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Living the Unexpected: Upheaval, Hope, and Provision

April 18, 2020
Regent’s work continues in new and previously unimagined ways. It’s a captivating sight.

Regent’s academic and financial year concludes on April 30. As the end of the year approaches, President Jeff Greenman reflects on the unexpected upheaval of this time and the pressing needs of our world, as well as his gratitude for God’s provision and the Regent community’s generosity.

I don’t know about you, but this isn’t what I thought April 2020 would look like.

Just a couple months ago, I was looking forward to another beautiful spring on Regent’s campus, with students sprawled out on the grass beneath the wind tower and huddled around tables in the sun-filled atrium. I was looking forward to meeting students’ families at this year’s grad tea, congratulating each graduating student at Regent’s fiftieth convocation, and later welcoming 700 friends from around the world to a joyful reunion.

I didn’t expect to be leading something called a Coronavirus Response Team, or to walk out of the atrium one day in March, not knowing when I’d be back. I didn’t expect to see the lives of so many individuals and communities overturned seemingly overnight, or the good work of so many businesses, charities, and churches jeopardized by threats so far beyond their control.

I certainly didn’t expect to be inviting your support in meeting Regent’s financial needs in the midst of a global crisis unparalleled in most of our lifetimes.

Indeed, things are not as I—as we—expected them to be. God alone has not been taken by surprise in recent weeks.

I do see God’s hand at work in this troubled time. Alongside stories of personal and collective crisis, stories of hope and heroism emerge from around the world. Closer to home, I have seen the Regent community come together and accomplish things that hardly seemed possible before they materialized.

If you’d asked me a few months ago whether Regent could move its entire roster of winter courses online in less than a week, I would have thought you were joking. If you’d asked me to imagine what weekly chapel would look like if no one could gather in the same building, I might have dismissed the idea. But here we are. We’ve adapted, and while many of these improvised solutions might fall a bit short of our normal high ideals, they are sufficient unto the day—and deeply appreciated by our community.

By God’s grace and through the marvelous energy, creativity, and patience of our students, faculty, staff, and supporters, Regent’s work continues in new and previously unimagined ways. It’s a captivating sight, and a privilege to witness. I am very proud of this community.

No less encouraging have been the stories I’ve heard from members of Regent’s extended family around the world. I have been heartened by countless stories of caring, generosity, and sacrifice. There are innumerable needs around us—individual needs, as well as the needs of churches, charities, and community initiatives old and new—and innumerable ways in which you and I may be called and compelled to be good neighbours to others near and far.

I trust that you are finding ways to be a good neighbour in your own context. I want to take this opportunity to commend and encourage any and all expressions of generosity you may be called to at this time, whether that looks like supporting a sick friend, sharing your expertise as your church explores new modes of ministry, or helping to meet the needs of a local shelter or an international relief agency.

If your circumstances allow and the Spirit leads you to express your generosity through financial support of Regent College’s mission and our students, I would warmly welcome your support. Your prayers, too, would be appreciated more than I can say.

In these days of uncertainty and inescapable vulnerability, I am profoundly grateful for you, and for every member of Regent’s worldwide community. I am grateful to be united with you in support of the good work that Regent and so many other worthy organizations are pursuing at this very moment.

Above all, I am grateful that you and I have the privilege of serving a God who is never taken by surprise, but delights in surprising us again and again with new expressions of his enduring faithfulness and provision.

If you would like to contribute financially to Regent’s ongoing work in this season, we invite you to make an online donation today.

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