Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Modular Training and a Macedonian Call from the Southern Philippines

Boracay Grace Baptist Church

Pastor Erwin

Pastor Daisuke
This week I was joined by Pastor Erwin (whom I have been mentoring for about a year and a half) and Pastor Daisuke, (who leads the TMAI training ministry in Japan) to train a group of pastor's at Boracay Grace Baptist Church (BGBC).  Although we met on the Island of Boracay for the Old Testament Survey module, several of the some 40 pastors were from other Islands.  Many traveled for 5 hours by bus from the Island of Panay.  Four pastors even traveled for about 12 hours from the Island of Negros taking a combination of bus, boat and motorcycle.   When Pastors Erwin, Daisuke and I learned this, we felt very humbled.  Knowing that these men were willing to travel so far to grow in their ability to handle God's Word, shepherd His people and to be imparted with some of the training that was entrusted to us just increases my passion to help them.  We know that we are not worthy of such a great privilege, but we thank the Lord for the Grace to do so and try to do our best to serve them.
Sean Ransom
Some of the highlights for me were teaching the books of Job, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Malachi.  Even though I read them every year I always learn something new and I am also struck with how their voices are still relevant to our lives and ministries today.  For example, Job (which I admit I really struggled with the first few times I read it because I didn't understand it) really speaks to our trials and suffering today and how God doesn't allow His children to be shaken by them to the point of falling away.  When I think about the end times my mind defaults to Revelation and Daniel, but I was reminded that Isaiah has so much to say about the end, Christ's rule on earth (not to mention a lot about the Messiah); Ezekiel has much to say about the end as well.  Malachi offers great teaching on marriage and always generates some good discussions on tithing verses the free will offering and our relationship the Old Testaments covenants.

Another impact that this last module had on me is from request I received from some of the men from the Island of Negros.  It reminded me of the call that the Apostle Paul received in Acts 16:9 which says, "During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us."  One of the pastors shared with us how he is unable to get good training, (probably due to time, resources and availability) and how he and others in his area are constantly under attack from false doctrine and teachers.  He along with a few other pastors repeatedly asked us if we could offer the same training they were receiving at BGBC on their Islands.  My heart really goes out to these pastors and too many others who have made similar request to us.  Pray with me for more workers to help train these faithful men.  The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.   
Us with some of the men from our on going training in Boracay
My plan is to try to return to Boracay in June as well as Mindanao.  Join me in praying for the provisions (including teachers and funding) to continue training these eager and faithful men and others like them.