Dear ITEM Friends,
We finished out seminar today. We rushed through six more lectures, answered multiple questions, received some very gracious “thank you-s,” and heard some encouraging evaluations and plans for implementing what was taught. My highlights were conversations we had with attendees and with Dr. David Ngaruiya, a former student of mine back in 1999 and 2000.
Henry’s two lectures today were parts one and two of our New Testament overview. He had the daunting task of overviewing the background and major themes of the 27 New Testament books in a total of 80 minutes. You do the math. He took a little more than that but gave some quality application with his discussion of each book. (I think we all took a little more time than we scheduled for.)
Nathan had immigration issues to take care of and gave one lecture after lunch. An overview of 1 Timothy. He stayed within his allotted time for covering 1 Timothy but decided to handle an unscheduled topic: Rules of interpretation. He noted that many of the questions come out of a lack of understanding about studying verses in context, which is a major point in “how to study the Bible.” They are all used to taking any verse from almost anywhere in the Bible and quoting it and claiming it.
I had three lectures today. I had the joy of covering the deep theology and application of the deep theology in Ephesians and Romans. I had 40 minutes to cover both! Try that on an empty stomach! I ended up taking a little too much time and didn’t even cover all of the notes. But we had to keep moving.
My second lecture was on the history and theology of he prosperity (the health and wealth) gospel movement; the Faith Movement. It can be traced all of the way back to the metaphysical cults of 80+ years ago and many of the popular TV preachers here in Africa are a part of that group. They are from both the US and Africa.
My last lecture today was a survey of Titus and 2 Timothy. I leave 2 Timothy for last because it is Paul’s last letter before he became a martyr. It was a challenge to timid Timothy, to come out of the shadows and be willing to suffer persecution with him (Paul). Paul was handing off his ministry to Timothy.
Teacher, Bishop, Mature Host Pastor
The highlights were the conversations with a Bible school teacher and a bishop who attended the seminar. Both were sincerely appreciative of what we taught affirming that this training is unique an essential for untrained pastors. The host pastor said much the same thing. And all promised to do follow up and the bishop promised to send reports of how the training is being used in his ministry.
Then when I got back to the guest house, I met with Dr. David Ngaruyia. He was a student of mine in 1999 and 2000. He is now a grandfather. He is also back at the same university as a professor. He was a contributor to the Africa Study Bible. He is part of a group that had a phone APP develop and they offer virtual degrees through the APP.
I told him that I had tears of joy and surges of emotion flowing through my heart last Tuesday when I returned to the campus where I taught him and I felt some of that same surge when we were talking about ways we might be able to partner.
I WANT TO BE 50 AGAIN
As we talked and he shared his vision for Africa and for the untrained pastors in Africa, I started envisioning how ITEM and I could be involved and I thought, “God I want more time! I want to be 50 again!” Why 50, you may ask. SIMPLE.
I made my first trip to Africa to teach at this school in January of 1998. I actually turned 50 during my time there. Those two weeks were the most fulfilling two weeks of ministry I had ever experienced. And it was those two weeks that gave me direction which let to this ministry being formed in 2003.
God, I want ITEM and myself to be a partner of the school (ILU) and of David’s vision for the church and pastors in Africa. I’ll share more about this conversation and will list some of the questions we answered today, in tomorrow’s report.
Oh, I have a meeting with the Vice Chancellor of the school Monday morning. I may feel the same surge of emotions I’ve already felt twice this week when reconnecting with the school and the students where ITEM all began.
Pray for David and I as we think about ways we can partner.
Pray for my upcoming meeting with the Vice Chancellor on Monday as we, also, talk “partnership.”
Pray for me as I prepare my apologetics “talk” that will be given Monday at 11AM here, 1AM Pacific time.
Thanks in advance for your prayers.
By His grace,
Click here to see new pictures. The Bible school teacher and bishop are in one of pics with Henry and I. David and I are in the last picture.