Joseph Preston Leads Bible Studies at WLD Ranch (ThM 2002)
I serve as the assistant director at WLD Ranch, a Christian camp near Erie, PA. We host summer camps, horse retreats and lessons, church retreats, and teambuilding events as we seek to guide people to Jesus as the truth in life. Much of my ministry is living out my faith in relationships with Christians and non-Christians, using the opportunities that abound through the various programs and events. Our first goal is to demonstrate the love of Christ by serving with a Christ-like manner. Our second goal is to verbally present the love of Christ as the answer for what each person needs in life. I have the privilege of developing our summer camp Bible lessons, leading devotions for summer and year-round staff, training summer staff for a well-rounded ministry of serving with heart, soul, mind, and strength. I also give short devotional talks to Girl Scout troops who come for the horses. For part of my job, I present weekly Bible lessons as part of horse lesson programs, write devotions for our website and encourage our staff alumni. My goal is to consider how best to live my faith in a way that draws guests, campers, staff, and visitors to Jesus as the truth they are searching for.
A highlight of my time at DTS was building relationships with believers from around the world. Two of my closest friends were from Nigeria and South Korea. Having professors that were not only incredibly knowledgeable in their areas of study but who were also willing to share their lives and live out their faith before the students blessed me. Their example of spiritual vitality along with academic excellence encouraged me when the academics seemed to overwhelm. One particular memory I cherish is having Dr. Walvoord sit down next to me in a prayer chapel and praying together. That moment instilled in me the desire to love the Lord as deeply and to live for the Lord as fully as Dr. Walvoord had for as long as I am here on earth.
Through the balance of academics, spiritual growth, and relationship-development with students, professors, and staff (Thanks, Bob Kaumeyer!), I was infused with the perspective that loving the truth is the starting point for teaching truth and loving well. When I love the One who is Truth and study His Word, then I am on the right path for living out my faith and serving with the gifts and skills God has provided for me.