GraceConnect eNews, No. 152, Week of May 16, 2016


The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches

Cracking the Biblical Code

“My dad took Greek in college and had a Greek New Testament on his desk, in my room. I began to understand the New Testament in Greek [when I thought] how ‘How do I break this code?’” Luke Shaver, the first Grace College student to graduate with a degree in Bible Translation, said. “I started with Luke, my name, and thought ‘I know my name! I know Greek!’”

Since he was a child, Shaver (pictured at right) has been interested in cracking codes. “I was really interested in secret codes. I would play games with friends trying to break codes figuring out who liked whom, etc.” However, it was not until Shaver began reading the history of the English Bible and studying the Greek New Testament that he realized he could serve God and crack codes simultaneously. (There are approximately 1,700 languages with no access to Scripture today.)

Years later, when Shaver began looking for a college where he could major in Bible translation, Grace was not an option as the school did not have such a major. However, Shaver applied because the application was free.

Shaver was accepted, and, after feeling a calling to attend Grace, he began attending in 2012 with a double major in Biblical studies and intercultural studies with a Biblical languages minor.

During his first year on campus, Shaver learned about
Race to 2025, an adventure race fundraising opportunity by Wycliffe Bible Translators, during the annual Conference on Missions. Unable to fill a team of fellow classmates, Shaver built a team of four students: Grace College’s Mason Whittaker, a high school student from Indianapolis, Ind., one from Moody Bible Institute, and himself, to participate in the extreme fundraiser adventure. He says that this changed his life forever.

After returning from the conference, Shaver started the campus organization “Voice for the Bibleless” as an outlet for people to be advocates for those who attempt to eradicate Bible poverty. Grace students soon became involved with the group and built a team to attend the Race to 2025 in 2014: Ryan Stainfield, Jake Smith, and Lexi (Urschalitz) Vida. As the overall winners of conference activities, the group gave Shaver all financial winnings so he could travel to Central Asia to help the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) with Bible translation projects in 2015.

That same year, Shaver traveled with Grace students, Isaac Thompson, Katlyn Knuver, Clayton Embry, Rachel (Fehring) Huhta, and Chris Sharrock, to the spring Race to 2025, this time in Tennessee. Through attending that conference, students were able to, again, see Shaver’s passion for helping the Bibleless. “I honestly don’t think I’ve seen anyone more fired up about something than he is for Voice for the Bibleless,” says Thompson.

The biggest impact on his life, however, has been the addition of the Bible Translation major at Grace. Dr. Tiberius Rata, assistant dean for the School of Ministry Studies, introduced the major to Grace during what was supposed to be Shaver’s last year at Grace.

Set to graduate, Shaver quickly changed his major, ultimately receiving his diploma in February 2015. The cooperation between Grace and SIL UND (University of North Dakota) capped off the required linguistics courses and Luke completed an internship with his church in the fall. As the first person to graduate with the major and because of his passion for that aspect of missions, he has helped promote the major. 

“Luke was one of the first Bible Translation majors here at Grace, and he is the first one to graduate with a Bible Translation major," Rata said. "Luke was instrumental in promoting the new major… Right now we have four students in the major.” 

Since graduating, Shaver led another group of students to the Race of 2025 conference in March 2016 and is aiming to supplement his degree with further hands-on training in tribal church planting and linguistics at Radius International in Tijuana, Mexico. Send Luke a letter of encouragement
here-- by Grace Beight
Editor’s Note: Grace Beight is an intern at GraceConnect. She is a senior at Grace College and is from Amherst, Ohio.



[Your Turn]


Megan Johnson, wife of Adam Johnson, campus pastor Bux-Mont Campus of Penn Valley Church Multi-Site Network, blogs about motherhood, goodness, and grace over at Goodness Redefined. In a recent post, she shares what God has been teaching her through the struggles and joys of raising three boys to follow and love Jesus.

"As moms, may we remember our highest calling.  May we consistently taste of the Lord’s goodness and drink of His grace ourselves.  May we lead our children to the Cross and tell them the story of a relentless Father Who freely adopts rebels, clothes them in His righteousness, and transforms them into beloved sons and daughters."

Click here to read the rest of the post. 


Movement Church in Columbus, Ohio (Mark Artrip, lead pastor) recently released a live worship album on Noisetrade! Click here to visit the website, where you can listen to music samples, download the album, and watch a video detailing the "heart behind the album."
[Leader's Corner:]

Florent Varak and Philippe Viguier, former and current pastors at the Grace Brethren church in Lyon, France, coauthored The Gospel and the Citizen, a book of Essays on the Christian and the Church in Politics addressing questions such as: Should the church get involved in politics or influence their voting members? What is the church mandate on this issue? How should Christians project themselves?

This book, first offered in French, is scheduled for release on July 1, 2016! Click here to find out more. 

Events in the FGBC

May 20-21, 2016   WLS: Women and Scripture, Ashland, Ohio (WGUSA)
June 13-17, 2016   Encounter SoCal (EWP)
June 19-25, 2016  The Great Canadian Adventure, Toronto, Canada (GBC)
June 20-July 11, 2016  Operation Barnabas Tours (CEN)
June 22-28, 2016  Mission Trip to Haiti (WGUSA)
June 27-July 1, 2016  Encounter Atlanta Atlanta, Ga. (EWP)
July 4-10, 2016  StreetWise (formerly Crosswalk) Philadelphia, Pa. (CEN)
July 22-25, 2016  Margins Conference Toronto, Canada (FGBC) 
July 26-31, 2016  Momentum Youth Conference Cedarville, Ohio (CEN)
CEN – CE National
EWP – Encompass World Partners
FGBC – Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
GBC – Grace Brethren Canada
WGUSA – Women of Grace USA
GC – Grace College

Send events for the calendar to
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