Dear ITEM Partner,
I am reflecting back on my first trip to Africa. It was January 1998. I didn’t know what to expect but God met me there. I remember thinking “these two weeks have been two of the best weeks of my life.” I knew I was where he wanted me…. in a classroom teaching Bible and theology. That led to ITEM and providing nonformal training in Bible and theology. That has been my calling for the past 20 years. Today I had a similar feeling speaking at two apologetics events. It was a tiring, fulfilling, and fruitful day.
ST PAUL UNIVERSITY
The day started early. Patrick, my driver and welcomed shadow during my time in Nairobi, picked me up and we fought our way through the morning traffic for an hour to reach St Paul University where I was to speak on “The Bible’s Authority on Apologetics.” I was to speak from 10-10:45, then leave at 11 for my next speaking engagement at Mishkan Bible College, which was 50 minutes from St Paul.
We arrived around 9:20 and found our way to the meeting hall where a panel of women were talking about women in apologetics, or something similar. They finished at 10:15. I was to start at 10. Then the Vice Chancellor got up to welcome everyone saying I needed to leave around 11 so he’d be quick. Fifteen minutes later his quick greeting was over. I stepped up around 10:30 and told them I needed to leave about 11 so they would have to “listen fast.” So, my 10-10:45 slot became 10:30-11. The audience was university students, some faculty, and Christian leaders from the area. I felt good about my 30 minutes. With another 15 mins I could have shared a few more illustrations and stories.
MISHKAN BIBLE COLLEGE
By the time we said goodbye and shook a few hands, we were on our way. I was about 11:20. We were supposed to meet with the principal and chaplain at noon and Patrick told me it was 50 minutes without traffic. Well, there was some traffic. We got there about 12:15. The schedule called for meeting the principal and chaplain until 12:30. Then meet with theology students until
1:10 at which time we’d break for lunch and then have three apologetics sessions from 2pm to 4:30pm.
The principal wasn’t ready, so we met with the chaplain for awhile then met the principal. That part of the meeting was inspiring but ended up with a sales pitch for Bibles. The inspiring part is that they offer free education to kids from poor families who cannot afford school fees all the way to secondary school. They are funded by donors. What they are doing is definitely impressive. The sales pitch was having each person in the room from the school staff give testimonies about how having more Bibles would benefit the students. Small compact Revised Standard Bibles through the Bible Society here cost over $7 and they could use.
Then they fed us lunch and it was off to our first meeting. It was with the college students. We started with a presentation on Worldview that incorporated a comparison of Islam and Christianity, and showing that answering the question, “What does secular history say about Jesus? Is it compatible with the Bible story?” And if it is, “Jesus is more than a prophet, as Muslims say, He is God, Messiah, Savoir, and Lord, and therefore Christianity is the true religion, not Islam.
Then I started my newly prepared presentation on the LGBTQ movement, how we got here, what it is telling us, what the truth is, and how we are to respond. In the middle of this presentation, the secondary school students joined us, so I backed up and started again on the LGBTQ issue. I was very bold, using explicit language to talk about God’s plan for “one man, one woman, becoming one flesh for life, and having sex for the purpose of having babies, and filling the earth with God-worshippers. Then I talked about how postmodern philosophy and science has turned this all upside down. Then we had to dismiss the secondary students and move the college students into a smaller room to avoid the loud noises coming from outside. Then I hurriedly went through my talk on “God’s Story” (Creation, Fall, Redemption, New Creation) and how knowing this story helps us answer questions people ask us about our faith. Then the drive home was in traffic and another hour.
FULFILLING AND FRUITFUL
At the end of the day, after nearly four hours of speaking and three hours of driving, I was tired but extremely fulfilled, much like I felt after my first trip in 1998. I felt like I had accomplished what I set out in the morning to accomplish AND did what God is now calling me to do for the rest of my ministry years, however many that may be. And what is that new calling? To teach a new generation of leaders what a biblical worldview is and warn and prepare them for the challenges that is certainly coming their way. The vision is focused mostly in Africa but only because so far not many opportunities have presented themselves in America.
A COUPLE OF FINAL POINTS
Before speaking with the principal, a teacher came in who had been trying to teach on the subject of apologetics. He said the students were frustrated because it seems confusing and hard to apply. He said they needed someone to simplify the concept and explain more clearly what apologetics is. When we were done, he said I had given them exactly what they needed and that it was clear and easy to understand.
Secondly, I really liked that no interpreter was needed at either place and I was speaking mostly to a mature, more educated audiences at both places that were wanting answers. I could go on. It was a great, enjoyable, fulfilling day for me an fruitful as well.
Tomorrow, Saturday, there is a follow up apologetics seminar at a church I was at in January. And Sunday, a follow up at another church I was at in January.
Thanks for praying and giving, to make this possible!
CLICK HERE to find the photo album. Several new pictures from Saturday
By His grace,