Dear ITEM Prayer Partner,

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” (Eph 3:20-21)

This is a familiar verse but it has never been more true than after my lunch meeting today. All indications are that this trip to South Africa has been more than worth the time and expense.

The morning sessions are focusing on sanctification (growing spiritually as a Christian and being conformed to the image of Christ). After the morning sessions, with the customary morning tea break in the middle, I had lunch with Dr. Mark Tatlock, President of The Master’s Academy International (TMAI).


TMAI (founded in 1992) now has 19 training centers around the world and 60 locations in those 19 countries. There are another 16 that are starting. They staff these training centers mostly with graduates of The Master’s Seminary, which was established by Grace Community Church (Sun Valley, CA) in 1986. They major on Bible exposition (explaining and applying Bible passage after Bible passage in context – normally, verse by verse through, mostly, New Testament books).

I have been familiar with this church and its ministries since 1983. My philosophy of ministry was formed there at the pastors’ conferences I attended, as a young pastor. It has always been my desire to somehow fit in with their worldwide ministry. But it has not worked out for various reasonable and logical reasons.

The dialogue warmed up in 2013 when Dr. Conrad Mbewe, Zambia, spoke at a conference at GCC and exposed the African traditions and false doctrines that blanket the continent. I got in touch with a key man I knew at the church and told him we were confronting the things Dr. Mbewe was speaking about and offered ITEM as a resource to confront it.

That led to conversations with Dr. Tatlock, first on the phone, then in person. Communication has remained open for the past 4 years, during which time I have suggested working together on an All-Africa strategy.


In March 2018, I met with Dr. David Beakley, their main-man here in Africa, at the church (another pastors’ conference) and we discussed a possible partnership. That led to an invitation to join them here this week at their Africa Summit. I didn’t know what to expect but as I mentioned yesterday, I felt welcome, valued and respected from the start.


So, today at lunch I sat down with Mark (Tatlock). And there was immediate agreement that we can and should work together. We discussed ways to find “recruits” inside of his network to fill gaps we (ITEM) have. He even agreed to think through his network of possible replacements for me when I can’t (or do not want to) travel any longer (not before the end of 2022, hopefully). Before our lunch meeting was over we already started brainstorming next steps, which, if things work out, might happen sooner rather than later.

There is a nice picture of Mark and I in today’s picture additions. Click here.


EPH 3:20-21

Needless to say, God went far more, abundantly beyond all that we (YOU AND I) asked or even thought might happen.



I was also scheduled to meet with Dr. David Beakley this evening but his wife wasn’t feeling well and needed his help. We hope to meet tomorrow. I will be proposing that we plan an ITEM seminar here that he and others can observe and maybe even participate in.


Tomorrow, Saturday, I have a 3-hour drive back to the airport for a 5:15pm flight back to Nairobi. Sunday morning I’ll fly to Madagascar for a seminar Tuesday to Friday. On Monday, I’ll meet with our team there.


Praise (is obvious) for the very positive meeting with Mark Tatlock today.

Prayer for the tentative meeting with Dr. Beakley tomorrow and our discussion about having a seminar here.

Prayer for the car and plane trip back to Nairobi. That all will be safe an on time.

Thank you for praying and caring.

By His grace,



p.s. I had hoped to tell you about Muslim Imam and witchcraft today but that will have to wait.


1 thought on “EPHESIANS 3:20-21”

  1. Reading Steve’s reports these last two days makes me cry for joy (with tearing eyes) To see what ITEM has been doing all the years it has existed and to see what The Master’s Academy has been doing, it has always seemed incredible to me that these two ministries did not connect and work together. Doctrinally they are strongly aligned if not exactly matched, they have clear strengths that will compliment and aid each other. I am excited to see what God will do with these two ministries. I will be praying for the church leaders of Africa who will be served and blessed by what these two ministries can do together to strengthen and equip them. Praise God for the work He accomplishes by his sovereign will.

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