During the last month of this year TLI staff will be sharing stories of how God has used us in 2014. This one is from Ethan Larson. Enjoy.
It’s one of those moments you wish you had your camera on, not to capture it, but to share it with others who made it possible.
We were finishing up our last night of teaching our penultimate class in Iasi, Romania last October. I had already said goodbye to the group of students that were gathered in the downstairs classroom, and people were starting to scatter, when Romica, a pastor from a smaller rural church outside the city spoke up.
He began by saying how thankful he was for the three years of training he had received. Before I had this training, he said, I didn’t know how to really approach and preach a text. I often came to a text and said what I wanted to say, sometimes not really understanding or realizing what the text actually meant. But over the course of these past eight classes I have learned how to study the text and be faithful to it and preach what it says. It didn’t come at once, but through all the courses and the examples and the teaching assignments, I have completely changed the way I study and teach the Bible. So, thank you.
It was one of those spontaneous sincere moments when someone unloads what had built up in their mind and heart. I was immediately struck by the history that had led to that moment. There I stood with a team of teachers from the USA, Sweden and England. Over the course of three years, 23 teachers have come on eight separate trips, some teachers returning on multiple trips. They have been supported and sent by hundreds of individual people as well as churches, to serve 30 or so pastors in Romania like Romica.
And that is why I wanted a camera on. To share with those hundreds of supporters, what they had made possible. We never would have been standing there without those who send us. And Romica would never be sharing about the impact of TLI classes on his church in Romania if someone did not go. Missions IS partnership. It is many parts of the Body functioning together. I am humbled to be a part of it.
Darren Carlson is the Founder and President of Training Leaders International. As President, Darren oversees the general direction of the ministry and serves as an advocate for pastors with little access to formal training and thoughtful cross-cultural theological engagement. You can connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.