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Clayton Leon Shenk

Yesterday was the funeral for Clayton Shenk who passed away Christmas Day after a difficult journey with cancer over the past year. During the meal, tributes related to various aspects of his life were shared- early ministry years, start of Tidings of Peace school, York community, Keystone Fellowship, Tidings of Peace church and school, a personal testimony from James Hicks, a testimony from a TOP school senior, family, and others. The following was shared as a tribute to his years at SMBI.

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Passionate, loves the city, not always very organized, bold, direct, dedicated- those are words that appeared frequently on student evaluations at SMBI. While not the major part of Clayton’s life, it was a significant sideline to his other interests. Years ago, there were only two students one term. So, those students and the classes came to York.
That characterizes working with Clayton over the years. If missions involvement students needed a place to go- we could always count on York. Maybe no one- at SMBI or York- knew what they would do, but we did know that they would be busy and they would be challenged. A few years ago, we had a team in York for 10 days. As part of their experience they were sent to the homeless shelter where they met an intriguing man with a boatload of questions. It was an exciting connection and the conversation continued onto the street. As they were parting ways, their new "contact" asked, “Now, would you like me to show you back to the Shenks?”
Clayton also taught the Urban Evangelism class at the institute beginning in 1996 and teaching it almost every other year since. This was no small accomplishment with his other commitments. Initially, it meant Mary Lois had to pack up a whole van full of children with their school supplies and move to the mountains of central PA for six weeks. It meant traveling home every weekend for church responsibilities. Often it included traveling home at least once during the week for school responsibilities or staff meeting. On a few occasions it even meant leaving his beloved Mary Lois at home for a day or two- probably the greatest of all sacrifices. To Mary Lois, the family, and the entire team at Tidings of Peace, thank you for the sacrifices and inconveniences you’ve endured and the many things you have contributed over the years of involvement with the students and staff at SMBI.
Clayton wasn’t afraid to tackle difficult or controversial issues. That didn’t always endear him to everyone, but he usually found a way to do it that left you thinking. This quality included the challenges of leadership transition over the last couple years and his journey with cancer. He badly wanted to fulfill his commitment to teach again Feb/Mar. of this coming year, but he was also honest about the realities he was facing. He did so with the courage and the boldness for which we knew him so well. Mary Lois and the family, may God grant you courage and grace as you continue this challenging journey.
To the entire team at York, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
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2 weeks ago  ·  

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2nd Term Choir Tour Itinerary ( December 13-19, 2019)

Fri. Dec. 13 – 7:00pm East Union Mennonite Church – Orrville, OH

Sat. Dec. 14 Travel

Sun. Dec. 15 – 10:00 am White Cloud Mennonite Church – White Cloud, MI

Sun. Dec. 15 – 6:30 pm Sandy Ridge Mennonite Church – Bremen, IN

Mon. Dec. 16 6:30 pm Madison Mennonite Fellowship – Madison, IN

Tues. Dec. 17 – 7:00 pm Providence Fellowship – Auburn, KY

Wed. Dec. 18 – 7:00 pm Petrey Memorial Baptist Church – Hazard, KY

Thurs. Dec. 19 – 7:30 pm Pilgrim Christian Fellowship – Stuarts Draft, VA
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1 month ago  ·  

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Housing Fund/Land Purchase ... See MoreSee Less

1 month ago  ·  

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SMBI WATER Brochure is available now on our website ~ smbi.org ... See MoreSee Less

2 months ago  ·  

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Second term is well underway as we enter our second week. We have 26 men and 25 ladies with us for the term! It's an exciting balance after WATER and first term were short in the men's dorms. One student arrived a couple days late after arriving at the airport and discovering that his passport was expired. Our final student for the term just arrived yesterday (Sunday). She was delayed by the tragic accident and death of a family employee/friend. We are grateful to have everyone together and look forward to what God is going to do!
Looking back, if you missed the opportunity to follow the blog from the Israel study tour you can still read it at walkintheland.wordpress.com
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2 months ago  ·  

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sharon mennonite bible institute introductionIntroduction to SMBI

The Lord of the church has given his body a variety of gifts and roles “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:12). This verse contains a three-fold directive for every born again follower of Christ.  As saints, we are called to move toward and into the ongoing work of sanctification and perfection in our own lives.  As Christ works in us, we become His hands and feet continuing the ministry of redemption which He initiated before mankind ever needed redemption.  Finally, since we are designed to function as a body and not an isolated ear or foot, we must band together as a body to build up and encourage our fellow pilgrims as we journey together.

At Sharon Mennonite Bible Institute it is our vision to function as a support to churches and families as together we endeavor to see these directives fulfilled in our lives and the lives of our students.   We have no desire to become another option in the smorgasbord of entertainment and diversion, but rather to be a dynamic tool that God can use to perform His work in and through each of us.  We appreciate your support as we strive to perfect the saints, equip them for ministry, and build up the body of Christ.

Clifford Schrock, Administrator