Oct' 18 Update
Dipping a Thimble in the Ocean
I just returned from being away for SIX weeks—the longest time I have been overseas in my entire life. My trip began in Malawi where I had the privilege of teaching the MDiv students at the TMAI training center there. For an update from that trip click here. From Malawi, I traveled to the Philippines for the second leg of my trip where I spent three weeks teaching modules for our Expository Preaching Program. Tina was able to join me about half way through my time there. The third and last leg of my journey was a vision trip to Cambodia to meet with pastors there and explore the possibility of future training.Many have asked me about the trip—specifically about the highlights, my favorite part, and the greatest impact. These are very difficult questions to answer, like trying to empty an ocean using only a thimble. The experiences were so many and so varied. To be in three very different cultures on different continents in a short period of time was a unique experience indeed.This brief update is a feeble attempt to give you a glimpse into some of those experiences. If you wish to hear more details you are welcome to come to an informal presentation on Thursday, November 8th from 7-9pm at 10743 Walnut Ave, Shadow Hills. There will be refreshments too.
This trip to the Philippines saw the graduation of our first classes in the Expository Preaching Program. There were seventeen men who survived the three-year, six-module class which included 260+ hours of instruction, hours more of class assignments, as well as the preparation and delivery of 10 sermons from four different genres of Scripture.It was a great achievement for the eight men in Cebu and nine in Davao which culminated in a wonderful graduation ceremony at each location. The occasion was made all the more special with a great feast that included roasted pig. Many of the men gave testimony to how the course had impacted not only their preaching but also their personal lives and ministries. These ceremonies were certainly highlights of not only my time overseas these last six weeks but also the last four years. I have grown to greatly love and respect these men. After completing the training with the first batch in Cebu, I began training a second batch of students. The program was so well promoted by the first batch of students that nearly 40 men signed up for this next batch.
Cambodia: First Impressions
Following our time in the Philippines, we traveled to Cambodia along with a Short Term Mission team from Soli Deo Gloria Christian Church of Davao (which is where we conduct the training for the preaching program). The church has been sending a team for the last few years to help various churches in Cambodia put together a children’s ministry using AWANA. While ministering to these churches the pastors have asked for training themselves in preaching and pastoral ministry. Thus, missionary Sean Ransom and I traveled with them to meet with these pastors with the goal of evaluating whether The Expositor’s Academy could help.We traveled in the more remote regions of northern Cambodia and found the church is growing there through a commitment to evangelism and church planting. However, as in many places around the world, the pastors have not had access to much training in theology, preaching or pastoral ministry. Please be in prayer for God’s will to be clear as to how we should proceed regarding ministry in Cambodia. The need is certainly there but there is a question as to whether we can meet that need with a shortage of personnel as well as potential hindrances with language. Speaking of prayer, here are a few more requests.Praises and Prayer Requests
Thank you for your prayers for me while I was gone. Except for a couple of minor stomach issues (I will spare the details) the Lord sustained me for the entire trip
Please pray the Lord would give clear direction regarding modular programs starting up in other areas in the Philippines. A new work begins this coming April in Cagayan de Oro in April as well as another one potentially starting in the Manila area early next year.
Please continue to pray for the remaining support that we need to cover insurance and GMI training expenses. We are still short of the goal.
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