Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Macedonia Call

Recently, I was remind of what has come to be known as the Apostle Paul's Macedonian Call.  It is found in Acts 16:9-10 where Paul had a vision of a man pleading for his assistance.  This man said, 

     9 ..."Come over to Macedonia and help us." 10 And when Paul had seen the vision,      
     immediately [he and his companions] sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding 
     that God had called [them] to preach the gospel to them.

What brought this to mind were several emails and phone calls that I received from men I had never met before; all coming from the Island of Mindanao and the city of Cagayan De Oro (CDO).  The first was a church planting pastor who is mentoring many pastors.  He shared with me his burdens for growing in his ability to handle the Word of God and help others do the same.  He wrote me several lengthy notes asking The Expositor's Academy (TEA) for help and sharing about the needs in his area.

Around the same time a man young in the faith, who was hungering for the Word of God and found it challenging to find good Bible teaching called me.  This happened after he grew to appreciate the preaching of John MacArthur.   When John preached he knew he was hearing God's Word as it was intended to be understood and he wanted more.  He wrote Grace Community Church to ask if they had any representatives in the Philippines and they gave him my number.  When he called we talk at length as he had so many questions about God's Word and living the Christian life.  Shortly after this he happened to be in the Manila area and we met in person.  He literally had a written list of questions for me because of his hunger to live a life that pleases God, but he wasn't sure how to go about it.

Added to these pleas for help was another a pastor who somehow tracked me down and also asked for help.  When I asked him where he was from, I found out that he too is from CDO.  We connected on Facebook, and he proceeded to introduce me to another 20 or so men in the area who are desiring to be trained.  

I remembered that over the years, a few pastors and students, who had traveled many hours for our modular training also asked us if we could teach in CDO.  All that considered, I took this to be my Macedonian call.  After talking with these men about teaching a one week module on biblical interpretation, they got excited and went to work.  One of them donated enough money to fly Vincent Greene, Pastor Erwin Quimboy and I to CDO to teach the module.  

Vincent Greene (Center)

Pastor Erwin Quimboy

Sean Ransom
He also covered most of the expenses for the food, housing and books of any of the students who needed help.  On top of that, He even had the training announced on the local radio station through a  friend of his.  Another one of those men created a Facebook page for TEA and invited others attend the module.  These men even worked together to scout out  a venue for the training.  They arranged for The Way Christian Ministries/Shekinah Glory Christian Academy to host our module. 

I didn't know how many students to expect and what kind of reception we would have.  Through Facebook and text messages we learned that about 20 men expressed the intention to join us.  Added to that were about another 10 students from the host Church.  After our TEA team flew to CDO with 40 books (10 more then the anticipated 30 students)  we ended up having up to 64 eager students, with most of them staying for the whole week of training.  A small group of them traveled for about 12 hours to join us.  These men and women expressed their gratitude as they learned many principals for how to interpret God's Word.  We are all ready planning on returning as the pastor from the host church was excited to have on going training at his Church and with other nearby partnering churches.
Cagayan De Oro Biblical Interpretation Class
Pray the the Lord would help these dear people to remember and build upon what they learned during our week together and that the Lord will give us more opportunities to entrust to them the great teaching that was entrusted to us through John MacArthur and The Master's Seminary.