This week has been one of great thankfulness to God.
I have just returned to Athens with a team of four other men to teach 2 Timothy to the English, Farsi and Romanian speaking classes. The english group is made up of students from Eritrea, Iran, Pakistan, Ghana and Nigeria. The Farsi speaking group is made up of guys who baptize about 10 Iranians every Sunday and have 2-4 weeks to disciple them before they move on to another part of the EU. The translator was from Afghanistan. They even told the teacher they would do more but people have to leave and catch the metro train home. There is something special and unique about teaching people from so many places at the same time. We can't show a picture of their faces due to the sensitve nature of their background and faith.
This trip marks the first time students are graduating. All the work of all the ministry partners, teams and curriculum writers is now bearing fruit. The fruit was so evident in the first day as they referenced key terms from our Biblical Theology and Hermeneutics courses.
The graduation ceremony was one of the great blessing of my life. To see an idea go from just me in my office to 150 people gathered together was just amazing. To Greek pastors spoke. The American prayed a blessing on the students. Testimonies from Ghanians, Iranians and Romanians. It was glorious.
On top of this other things are going on as well! Philemon Yong is in Serbia today working on the details of a formal school with a ministry partner and missionary. After that he heads with a team to Romania to teach 2 Timothy and hold a graduation for students there and then heads to Moldova to check a new site.
A team is teaching in India and a country to the north. When a public transportation strike happened on the first day the teachers walked 45 minutes to class. They relayed how great they felt about themselves until the students arrived after having walked 3.5 hours. They wanted to be there!
Another team heads to SE Asia later this week. There is currently a team in Uganda teaching at African Renewal University for two weeks. A team from Ghana heads out shortly.
Thank you Lord for using us. May you cause our work to bear fruit beyond what we can even imagine.
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.