Fruitful day

Dear ITEM Partner,


I am sitting in the dining room at the Biblica Guest House in Nairobi, Kenya, my home here for the past few years. It was a fruitful day after a tiring trip that started with an old friend named Murphy.



If you followed the reports on my last trip at the end of April, you will remember the frequent reference the first few days to “Murphy’s Law,” “If anything can go wrong it probably will.” That trip started with a cancelled flight and a few other glitches the first few days not to mention that after a very late arrival into Nairobi, I had to be back at the airport the next morning at 5 to catch an early flight.


Well, this time Murphy met me at the airport last Wednesday. The time of departure moved from 2:30 to 3, then to 4, then to “flight cancelled.” And just like April, the airlines put us up at a hotel for the night and brought us back the next day. Fortunately, Murphy stayed away and the two flights were on time. The only negative was that I lost the rest day, Friday, before starting an energetic agenda, starting today, Saturday.



I got a reasonable amount of sleep, was up at 7, and on my way to the day-long seminar shortly after 8am.


The location was the same where I spoke last trip. It’s a good drive outside of Nairobi. The traffic was worse than terrible so it took a very long time to get there.


As you are probably aware of, I am focusing on preparing adults, pastors, and youth workers to be able to answer the questions that are, already, beginning to be asked by the younger generation here.


Today, I switched gears a little. Last time I focused on comparative worldviews and understanding God’s story of Creation, Fall, Redemption, New Creating, and Preparing for the LGBTQ Advance to more of an introduction to apologetics for the purpose of piquing interest and trying to enlist a few who want to go deeper into this kind of ministry.



During the first session I tied in the pastors call and role with the ministry of apologetics, plus a few extras. The New Testament doesn’t talk about how a man can know if he is “called” by God to be a pastor. But it does mention desire, qualifications, motives, and role in various areas like 1 Timothy 3, 1 Peter 5, and 1 Corinthians 4. So I focused on those four things from Scripture. But I also challenged them to “think” about what Jesus meant when He said we are to love God with all of our mind. And what it means to be transformed by the renewing of our minds? I talking about how important it is to “think” about our faith, not just to respond emotionally, and how important it is to be able to “think” when answering the questions posed to them by a younger generation.



Then I ended the first session talking about faith and what it is and what it isn’t and what it means to be saved through faith. I explained that true faith is not a hope-so faith but a know-so faith, faith based on good evidence. Then I applied it AND THIS HIT HOME WITH MANY. I explained that when someone asks how they know God created the world, or how they know that Jesus lived and was crucified, or any other difficult question, to answer “just have faith” is not good enough because those who follow false religions have faith in their religion also. And I concluded by tying it all into being able to do “apologetics,” or “giving reasons” to a younger generation about why they should believe that God is good and Christianity is true. One example I gave was a question I heard about. “Where was God before He created everything?” If nothing existed before He created it, where was He? So when I was finished, a women asked me, “So, where WAS God before He created everything?” My answer was quick and simple, “The same place He is now.” And everyone laughed. I then went on to explain that if God created time and space, He had to exist outside of time and space to be able to created it. To Him there is no yesterday, today, and tomorrow as we know them. Beyond that, it is a mystery.


It was very well received and the host pastor got up and confessed that he has told people over and over again when they ask him difficult questions. “Just have faith.” He was very apologetic almost repentant and said he will learn to give good, rational, reasonable answers to the questions.


The second presentation was a talk I put together for a seminar next weekend in Nigeria on “What It Means to Be A Christian Apologist.”



After the second presentation a mother who was in attendance asked how they can begin to protect their young children and help their children learn to answer the questions their friends ask them. I suggested that the parents start early teaching their children God’s story from Genesis to revelation and putting the Bible stories children into their historical context. I also suggested possibly finding and using a catechism like some of the more liturgical churches do.


That is Saturday.



Tomorrow (Sunday) I head to Rwanda to meet with the team. Then Wednesday, to Nigeria, which brings me to a prayer request.



This afternoon I got a text saying that our coordinator Pastor Nok, was tragically killed in a car accident last Wednesday. I carefully checked out the story and found it was sadly true. So, when I go there Wednesday it will not be to meet with the team and plan, but it will be to meet with and pray with his family. Pray with me for them.


I’ve uploaded a few pictures from today. Nothing to enlightening. I asked the seminar coordinator to take some pictures. I should have given him better instructions!


Click here.


By His grace,