On May 5, 2018, Word and Spirit Institute NW celebrated our first end of the year banquet. We held the event at Anthony’s Homeport in Olympia, WA. We had a beautiful room with a water view. It was a perfect day, the sun was setting on the inlet with beautiful boats docked just outside our window. The evening was pretty much perfect.
I expected the emotions of the students who had just completed their first year to be running high. What I did not expect was the eruption of my own emotions to overflow. I looked at the tables of students who had persevered over the enemy: temptation to quit, circumstances that tried to prohibit the completion of the year, and more. All I could see were tables of over comers, water walkers, nation shakers, revival carriers. I was so proud to even be associated with such hungry, thirsty, revivalists. There will never be another charter class. This night was monumental in every way. I will never forget it as long as I live.
The enemy tried to prevent Word and Spirit Institute NW from ever getting off the ground. We faced financial circumstances, banks that did not want to lend us the money for our new building, committees to overcome, the state of Washington and their legalities that do not make it easy to form a Christian Bible school, and more. Yet, here we were; enjoying steak, fish, pasta, and watching videos of all we have done together over this last year, thanking God for His faithfulness, grace, and favor. Again, what a night!
We have had the privilege of having some of the greatest, most dedicated Bible scholars and instructors teaching these students. I want to thank; Miss Michelle Spahn, Pastor Jason Stonecipher, Dr. Mark Spitsbergen, Pastor Jason Gillick, and Dr. Stuart Graham. I also was one of the teachers and enjoyed every minute of it. Again, we have had the best, and they did it as volunteers. Someday that will change as the school grows. What men and women of God who prayed, studied, and took time to film in the middle of their own busy schedules. They are pastors, medical doctors, missionaries, and evangelists traveling the world, and yet they took time for us.
After I presented the students with their first-year certificates and Word and Spirit pens, they surprised me with a beautiful framed print of our charter class. Again, the emotion that welled up overflowed with gratitude and the privilege of being called to be part of this. It was the perfect gift.
At the end of three years, we will be issuing a Bachelor of Ministry degree. That will be an awesome day but I do not believe my joy will be any greater than on this night. I have dreamed of this for years; duplicating that same revival spirit, deep roots, sound Biblical doctrine, character, and practical application into people who will take it farther than I have been able to and “see the knowledge of the glory of God covering the earth as the waters cover the sea.”