Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bringing Training To Minister's Where They Live

In early September, we were joined by Geoff, Elizabeth and Hezekiah Kirkland. Geoff is a graduate of The Master's Seminary and he and his wife are praying about the Lord's Direction for future ministry. They heard about the opportunities with our training ministry, The Expositor's Academy (TEA) , so they came out to see what the Lord is doing and how they might fit in should He lead them to join us in training ministers in the Philippines.
Geoff, Elizabeth and Hezekiak Kirkland

TEA Board member Mike Asperin arranged for Geoff to teach a one week module in the city of Tanay on Hermeneutics (how to interpret the Bible). It was easy to see that the Kirkland's immediately clicked with the people and culture and Geoff did a great job of teaching.
Geoff Kirkland

Tanay is a town of about 80,000 people and is situated about 1 hour west of Manila on the edge of Laguna De Bay. I was told that there are very few Christian Churches in this predominately Catholic town and that the training was greatly needed and appreciated. We were hosted by The Church of the Living Savior and it's pastor, Medel Mendez cared for The Kirkland's during their stay in the city.
The Kirklands with the Tanay Class

Shortly after the Kirkland's returned to the States we were joined by Pastor Jonathan Rourke from Grace Community Church on Oct. 9-18. Jonathan had just wrapped up some ministry in Hong Kong and came here to the Philippines to help minister to some of our ministry partners and to join us in teaching in our training ministry.

Jonathan Rourke at
Greenhills Christian Fellowship in Ortigas Center

Jonathan Rourke at Christ's Commission Fellowship in Alabang

Between the two churches, Jonathan preached 5 times to about 5,000 people. At GCF, he preached on 1 Tim. 1:12-17 (Click hear to listen) and at CCF He preached on Gal. 3:1-14 (Click hear to listen). I had a good time with Jonathan as we met with some of the pastors from both churches to hear about what God has done through them, what He is currently doing through them, and where they are heading.

Sandwiched between these two preaching engagements, Jonathan and I suffered for the Lord in Boracay. I almost hesitated to share this because the place is a popular vacation spot set on a beautiful beach known for it's powder white sand, glass like waters of various blues and greens, great food, and friendly people. Often, when thinking of missionary life, people picture poverty, heat, and rough conditions, not beautiful beaches, but hey, the Word needs to be preached there too and ministers need to be taught wherever they serve the Lord. This door was opened to us so we went through it and were doubly blessed. We were blessed to be in such a beautiful place, and were were blessed to serve such eager pastors. Most of the men lived in the area, but some traveled many hours for the training when they heard about it.
Boracay Hermeneutics Class

The only down side to this module was that it was torture looking at the beach each day and not being able to enjoy it because we had to teach. Jonathan and I kept saying how nice it would have been if our families were there.

However, it was a great working environment. The men in Boracay appreciated the teaching so much that they asked us if we could come back in January to teach a module on preaching. As you can imagine, they didn't have to twist my arm and Lord willing, we will be there in January, maybe even with my family this time.

Please pray that these men would be able to go back through what we taught them, that they would understand it and that they would apply it to their study and proclamations of God's Word. It will take them time to become skilled in all the things that we taught them because they were exposed to so much in one week, but we pray that as they do, it will deeply impact their personal lives, the way they view the world, the way they lead and that it will greatly impacting their pulpits and the churches they pastor.

The last piece of news that I have to share is that we will be starting a new class in the city of Fairview just North of Manila on Oct. 23. Students from my class at Greenhills Christian Fellowship have been asking me for the past few years if we could start classes in Fairview where they minister. They have been enjoying the training that they have been receiving from our training ministry for over there years now and felt a burden for the pastors in their area to receive it as well. I felt bad that I have had to say no the last few years because of being understaffed, but I found some like minded men to help teach the classes with me by sharing the teaching load. This class will meet every Saturday night from 6-9pm starting with Hermeneutics.

Please pray for our new class, that the ministers in it will be learn to better interpret, live and proclaim God's Word. Also pray for more men to join our staff at The Expositor's Academy in the Philippines to train godly men to faithfully preach God's Word.