From Boiler-room to Front porch



No, I’m not changing the name of my blog.  Just taking advantage of Omaha’s best weather day this spring to get a post out to you.  Hope you are enjoying a fantastic Memorial Day weekend.

Support Update

As I head into the last month of InterVarsity’s fiscal year, I wanted to throw a shout-out to all my ministry partners.  Thank you for keeping me funded so I can do this work.  June 30th will mark the end of my second full year of fundraising.  I’m grateful not only for those who gave so generously in my early days of returning to staff, but to my current team of active donors.  This year I’ve been able to maintain a very full travel schedule and get around to all the places I supervise.  Solid monthly and annual donations make that possible.  To the 61 currently active donors I’m blessed to have, thank you for playing your part!

Heading into a new fiscal year for IV staff generally means a new working budget with increased costs (sometimes including a salary increase).  Next year’s full budget for me will be about $103K.  The year I’m wrapping up next month has brought in about $79K.  Thanks to a few resources left over from the previous year – this fiscal year will most likely wrap up even.  Heading into the coming fiscal year, though I’m going to need to find about $24K in new resources.

Click here to be taken to Tim’s donation page at InterVarsity

Pray for me this summer as I recruit additional ministry partners.  The average donor in my profile gives about $1,295 per year.  I wish it were simply a matter of finding 24 new monthly givers – but in reality my supporters vary widely in what they are able to help me with.  Pray that I’d find more of those rock-solid $100 per month donors.  Pray also that I’d find larger, annual gifts as well.  I have terrific ministry partners already on my team – my future needs are pressing me to find more.  Ministry partners who have had to stop giving also need to be replaced.


Finding people and resources in the summer months helps us start the school year strong.  Each summer the South-Central GFM Region kicks off a group effort to find more ministry partners.  Staff facing significant shortages or in need of increased support (like me) will be video conferencing each Tuesday morning for training, encouragement and accountability.  Pray for our efforts.  Last summer I was one of 11 staff who did SOMPD (Summer of Ministry Partner Development).  Our SOMPD group raised a total $126K in 3 months!  Pray that we have another fruitful summer!

Thank You Team!

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10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. … 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. … 15 Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! (2 Corinthians 9- ESV)

peony ant

Will the magic happen this summer?  If this ant has any say it will!

Creighton’s first GFM graduates!


Caroline Silva, OTD

I started my job with Graduate Faculty Ministries nearly two years ago.  While my supervisory role takes me all over the four-state region, I always have my eyes and ears open to my own backyard of Omaha, Nebraska.  Back then, Kathy Padilla, a faculty member in the Spanish department at Creighton, introduced me to a new graduate student in Occupational Therapy (OT) whom she was very encouraged with.  Caroline Silva had been in InterVarsity at UNO during her undergrad years, and right away wanted to get something started in her department in grad school.  In OT, you have a very short window of opportunity for building community.  OT1s turn into OT2s at the blink of an eye.  OT3s totally evaporate from campus the last year of their program.  If something is going to outlive your efforts as a student leader, the baton has to get handed off quickly.

The blog-post I began the school year with is proof that things can get handed off quickly.  But not without some help from more permanent players in the mix.  That’s where Kathy and Emily entered the picture.  Caroline led the OT GFM group till her OT3 year when she handed it off to Emily Carothers.  Emily built on last year’s experience by adding a bible study group that met on campus.  Caroline has been away this past year doing her rotations while the group has continued.

regan cooper splainin

Regan Cooper’s family – a captive audience!

It was a special joy to see Caroline and few other OT3s come back to do their Capstone presentations.  There were over a hundred graduating OTDs (Occupational Therapy Doctorate) at the event presenting intricate Capstone projects like Regan’s: Interprofessional Approach for Treating Complex Developmental Trauma in Adolescents.  When you look at our mission and four commitments through this lens it’s exciting to think of the impact these professionals stand to make in their emerging careers!

The next few months for these graduates continue to scream by.  Graduation, moving, new job, new community, passing their board exam.  One student I know is actually getting married the weekend after graduation!  As you think of these graduating-graduates pray for them in midst of this tumultuous season of life.

Thanks for reading.  Thanks for praying.  Thanks for giving to our work!

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I think I’m holding this upside down.

sumerian cell phone

I can’t really say for sure.  Any ancient Sumerian readers out there?

Wow, there’s so much this spring I realize I haven’t brought to the blog.  Past stories I’ve left hanging out there like a piano dangling between the first and second story (better get back to that one soon).  I haven’t mentioned Mundelein.  Haven’t talked about the 2030 Calling.  So, I’ll try to work my way back to those in a series of shorter, more frequent posts.  Let me start here.  Last week.  Schuyler, Nebraska (for those nubes out there, you say it SKY-LER).

gfm central sbc lake

So my staff team does this retreat pretty much every year.  Last year was my first year to be with this bunch of Graduate Faculty Staff members.  This is the team I currently lead.  I am glad to report that the only person not appearing in this year’s photo – who was in last year’s photo – is the former team leader, Carrie Bare.  Carrie, where ever you are, here’s your old team after a year of being subjected to my leadership.  They don’t look too worse for the wear.

This is a significant moment for me.  Here’s what my first full year of team leading has involved.  This wasn’t true of the year leading up to that by the way.  Year one as you recall was MPD, MPD, MPD.

  • 19 campus visits connecting up with staff and volunteers in the following towns:  St. Louis, Columbia, Lawrence, Manhattan, Emporia, Iowa City, Des Moines, Ankeny, Ames (odd, no Lincoln yet, hmmm).
  • Weekly prayer calls with some of my team-members via Zoom most Monday mornings at 9:30.
  • Monthly Zoom staff meetings as an area team.
  • Supervision of my team’s finances and their Ministry Partnership Development (MPD).
  • Supervision of each team member’s Annual Ministry Plan and how they are doing developing their work on campus.

I’m tired.  This time of the year is a good mental resting place because the campus visits will pause for the summer and we’ll all be able to take a deep breath.  Just in time for job performance reviews and Regional Staff conference.  There you have it.  A year in the life of a GFM supervisor.

solarium sbc

Retreat this year had a lot of space for catching up as a team.  Formally and informally.  My two favorite team moments were the two nights we were able to hang out in the solarium at the St. Benedict Center.  It’s a quite, library-esque space with a tall, tall pointy wooden ceiling, lots of windows and bookshelves.  One team member noted that he felt my wood-wick candle had truth serum infused in it.  We took turns over the course of two short evenings catching up and praying for each other.  My team has worked hard.  Several of them are in serious moments of change on their family and ministry timelines.  The work at a few of our schools is at a difficult place and we’d like to see more fruit from our labors.  Please keep us in your prayers!

Two other favorite moments.

When you spend a lot of time and trouble getting to a beautiful place only to encounter a disappointing speaker or an activity that just doesn’t connect – it can take more energy out of you than what gets put in.  I’m not going to say everything we did at retreat was just over the moon, but we did all seem to enjoy Dr. Eric Smith on tuesday afternoon.  And pretty much everyone raved about David Brooks on wednesday morning.  Yup we had David Brooks at our staff retreat.  But first, the guy you might not have heard about, Eric Smith.

eric smith

One of our core commitments in GFM is the integration of faith and academic discipline.