Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Trip to Africa


In the Kibera slum
This summer the Lord allowed my wife and I to participate in a Short Term Missions Trip with Heritage Baptist Church. We went to Kenya and Tanzania with a group of almost 30 people from our church for about two weeks. We spent one day in the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, we travelled down to Arusha, Tanzania. We ministered to a Maasai village school and church and then I did some training with Tanzanian pastors who came from around the country.
Preaching in Tanzania
The missionaries in Tanzania have planted many churches over the past two decades and have started a regular pastor’s conference and a Bible institute. Almost twenty pastors attended as I lectured on the reliability of the New Testament and the historicity of the resurrection (utilizing Gary Habermas’ “Minimal Facts” argument). That was followed by a Q&A time with Dr. Jerry Kroll and I. The following day I was given the opportunity to go with the puppet and drama teams into the public and private schools of Arusha to do gospel presentations. That day the Lord brought about 700 children to our program to hear the gospel and have an opportunity to respond. In our first weekend there, the students in the Bible institute came from around the country (about thirty in all) and I trained them in some basic principles in biblical interpretation. My translator was a Liberty graduate who has sent two of his daughters to Liberty University. On Sunday morning, I had the opportunity to preach at the English service. I preached on “The Transforming Power of the Gospel” out of Ephesians 2:1–10.
With a local church leader
The second week began with us leading a retreat for many of the Bible Baptist Fellowship missionaries in Tanzania. We ministered to their children by playing games and having fun with them. My role was partly with the children and partly with the missionaries. I was blessed to lead the missionaries in worship through music and to give a devotion on struggling with doubt. We spend a couple days on Safari; we got to see elephants, zebras, giraffes, hippopotamus’, rhino’s, wildebeests, baboons, monkeys, lions, and a cheetah. Our last day there was spent ministering to the children that attend the Christian school started by the missionaries.
With my wife on the rim
of the Ngorongoro Crater
The Lord was so gracious to bless our time in Africa. About 80% of the people in our group came down with an illness, but the Lord spared me and about 4 others. The sense of fellowship and unity with the believer’s in Tanzania was incredible, as was their dedication to serve our Lord. Thank you so much for your prayer and financial support. While I am confident that the people we ministered to felt loved and grew in the Lord, I also know that God used this trip to help me grow in my perspective on the body of Christ.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

More Carson quotes

From The God Who Is There, chapter 12: The God Who Gathers and Transforms His People.

"There must be transformation, for this is God's very purpose in salvation, in his 'handiwork'" (page 190).

"where no transformation at all is evident, there is scant reason for thinking the person is a Christian" (page 198).

"Listen: The God who is there, the God who has named himself supremely in Jesus, gathers and transforms his people. Without this transformation so-called Christianity is no Christianity at all. For this God gathers and transforms his people" (page 200).