February '17 Update
Expanding Ministry in the PhilippinesAs I mentioned in last month’s update, the expository preaching module that I teach as a part of The Expositor’s Academy in the Philippines has expanded to two more locations—one in the Manila area (Quezon City) and the other about five hours north in the mountains (Baguio City). I recently traveled to both locations in order to teach the first of the six modules. There were about twenty men at each location which means there are a total of 74 pastors who are involved in this training.One critical aspect to this training is that each module is hosted by a local church. These churches not only graciously open their facilities to host but this also provides opportunity to build relationships with not just the pastors but the key leaders and members of the churches as well.In Quezon City the host church is Higher Rock Christian Church (HRCC) pastored by Bob Amigo who has been very supportive of the ministry of TMAI in the Philippines. This dear brother has also been very strategic in helping TEA to build relationships with several churches across the Philippines. I have had the privilege to do a number of conferences there over the last few years and have been greatly encouraged by their desire to host these conferences not just for their church but also for many other churches in the area.The host church in Baguio City is Guiding Light Christian Church (GLCC) which is pastored by another dear brother, Robbie Casas. He has a great sense of humor along with a low maintenance hair style (I like to tease him about that). I have had the joy to preach on two occasions at GLCC and have been so blessed by their worship services and by the people’s hunger for the word.[gallery ids="769,770" type="rectangular"]Third Time's A CharmThank you for praying for my most recent trip. I found it to be among the most encouraging and fruitful trips I have taken thus far. Since I have been able to teach through the material twice before, I felt the third time was the most effective. The men seemed truly engaged, asking a lot of questions and understanding the material much more quickly and thoroughly than in past groups. I trust that means I am teaching more logically and clearly.I will share some feedback that I received from the men in more detail in the next update but here are a couple of comments that greatly encouraged me. One came from a pastor in Baguio who approached me on the second day of class and said how after the first class he went home and apologized to his wife for not being the shepherd he needed to be in his home. He had taken to heart much of what was said on the first day regarding the character God requires of those who would lead His flock.Another encouraging remark came from Pastor Robbie who said to me, “Where were you 28 years ago when I started in ministry? I could have really used this training.” To that I replied, “I would not have been much use to you 28 years ago, brother!”Prayer RequestsSo thank you again for praying! Your prayers are much-needed, appreciated and effective. Here are a few specific requests you can bring before the Lord this month on our behalf
- Please continue to pray for the 74 pastors who attend the preaching program that they will grow in their ability to study and preach the Word accurately and clearly.
- Please keep praying for my D.Min. studies. I have several assignments to finish for the final semester of coursework. But even more importantly, a draft of my dissertation is due by January. It may seem like a long time but there is a lot to get done.
- Pray also for the TMAI symposium that we are hosting at Calvary Bible Church this coming Monday (02/27). There is much we need to prepare to be ready for the 900+ attendees from around the world. Pray also for the men coming from overseas to the Shepherd’s Conference next week (02/28-03/02) that they would be both encouraged and equipped.
- Please pray that more churches would join in supporting the ministry both financially and in prayer.
If the Lord leads you to continue supporting 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.