Get to know the Smalls
Dan and Rebecca (known as Becky to many) have seven children and currently nineteen grandchildren. They worked on the mission field in the Philippines in the early 1980s, Dan pastored a growing church in the north Dallas area for a few years, and they worked in camp ministry both in Alaska and in Washington state. While on the mission field, they began to homeschool their children. That homeschool commitment lasted for thirty-three years, with 2016 being the year their youngest daughter graduated from high school. All their married children are now involved in home education as well as various aspects of church ministry and community organizations.
After graduating from college, their oldest son, Jeremiah Small, went to teach at a Christian school in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq. In 2012, his seventh year as a teacher there, he was shot in his classroom by one of his students. This story is chronicled briefly in the book Dan produced along with Kea Hufford, a close friend from Alaska, entitled Reflections. During part of his time in Iraq, Jeremiah wrote emails every Sunday that began with a hymn and some of his own spiritual reflections. Reflections, a devotional book, contains some of these hymns along with excerpts from his emails and photos from his camera.
Between Dan and his wife Rebecca, many discipleship and educational materials were begun, but his death in 2015 from a rare bone marrow disease left these things largely undone. Before he died, he had paraphrased the entire New Testament and called it The Enjoying God New Testament, for he wanted to spend his remaining days helping people to enjoy God as the answer to the Westminster first catechism says. The first half of his New Testament work has since been published in a book he entitled The Jesus Trilogy, containing the four Gospels consolidated into one story, the Acts of the Apostles, and the book of Revelation. He also paraphrased the Psalms in rhyme and meter. His wife, who shared his vision, has been in the process of completing the things they had started and making them available in print and electronic format. Some of the materials are Dan’s writings, some are Rebecca’s, and some are joint efforts; but all of them are birthed out of their lives together and their personal journey with the God who revealed Himself in Jesus Christ.
It is our hope and prayer that the development of these materials will help others in their own pursuit of the God of the Bible and in the discipling of their children. May the Name of God and His Word be magnified (Psalm 138:2); and may we continue to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior until we all attain to the full stature of Christ, increasingly conforming our lives to His Word (II Peter 3:18, Ephesians 4:13, Colossians 1:10). So let us know, let us press on together to know the Lord (Hosea 6:3).
What we believe
1. The Bible, comprised of both Old and New Testaments, is the fully inspired, only infallible, authoritative Word of God. It is without error in the original writings, having been written by men under the influence of the Holy Spirit. The Bible, also called the Scriptures, is the complete revelation of God's will for the salvation of men and the supreme authority in all matters pertaining to the Christian life: doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in conduct pleasing to God, thoroughly equipping the followers of Jesus Christ in every good work to which God calls them.
(II Peter 1:21; II Peter 3:16; II Timothy 3: 15-17)
2. There is one God, eternally existing in three persons, known as the Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, each fulfilling different offices yet having the same attributes and perfections.
(Genesis 1:26; Matthew 3:16-17; Luke 3:22; Matthew 28:19; John 14:26, 15:26; Acts 1:4-5, 2:33, 10:38; II Corinthians 13:14; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 2:18; Hebrews 9:14; I Peter 1:2)
3. God created all things by the word of His mouth, and all three persons of the Trinity were fully involved in the creation of the universe.
(Genesis 1:1, 26; John 1:1-3; II Corinthians 4:6; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:2)
4. God the Father is an infinite, personal Spirit, who concerns Himself mercifully and justly in the affairs of men; He hears and answers prayer, and He saves from sin and condemnation all who call upon Him through Jesus Christ.
(John 4:24; Romans 9:15-24; I John 5:14-15; Romans 3: 21-26; Romans 10:12-13; John 5:24; John 3:17-18; Acts 10:43)
5. Jesus Christ is true God and true man, God the Father's one and only Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary; He lived a sinless life, He performed miracles, and His death was the substitutionary atonement for sin; He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where He is now seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for His people; He will personally and visibly return to earth in power and glory to judge all men and to establish His Kingdom.
(Matthew 1: 18-23; John 1:1-3; Luke 1: 26-35; I John 2:22, 4:2-3; Hebrews 4:15, 2:17, 7:25-27, 10:12-14, 1:3; Acts 1:9; Romans 8:27; I John 2:1-2; Mark 14:62; John 14:3; Revelation 1:7, 22:12; I Thessalonians 1:7-10; Acts 10:42)
6. The Holy Spirit has been sent from the Father to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ; to convict men of sin and to regenerate the believing sinner; to indwell, guide, instruct, and empower the believer in Jesus for godly living and service, producing within him the fruit of the Spirit and equipping him with spiritual gifts for ministry within the Church, the Body of Christ.
(John 14:26, 16:7-15; Romans 8:10-11; Galatians 5:22-23; I Corinthians 12:7; I Peter 4:10-11; Ephesians 4:4-16)
7. God personally created man in His own image; man willfully sinned; consequently, every person is a sinner by nature and by choice, is totally depraved and unable to redeem himself, and is, therefore, condemned.
(Genesis 1:26-27, 2:16-17, 3:6; Romans 3:10-20, 3:23, 5:12-16; John 3:18, 36; Jeremiah 17:9-10)
8. The shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only basis for salvation for all who believe, and only those who receive Jesus Christ by grace through faith have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, becoming children of God and receiving the free gift of Christ's perfect righteousness, thereby obtaining eternal life.
(Acts 4:12; I John 1:9; Romans 4:22-25; Romans 5:17, 6:23; John 1:11; Ephesians 2:4-9; I Peter 1:18-19; Hebrews 9:14; John 6:63)
9. A Christian lives for the glory of God and for the well-being of his fellow man, even at his own expense and inconvenience, compelled by the love of Christ to share the Gospel with others and to live in a manner worthy of his high calling by God; he should be a faithful steward of his possessions, and he should pursue for himself and others the full stature of maturity in Christ, that is, to become like Jesus, reflecting His character qualities and separating himself from all worldly and sinful practices; he should look forward to the imminent return of Christ, and this "Blessed Hope" has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer.
(II Corinthians 5:14-15; Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 1:10; Luke 14:26-33, 19:12-27; Ephesians 4:13-15; Romans 8:29, 12:1-2; Titus 2:11-14; II Peter 11-13; II Corinthians 6:14-7:1)
10. There exists a spirit of evil, called the devil or Satan, who, together with the other fallen angels, called demons, who followed his leadership in rebellion against God, carries on organized opposition to the Kingdom of God; he continually tempts men to disobey God through lies and deceit, attempts to keep them from hearing and understanding the Gospel, accuses them before God, and seeks the demise of mankind; he was defeated through Christ's death and resurrection; and he will be judged by Jesus Christ, will suffer ultimate and total defeat, and will be cast into the lake of fire.
(Genesis 3:1-5; Matthew 4:1-10; John 8:44, 12:31; II Corinthians 4:4; II Thessalonians 2:9-10; Revelation 9:11, 12:10-13, 20:10)
11. The dead will be resurrected bodily at the coming of the Lord and all men will face judgment; the believer will receive rewards for the deeds done in the body and live in eternal joy with the Lord and the unbeliever will face the wrath of God and suffer eternal punishment apart from God.
(Revelation 20:11-15, 12:8, 22:14-15; Romans 2:4-16; I Corinthians 3:12-15, 15:12-23, 51-55; I Thessalonians 4:14-18; II Thessalonians 1:3-10; II Corinthians 4:16-5:11; I Peter 4:5; Luke 16:19-31;)
12. God's design for marriage is one man and one woman, united for life, so long as they both shall live; Christ is the head of the man and the man is the head of the woman; the husband is to love his wife and lead her spiritually as Christ loved and sanctifies the Church, and the wife is to honor her husband and willingly submit to him as to the Lord.
(Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6; Malachi 2:13-16; I Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18-19; Titus 2:5)
13. God designed the family as the primary environment for discipleship; the parents are to lovingly nurture, discipline, and instruct their children, teaching them all the ways and commands of the Lord, and the children are to honor and obey their parents.
(Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Psalm 78:4-7; Ephesians 6:1-4; Colossians 3: 20)
14. The Church is the Body of Christ here on earth, made up of all true believers in Jesus Christ; God has given gifts to the Church through the Holy Spirit to minister His grace to one another and to further His Kingdom on the earth.
(Ephesians 1:22-23, 4:4-16; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 12:7, 11-14, 27)
Family Reclamation Project Began
For several years my husband, John Daniel Small, known to most as Dan, directed a traditional age-segregated Bible camp. Year after year we got to know children of all ages who came to the camp from a wide variety of backgrounds. While there, they had much spiritual influence, teaching, and input: chapel sessions twice a day, morning and evening devotions with their cabin leader, personal talks with their cabin leader, activities geared toward spiritual growth, prayer at every meal, the constant modeling of Christianity by the entire adult staff who had come to serve them, and the comradeship of other Christians their age—or at least other children who were sent there to hear and learn the same things. All day long they were encouraged in spiritual things by people with a spiritual desire to see them come to Christ and grow in Him. Then we would send them home.
We had the campers for one week—one week out of fifty-two. Many of them came from dysfunctional families and some from homes that had no spiritual influence at all. Even those who came from Christian families had very little throughout-the-week spiritual influence. They might go to church on Sunday, but that was often the extent of the spiritual input—fifty-two mornings out of three hundred sixty-five days. The rest of their lives they were mostly being bombarded by an unhealthy, ungodly culture. It seemed we were fighting a losing battle, and the enemy had a strong upper hand.
As he looked back on thirteen years of camp ministry, Dan recognized that, for the most part, only those children who came from strong Christian families—families who read the Bible and prayed together, who sought to truly live Christianity in their everyday lives—were committed to Christ and walking firmly in the ways of their Lord. The others, though they may have had a genuine desire to know God and may have even “asked Jesus into their hearts” while at camp, most often fell away and were sucked right back into the ungodly culture; not only was it too hard to fight against the swift current of the culture, but they also didn’t know how to or really that they even needed to. The culture was their norm; it was what they were used to, and the ways of God were foreign and unknown. Those children who did continue on in their relationship with Jesus Christ often had no idea how to disciple their children as they grew up and had families of their own. And the camp had only one week out of the summer scheduled for family camp; the other weeks had programming for different age levels of children.
Burdened by these overwhelming odds, my husband began to do some investigating. What he discovered was rather staggering. From research done by Focus on the Family, a Christian organization in Colorado dedicated to helping parents nurture their families in godly living, he learned this astounding statistic: If a child is the first one in a family to come to know Christ, there is about a 3% chance that the rest of the family will also come to Christ. If a wife is the first in the family to come to Christ, there is about a 17% chance the rest of the family will come to Christ. If a father is the first one to come to Christ, there is a 97% chance the rest of the family will come to know and believe in Christ.
These facts stopped Dan in his tracks as he realized that the church had primarily put its efforts and resources into children’s and women’s ministries. And the church had been losing ground for decades. From that point on, he decided that he wanted to spend the rest of his life helping families, and especially fathers, disciple their own children. He also wanted to help churches, especially pastors, become aware of their need to disciple fathers to disciple their own children. So he began the Family Reclamation Project.