Dear Friends and Family,
This is a travel day. I am in the Mombasa airport lounge waiting to board my flight back to Nairobi. I might not normally put together a report on a travel day, except to say maybe “hey, I am traveling today,” but I believe you will be encouraged, as I am, to hear the “buzz” after the seminar.
IMPACTFUL AND TRANSFORMING
“Impactful” and “transforming” are the two words that Dalmas and Jason (a seminar attender) both used today as they escorted me back to the airport. Dalmas will put together his own testimony and report soon.
A common response was, “I wish my pastor was here.” Or, “I wish my husband was here.” The buzz is going through the area. Why?
Dalmas told me the seminar was an affirming experience for many. More than one time this week I heard, you are teaching the same things that Dalmas is teaching us (at church and at Manna Theological School). So, the seminar added value and worth to what he has already been doing. The result will be that they will pay even more attention to what they hear from him in the pulpit or classroom.
It was affirming in a second way. When guys from here go to the US for seminars they normally hear a bunch of high-powered motivational speakers with message of I’m OK-You’re OK, (Maybe) prosperity gospel, psychological, feel good, “twelve steps to success” kind of stuff. So, when Dalmas is just teaching the Bible in church and at the Theology School, he is told, “I went to the US and ‘this’ is how they do it. You (Dalmas) are in the village. You need to bring your ministry up to date.”
When we spend three full days just teaching the Bible an emphasizing the holiness of God, the sinfulness of sin, the call to live a holy life, the need for repentance, the importance and sufficiency of the Scriptures, etc, they see that Dalmas isn’t as out of touch as they think and it reinforces his ministry.
EDUCATED START MEANS FASTER PROGRESS
One other insight, I think. On a whole, this was an educated group. Dalmas mentioned three young men who were there are in college. Jason, who came to the airport with us today, works for an oil company. Another man is retired from the Kenyan navy. That is significant because this seminar laid a foundation for training trainers. I asked Dalmas to pick out 4-5 that he thinks can be trained to train others using our curriculum and he’s already “on it.” As I mentioned earlier in the week, “He gets it!”
TEACHING KIDS SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY
What did you say? At Manna Bible Church, they have a full blown Sunday School program and they put it after the worship service. Their thinking goes like this. IF Sunday School came first, most would wait and just come to church. But with it second, they are already there and more inclined to stay.
I asked Dalmas what curriculum he used to teach the children. His answer: Systematic theology. “Systematic theology?” I asked. “Yes, we teach them who God is. Who Jesus is. What the Bible is. What the gospel is.”
Then I asked why more churches didn’t do that and he said that many (most) want to just come on Sunday and sing and dance, not learn. And pastors are not trained to teach.
GOD’S KIND AND GRACIOUS PROVISION
God is always gracious because he does not give us what we deserve. In fact, he gives us heaven (because of faith in Christ). That is true grace! But there was another level of grace on display this morning.
The resort provides AC (assuming the power is on). That was a blessing all week. The power went off a couple of times during the week but came back on a few minutes later either by generator or power company power. This morning it went off, came back on, then went off quickly again, then came back on when I was eating breakfast, then went off at the end of breakfast and didn’t come back on ….. therefore, no AC all day. But I had checked out.
Second, I planned my trip to the airport assuming a long wait for the ferry. I was told it could be up to two hours. The ferry was emptying when we got to the port. And we got on almost immediately.
Third, when going through Mombasa, Dalmas told me about a construction zone where there could be a major traffic jam. There was none.
Needless to say, I had a long wait at the airport. And I didn’t mind. Thank you, Lord, for going before us this morning!
Tomorrow, Sunday, I’ll be heading to Kinshasa in the DRC. You can see the map in the picture album.
By His grace,