Dear ITEM Partner,
Jim and Amber Glasscock are ITEM’s first sent-missionaries. They are not stationed in Busia, Uganda which is on the border with Kenya. Jim sends this report on his first official ministry opportunity. “ICOMP” is short for the “ITEM Conference on Ministry and Preaching” which defines a healthy, biblical church from Ephesians 4:11-14, and then instructs pastors on their role as a Bible expositor (i.e. a systematic teacher of the Bible). Here is his report:
The first day of the ICOMP seminar in Bunalwenyi went very well, today. Hillary, Noah, and David have already taken them through the Basic and Advanced Seminars. It is about an hour away, so we are commuting back and forth today, tomorrow, and Friday.
I did not receive the notes or my teaching assignment until last night, so I was skeptical about how well this could go. 🙂 But when we arrived this morning, we had some time to visit with our host pastor (Samuel, Church of God—from Anderson, IN), and I asked him how the men were doing with the teachings they had already received. He said it has transformed them! Two other pastors present and a social worker who had gone through the previous training testified that they are now discerning truth from error. They used to revere anyone who came from Kampala to teach; but now they realize those coming from Kampala (Prosperity Fleecers) are in error, and are not teaching what the word of God says.
We got through most of the Ministry portion today, and at the end of the day took questions. Hillary had touched on the gifting of tongues in one session, and it opened the can of worms I expected. However, unlike most seminars I have been part of, they asked their question, listened attentively and said they understood and agreed, rather than being argumentative! When I shared that biblical tongues were actual languages, one man stood up immediately and said, “This I have seen in Acts 2! They were all hearing in their native languages!” So it was very refreshing that they are eager to learn, and humble to hear the word presented in context, rather than abused out of context.
LEARNING TO OBSERVE, INTERPRET, AND APPLY THE BIBLE
They are very eager for more teaching. I’m excited to see the mentoring program happen there. I have some hope of perhaps doing as I did here and in Rwanda; spend a week teaching them to observe, interpret, and apply their way through the book of Colossians in the mornings, and then model expository preaching through the book of Colossians in the afternoon. They seem to have a genuine zeal to cut straight the Word.
Looking forward to tomorrow!