Thy Will Be Done

Dear ITEM Next Gen Ministry Partner,

Months ago I met Jeffrey in Madagascar. I shared my commitment to help prepare the next generation of leaders for the church in Africa using apologetics (i.e. “truth-defending”) as the vehicle, he got excited and over time it turned into the just completed seminar in Harare, Zimbabwe.

We finished today with another Apologetics on Mission (AoM) trainee presenting a lecture on the reliability of the Bible. After a break, since it would be my last time to speak to them, I explained what I believe God has called me to before giving my talk on human sexuality. I’ll save the God’s-call comments for the end of this report. Then as I was preparing to leave for the airport to catch my 4pm flight, Ben, from AoM was giving his talk on Science and Christianity. He is an engineer by trade and this topic is of special interest to him.


When a serious study is done on the reliability of the Bible, using any credible method to determine the reliability of any ancient document, the Bible “runs circles” around any other ancient document when it comes to reliability.


Ben explained how God built into his creation formulas, laws, mathematics and then gave man the ability to observe, reason, and calculate, and see God’s handiwork and glorify him. Obviously, over time, “man” has taken God out of the picture and has seen the majesty of the universe but has refused to give glory to God. He also explained that early on, it was Christians who learned to do science and made the discoveries.


In my talk on sexuality, I started by giving a thorough overview of God’s plan for marriage, sex, building families, communities, etc. “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth….etc.” From the beginning is has been “one man, one woman, becoming one flesh, for a lifetime.” THAT was and is God’s plan. Then I showed how philosophy, psychology, (even) poetry, more recently, critical theory, postmodernism, and science has turned God’s design on its head leading to the sexual revolution we are now watching take place. Then I finished the talk with suggested responses for all who are followers of Christ.

That was the content for the day.


I made an observation and shared it with Ben, the head of AoM. So much of apologetics is giving long talks, with detailed PowerPoint presentations, giving evidence for the Christian faith. But when confronted in a conversation with a statement like, “The Bible has been changed over time and cannot be trusted,” you can’t bring out you laptop and PowerPoint presentation and say, “you sit there and let me show you.” We have to be prepared to give a short, precise, reasonable, rational answer right there, on the spot. I suggested that there needs to be more training on how to DO apologetics not just HERE ARE THE FACTS. The facts (evidences) strengthen our faith but does not prepare us to engage unbelievers and skeptics. He agreed. Editorial note: I try to include that in the individual seminars that I do. And in fact, I the same “tactics” when I am teaching. E.g. When someone one at the seminar asks me a question, I’ll usually ask, “What do you think?” e.g. I was asked if homosexuals are born that way. My response? “Tell me what you think.” Every time someone asked me a question, I’d make it a point to ask them a question in response and made a point of it to the group, demonstrating was I had been telling them to do.

When I shared that idea with Ben, he agreed that we/they (AoM) need to think about incorporating the “how” of doing apologetics.


I also gave the group a warning. If you have followed me through the years, you will know that “titles” are HUGELY important in Africa. Just about everyone claims some title: Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor….etc. My warning was that as they start studying apologetics (truth-defending) and hearing the word “apologist” over and over, they don’t all start adopting the “title” of “apologist.”  Then I reminded them of what Paul wrote in 1 Cor 4:1, “Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ…” I said to the, “What a title? How about servant of Jesus?”


Finally, when I got up to speak for the last time, I outlined my thoughts on my own ministry at this time of life. I told them that the older you get, the narrower is your target. I told them I had three priorities:

  1. Engaging the next generation of leaders for the church in Africa, warning them about the godless ideologies coming out of the west and trying to build into them a biblical worldview that recognizes and resists them.

  2. Engage, train, and send next gen leaders to the high school and university campuses.

  3. Equip, teach, train pastors (who are thinkers) how to engage the next generation.

I also told them that I didn’t have years and years to cultivate and grow a fruitful ministry to the next generation and that I was looking for strategic, quick hitting, “turn key ready” opportunities that could have a major impact without having to build long term relationships. I also described the phrase “more bang for the buck” and told them that was what I was looking for.

This is quite different from the vision Apologetics on Mission has and my first take is that the seminar participants were more drawn to more apologetics training like AoM offers. Editorial comment: Their presentation is quite impressive.

But Jeffrey, the seminar organizer, told me as we went to the airport that he now knows my heart and passion and he will talk to his team and get back to me.

But in the end, God is God, and my prayer to Him is, “Thy will be done!”


So, that leaves one last event on this trip. Tomorrow, Friday, I have two presentations and two Q&A times with 100 (the goal) university level individuals. I have been asked to speak on an Intro to Apologetics (What it is and why we need to do it), and How to Do Apologetics. The event is being hosted by Intl Leadership Univ, where I started my missionary life when it was the Nairobi International School of Theology.

Saturday is a day off, so far, and Sunday night I leave for home.

Please pray:

…for the Friday seminar, that it will be well received, that I will be clear and that the attendees will be challenged.

…for continued good health

…for safe, on-time flights going home.

…for continued interest in the lives of those who attended the seminars in Kenya, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe

…AND PRAY ESPECIALLY FOR VITAL, my interpreter in Kigali. He lost his mother just a few days ago. That is hard enough. But she wanted him to be married and he has been looking for six years but God hasn’t provided a wife. And he feels like he failed his mother.


Thursday pictures will be uploaded late Thursday night in the US.

By His grace,