Dear beloved family, true friends and army of encouragers,
This year began on a positive note with the launch of Sharayah’s website evangelism tool, gospel tracts and children’s book and with Sheridan learning to sleep through the night at 16 months old. Scott was busy serving as chief of staff to the president at Southwestern Seminary, where he is finishing his last few seminars in the Ph.D. program. Our family was living on the campus of Southwestern Seminary, joyfully serving the people and the mission of the school with our whole hearts. We cannot begin to say how grateful we are for the opportunity to serve at Southwestern for more than a decade and to begin our family there.
As many of you know, the spring brought an onslaught of turmoil into our lives. While a book could [and still may] be written detailing the surreal events that transpired, we’ll summarize it simply as a season of unfounded and slanderous attacks that provided ammunition for the brutal character assassination of the seminary’s then president. Aided by the same mob-mentality social media frenzy that — also this year — nearly destroyed Justice Kavanaugh, the coordinated smear campaign was propped up by Christians who dared not get involved, presumably for fear of becoming collateral damage — some even being fully aware of the truth.
To make a long and excruciating story short, this summer we lost our job and home at the seminary as a result of our support of Dr. Paige Patterson and Sharayah’s public defense of him. We have no regrets. Our allegiance is to our Heavenly Father. We chose to fear Him, not man, this summer, and to put into action everything Southwestern Seminary has taught us both over the past decade of formal and informal education. As a result of this season of tumult, we have truly experienced the hand of God in a way never possible when walking roads less difficult.
God has been faithful beyond words. His Holy Spirit has been our comforter and counselor. His Word has been more precious than food. He has stretched us, grown us, instructed us, led us, helped us, sustained us and shown us a side of His majesty and mystery that we liken to seeing a new color on a new spectrum — a higher note on the treble clef than our ears have ever heard. It’s no exaggeration or platitude to say that we truly count it all joy. Many live their entire lives without the opportunity really to stand for truth and to test the metal of their faith. We have, and we are grateful in the most sincere sense.
We walk into a new year having wrestled with evil deep in the water, at moments wondering with burning lungs if we would surface to breathe again. But God lifted and led us back to shore and has shone His sun on our faces. We have turned into the wind and are driven forward, ready and excited to serve the Lord in the next way — whatever it is — equipped with a lifetime worth of trial-turned-goodness and refined-by-fire faith that is stronger than absolutely ever, all because of our good, good God.
We will never be the same again. Thank God.
With integrity intact and loyalty to Christ,
Scott and Sharayah
Psalm 5:7-8 | 2 Thess. 2: 15-17 | Psalm 31:24 Matthew 7:14 | Psalm 26