BRAINSTORMING THE NEXT STEP

Hi Everyone,

The seminar is complete. It was a good experience for the team. I shared that with you a couple of days ago when I posted a report entitled “Father Knows Best.”

While the seminar did not turn out as planned, God was in control as I mentioned in my report a couple of days ago.

Since I did not understand what was being said during half of the lectures (the other lecturers used their local language), I used some of the time just thinking about the future.

SEMINARS GALORE

We had a post seminar debriefing with the ITEM team here in Madagascar, and Julien (Coordinator) let us know that the reason we didn’t get any closer to or targeted number of 50 was because there were many seminars being offered at this same time so the pastors were scattered around town at various seminars.

As I’ve mentioned before. One South African Professor estimates that there are 600,000 seminars in Africa, south of the Sahara, each year. We had a bunch this week right here.

TODAY’S LECTURES

Najo started off with the major themes of the second half of the New Testament. I followed with the history and biblical evaluation of the prosperity gospel. Faly followed with a survey of 1 Timothy (Paul’s first letter to his pastor-disciple). After lunch I surveyed Titus, then 2 Timothy. 2 Timothy is Paul’s final letter and second to a timid disciple, Timothy.

Regarding 2 Timothy, Paul was in prison, about to be martyred. Timothy was cowering in the shadows afraid he might be next. Paul wrote a strong letter of encouragement with exhortations to suffer hardship, face persecution, and boldly preach the Word, even in the face of opposition. I challenged them to do as Paul challenged Timothy to do.

MORE ABOUT THE TEAM AND THE WEEK

After two failed attempts to form a team here, I think we have assembled the right guys. Watching Najo and Faly today, and the others earlier in the week, all seem competent.

Faly is a graduate of the Master’s Seminary in California, a very solid seminary. I had met him a couple of times previously. There was no question in my mind. The others showed me this week that they can handle the task. Thus, the week (as I said a couple of days ago) was for “us” as much as for the ones in attendance to listen to “us.”

THE WAY FORWARD

As Faly lectured today, I was reflecting on the past two weeks and the way forward here in Africa and more specifically, here in Madagascar. I was reminded that things work from the top down here. And each of the team members have connections.

Najo is a part of the Baptist Convention here. Faly is as well, but Najo is a little “higher up” because Faly has been in the States studying. Camille has contacts with another denomination. Frederick has his network. So, are planning for me to meet leaders from these various groups to see how we can assist them train their leadership.

All of this, of course, fits into the plans of The Master’s Academy International, the ministry I had partnership discussions with last week. They have plans to eventually start up one of their Academies (through Faly) and we (ITEM) wants to assist them any way that we can.

There were other storms that entered my brain (we call them brainstorms), with ideas of how to broaden our ministry in support of TMAI (especially) and all others generally. But I’ll save those ideas for another day.

TANZANIA HERE I COME

Tomorrow I head back to Kenya for the night. Sunday I am on to Tanzania. On Monday I’ll meet with the team there. And on Tuesday I head for home.

PRAISE AND PRAYER

Praise for what the Lord accomplished this week.

Praise for the “storms (ideas)” that came crashing into my head about how to position ITEM to better serve alongside of TMAI.

Praise for continued good health on the trip.

PRAISE that I am getting out of this really cold place with so much cold wind blowing most of the time.

Prayer for those who were in the seminar, that they will try to apply what they heard this week in their lives and ministries.

Prayer for my journeys back to Kenya and onto Tanzania

PRAYER specifically for the trip from Kenya to Tanzania. It is on a prop plane and if there is much turbulence, my stomach-health can be challenged (if you know what I mean). I have the potential of becoming a victim of motion sickness. PRAY!

All for now. Thank you for praying and supporting this ministry.

By His grace,

Steve

Another batch of pictures added today. Some unique. Click here for the picture album.

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