July ’16 Pastor Training Ministry Update
Ham Jambo (Hello Everyone)
“This mystery is great but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church”
This was the theme verse of the marriage conference that we held in Mombasa, Kenya for 31 pastors and their wives entitled “Marriage is for Christ.” It was a wonderful time as we reflected on the purpose of marriage and how to have marriages that honor Christ. Several of the pastors indicated they were greatly blessed as well as challenged by the conference. One pastor gave testimony of how he needed to work on his marriage and that he was going to tell his church the areas he wanted to grow as a husband so that his church would hold him accountable. Our time in Kenya came as part of a short term missions trip to visit missionaries Tim and Toni Ghrist. They have been serving the Lord in Mombasa, Kenya for over 30 years. In addition to the marriage conference, we also had the opportunity to do several outreaches throughout the week before the marriage conference.
During one of the outreaches in town just north of Mombasa I spoke with a man named Joshua for a long period of time. He was waiting for his sister who had an appointment with her doctor. When I first introduced myself to Joshua, he did not seem too interested in talking, which was unusual for most of the people I met there were very polite and open to conversation. But as Joshua opened up he described how he was depressed and that there did not seem to be any point to life. He had just married and was still unhappy. I opened up the Bible to him and showed him how Jesus Christ is the only true source of joy and peace when He said, “Come to Me all you who are weary and heavy laded and I will give you rest.” I told Joshua that just a few days earlier I was on the other side of the world but that God had brought me 10,000 miles to give a message to him. That really seemed to get him thinking. And so, what began as an awkward exchange of greetings ended with Joshua receiving a Bible and he looked me in the eye and thanked me for what I told him. Based on the genuineness of his response and how intently he was listening, I am hopeful that he may turn to Christ.
Reflections on the Trip
There are many more stories I could share about our trip. It was a great blessing and encouragement for me and for Tina who was able to go as well. As I reflect on the trip there are several things that come to mind:One encouragement is the dedication of our brothers and sisters to the church and to the Great Commission. Tina and I had the opportunity to spend Sunday in a poor village (the locals call it the slums) in Mombasa. The church service lasted over 3 hours with lots of singing and testimonies and greetings. I didn’t begin my sermon until over 2 hours into the service! After the service we went out into the community to visit those who had been unable to make it to church as well as many unsaved neighbors. They didn’t beat around the bush either. Each visit basically went something like this … after we were welcomed into the mud hut one person from our group would say to the person living there as he was pointing to me “this man has come from America and has something to tell you.” After spending a couple of hours going house to house, I was greatly challenged by their commitment to share Christ with the lost.Which leads me to another takeaway from my trip—the lostness of the lost. Mombasa is a predominantly Muslim city and we were there during the time of Ramadan. And so all through the night we could hear the prayers blaring from the speakers mounted on the tops of the four mosques surrounding the place we were staying. We could here the name ‘allah’ repeated over and over. One night as I sat listening to these prayers I was struck with the sobering fact that they were praying in earnest to a god who was not there and that they are placing their eternal souls on a faith that has no foundation. And indeed, that is the case for all humanity apart from the grace of God opening our eyes to the good news of His Son. I was reminded of the need for the gospel to be proclaimed as “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ” (Rom 10:17)My time in Kenya also caused me to be even more committed to the pastors training ministry that I have embarked upon. During one of the outreaches as I handed a gospel tract to one man he told me that he was a pastor in the area. When I asked how he came to Christ he told me that he was formerly Muslim and was saved 6 years ago. Then I asked him how long he had been a pastor to which he replied 4 years. He had not received any formal training though he strongly desired it. And he is not the first that I have met in this situation. My heart goes out to these men who want to understand and teach the Bible accurately but have had no one to train them.
There is so much more I could say but space does not allow. Could you join me in prayer for the following needs?
- Pastors of Kenya: pray that those at the conference would invest in their marriages and be a testimony to those in their churches.
- Joshua: please pray the Lord would open his eyes to the truth of the gospel and that he would repent and believe in Christ
- Doctor of Ministry studies: Earlier this month I completed the third of four classroom sessions for my D.Min. degree. Now come the many paper to write and books to (over 6500 pages!). Please pray I would be disciplined with my time to complete these assignments in the midst of a busy schedule
- Preparation: please pray for my preparation for September and October as it will be a very busy schedule that includes trips to the Philippines and Malawi for training as well as doing a missions conference at Community of Faith Bible Church in L.A.
- Transition: As of July 1st I have transitions to part time in my role as pastor at Calvary Bible Church. Please pray God would grant me wisdom in establishing my schedule as I wear both the pastor and the missionary hats.
- Support: in our transition to part time we still find a gap between our current support and what is needed. Please pray that we would trust God for the remaining 20% needed.
And if the Lord leads you to choose to support this ministry, you can do so by check made out to Calvary Bible Church with ‘suggested use Carns Missions’ on the memo line. The check can be placed in the Sunday offering or mailed to Calvary Bible Church at 1101 S. Main St, Burbank, CA 91506.Yours in Christ,Tim and Tina