On January 5-9 a team from the Master's Seminary joined my partner Mark Macatangay and me to teach a group of ministers from the Island of Cebu how to study and interpret the Bible. The teaching team consisted of Alan Luciano (and his wife Sandi who taught the women a mini seminary on biblical counseling) along with pastor Felix Ballon. Our students were local pastors and workers from compassion international who minister to poor children throughout the Philippines.
Alan and Sandi went on that short term missions trip to test the waters and see if TMAI-Philippines is where God is calling them to serve. Praise the Lord, just a few days into the trip they already knew that this is where God was calling them to and what He has prepared them for. They returned to California so that Alan can finish his last semester at the Master's Seminary, Sandi can complete her work at the Master's College for her Master's in Biblical Counseling and to raise support so that they can move here and join our team in establishing a Master's Academy associate training center that focus on expository preaching. We are anxiously awaiting their arrival Lord willing in late 2009 or sometime in 2010.
If God puts Alan, Sandi and this ministry on your hearts then please contact me or them to see how you can become a part of their support team and send them to the Philippines to train ministers who will preach the Word in the country and abroad as we train and send God's servants throughout the world.
Our other team member was Pastor Felix Ballon. On what the world calls a whim, Pastor Felix was chatting with Alan who invited him to come out between semester at the Master's Seminary and join our team to teach the module. In God sovereignty he came out and all of us witnessed God's had on him as really spoke into the lives of many men who live in the country that he was born in. He really connected with the ministers at this conference and is now wrestling with how God wants to use him in the Philippines in the coming years. If you didn't know any better you would think that Pastor Felix never left the Philippines and was ministering among the brothers he grew up with. The sad fact is that there are few men in the Philippines who have the training and experience that he has. Pray with us and him as he considers the possibilities of joining our team or coming out here on a regular basis as a visiting professor. In addition to about 3 and a half days of classroom lectures, we gave the students a day and a half to practice applying the principles that we taught using a workshop format. It was fun coaching around 90 pastors and ministers who labored together in and attempt to discover what the authors of various Bible text were saying using the principles of interpretation that they had just learned.
We have more modules planned throughout the year as well as plans to return to this group of ministers in Cebu to follow up with more training. Pray that our students will really grasp what we taught them and that they will faithful apply what they learned in their ministries. Pray also that God would continue to open the doors for us to train others and that we would choose the right opportunities to pursue.