billy graham center archives
2003 annual report

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Bob meeting in July with Charles Nandain of Daystar University (Kenya) and Daniel Ruheni of the Nairobi International School of Theology (Kenya), who were exploring the development of archives at those institutions.

“Out of the fullness of his grace, he has blessed us all, giving us one blessing after another. God gave the Law through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”

Gospel of John 1:16-17 (NIV)

Grace is a gift we receive. It is God’s strength and clarity, unearned and often unsought. It guides, emboldens and consoles, a river of light coming to us from the Father. Truth is a gift we seek. For it we lay aside the tenacious, small fears and doubts that so easily deflect us — what we wish weren’t true, what we don’t want to know, the spots where God didn’t do what we knew He should have. Truth is also a work we do, acknowledging the real world we see, hear and move through as we will God’s will that we be channels for His grace into His creation.

As archivists, we play a small part in truth-seeking — small and needed. We preserve and help people use documents about what happened in the past. It is a small part of truth-seeking, but small stones lay a foundation. We try to see what happened, without the disorientation of spin, without the hot air and grease of sizzle. We try to look at facts. We know now in part and we understand in part and our understanding of the past is based on guess and shaky certainties. But those faithful in these small things are moved on to larger ones. Archival research can teach us to persist in getting the details true, to develop the grit needed to endure, to be confident that all truth leads back to the Father of light.

In this spirit, we present the record of our stewardship in 2003. During the past year...

Taken together, we’re grateful to have participated in this collage of opportunities during the year, whether adding more collections, helping researchers use them, offering new or additional Web resources, or joining with young developing archives to help them get their footing. We’re grateful, too, that God has given us companions on our journey, both for each other as colleagues, and for you and others outside the office who encourage and pray for us, for donors of materials, financial supporters, fellow archivists, or those who have alerted us to new opportunities. What follows is a further description of what we've done and participated in during the past year.