December 2016 /January 2017 - Vol. 89

 Servants of the Word
Testimonies from Servants of the Word 45th Anniversary
a report by Martin Steinbereithner

Forty-five years ago the Servants of the Word began when a few men made their first commitment to live single for the Lord. Covenant community had just begun among university students in Michigan and elsewhere, and while some community members got married, others felt strongly called to live a celibate life for God and his people. Since those beginnings the brotherhood has grown to 130 men (including affiliates) living in 13 houses around the world - in the Philippines, England and Northern Ireland, the US.A., Costa Rica and Mexico.

At the beginning of September we had a celebration at our brotherhood center in Michigan to mark our 45th anniversary. Some 300 friends joined us for an evening of prayer, reminiscing, sharing, and thanksgiving.

The following articles from the recent Servants of the Word Newsletter feature some highlights and presentations from Servants of the Word brothers and guests.

The Servants of the Word Newsletter is issued three times a year. If you would like to subscribe to the free Newsletter, signup online here.

David Dolsen

Why Would a Young Protestant Consider the Servants of the Word Brotherhood?
Testimony by David Dolsen

David is a graduate from the University of Michigan, currently serving on staff with University Christian Outreach.

About a year ago I landed in Manila, halfway around the world, for a mission year: I was very much out of my depth, yet with a clear realization that my closest relationship was with the Lord Jesus: a pretty remarkable realization. How did I get there?

It all started while I still was in Saline High School, only about 20 minutes south of here. I got involved in a group called “Ten for Men” and amongst ourselves we often spoke about how wanted to live a truly great life, and it was with that ideal that we graduated. For college, I found myself at the University of Michigan where I met a lot of people who were living for many things, but not for God.

Toward the end of my freshman year I joined University Christian Outreach (UCO) and through it I got involved in a summer household program. I got to live with men like Nico Angleys, Joseph Matthias and Tadhg Lynch and very quickly I realized: “These are men who are actually doing this, really living all out for God.” As I got to know them better, I noticed that they were all living single for the Lord, which for me as a Lutheran was not something I had much of a category for.

But over time the question took hold of me: might this be what I am supposed to do with my life? Maybe I should consider this calling? So as a result I decided to spend a year in a brotherhood house in the Philippines, and now I am working with many of them on staff with UCO. I am very excited about where this journey is taking me, a journey toward true greatness.

Don DeSmith
Still Here - After 35 Years
by Don DeSmith

I have been a lifelong committed brother for 35 years, and people sometimes ask me “why are you still here?” A simple, possibly glib, answer would be that the brothers have not kicked me out yet, in spite of my many idiosyncrasies. But let me give you three, more serious reasons.

The first is the love of God, and by that I mean first and foremost God’s love for me, which I have experienced and still do every day. This mercy and steadfastness of his requires a response of love. The Bible is clear that living single is a gift and if you have it, you should take advantage of it. So this is why I chose this life, as the best way I knew to respond to God’s love.

Secondly, because it is a great life: it involves prayer, normally at least three times a day. We also live it in common with other men, in groups of 6 to 12, and I find it a great privilege to live with men like Dick LaCroix or Ted Kennedy. And we engage in mission; even I who have spent 30 of my 35 years in software development, am part of the common mission of the Servants of the Word, whether it’s the youth work Dave Quintana does or the community building of Ken Noecker, we all engage in a common call.

Thirdly, I am still here because of the encouragement of a great cloud of witnesses, the people around me who live a Christian culture of faithfulness: there are couples present here who have been married for 35, 55 or in my parents’ case, 66½ years, and they encourage me to also stay faithful to my vocation. So I am grateful to the Lord and his faithfulness to us over 45 years, and to the many inside and outside the brotherhood who have encouraged me to remain faithful in turn..

See Previous 45th Anniversary Article > Testimonies from Ken Noecker and Chris Larson


Dr. Martin Steinbereithner is a lifelong brother
of the Servants of the Word. He is the director of Communications and Development for the Servants of the Word. Previously he worked for twenty years in campus ministry in North America, Lebanon and England and for over the last ten years with Christian communities in the Middle East, Poland, Russia, Belgium, Germany, Austria, France, the UK and Africa.

The Servants of the Word Newsletter is issued three times a year. If you would like to subscribe to the free Newsletter, signup online here.

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