The seminar is over but the work is just starting. Nathan and I are super encouraged by what took place this week here in Mombasa and are equally encouraged about the future in this place. At the start of the week I told you I had good feelings immediately as I got to know Pastor Dalmas Nzai. As the three-day seminar progressed, we could feel momentum building and anticipation growing. And at the conclusion today, we knew we had struck gold, as far as potential moving forward is concerned.
We began Tuesday with teaching on the Bible as God’s one and only inspired revelation. Then teaching on a biblical philosophy of ministry, which beings with a high view of God. Then we focused on the pastor, his all and ministry, and finished that up Wednesday morning. Then the church was discussed. Included in that was it’s purpose, the ministry of church discipline, and spiritual warfare. Finally, we turned to OT and NT surveys and major themes.
Today we finished with the theology of Ephesians and Romans; NT Themes (pt 2), Evaluating the Prosperity Gospel, an overview of 1 Tim, Titus, and 2 Timothy (the three pastoral epistles).
The atmosphere in the room seemed to be one of expectation with each lecture. There seemed to be a desire to hear and receive and understand that is not always present. And I think that has a lot to do with Pastor Dalmas’ influence and personal ministry. Even as he sat in the back of the room and interpreted for my lectures, I could see him nodding approval and even adding an “Amen” between me finishing the “English” and before he started the “Swahili” translation.
This was a good week. Dalmas Nzai, the pastor who set up everything is the best. Nathan and I agree that there aren’t any we’ve worked with that are any better than Dalmas when it comes to personality (humble, mature), ministry vision (multiplication, develop readers), doctrine (9 Marks – www.9marks.org), commitment to Bible exposition, etc. He’s got it all. “We speak the same (ministry, doctrinal, theological) language.” Others may be on par but none better.
Just an example of what impressed me/us was his close of the seminar. He got up and humbly apologized if there were any inconveniences to those who attended. (I didn’t see any.) He said it was the church’s first attempt to organize anything like this. (They did a great job.) Then he introduced several men and women who, each, played a part in setting up and running the seminar. (Team work and delegation) The women you see in the pictures were either wives of pastors who were there or women from the church who were helping behind the scenes. And the women seemed to be mature and solid as well.
The response we got seemed to go beyond the customary “this was great, thank you, please come back!” comments. The tone of many and the looks in their eyes seemed to express sincere, deep gratitude for “teaching them the Word.” Pastor Dalmas teaches many of them also. I think it is fair to say we opened them up to some new insights into each topic of the lectures: The Bible, the Pastor, the Church, then specifics inside Ephesians, Romans, 1 – 2 Timothy, spiritual warfare etc.
THE TEACHER/THEOLOGIAN AND THE PRACTITIONER
Nathan and I make a good team. I am more of the teacher, theologian. Nathan is more of the practitioner. Nathan knows the theology but his style is to read the notes and comment. He reinforces key concepts with deep conviction and insights and application that gives “legs” to the things I teach from Scripture.
FOLLOW UP AND FOLLOW THROUGH
As we met with Dalmas after the seminar, we planned next steps. Nathan and Chris McMillan (ITEM Associate from VA) are coming in August for the second seminar. We stressed “bring the same people back.” Dalmas “got it.” That will be followed up with mentoring. Dalmas “got it.” We told him that Nathan would be around to train/mentor them to train/mentor others. Dalmas “got it.”
From the time I met Dalmas on Sunday, I expected this to be a good week. It ended up being a great week.
One thing I will NOT miss is the heat. Mombasa has been around 90 each day with varying levels of humidity. Obviously, there was no AC. The building is made of brick and there was no breeze blowing through the room. My shirt was sticking to me from 10am until we went back to our room at 5 or 5:30. What made it slightly tolerable were the numerous ceiling fans in the room. They kept the air moving, at least.
NOTE: I did not add pictures today. I started this report very late in the evening. Earlier in the evening I had to lay down, I was so tired. I have an entire day off Friday and will get captions on all of the pictures from Wednesday and will upload a few more.
Thanks for coming along, for your interest, and or praying.
By His grace,