July '17 Update
Jules Verne’s classic novel comes to mind as I prepare for my next trip (which begins on August 5th ). Like Phileas Fogg, I too will be circling the earth. However, that is where the comparison ends, for I will not be doing it as a bet and my means of transportation will be much different than what was available back in 1873!I also will be headed in the opposite direction as Mr. Fogg and I don’t plan on being chased by a detective trying to arrest me for bank robbery (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you’ll have to read the book). In any case, here are the details of my trip along with some ways that you can be praying for me on each leg.The First Leg: Over the Atlantic from L.A. to Singapore (Aug. 5th to 12th)I will be spending the first week in Singapore where I will be attending the Shepherd360 Conference as well as the TMAI Asia-Pacific regional meeting. Both events are sponsored by TMAI which is the pastor’s training organization with which I have been working closely.This week in Singapore will provide the opportunity for me to:
- be updated on the progress of the training centers in Asia
- learn of new opportunities which are opening up in this region of the world
- learn how I can come alongside them to help
- that God would raise up men to lead the new potential training centers in Asia
- for wisdom as to how I can be more effective in supporting what TMAI is doing in Asia
- that I would be a blessing and encouragement to the missionaries in the field
- for my family while I am gone, especially for Brie who is starting school on the 14th
The Second Leg: Singapore to the Philippines (Aug. 12th to 29th)I will then be spending just over two weeks in the Philippines, teaching the 2nd module of the Expository Preaching program at Guiding Light Christian Church in Baguio City and at Higher Rock Christian Church in the Manila area.This module will be the first in which the students will be participating in the preaching lab where they will preach their sermons from Ephesians and receive feedback. Also, we will be teaching them on how to study and preach narratives. In addition to teaching the module during the week, I will also have the opportunity to preach at both churches while I am there.I am excited about this leg of the trip because Tina will be joining me for part of it (the 12th to the 22nd). She will be coming as part of a joint short-term missions team from both Calvary Bible Church and Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church (the sending church for one of the missionaries, Vincent Greene). In addition to being involved in outreach in Baguio City, Tina will also be teaching some seminars for the women.
- for effectiveness in my teaching and that I would be a help to the local pastors
- for Tina’s ministry with the ladies in Baguio and Manila and for her health
- for the churches I will be serving at (Higher Rock and Guiding Light) that God would bless their ministries and bring many to Christ through them
The Third Leg: Over the Indian Ocean from the Philippines to Malawi (Aug. 29th to Sep. 7th) This third leg of the trip should prove interesting as I will be traveling over the Indian Ocean and through Ethiopia for the first time (on Ethiopian Airlines). I will be serving at the Central African Preaching Academy (CAPA) which currently has about 100 students in both the certificate and M.Div. programs.I will be teaching two classes while I am there—one to the 1st year M.Div. students that covers Genesis thru Leviticus and the other to the 3rd year M.Div. students on Galatians and the Prison Epistles (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon). I will also participate in preaching labs among other things.I am very excited about this trip, not only for the opportunity to train the pastors there, but also because my daughter, Carissa, will be there as well. She is coming as part of a short-term missions team from her college bible study at Grace Community Church which will be assisting CAPA with the many administrative and physical needs they have. This will be her first time overseas. Praise to the Lord that she has nearly raised all of her support for the trip. Thank you so much to those of you who were able to contribute.
- for my health and stamina and preparation for the classes I am teaching at CAPA
- for CAPA and for the pastors being trained that they would absorb what they are learning and know and teach the Scriptures accurately
- for the missionary families in Malawi for health, unity, safety, and effectiveness in ministry
- that Carissa would be both challenged and encouraged in her walk and that she would be a blessing to others on the team as well as the people of Malawi
The Final Leg: Headed Home over the Atlantic from Malawi to L.A.(Sep. 7th-8th) These trips from Malawi can be a challenge as it they usually take more than 36 hours to complete. And after being away for more than a month, my body will be more susceptible to sickness and fatigue. But I will be excited to come home.
- for safe travel home and for my health after 25,000+ miles of travel
- for continued work on my dissertation which is a little over halfway completed
- that I would not suffer jet lag as I have much to get done before I leave for my next trip on Sep. 29th
Thank you again for your prayers for this trip and for the Pastors Training Ministry. They mean more than words can express.