Dear ITEM Prayer Partners,
In some small way I can identify with the Apostle Paul. He started churches and went back to check up on their progress. I have not started churches, but God used me to start ITEM’s ministry in various countries, one of which is Rwanda. I have been here many times over the years, but this was my first visit since the start of the Covid pandemic. My last visit here was in January 2020. And I was very pleased and blessed by the testimonies and stories that I heard.
LIKE A TEAM OF ENGINEERS
The team here is led by a very organized, analytical man, Dominique Rwanfizi. Because of his organizational and analytical abilities, and the quality of the men on the team, the ministry here is on a steady path, following the ITEM “game plan” like a team of engineers following a carefully detailed plan.
FOLLOWING THE GAME PLAN IS PAYING OFF
As I listened to stories and testimonies, through an interpreter, all of them talked about their commitment to and use of expository preaching and teaching. They told stories of their disciples who are being convinced that exposition is the way forward for them and stories of their disciples (mentees) now telling others they should use the expository method as well.
For any who might not know for sure what I am talking about, the expository method is simply reading, explaining (in context), and then applying passages of Scripture keeping in mind the narrow and broad context of the passage. And we suggest doing that through entire books of the Bible. Obviously, this style is tailored for the shorter books in the New Testament more than books like Isaiah with 66 chapters. Although it can be done by taking larger chunks week by week. But I digress.
WHEN RESOURCES ARE FEW
One of the major challenges is resources to use to create good, “meaty,” sermons. Most pastors have only the Bible itself. I asked them what they were using and the mentioned the MacArthur Study Bibles and Systematic Theology texts, in French, that the generous gifts of ITEM’s donors made it possible for us to purchase and give to them.
Then I asked what they told pastors who only have the Bible itself and they said they tell them to read the entire context of the passage they are preaching form, read any introductions that their Bibles might (or might not) have. But the key word was “context.” When they finished, I told them that their answer would have been my answer.
STEP BY STEP
They are starting mentoring groups in three regions in Rwanda. Each group has 30 mentees. When we finished our time together, I felt certain that these three groups of thirty (ninety total) are going to receive quality mentoring from this team. They have already set up a Whatsapp Group that they use to encourage mentees and answer their questions.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, is an off day for me as I prepare for my very early flight to Abuja, Nigeria on Wednesday. But I have two appointments. Both are related to the youth-oriented apologetics ministry I am building. I will have more to say about those tomorrow. Wednesday begins a stretch when I will be on four flights in six days and actually slotted into eight days, along with the four flights, will be two apologetics seminars.
…for the Rwanda ITEM team as they start their mentoring groups that what the mentees have heard in seminars will begin to really sink in and change them and how they do ministry
…for Nok’s family (the Nigerian coordinator who was killed in a car accident recently) as they morn the loss of their husband and father.
…for me, that I’ll get the proper rest as I head into an active six day stretch of travel and teaching.
There are new pictures in the album today. Some of the team and some of the surrounding area.
CLICK HERE for the picture album.
By His grace,