Travel Diary 4: Different Continent Similar Challenges

Dear ITEM Prayer Partners,

Friday has been another long day. Up at 5am to leave for the airport at 6am to catch a flight at 8:30. Then it was just a one-hour flight to Uganda to settle in and prepare for the East Africa Apologetics Summit that was organized by Adventurous Apologetics (A2). We started with dinner at 5pm followed by introductions, and presentations by A2 and ACFAR, African Center for Apologetic Research. They focus on the cults that are present in Africa many of which are prominent in America. I must say that the discussions were similar but different than those I have had at pastors’ seminars.

ITEM is partnering with A2 whose vision is to be a catalyst in bringing apologetics groups together and establish a united effort in the field of apologetics. So, they have brought together several organizations or institutions that have an interest in apologetics to discuss this very thing.

CHALLENGES

A familiar question that is raised here is why a so called good, loving, all-powerful God allows suffering, unexpected deaths, and endless hardships. That question might be the number one question about Christianity that we face in America. Another question that comes up here was new to me. Evidently, there are some that ask, “Why did God create me black? All the important people in the Bible were white. And blacks have been slaves and poor. Are we cursed?” That might not be the word for word question, but you get the point. 

So, as I take ITEM into the area of Christian apologetics, we will have to be able to answer cultural questions not just, “How do we know God exists? How do we know that Jesus died on a cross and rose again? How can we know that the Bible is true?” We will also have to answer cultural, more local questions dealing with Christianity and the various races. And “Is Christianity only a white-man’s religion?”

ACFAR

This ministry has been around for awhile and deals with the various cults that are present in Africa. They do just what their name says. They research what the false religions teach then pass on what they discover to believers in order to protect them from false teachers. They have student ministries, campus ministries, church ministries, and women’s ministries. They idea is to ground believers in the truth, so they are more discerning when it comes to knowing truth and being able to recognize error. Some of the presentation fit in perfectly with our own goal, which is to training pastors to teach the Bible systematically in order to bring believers to maturity, so they are no longer like children tossed around by every wind of (false) doctrine (Eph 4:11-14).

This was only the beginning. Tomorrow, Saturday, there will be additional presentations, ITEM will be one of them, and workshops to discuss what we have heard and where we go as a group. Right now, there is a blank page but by the end of Sunday we hope to have a game plan for moving forward in developing an East African Apologetics Ministry. 

It is 9:30pm. We start early tomorrow so I want to get this sent and get some rest. Thanks for caring and praying.

By His grace,
Steve

Many new pictures added today. CLICK HERE TO GO TO PIC ALBUM.

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