Obtain the services you need and reconnect with the people you miss through the information below and links
located to the right. Direct your comments to the alumni director.
Rays Chaplain Addresses Student Body
Alumnus Gio Llerena
(March 7, 2014) When one considers MLB's Tampa Bay Rays, names such as David Price, Ben Zobrist, and Sean Rodriquez may come to mind. But what about Gio Llerena? Few recognize this name, but Gio is a vital part of the Rays organization. In 2005, Gio joined the staff of Baseball Chapel as the director of Latino Ministries with responsibilities in countries such as Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. But in addition, he is Chapel Minister for the Tampa Bay Rays, one of the hottest teams in the eastern division of MLB's American League. Gio is also a 1994 graduate of Clearwater Christian College where he majored in Business.
Gio's journey after graduation led him into a successful business career in Tampa and his hometown of Miami, and then on staff at Clearwater Christian College. He later accepted a call to full-time ministry to serve as youth and Spanish ministry pastor for the New Testament Baptist Church in Largo, Florida. From there, the doors opened for an opportunity to join Baseball Chapel to minister to an exclusive group of young men and their families who happen to be members of one of America's favorite past times.
Gio was invited to be the chapel speaker during our 2014 Spring Student Athlete Days. This admissions recruitment event targets young men and women who want to participate in intercollegiate athletics while attending college. Gio's appearance in chapel on this day stresses an important distinctive of CCC- athletic participation is a means to glorify God by allowing the gospel to permeate our entire being in such a manner that we speak it openly through our lives and witness to others. In his message, Gio compared the world's view of success to that spoken of in the Bible. The world views success through victories won and personal statistics. The Bible views success in how one honors and magnifies the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, Gio gave three marks of the Gospel-centered athlete-humility, passion for God, and self-control-through specific scripture and examples from his ministry in major league baseball.
Klem Announces Kellogg Scholarship
Dr. Klem presents award to Matt Kellogg
(March 6, 2014) Statements such as 'hard work pays off' can be realized in so many different ways. Today in chapel, President Klem shared with the student body one way that involves a CCC faculty member.
Just moments before our morning speaker was to preach his message, Dr. Klem invited Professor of Education Dr. Matt Kellogg to the platform. Dr. Klem proceeded to inform the student body that a scholarship program in his honor will become available beginning this year. The scholarship was established by donors in recognition of Dr. Kellogg's impact on students through his teaching, discipleship ministry, and willingness to go the extra mile for his students. The scholarship, named the Matthew Kellogg Scholarship for Teachers, will award $2,500 to an eligible education major, with preference given to mathematics education majors. The scholarship is intended to be renewed each year until the recipient graduates from CCC.
Dr. Kellogg's response to this announcement was "I often tell my education majors that teaching at times can be both one of the most discouraging and most encouraging jobs there is. Today was definitely an encouragement. What a humbling and exciting honor to be recognized for doing something I thoroughly enjoy. This scholarship will help ease the financial burden of future education majors, and that thrills my soul! I am constantly encouraged by the caring discipleship exhibited by my colleagues at Clearwater Christian College. God has truly established, sustained, and greatly blessed this unique place of academic training and ministry. I am very thankful to be part of such a place. "
Dr. Kellogg holds degrees from Bob Jones University (B.S. Mathematics Education), DeSales University (M.Ed. Mathematics Education), and the University of South Florida (Ph.D. Curriculum & Instruction in Mathematics Education). Originally from Rochester, New York, Matt taught middle and high school mathematics in Sellersville, PA before joining the CCC faculty in 2000. At CCC, he is the instructor for the Freshman Seminar class taken by all first-time students, teaches in our mathematics department, and instructs all education majors in required technology and mathematics methodology courses.
ALUMNI GUESTS AT BOARD MEETING
Gio Llerena, Steve Cone and Nathan Buchanan
(March 5, 2014) At the spring meeting of the board of directors, numerous individuals, including a good representation from CCC alumni, were invited to attend as their first introduction to this vitally important component of the college organization. The purpose for this effort is to fortify the board of directors and to increase the number of men and women who can contribute to the ministry through their expertise, experience, and resources. The list of invitees was generated through the efforts of a board ad hoc committee comprised of board member Kathy Hildebrand, advisory board members Thomas Bates (committee chairman) and Nathan Buchanan, and faculty representatives Kris DeWitt and Ben Puckett.
These invited individuals were introduced at an informal fellowship held Thursday night and attended general and specific sessions of the board during the day Friday. After attending two board meetings and upon vote of the board of directors, these individuals could become official members of the national advisory board of the college. The national advisory board is a body of individuals active in the support and promotion of the college but the members do not having voting privileges on important business matters. However, it is from this body that official voting board members are drawn.
Current Alumni Board Members
An encouraging note from this meeting was the overwhelming love these alumni exhibited for their alma mater and their desire to see it succeed in the future. Please pray for them and the college as they continue on their journey. Below is a list of alumni who currently serve on the college board or were invited to attend the meeting.
David Foreman('84) - Wyeth Pharmaceuticals - Jacksonville, FL
Current Alumni Advisory Board Members
Thomas Bates ('04) - Director of International Sales - Correct Craft, Orlando, FL
Nathan Buchanan ('97) - Franchised Restaurant Owner - Chick-fil-A, Stuart, FL
Matt Trill ('88) - Senior Pastor - New Testament Baptist Church, Largo, FL
Alumni Guests at February 2014 Meeting
David Altman ('86) - Senior Pastor - Southside Baptist Church, Sebring, FL
Steve Cone ('98) - Camp Director - High Point Camp, Geigertown, PA
Joe Conrad ('07) - Optometrist - Primary Eye & Vision Care, Howell, MI
Dan Edwards ('96) - Director for New Business Development - Tim Horton's, PA
Paul Finelli ('98) - Senior Development Officer - Florida Hospital, Orlando, FL
Douglas Hess ('03) - Flight Paramedic - GlobalMed Services, Tampa, FL
Ward Hubbell ('10) - Executive Director - World Hope, Orlando, FL
James Lane ('01) - Director - Capital One, Salinas, CA
Gio Llerena ('94) - Director of Latin American Ministries for Baseball Chapel and Chaplain for Tampa Bay Rays, St. Petersburg, FL
Noemi Pagan ('98) - Family Physician - Moncks Corner Primary Care, South Carolina
Dr. Jon Steele ('74) - Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts - St. Petersburg College, Clearwater, FL
Wes Williams ('96) - Investment Advisor - Griffith & Werner,Canton, GA
BLAKEMORE FEATURED AT CONCERT
(February 28, 2014) Tuesday night fine art events typically include a dramatic presentation or vocal or instrumental performance by some outside accomplished actor or musician. But this Tuesday's concert is a special one. It features one of Clearwater Christian College's own - Ryan Blakemore.
Ryan followed his brother Andrew and sister Gracelynn to CCC to study with Dr. Craig Ralston and left in 2010 with a B.S. in Music (all-in-all, there are five in the Blakemore family who are alumni of CCC!). After CCC, Ryan continued on to Florida State University and earned a Master's degree in Piano Pedagogy studying under Vicki McArthur, Joshua Pifer, and David Kalhous. He also taught on the undergraduate level, served as a practice coach, and lectured during their summer piano camp. After FSU, Ryan kept excelling. He enrolled at University of South Carolina studying under professors Charles Fugo and Scott Price. Also at USC, he taught class piano, presented a session at the SC State Music Teacher's Convention, and accompanied for the University Chorus and undergraduate vocal auditions. In July, Ryan moved to Orlando and joined the Orlando Music Institute and the teaching faculty of CCC. A long list of musical accomplishments follows him wherever he goes. And wherever Ryan travels, he finds himself a part of a local Bible-believing church, investing his talents for the Lord's use in that local assembly.
For this concert, Ryan is joined by Lydia Aluri, another distinguished classical pianist, for a piano duet concert. They perform a wide selection of pieces including the impressionist by French composer Debussy, concertos from famed South American tango composer Astor Piazolla, jazz arrangements from American-born Dave Brubeck, and selections from Leonard Bernstein "Symphonic Dances from West Side Story" - a definite crowd pleaser from Tuesday night's concert.
Ryan Blakemore and Lydia Aluri
Ryan is quickly becoming a cherished member of our music department. Student Sarah Trill said "He makes you look more deeply. He's great at helping us analyze and really understand the music." Carrie Kirby stated 'He (Mr. Blakemore) is good at breaking things down. He breaks explanations down so that you can understand them and he breaks technique and trouble spots down into precise practice steps. Some of what he plays himself comes naturally but unlike most who do things naturally, he can break down what he is doing and explain to others how to do it. He is high energy. His love and excitement for everything music is infectious-he makes you want to practice and pushes you past what you think you can do. He makes you laugh."
The student body was stirred during the concert Tuesday night. The selections and the delightful performance by Ryan and Lydia were outstanding. But above all, the College is blessed to have a quality graduate who represents his vocation and Lord so well.
STRIKING IT BIG IN THE AIR FORCE
(February 27, 2014) Brooke Begemann graduated from Clearwater Christian College in 2010 with a degree in Mathematics, a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant with the United States Air Force, and the prospects for great things in the future. But no one knew exactly what those prospects would be. As with most graduates, she obtained the academic training and spiritual influence to impact her world for Christ. But the role she would play in the future would be determined as she applied them to life and walked through the doors God opened for her along the way.
Fast forward three years later. It is now Captain Brooke Lake. A marriage to Andrew and a promotion are the cause for these changes in her life. But another change has come for Brooke through the Air Force. In 2013, the Air Force commissioned a feature they call '28 Days in the Air Force Global Strike Command' where a journalist, photographer, and videographer travel to several bases around the United States covering the airmen of Global Strike Command. Global Strike Command is one of the most vital arms of the USAF. GSC provides combat-ready forces to conduct strategic nuclear deterrence and global strike operations in support of combatant commanders. In this feature, Brooke takes center stage as we discover her role as trainer is revealed. Brooke is on the forefront of the world against global terrorism and has a front row seat in training others to effectively serve their country.
With assistance from the USAF, we are able to share aspects of this story with our CCC family. Click on Video to see and hear Brooke, Life of a Missile operator, and Photos for related stills.
CATHERINE ANTHONY HOME WITH THE LORD
(February 25, 2014) The college family was informed of the homegoing of Catherine Anthony, former professor in the Division of Humanities, on Sunday, February 23. Mrs. Anthony came to CCC from Washington Bible College in 1995 and continued until her retirement in May, 2012. Kitty, as she was often called by her fellow teachers, was known for her scholarship and kind spirit. Humanities Division Chair Dr. Daniel Hurst stated "Kitty's actions caused my wife and me to come to Clearwater. The president discussed the need in the English department with her, and she discretely called us when we were working in South Carolina. She asked whether or not we had names to consider for the position at Clearwater. We did submit a name. Then we thought that God might mean for us to apply, so we did, and now over fifteen years have elapsed in our work here. Kitty had wonderful self-possession and a lively sense of humor. She was widely read and brought all of these qualities to work harmoniously in the English department. She might have been the most urbane person with whom I have worked closely. I think that she could talk to kings without being intimidated. Her extensive travel leant authenticity to her discussion of literature. I would love to overhear her as she reviews her fervent reformed position now with the One she would declare to have been its Author." Assistant professor of English and Literature Kim Tanner and one of Mrs. Anthony's students stated 'Kitty was so kind and helpful to me when I came to Clearwater to teach. She gave me stacks of books, videos, and anything else she thought might be useful, not to mention a lot of excellent advice about planning study tours. I appreciated her when I was a student at Clearwater, but I appreciated her even more as a colleague. She is missed.' A memorial service will be held at Clearwater Christian College on Monday March 17 at 10:00 a.m. in the Gospel Center Memorial Chapel.
A FOREVER STORY
(February 24, 2014) It all started as a simple trip to China for a teen seeking an experience of a lifetime and resulted in a lifetime experience for the entire family! This is the gist of what alumnus David Altman shared in chapel with the CCC family - but there's so much more to the story!
In the summer of 2011, Katie, the oldest daughter of Pastor Dave and his wife Teresa, travelled to Maria's Big House of Hope in Luoyang, China, to minister to special needs orphans. This care center is owned and operated by a Christian organization out of Franklin, Tennessee, called Show Hope started by recording artist Stephen Curtis Chapman and his wife Mary Beth. These children have been abandoned by their Chinese birth parents, given loving treatment by the gracious staff at MBHOH, and made available for adoption to Christians living in the USA.
Most are adopted, but those who are not placed by the age of six are required to be transferred to one of the state-run orphanages where all hope of finding a home and the continued help they will need are lost forever. After returning from China, the image and story brought back of one little girl by the name of Jaelynn lingered in the family's heart and mind. Jaelynn was different than all the rest in Katie's album of faces because of her gracious spirit to everyone at MBHOD, her infectious smile, and the fact that she was one of the oldest not yet claimed. Pastor Altman shared how God touched his family's heart and led them to pursue becoming Jaelynn's 'forever family.' After months of prayer, completing reams of paperwork, and raising funds to cover the costs associated with this overseas adoption, the Altmans were finally able to bring Jaelynn home with them to Sebring, Florida. Although now safely home, challenges continue for Jaelynn and her family because of the numerous surgeries she has faced and others yet to come. But throughout the process, the Lord continues to show Himself faithful. From the start, Pastor Altman and his family have used this experience to share the story of God's leading and faithfulness, and to compare their story of adoption to this marvelous biblical truth found in the Word of God.
Teresa, Jaelynn, Abby and David Altman
For CCC students, the testimony of Pastor Altman and his family serves as a marvelous story of what God can do through a family surrendered to do His will regardless of the cost and how He brings hope to the hopeless. Many students commented through an assignment in their psychology classes taught by Dr. Kris DeWitt. One student wrote "I must say today's chapel was a blessing. My favorite quote from Pastor Dave Altman's message was 'everyone is called to do something'. However, it doesn't mean we will be perfect when we are called. It was nice of Pastor Altman to be transparent on how he made excuses using his age, weight, and his financial status before making the decision to adopt Jaelynn. It wasn't until he stopped and asked himself 'I wonder if God has something more for me'. And as we are aware He wasn't finish with Pastor Altman for everyday He is using the Altman family to love, nourish, and cherish Jaelynn-leaving a lasting impression on not only her but those who hear their story. A life story that truly demonstrates his opening statement, 'when you obey God you have no idea what your influence will be' ".
David Altman and his wife Teresa have been at Southside Baptist Church in Sebring, Florida, since 1999. Pastor Altman graduated from CCC in 1986 with a degree in Bible and has served two previous pastorates before Southside. The Altmans have four children -Katie and Matthew, both currently enrolled at CCC, Abby, and Jaelynn. For more information on this story, click on Show Hope and the Altman's story.
Watch the video of Pastor Altman as he speaks in chapel here
TEACHER RECRUITMENT CONFERENCE BRING ALUMNI HOME
Student Stacie Brandt(center) with Cynthia Bartal(left) and Jody Dorris
(February 21, 2014) Each year, the Education department sponsors a recruitment conference targeting the educational and ministerial needs of Christian organizations throughout the United States and even into different parts of the world. In recent years, between twenty and twenty five Christian ministries, most being Christian day schools, come to campus to find graduates who can fill positions they anticipate open for the coming school year. While teachers are among the chief hires being sought after, many ministries also come looking for other non-teaching employees such as assistant pastors, accounting and business personnel, facility managers, and other vocational specialists who desire to invest their training in full-time Christian ministry.
Among the recruiters attending this year's conference are CCC graduates are Stephanie Kuhn Bruns ('04) elementary principal at Lakeside Christian School in Clearwater, Jody Cloud Dorris ('96) middle school language teacher from Hendersonville Christian Academy in Tennessee, and Sarah Bartal ('05) music teacher from Barnabas Christian Academy in Port St. Lucie, Florida. We welcome all our guests and especially our alumni back to campus.
Congratulations to the education department for another great conference. For more information on employment opportunities linked through CCC, click on jobs.
MARTIN FEATURED BY TYNDALE HOUSE
(February 19, 2014) Carl Martin ('77) is featured by Tyndale House England on their News and Publication website link from an interview conducted last fall before he returned to the states. Founded in 1944, Tyndale House is an independent biblical studies library that provides specialist resources in support of research into the Old Testament, New Testament and relevant historical backgrounds. Its research services and resources have aided Bible scholars in their personal study and completion of advanced degree projects. Many well-known evangelical and contemporary Christian thinkers and authors from our country and abroad have availed themselves of the resources and fellowship available through this society of learners. Carl has had the privilege of utilizing their resources in his most recent doctorial pursuit where he has been directing his academic thoughts toward the Gospel of John. Click here to read the full interview.
REMEMBERING JIM MUNRO
Condolences go out to the family of Dr. James Munro who went home to be with the Lord on Thursday evening,
February 13, 2014. Dr. Munro joined the CCC family in 1987 and served as vice president until his departure in 2002.
Dr. Munro will be remembered for his warm smiles, humorous anecdotes, and genuine love of people. He leaves behind
his beloved wife Reva, daughters Jody (husband Roger) and Jamie (husband Mark), and four grandchildren.
BISCOE WITH THE LORD
The College family sends its condolences to the family of B. Robert Biscoe who went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday,
February 12 at age 89. Dr. Biscoe joined the college in 1992 and served the ministry for ten years as field representative
and vice president for development. Dr. Biscoe was preceded in death by his first wife Mae and grandson Sgt. Allen James
Dunckley and is survived by two daughters, five grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren, and second wife Evelyn.
GRACING OUR CAMPUS
(February 14, 2014) The College family welcomed Bobby and Karen Williams, representatives of Camp Grace in Fairmont, North Carolina, to campus on this Valentine celebration. After graduating from CCC in 1984 in Physical Education, Bobby and his wife eventually became missionaries with Children's Bible Ministry (CBM) and moved to Robeson County in 1996 to begin a camp ministry. While CBM has been ministering in the area since 1955 with a unique ministry to the Lumbee Indian children through Bible clubs, it had never had an active camping ministry. The William's challenge was to find property, start a camp program, and expand this ministry to the churches and families of greater Lumberton area. The early years were difficult but over time the camp had blossomed in a tremendous outreach to their community. One purpose for their trip to CCC was one to recruit summer workers for the 2014 camping season.
Clearwater Christian College has had a small part in Camp Grace over the years. Bible professor Bob Carver has been a featured camp speaker since their inception. Current CCC students Matt Altman, Rebecca Luepschen, Matt Schisler, and Lydia Huguenin have all served on staff in the recent past. In addition, CCC registrar Tom Cannon and his wife Judy have led student work crews during spring break to help prepare for upcoming summer ministry.
Click on Camp Grace for more information.
MAJORS MEETING FEATURE CCC ALUMNI
(February 10, 2014) Twice a semester, faculty heads from the five academic divisions of the college sponsor what we call Major Meetings where pertinent information regarding the academic program, advising, and graduate school or vocational interest are addressed. Often these meetings include guest speakers who present a topic of interest or need for students pursuing specific career tracks. On this specific occasion, Clearwater Christian College students in the business division and psychology department were greeted by graduates Max Duchame and Jennifer Carter.
Max is a 2012 Business graduate and is employed by Cintas, one of the nation's largest suppliers of specialized services to the business community. In his address to the business division, Max shared the challenges of finding that first job after graduation and the important role internships play in the overall process.
Jennifer graduated from CCC in Psychology in 2011 and currently works as a family case manager for Devereux of Florida located in Palm Bay. Devereux is one of the leading nonprofit behavioral health organizations in the country that supports the most underserved and vulnerable members of society through their national network of clinical, therapeutic, educational and employment programs. Jennifer shared her journey through college into the mental health field, sharing many practical college and work experiences she had along the way. It was good also to hear both graduates remain active in a local church in their communities. Jennifer plans to travel this summer with a church mission team to minister at an orphanage in Ethiopia. Both graduates are experiencing success at their company and came expressing encouraging promise to CCC students who seriously consider their organization upon graduation.
CCC thanks Max and Jennifer for sharing their experiences with fellow alumni. Other alumni interested in participating in similar mentoring opportunities are encouraged to contact their Alumni Association.
SCIENCE DEPARTMENT SPONSORS DEBATE
(February 4, 2014) With word that the ministry Answers in Genesis (AIG) was planning to Livestream a debate between president/CEO Ken
Ham and popular science educator/television personality Bill Nye (Bill Nye, the Science Guy) from their main auditorium in Kentucky,
the CCC science department jumped at the opportunity to promote this once-in-a-lifetime event with the student body. While many Christians
have been aware of creationism vs. evolution debates of the past and may have even seen one on a DVD, very few have had the privilege of
sitting live during such a production. Since a trip to Kentucky was not practical, bringing the debate to the campus via Livestream became
as a viable alternative, much like watching the Super Bowl from the comfort of your own home. Experiencing this event along with their
students, professors Dr. Jonathan Henry and Dr. Helene Peters are in a great position to build on information communicated by the debaters
in future classes and to engage students in meaningful gospel conversations.
In regard to the importance of this debate, Dr. Peters says "Naturalistic evolution is the great intellectual rival to Christianity
in the Western world. Currently, the authority of the Bible and the truthfulness of the gospel are clearly at stake. The New Testament
clearly establishes the gospel of Jesus Christ upon the foundation of the Bible's account of creation. If there was no historical Adam
and no historical Fall, the gospel is no longer understood in biblical terms. If evolution is true, then the entire narrative of the
Bible has to be revised and reinterpreted. The evolutionary account is not only incompatible with any historical affirmation of Genesis,
but it is also incompatible with the claim that all humanity is descended from Adam and the claim that in Adam all humanity fell into
sin and guilt. The Bible's account of the Fall and its consequences is utterly incompatible with evolutionary theory. The third chapter
of Genesis is as problematic for evolutionary theory as the first two. This is the new shape of the debate over evolution: We now face
the undeniable truth that the most basic and fundamental questions of biblical authority and gospel integrity are at stake. This is why
believers should be ready for such a debate as is happening tonight between Ken Ham and Bill Nye."
Dr. Jonathan Henry, chair of the division of science, opened the meeting with timely comments on what was to transpire and an admonition
to sift everything one hears through the sieve of God's Word. Before the debate began, our viewing area in a large classroom was packed
with students, most remained for the entire 2½ hour production. After the debate, students lingered talking with one other and their
professors regarding what they saw and heard. The numbers were impressive knowing that other scheduled campus events and the ability
to view it from anywhere on campus challenged the necessity of a group activity. Whether viewed together with the group or in the confines
of one's dorm room or home, their efforts were helpful in encouraging students to realize and consider the claims made by the debaters.
We commend Dr. Henry and Dr. Peters for taking the lead in sponsoring this event with the student body.
NORTH TO ALASKA: Reuniting with Mike and Michelle Hogberg
(January 30, 2014) The road we take after graduation can seem like a roller coaster. The pikes and valleys do not always
represent good and bad times, but twists God places in our paths to lead us to His perfect will.
Such is the case for Mike and Michelle Hogberg. After graduation from CCC in 2003, the Hogbergs moved quickly into the flow of life.
With his degree in Business, Mike had two loves that he wanted to pursue vocationally - aviation and law enforcement. The first turn was the
successful completion of pilot training at the local St. Petersburg/Clearwater airport. With a move back to their home state
of Indiana, Mike took his first position as a Trooper with the Indiana State Police department and Michelle began her career
in education. In 2005, the Hogbergs returned to Florida so Mike could start a graduate program in aviation at Embry-Riddle
University in Flagler County. Everything seemed to be moving along better than they could have dreamed.
But here the road took a sharp turn. More info...
Shortly after starting at ERU, it became obvious that the program was changing from what was anticipated,
and this was confirmed as new investors took over the school. It was time to bail. A lateral move back into law enforcement with the Winter
Garden police force enabled them to stay in Florida. This twist began wonderfully as they became involved in successful ministry
in their local church, as Mike received promotions in his job, and as the Lord gave them children.
Submitted by Ben Puckett '76
Then, the next turn in the road came. In 2011, Mike was selected for specialized training with the traffic unit which required
police motorcycle training - something he really liked and desired. During the first week of training, Mike took a fall on his
bike which put him in a wheelchair for a while and eventually out of law enforcement altogether. Almost simultaneously, discouraging
news from home regarding the health needs of both his and Michelle's fathers arrived. It was decided it was time to return to Indiana to help
family. In a short time, both men passed away. Mike was able to secure a position in operations at the local airport in town.
Life seemed to be settling in again, but not in the way they had expected. In over 9 years of marriage, there have been 14 moves
and numerous job changes. Their road in life has taken several sharp turns and many seem senseless to the casual observer.
But not to God. During the various twists of life, Mike stumbled onto the website for Baptist Mid Missions, a mission agency
headquartered out of Cleveland, OH. At one time, he had inquired about a financial operations position they advertised in central
Florida. He had also crossed paths with BMM missionaries in the churches they attended. During one job search, the Lord directed
him to the state of Alaska to interview for one that didn't materialize, but God planted a seed for the land and people through that
experience. Just over a year ago, a need in Alaska appeared on the BMM website - church planters to remote villages in the southwestern
portion of the state. Apparently there are hundreds of these villages (populations of 100-700 people) throughout the region, most of
which are only accessible by small aircraft. Changes in Alaskan state law in the 1970's left the governance of these villages to tribal
leaders who often are antagonistic to religions except that of the old line Russian Orthodox Church or the animism of Eskimo tribesman.
But while church planters are forbidden in many areas, these villages are in great need of workers with vocational skills for surviving
the arctic tundra and help in offering social programs that encourage their citizens to pursue wholesome lifestyles instead of destructive
ones that are occurring as a result of the Internet finally reaching their area. Suddenly, for the Hogbergs, all their education,
vocational/life experiences, and the supposed closed doors found purpose in preparing Mike, Michelle, and their children for what God
has next in their lives.
Today, you will find Mike, Michelle, and their four children (ages 8, 5, 3, and 3 months) on deputation raising
support to join their BMM partners on the field by 2015. In February, they are leaving for a two-month survey trip where they anticipate
receiving a feel for the work and gaining valuable practical information on how they should prepare themselves for eventual ministry.
To reconnect with this alumni couple or gain additional information on God's leading in their lives, contact the Hogbergs at email@example.com.
OVERTONES RECOGNIZES BELL CHOIR TRIP
In spring of 2012, Dr. Pattye Casarow and the Handbell Choir of Clearwater Christian College traveled to Turkey in what they called
'Bells for Bursa,' a ministry trip. This trip was unique in that they introduced handbell music to the citizens of that nation and
obtained access for ministry to hundreds through public concerts and workshops. In addition, the trip enabled CCC students to build
bridges of friendship that many have maintained to this day with fellow college students in Turkey. To state the trip was life
changing would not be inappropriate at the least. More info...
Early this school year, Dr. Casarow decided to share this experience with fellow handbell choir leaders and submitted an article to
Overtones magazine, the official journal of the Handbell Musicians of America professional guild. Handbell Musicians of America was
initially established in 1954 as the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers and has as their primary objective the education,
promotion, and sponsorship of educational activities related to handbell and handchime ringing. The membership includes approximately
7,000 members, mostly directors of choirs from 12 regions throughout the United States. Their motto is "Uniting People through a
Musical Art." To the great delight of the College, the article was not only picked up by the organization, but became their cover
story feature for the January/February 2014 issue.
Regarding the article, Dr. Casarow stated "I wrote this article because the trip was so amazing I wanted to share what God did for us.
There were many examples of God going with us and before us to pave our way. Initially, the idea of traveling to Turkey really was
frightening, but we believed God was leading us to go and we held tightly to Joshua 1:9. I want to encourage others to 'Go with bells.'
The bells open avenues that ordinarily might be closed to a Christian college or church. It may seem formidable with all the equipment
required, but it can be done! Lastly, the friends we made in Turkey are now precious
relationships that we pray will continue to grow. In fact, one of the students is coming to visit us here next month! We would love
it if the Lord would allow us to return to Turkey in the near future."
Click here for a closer look at the article.