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Trips

Philippines January 2016

Southeast Asia, Philippines January 22-31, 2016

TLI is conducting a non-formal, pastor training program designed to build and strengthen the church in this 7,107-island Southeast Asian nation. The pastors in the program come from various areas around the island. Most of the pastors are responsible for several churches. You are invited to join us in strengthening and encouraging these pastors in this traditionally Catholic country experiencing a growing Muslim influence

Follow along as teachers in the field offer their experiences as they share theological training with local church leaders.

Field Notes   Philippines January 2016

Jan  28th,  2016Almost Done!

The 50+ pastors and church leaders attending this training are hungering and thirsting to know God’s Word. Our goal is to show them that the Bible is ONE book written by ONE author (the Holy Spirit) telling ONE story (redemption) about ONE person (Jesus Christ) for ONE purpose (God’s glory), and how understanding the overall storyline will focus and strengthen their ministries. Yet they keep asking questions about specific passages and/or doctrines with which they are struggling. If there is time for the diversion, we will point them to the relevant Scripture passages and ask, “What does the text say?” Or we may just have to tell them that the answer is coming in another workshop at a later date.

After tracing the storyline through the Old Testament and most of the New, we finish the story tomorrow with the book of Revelation and then have a closing ceremony after lunch. Pray that these students will embrace what they are learning and find their hearts and ministries changed.

Dick Albright

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Jan  27th,  2016Day 3

We are learning and experiencing how theological training can affect the lives of many pastors and leaders, each with a story of God's grace and mercy. The passion and courage of these brothers and sisters to minister under the shadow of threats and violence is a marvel. There are dozens of unique ethnicities among 22 million people living in the island region of Mindanao with only about 5% identifying as "evangelical." What greater impact of evangelism can be realized than with the training of these 50 ministers who in turn encourage spiritual growth and the making of disciples in their communities?

We are continually grateful for all of you who have been praying and giving so faithfully to make this happen.

To the glory of God,
Bob Klint

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Jan  26th,  2016Stories of Persecution

According to Open Doors USA, although the country of the Philippines does not show up on the World Watch's list of fifty most persecuted countries, the southern island of Mindanao nevertheless is the home to the country’s most heavily persecuted Christians. Out of the fifty pastors and church leaders that we are teaching this week 75% come from areas where the persecution of Christians and especially pastors is a frequent threat. Two such stories have made a particular impact on me thus far.

Brother Ben (name has been changed) is a church planter who has leadership and oversight over about 20 churches in the outlying areas of Mindanao where it is majority Muslim. Many of the people in those congregations have experienced beatings and even slashings at the hands of Muslims trying to drive them out of the area. Others have experienced the stealing of portions of their property as their Muslim neighbors try to force them into settling elsewhere. On one particular occasion, Brother Ben, while he was driving his Jeepney, was charged by an oncoming vehicle operated by a fellow Muslim in his area trying to kill him by using his vehicle as a weapon. But by the grace of God, Ben only received minor injuries while the Muslim driver experienced a broken leg and some other semi-minor injuries. Now if that wasn't bad enough, the Muslim man has now turned around and along with his community is now forcing Ben to pay for the care of his injuries! The last thing Ben shared with me before leaving was how appreciative he was for this training for his church planters, and how we bring great encouragement to them by coming to identify with them in their persecutions. It brought to my mind, and I was able to share with him, Hebrews 13:3, "Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering." This seemed to bring him great comfort.

Another Pastor, who has suffered much is a man by the name of Steve (name has been changed). Steve and his wife have experienced much in their time as church planters. But a few years ago it seemed as though Steve's wife was not willing to carry the reproach of Christ any longer, and thus she left him and her five children for another man. In addition to this, Steve nearly suffered a mental breakdown when shortly after his wife's desertion, his entire village was caught in the middle of a shootout between the Philippine army and the rebel militia here on Mindanao. Since then the Lord has brought a period of peace and restoration to his situation, and now many people and pastors have been strengthened in the faith because of this man's perseverance in the face of much suffering. This brother has traveled six hours to be with us this week. May God continue to bless his faith.

God is at work here this week. We have had the amazing privilege of being able to encourage and strengthen many brothers and sisters in a faithful understanding of the Biblical Storyline from Genesis to Revelation. And because of God's faithfulness, we can always be assured that the work we do as we teach the Word of God will never be done in vain.

Jason Goulet

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Jan  26th,  2016Training Pastors Under Persecution

Our team (Dick, Bob, Jason and myself) after 40+ hours of travel arrived safely in Digos City on the island of Mindanao. After checking into the hotel, which will be our home during the week of training, it was evident that we were exhausted from all the traveling. But yet, we were excited about meeting the pastors and church leaders the next morning and beginning the time of training.

Yesterday (Monday) morning, during the opening session, Dick, our team leader, introduced the TLI course, Biblical Theology. He shared with them that our goal is to help them to see that “the Bible is one book, written by one author, telling one story, about one person, for one purpose”. We want them to understand how the entire Bible fits together and how it points to Christ.

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After breaking the attendees into four groups, we each took a group and began leading them on a journey through the Scriptures. We had a good time of teaching, discussion and fellowship with the pastors and church leaders. We were already aware of the fact that many of the pastors are facing increased persecution from the growing Muslim population in the area. Even during the first day with them, we had already heard a few stories of the persecution they had experienced. Even though we don't fully understand the difficulty they are going through, we are praying that the Lord will use us and the training to encourage them in their faith and in their ministries.

Pray for us as we begin the second day of teaching.

For the Cause of Christ,

Weymann Lee (for the Team)

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