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Greetings on this gorgeous day from the beautiful mountains of central PA. Praise God with us today for $202,000 donated to the housing fund! That's a big milestone and we are grateful to all who have supported this project. Thank you! Join us in prayer for the remaining $68,000 before the July 30 closing. If you haven't heard about this opportunity, click the link below for the rest of the story.

Already we are reaping benefits from this purchase although settlement is not complete. On May 1, we were able to discontinue rental of the “Hines House.” From association minutes, the Harry Brenneman family first lived in this house in the summer of 1979. It cannot easily be verified if SMBI rented it consistently all 41 years since, but certainly most of the time. It has served us well and it was with some nostalgia that we turned it back to the Methodist Parish, but the monthly rent bill will not be missed. We continue rental of a second house that SMBI has also rented for many years.

As use plans have been developed for the new property, the association and facilities committee have identified several phases.
Phase 1, of course, is the land purchase. The cost of this phase includes the purchase price and closing costs for a total of $270,000.
Phase 2 is the Project and Land Development Plan. This in-cludes engineering, prints, permits, and sewer tests at an esti-mated cost of $20,000
Phase 3 is construction of a staff house for expanded housing.
Phase 4 is construction of another staff house to replace the rental housing.
Phase 5 is additional land use developments.
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2 weeks ago  ·  

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Open Hands
By Clifford Schrock

Following is part of the story behind the poems posted this week. As things begin to open up across the country and in churches, it's valuable to reflect on the experiences of the past weeks and what we can learn from them.

Fourth term opened Feb. 24 with 72 students. There was a lot enthusiasm with a full student body, five graduates, missions conference, a three-week western tour and more. Student council selected a theme of “Poured Out as Wine.” The first half of the term went according to script.
But then came COVID-19.
On Monday, Mar. 16, the first day of the second half of term, we closed campus to all visitors and asked the students to stay on campus except for obtaining necessary items. As time progressed and the effects of the virus expanded, our plans became increasingly uncertain. One by one, they were poured out as wine in ways we had not expected.
It became a real-life learning experience that took us beyond anything we could have learned in the classroom. The three poems posted this week are part of the product of this difficult journey.
As, you read these poems, you probably noticed a theme of “open hands.” While written independently, this is no accident. It was one of the significant life-lessons that God was teaching us as one by one dreams and plans were stripped away- visitors and travel, friends and family for graduation, choir tour, and finally recording and an optional three-week special term that was briefly considered. It was a painful, but rich time as we went through the struggle together.
A verse that also became a theme for the journey was, “Stand still and see this great thing that the Lord will do before your eyes.” (I Sam. 12:16 ESV) It certainly is not easy standing still and waiting, but, again, it is such an important life lesson. So many times in life, God asks us to just wait and trust. When we rest and seek God, it changes our perspective in so many situations.
Despite all the losses, we were grateful for the experiences God allowed us to have. In cooperation with the local PA State Patrol, the SMBI association kept us in session until we finished the term on April 2. We were able to livestream graduation and a closing choir program. These can still be viewed on youtube. We stayed healthy. Nearly three weeks “locked-down” together on campus allowed us to experience brotherhood in ways seldom possible. God truly did do a good work that only eternity will fully reveal.
Obviously, COVID-19 has not gone away and does not seem like it will any time soon. There are plenty of struggles for all in many different ways. As we continue this journey, live with open hands. Watch and listen for God’s work in your life and around you. Discover what he wants to do in and through you. Trust and rest in the One that holds yesterday, today, and tomorrow in His capable hands.
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2 weeks ago  ·  

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Our Solid Foundation
By Anna Brubaker

With open hands we come to thee,
Seeking to surrender our hearts.
We struggle to give up our plans,
To watch our hopes and dreams depart.

Oft we find that our trust does lie
In our earthly treasures.
We try to hold what lies so dear,
But then we tend to live in fear.

Shake from us any foundations
That are no foundations at all.
Show us the idols that we trust;
That only on Thee will we call.

When things of the world are shaken,
Guide us to live at rest in Thee,
Knowing the Rock beneath our feet
Never will waver or retreat.

Give us desire for you alone!
To one day kneel before your throne.
Praising God with adoration
The only true, firm foundation.
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3 weeks 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