NEWS END OF OCTOBER 2012
I am looking into the possibility of teaching theology over the internet using Swahili. It’s a bit of a long shot. Your prayers valued!
Today, 25th Oct. 2012, we had our 4-monthly board meeting for Gem Bible Institute; although it is not certain now that we will go ahead with that name. The usual issue dominated everything; MONEY. Eventually however, maybe for the first time in 19 years (?) we seemed to be able to get past it. Instead of having formal "classes", the board agreed that we should concentrate on teaching/preaching in contexts set up by local churches themselves. This is a fantastic step forward! Not that this means "I've made it". It is a new challenge. In a sense; from here on, fly by the seat of your pants (depend on God). That is; more congregational teaching/preaching.
Tuesday 23rd October we opened a new bible/theology class here at Coptic, Maseno. About 8 students came along for the first class, in which we looked at Greek and Genesis. All eight students are church leaders. Prayer valued!
Give thanks for a visit to a church on Sunday (21st October). The pastor had planted this church around 1997. He studied with us in Yala in 1998. God has used the pastor’s dedication to holy living and consistent service, so that now there is a very large and thriving church. It's great to know that we in Yala played a small part in that.
We were challenged today (22nd Oct.); what it means as Christian leaders to know that all the glory for what we do belongs to Christ. This is (I think) especially difficult for a foreign missionary. Folks back home are wanting to justify the money they are sending to keep the missionary. It is tempting to portray things in such a way as to try to show that one's ministry is "really making a difference". Yet we should consider others better than ourselves (Phil. 2:3) and every individual is only one part of the whole body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12). People pushing their foreign missionaries for "results" perhaps ought to take note? But then I guess they'd say; where is the accountability?
I have just had another article published (that I wrote with Fred Lewis, who currently heads up the Worldview Center in Portland, Oregon), as per here: Harries, Jim and Lewis, Fred. 2012. "Is Mission Diverse, or is it all just Money? An Examination of Western Mission to Africa." Evangelical Review of Theology, 36/4, 347-355. Click here.