Every four years the best athletes in the world gather to compete in the Olympic Games. For the vast majority of these athletes, just making the Olympic team and representing their home countries is a lifetime goal. But for a very select few, the best of the best, there is an honest opportunity to win a gold medal. These elite athletes invest years or possibly decades in preparation. They have competed and been chosen. They have trained and been coached by the best of the best coaches.

Three days after earning his 20th Olympic gold medal in his signature event, the 200 meter butterfly, Michael Phelps tied for second in the 100 meter butterfly. The sports analysts were baffled: What had happened to his world famous final kick which had carried him to victory so many times? Phelps conferred with his coach, Bob Bowman. The next day, Phelps swam the decisive 100 meter butterfly lap in the 4×100 meter medley relay for his 23rd gold medal.

19-year-old Simone Biles, arguably the best gymnast of all time, was well on her way with three golds already in hand. The sports world believed she could win five golds overall, even though no one had ever done that. Then, performing one of her most amazing routines on the balance beam, she slipped, finishing in third with the bronze medal. What happened? Did she lose her concentration or fail to reach the the usual pinnacle of her ceiling-scraping leaps, causing her to come down on the beam too soon? Aimee Boorman, her coach, knew the answer. The next day Biles performed a 90-second envelope pushing floor routine for her fourth Olympic gold medal, joining an extraordinary group of only four other female Olympic gymnasts.

We would never think of sending out the best of the best athletes to perform at the highest level without mentoring coaches. Why should we expect any less from leaders of theological education in limited resource areas of the world?

God has called Synseis to help provide intentional mentors for the top leaders of theological education around the globe. This mentoring role — like that for olympians — may be often neglected or forgotten, but at the same time, it is present, and it is absolutely crucial for gold-medal success. Thanks for helping Synseis fill this important role!

Philippians 4:6 (NIV) …”in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Let’s not forget to thank God for answers to prayer as a major part of our prayer ministry.
Please pray for Synseis Fellow Dr. Victor Cole and Dr. Sam Kargbo, Principal of The Evangelical College of Theology in Sierra Leone, West Africa as they continue in their priceless one-on-one mentoring relationship. We offer praise for the progress as Sam gleans illumination and insight in his leadership. Please continue to pray that Dr. Cole will be filled with the Spirit and wisdom of God and that Dr. Kargbo will be filled the Spirit and the fear of God that will enable a powerful interchange between the two as they labor together for the Kingdom in Africa.

Give praise for God’s moving the heart of Steve Eslick to volunteer several hours a week toward Synseis’ operations needs, thereby freeing up my time to pursue important leadership and mentoring opportunities. I am blessed!

Pray for the Impact South Pacific Initiative underway August 20-25. Synseis joins a Global Partners Team in Brisbane, OLD Australia to participate in strengthening theological education throughout Australia and the islands throughout the Pacific. Pray for the clarity of information and direction about how Synseis can support institutions in this region in the future.

Pray for Impact South America, September 19-22. I will join leaders of seminaries, Bible colleges and institutes in Quito, Ecuador, to participate in the 9th AETAL Conference (the Association of Evangelical Theological Education for Latin America) and explore possibilities of Synseis’ future involvement.

Pray for resources, creativity, and wisdom in order to successfully make important major moves and changes in the immediate future. We believe the coming year promises to be the most impactful yet. STAY TUNED, PRAY, AND GIVE GENEROUSLY!

Ron Freeman