Our first year in Pasadena has come full circle since we left North Little Rock in the distant rearview mirror. The word “Ebenezer” comes to mind as it means: stone of help. In 1 Samuel 7:12, Samuel raised his stone of help to declare and remember that the Lord had helped the Israelites to gain victory over the Philistines in battle. And friends, it has been a battle! Rob, Nash and I have been stretched beyond our limits: personally, emotionally, geographically, financially and spiritually. Nevertheless, we wouldn’t change anything about the journey, as it has conformed us into more of the character of Christ. And through it all, the Lord has been a stone of help, because our friends and family have been a stone of help. In your presence, we have found His presence. In your support, we have tangibly received His support. In your obedience, we have been moved to keep obeying Him, fully and faithfully.
Unexpected Open Doors
God has opened doors that I have not sought to open. I have said yes to these opportunities sacrificially, since I have little margin to do extra things. Each time that I’ve second-guessed my sanity for saying yes, I have been met with the wild wonder of God doing a wondrous work in others, in spite of my brokenness.
I’ve had the privilege of preaching and teaching at various contexts last year:
- Mosaix National Multi-Ethnic Conference in Dallas, Texas (Nov 2016)
- Fellowship Monrovia Staff Development Workshop (Jan 2017)
- Center for Racial Reconciliation at Fellowship Monrovia (Feb 2017)
- Women are Redeemed night at Fellowship Monrovia (Feb 2017)
- Westminster Presbyterian Church of Hollywood (May and July 2017)
- Iglesia Betel (my dad’s church in Arkansas) (June 2017)
- Summer youth camp visiting from Colorado (July 2017)
- The Vine Church (July 2017)
Upcoming speaking opportunities:
- Latino Youth Group on Oct 7
- Fuller All-Seminary Chapel (a huge undeserved honor) on Oct 11
- Racial Reconciliation Workshop (October)
- Fellowship Monrovia MOMS group on Nov 15
I humbly share these opportunities to show you a glimpse of how God is working in and through us beyond the seminary experience. I humbly ask that you would pray that I keep a posture of holy expectation to be faithful at these open doors, as well as the strength to add this to an already full plate.
What We’re Up To Right Now
As I began writing this, I was finishing up my only remaining final paper for the summer quarter. I’m happy to tell you that I’m finishing the strongest ever, only by God’s grace. I now have had three glorious weeks to rest my brain, soul, body and heart. I am ready for the Fall term which kicked off this week on September 25th! My Fall courses include: Beginning Greek, Race/Religion & Theology in America, and Pastoral Care.
Rob’s parents came to visit for a few days earlier this month, and we held a birthday party for Nash who turned 8 while they were here! He was so excited to see Granny and Grandpa, and he invited some friends from church, neighbors, and school for cake and ice cream. Rob finished up serving in the choir team at our church and transitioned to his other love, high school youth ministry. He will be serving there on Monday nights and is very excited about it!
How You Can Partner with Us on This Adventure
Prayers: We covet your life-sustaining prayers on a regular basis. Feel free to swing by here and subscribe to receive notifications when we post updates on a quarterly basis. You can also follow us informally on our personal Instagram accounts (@inesmcbryde @robmcbryde) for silly pictures and daily mundane situations.
Finances: We are grateful to God for Rob’s job which takes care of about 65% of our financial needs as we cash flow paying for seminary (no loans!). Currently, we receive about 45% of our monthly support goals (dropped from 70% in October). If you would like to partner with us on a monthly basis or one-time gifts, these next two years, we would consider it an honor. All support is channeled through our home church Fellowship North in North Little Rock, AR and is tax-deductible. You can visit fellowshipnorth.net/give, click “Online Giving”, and sign up for one-time or recurring donations via the “Seminary Scholarship Fund.” Then, send an email to Julie Loibner (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please state that the funds are intended for the McBryde family.
Friends, we love each of you deeply and carry you deep in our hearts. Thank you for believing in us and the calling of God on our lives in this season.
Grace and peace, on behalf of Familia McBryde,