Dear ITEM Partner,
A verse often quoted in a discipleship context is 2 Timothy 2:2, “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” It is noted that there are four generations of disciples in this one verse: Paul (the author, “me”), Timothy (the recipient, “you”), faithful men, and others. Sitting at the lunch table today was a prime example of 2 Timothy 2:2 in action. It was a gratifying moment for me.
Let me introduce you to Noah Frederick. Noah Frederick is a member of the ITEM team in Uganda. My earliest recollection of Noah was his excitement when he heard about expository preaching. That, of course, was several years ago. Noah’s commitment to this ITEM distinctive is as solid today as it has ever been.
Jim Glasscock is the ITEM missionary living in Uganda, near the border with Kenya, along with ITEM Coordinator, Pastor Hillary Wafula, and Noah. Jim speaks often of Noah. Noah and Jim touch base almost daily. Pastor Hillary will tell you that Noah is his “right hand man” and when the day comes that Hillary needs to retire (not any time soon), Noah will be ready to step in.
But that is not the story. At lunch today, Noah once again brought up expository preaching. This time in the context of men in his church he is training to do expository preaching. They switch off so they can all improve by watching each other.
Now Noah is considering starting another church and putting some of these men in the new church to do what Noah is doing in his church. Right there are four generations: ITEM/Jim/Hillary, Noah, his faithful men, and others who will be coming from the new church. I hear this story and my heart sings praises the Lord for His faithfulness in working in the lives and ministries of men like Noah!
Also, at lunch today, we presented Hillary with ITEM Flash Drives full of Bible study resources that will be given to each team member along with copies of the new ITEM Booklet, The E-4 Church Strategy. (See pictures added today.)
UGANDA: RIGHT ON TRACK
Pastor Hillary, who is now the Vice President of the Baptist Union in Uganda, is implementing the ITEM E4 Church Strategy in a machine-like fashion. They have taken their time implementing the mentoring strategy. In fact, they have been concentrating on just the ITEM team. They have completed almost 20 of the mentoring meetings. In 2021, they are going to pick up on doing seminars with a view of moving seminar-trained pastors into mentoring groups.
Their strategy is as follows: Take pastors through the two ITEM seminars. Pick approximately 10 of the pastors who complete both and start them through the mentoring process. Then when these ten, complete the first 5-6 meetings with an ITEM mentor, they will be assigned a group of seminar-trained pastors waiting to be mentored.
While this is taking place in one location, they are setting up seminars in other regions of Uganda. In about 6-7 months, they will be starting the mentoring process in other regions of Uganda as well. Again, my heart is filled with joy and gratification to see the E4 Church Strategy being worked out in reality as it is written on paper.
BACK TO KISUMU
Following lunch, Nathan and I headed back to Kisumu, where we are at the moment. Wednesday morning, we fly back to Nairobi where I’ll spend two nights before heading for home.
SEVEN NIGHTS SEVEN BEDS
By Thursday morning I will have slept in seven different beds in seven days: Chuka (at the end of the seminar last week), Nairobi, Kisumu, Bungoma, Busia, Kisumu, Nairobi.
How many steps did we have to climb to get to our rooms in Busia? Answer: 90. What about Kisumu? Only 33! (In both cases, with luggage.)
Wednesday, on my way to the Nairobi guest house, I’ll stop and get the Covid test that is required now to get back into the US. Thursday, I have a meeting scheduled with a man who is involved with “Apologetics Africa.” Apologetics is a growing interest of mine and starting an ITEM Apologetics Ministry in Africa will be the topic. Friday, red eye flight, heading for home via France and Atlanta.
Thanks for your ongoing prayers! They are much appreciated.
By His grace,