Greetings from the air. I should write more but it often gets left to last. The airplane doesn't allow for a lot of activity, so writing is always a possibility.
This year has been so full that I won’t attempt to bring it all to you. Lots of travel, lots of teaching and ministry time and such a fruitful time in Europe, Africa and Asia. Asia is not a normal place for us to go but we did find good reasons for two trips there in the past ten months. The Middle East is growing in interest and some of our team have been making more trips into that area. We will have more to say about this area soon.
Building the Church
God has called all of us to make a difference. We believe one person can make a difference. We also believe when we partner together we can build better and stronger and in the process make a significant difference. We assume you believe the same. When a job or vision is too big for one person, it only makes sense to partner with others and build teams, achieving what we never could by ourselves.
I need to say something about the partnership and the great teams we work with. They are selfless and talented, working towards a common goal, great friends and what wonderful things they have done for the Kingdom of God! Everything we are a part of is only because of the teams of people that make it possible. Together we have 31 Campus locations in Europe and over 20 in Africa. Every month when all Campuses are in session there are close to 2000 students attending class. God has truly blessed us with people like you all over the world.
|RBTC Athens Graduation|
Expansion with Bible Schools, church planting and building leaders is not a quick process. Reminds me of many years ago when we first moved to Germany, living outside Heidelberg and going for my morning walks. I would watch the progress of some houses being built in the neighborhood and it wasn’t fast either. One morning as I was watching some of the workers I heard this in my heart, “If you will build people like the Germans build houses you will do ok”. To get what that means in total would mean watching the homes being built. I did and learned some things. The point is, to build well and to build something that lasts takes time. Checking and rechecking measurements and if things are level etc. So, we continue on, looking to the future and fruit that will remain long after we are gone.
If you have chosen to be a part of this, think what it will mean to you. An investment that keeps on giving. Truly awesome plan that God has us a part of.
One way to look at a vision in smaller bites is to break it down into projects. We have done this and a partial list is below. Current project list (Partial for Europe)
- Building - Base Camp – Big Project, Big Impact
- Training Center Campus Expansion – Goal of 100 in Europe, 31 Running
- Leadership/Discipleship Trainings – Goal of 10/year, 4 currently
- Greater Europe Book Project – 25 titles x 30 language zones = 750 books to be translated, 291 completed, Goal – finish in 10 years max
- Church Planting – Goal = never ending
- Software Development/support – Software to support every arm of ministry, 90% finished but now comes support worldwide
2 “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” — Romans 12:2 NLT
It has always seemed to me that as believers we should look at this life differently than the world. Even though many bad things are going on in this fallen world, we have good news and that should influence us morethan all we see around us. Do you believe that? Even with all of the interesting, sometimes crazy and very much “End Time” events happening in the world today, we are carriers of the greatest news available to mankind. Let’s take it to the world!
Here is a quote by Steve Shadrach, “We are in an invisible, worldwide spiritual battle over the eternal destiny of billions of souls, and thus, strategic-ness always trumps thriftiness.” This was from his 2005 article, Budget or vision, which one pulls your train? He also included in this article a statement from John R. Mott, a Cornell college student in the 1880's who went on to ignite the Student Volunteer Movement and later win the 1946 Nobel Peace Prize: "Without a doubt, there comes to so many of us the choice between a life of contraction or one of expansion; a life of small dimensions or one of widening horizons, larger vision and plans."
I really hope that no matter what age or place in life you are at today that this is true for you. Why? Because God needs what you have and the criteria for doing or giving what we should cannot always be budgeted. The vision in us must also guide us, along with the wisdom God also gave us.
Pray - Partner - Participate
"Prayer is the real work of ministry, service is just gathering in the results of prayer." - S.D. Gordon in Quiet Talks on Prayer.
We have had to postpone and reschedule the Israel trip in November. As soon as we have some new dates we will let everyone know.