This year, I turned fifty. While I’m thankful for great health, I see cracks forming in this jar of clay. Decades ago, a tough workout meant that I’d be sore the next day. Now, I’m sore for a week. Before, I’d jump in a pick-up game of basketball or ultimate Frisbee. Now, I’m satisfied to just sit and watch. But the most bothersome tell of entropy is the pair of glasses sitting on my ample nose.

I always was blessed with great vision, but I remember when it started to decline. My kids would shove a book in my face, and say, “Hey Dad, read this.” My response was always, “Whoa there… that’s way too close!” It took time, and an expensive trip to the optometrist, to realize that I was experiencing an eye condition common at age 40: hyperopia (nearsightedness). Holding books at arm’s length, I could read without a problem. Eventually, my arms weren’t long enough. I remember the “Oh, wow” reaction when purchasing the first pair of reading glasses. I could see clearly! Now, I use glasses to read, virtually all the time.

Have you ever faced a situation you couldn’t see a clear answer to? Have you ever had a break-through – something that brings clarity, understanding and a clean solution? Perhaps it was a change of perspective? Just as a good pair of reading glasses unlocks the secret of tiny text, so a fresh perspective opens up new ways to see things more clearly.

Over this past year, I’ve had plenty of situations that I couldn’t see a way through. Whether working through tough cultural differences, impossible government situations, or walking with hesitant steps of financial faith, God invariably showed us the way. As my family and I leave the US and return to Thailand in less than two weeks, we will be leaving our second son behind as he pursues his future. We will miss his spontaneity, his loud laugh, his enthusiasm. His transition to the US will change us all in a way that we may not be able to foresee. I’m realizing that in all things, we need to see with God’s vision and clarity. Please pray us, for the leadership of EMA for clear vision, clarity, and understanding for the journey ahead.

“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” – 1 Corinthians 13:12



Dan is EMA’s Executive Director and heads up the Engineering Technology program. He’s an engineer who doesn’t like to maintain things. An administrator who doesn’t want to be put in a box.  He prefers to teach about interesting things rather than follow a strict lesson plan.  He says he likes chaos, but finds he secretly wants things organized.  He says he’s full, but wants to know what’s for dessert.  He is always busy working but would rather hang out with his kids and wife.



Sue Ryan
So enjoyed reading this!
Charles Odegaard
Thanks Dan for pointing me to the clear vision of our Lord. Blessings, Chuck

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