RUF W&M Update

This one's not boring.

How to Save a Life

A week ago today I was in Denver for RUF Staff Training. The afternoon session was over and my friend Sammy (RUF at South Carolina) and I headed up to our adjoining rooms. One of our roommates Chad Smith (RUF at ETSU) was in the room getting ready for our evening worship service.

"I don't feel right."

He paced around the room.

"I can't...I can't speak."

He was searching for words, was using the wrong words for things, like "I need to get my ground feet on" for "I need to put my shoes on."

It was clear he needed to see a doctor.

Our other roommate Ben Hailey (RUF Texas A&M) walked in. He had rented a car, we hopped in and were soon in the ER. In the ride I'd texted my brother in law, Thomas Quinn who is a critical care specialist. Chad appeared to be having a TIA, or "mini-stroke." We were scared and prayerful. I went in with Chad to triage while Ben and Sammy sat in the lobby. Thomas was able to talk to us on the phone while we waited to translate what was going on.

Turns out it was a condition called sick sinus syndrome. The first night in the hospital his heart stopped beating for 7 seconds. On Friday he had a pacemaker put in. On Monday he flew home (his wife couldn't come to Denver because their son, Benjamin, has severe special needs and needed her care. It was all harder for Jennifer than for Chad.).

The Big Takeaways: Our God is with us. Life is short. We are fragile (Chad is 40 and in perfect shape, runs 30 miles a week). I love my fellow RUF pastors like brothers and had a good cry after the ER adrenaline wore off. RUF as an institution has done a beautiful thing by giving campus ministers ongoing training two weeks per year, and that time forges powerful friendships. Our God is with us.

Also, obviously, I'm a hero who basically saved Chad's life and he owes me big time.

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Chad flying 1st Class to his family

I Can Sleep!

I finally got a Cpap (I was diagnosed with sleep apnea this summer). Last Saturday I slept 8 hours undisturbed for the first time in as long as I can remember.

I look awesome in the mask. I'd show you a picture but Dawn said it's just for her.


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This Sugar-Plum Fairy crushed her performance last night.

P.S. Send Money

As uncouth as it may be to ask for money after a photo of a first class passenger on RUF's ticket (by the way, clearly the right thing for RUF to do for Chad), our account has dipped into deficit for the second time in a decade. December is always our best month, so I feel struck down, but not destroyed. If you'd like to make a financial contribution to continue the ministry of RUF at William and Mary go to and scroll to our name.

But above all, pray. Pray for the purposes of God's kingdom on earth, and please, at William & Mary through RUF. We love this place and these students.

Thank you for all you do, for us and for the Kingdom.