[caption id="attachment_1421" align="alignright" width="142"]The Baird Family The Baird Family[/caption] I recently sat down with a young couple, Brady and Mallory Baird, at the Downtown Grill in Jackson, Alabama. They had made the decision to follow God’s call upon their lives to leave a place that they love dearly and go to seminary. Brady and Mallory, along with their two young daughters, were preparing to move to east Alabama in a few weeks so that he could attend Emory. It would have been so easy for them to have been anxious about what the future might hold. Yet, I observed that there was a sense of calmness that they had about the whole experience, knowing that they were following God’s will for their lives. I would like to believe that one of the reasons that their anxieties were alleviated was simply because I could say to them, “Brady and Mallory, we are going to surround you with love, prayers, and ?nancial support every step of the way! You will not be going alone!” I left Jackson that day and drove down to Mobile to visit with John C. Russell, Jr. who is now in his second year of seminary. While faithfully serving the Saint John United Methodist Church, John attends Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta. He travels on a bus 60 miles roundtrip each week between Mobile and Atlanta. However, there was no complaining at all on the part of John. In his positive spirit, he was bragging that he had been fortunate enough to ?nd a one-way bus ticket from Mobile to Atlanta for $14. [caption id="attachment_1420" align="alignright" width="210"]image John C. Russell, Jr.[/caption] I observed in John a great sense of contentment because he, too, was doing what he felt God wanted him to do in preparation for a lifetime of service to Jesus Christ and the church. Similar stories like the stories of Brady and John can be told over and over again by our seminary students from all across our Conference. Isn’t it wonderful that God gives us the privilege through our ?nancial support to “stand in the gap” with seminary students like Brady and John and make a signi?cant difference! -Karl K. Stegall