Job 25-42 and Psalms 1-17. These were very encouraging and humbling chapters, especially in Job. We were reminded that our Creator is high above man, and He controls all His creation.
At lunch we got to relax, play cards, and laugh with each other.
Tom Joyce then spoke to us about what God expects from leaders. We read through different chapters in Joshua, and learned that a godly leader knows God’s Word, DOES God’s Word, and understands that we report to God. He is our commander, and He is in control. Mr. Joyce also explained that because godly leaders report to the Lord, we must love people while also staying in line with God’s word. All of our relationships and love for others must come after our love for His word.
After class, we got to go evangelizing at the local community college NOVA. We’ve been so blessed to be able to go out and share the good news of Jesus Christ.
For dinner we went to Noodles and Company, and then spent the evening hanging out. It was a blessing to be able to enjoy the company of our fellow Immersion students.
Thursday morning we had a devotion with Alex Hairgrove. Alex walked us through the setup of Psalms and the different kinds. It was very helpful as we began reading through psalm 18 to 50.
Then we went to lunch with David Jones, the worship director at Immanuel.
For class that day, Tom Joyce taught on discipleship. We read 2 Timothy 3:16-17, and learned that God’s Word is the center of discipleship. We should teach it, and use it to discipline, correct and train. Mr. Joyce explained that we should not only encourage and build up one another, but we should strive to be an example to our children and others we pour into.
Thursday night we listened to a teaching by Georg Pearson, a pastor at another church and friend of Jordan’s. We read Matthew 6:19-24 and learned that earthly riches can bring worry and a lack of satisfaction. Instead, treasures in heaven never pass away. George explained that we should put all our efforts, passions, thoughts, goals, and desires toward eternal things.
Friday morning we dove right into reading Psalm 51 through 92. We were reminded of God’s character and His promises in these passages. It was encouraging to read of Christ’s steadfast love and how He is our safe refuge.
One of the most exciting events of the week was the transformation of our fellow Immersion student, Lance. The rest of us students were briefly told by Mr. Lance on Friday morning that he would be getting a haircut. As we read our bible reading for the day, we were caught off guard, and simply dumbfounded as our friend walked through the door. He was a completely different person: from rugged photographer Lance Brien to clean cut Mr. Edward. If you observe the before and after pictures, you’ll see the amazing transformation!
Class time was on how to finish life well. Tom Joyce explained how, in life, we should have no reserve, no retreat, and no regret. No reserve means we hold nothing back: to persevere for the gospel. No retreat refers to standing firm on God’s word. And no regret is what happens when we diligently serve Christ. He gives us an abundant life, and we should persevere.
Friday night we went to dinner at the Parshley’s home. They are wonderful people at Immanuel, and we were blessed to get to know them even better. It was a great night of playing games and laughing, but also being blessed by their advice and wisdom.
Saturday morning we had free time, until around 12. Then we went to the church to get ready for Fall Fest. This was a great time of corn hole and other games, pumpkin carving, and munching as we fellowshipped. That night we watched the Andy Griffith Show to end the week.