Thursday, March 2

What a change from Boston during the first of the week and Fayetteville on Wednesday. Walking around in Boston on Monday, the temperature was below 20 and the north wind was blowing at about 2,000 mph - at least it felt that way! I'm almost thawed out now. In Fayetteville on Wednesday, it was 82. Much better.


The trip to Boston was great. The best part was spending time with a team that is working on planting campus ministries in that region. There is such potential for influence there. The Boston metro area has about 50 colleges and universities with over 250,000 students. Of those students, probably less than 1% are actively following Jesus. Some of the most prestigious and influential schools in the world are there: Harvard, MIT, Boston College, Boston University, Tufts, Northeastern, Brandeis. Yet most of the schools are private and do not have to let Christian groups have access. And most of them aren't too interested in extending that privilege - especially if you don't have a group already. So you have a Catch-22: it is hard to build a group if you're not on campus and you can't get on campus unless you have a group. So those working there are having to be creative in meeting students and forming an identity. And then there are the financial realities. Though most things cost about the same as they do here in Fayetteville (and gas was actually cheaper), housing is about four times as high.

So what did I do while I was there? Well, I spent some time visiting campuses, seeing some of the historical areas, and eating at Mike's Pastries. But mostly the time with the campus ministry team was spent dreaming and brainstorming and bouncing ideas around. Please continue to pray for Tim and Stephanie Hawkins and their family, as well as those on their team: Bobby, Nathan, and Kim.


The other part of the trip to Boston was officiating the US Track and Field Indoor Championships. This was the national championship meet for those who are professional. It was also used as the selection meet for the US team to the World Indoor Championships in Moscow. I worked the high jump on Saturday. Both the events went well. The men didn't jump anything too high (7' 4.5"), but it was a good competition with a lot of strategy involved. The guy who won (Adam Shunk, whom I've known for several years now) played that game the best. The women's field was small (only six) and Chaunte Howard won with a personal best of 6' 4.75". On Sunday, I worked at the finish line - moving athletes on and off of the track.

I did realize how spoiled we are here at the UofA. The arena for this national championship meet (kind of the Super Bowl of track and field) was only about half full and the crowd was very subdued. Not at all like the crowds we will have here next week for the NCAA national championship - with over 5,000 noisy folks. It is a great environment.


Two other items of note - kind of related to one another:

In the last few days, Don Knotts passed away. I'm a big fan of the Andy Griffith show - at least of its early episodes. Don Knotts - Barney Fife - was a major part of that. I never really watched him in much of anything else, but he made that show. In fact, once he left the show - and they moved to color - everything went downhill.

The other related item: Ron Howard ("Opie Cunningham") turned 52 yesterday. Now, who can tell me who called him "Opie Cunningham"?

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