A Safe Arrival. Jim Jordan and I arrived safely in Togo Sunday, after stops in Paris and Niger. We are glad to be here!
I am teaching Preaching Christ From the Old Testament in the morning class and Jim is teaching Old Testament Introduciton in the afternoons. This morning there were about 30 students from Togo, Benin, Rwanda and Cameroon.
A Round of Applause. As I headed to class at 7:50 a.m. I didn't see a single student walking on the campus. I thought, "uh, oh, everyone will come late to class." I open the door and there are 30 smiling faces seated at their desks! I told them, "Look at this! You are here early! You are my new best friends! The next time I am in another country (naming a few countries), I will say, 'you need to be like the Togolese! They are always on time.' " They then broke into a round of applause for themselves.
That Explains Things. We found out this morning that the delicious meal our hosts served us last night was rabbit. I was greatly relieved to hear this, as I was concerned for Jim who was hopping about every fifth step this morning. He also was talking in his sleep last night, moaning, "I need carrots...more carrots!" So, its good to have an explanation for these things.
God Loves Sheep...So He Gives Shepherds. I asked each of the students to introduce themselves, share their favorite book of the Bible and describe their preaching experience in a few words. Here is the list of the most popular favorite books: Proverbs, John, Romans, 1/2 Timothy, Isaiah. As they shared about pastoring and preaching, I was reminded that God loves His church so much that he calls people to shepherd His flock.
We have all probably heard missions messges from Matthew 9:37 about the plentiful harvest and the shortage of workers. Thus, Jesus instructs us to pray that the Lord of harvest will send out workers. It is legitimate to use this passage as a call for missionaries. But, have you noticed the context? It is about sheep without a shepherd. It is really a call for pastors to care for the converts in Christ's growing church.
That's what TLI is about. That is why Jim and I are here. The burgeoning church in Togo, China, and in many countries of the world needs trained and equipped pastors. We are delighted to serve at the invitation of our national partners, assisting them in training those who God has called to shepherd His sheep. There is no greater privilege.
Thank you for partnering with us in this great endeavor. Oh, there goes Jim, hopping on his way to class!
Steve Krogh is an International Trainer, having served as a pastor for 29 years in two churches in California and Michigan before joining TLI last year.