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Trips

Ethiopia (Hawassa) November 2016

Hawassa, Ethiopia November 11-20, 2016

We are partnering with a national church denomination to start a training center for pastors in southern Ethiopia. Hawassa is 5+ hours (depending on the road conditions) south of the capital, Addis Ababa. Ethiopia has had Christianity for almost two millennia (maybe since Acts 8) and it developed into the Coptic Church which is similar to the Eastern Orthodox Church. Coptics and Muslims have a strong presence in Ethiopia. Most of the evangelical pastors in this region have no training in the Bible and “strange doctrines” abound. There are 50+ pastors and church leaders being trained at this site. They are eager to learn the Scriptures and to teach it in their local churches. Please pray for this pivotal opportunity to strengthen the Churches in Ethiopia. Curriculum to be taught: Ruth/Jonah

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

Nov  17th,  2016Learning to Unleash The Word

The days are drawing to an end for this time with these Ethiopian men and women.  We have moved from the awkwardness of first meeting one another to the forging of friendships.  Once again my eyes are enlarged to see the glory of God in the expansion of the Body of Christ among the peoples of the earth.

 

Under the shade of a large banana tree I have had the privilege of teaching 12 men and 1 woman how to unfold the books of Ruth and Jonah.  The purpose is two-fold: to have them understand the important messages of these books and also to continue to hone the skills learned in previous sessions on how to interpret God’s Word.

 

They are learning once again that to properly address the Bible is no easy task.  It takes practice and humility and skill.  They are learning to discern the flow of the text and the key arguments that the writers are making.  They are seeing how the passage fits into the greater picture of the entire bible.  And finally, they are seeing the glory and majesty of God in it all.

 

The needs of the Ethiopian Church is no different that the needs of the American Church.  There is a massive need for Spirit-filled men and women who boldly proclaim the Spirit-derived Word; having rightly handled it in their study.  TLI is not merely teaching skills.  It is exhorting pastors throughout this world to become skillful in the Word of God for the sake of the spiritual health of their people and to the glory of God.

 

Though the days are drawing to a close for the team, it is our prayer and desire that the things taught will stay with these students.  We would ask those who read this post to join us in that prayer.  Pray that the pulpits throughout Ethiopia become forever changed and emboldened to unleash Gods’ Word to God’s People.

 

Matthew Henry

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Nov  16th,  2016The Whole Counsel of God and Revival

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During our classes for Ruth and Jonah, students are preaching sermons for the first time in the TLI curriculum. One of students asked "how can we preach the whole Bible when there are such great physical needs in the church"?  They felt the pressure to preach every week a message of hope.  I mentioned that if everyone in the church is using their gifts, (I Corinthians 12) the needs of the church could be met.  We also mentioned that in Acts 6 that men were set aside to care for the widows so that men could be devoted to prayer and the preaching ministry.  To many of them, expository preaching is a new concept.  We are advocating to teach the "Whole counsel of God".


I was also approached by four men yesterday who were desperate for revival in Ethiopia.  I said we need revival in America as well.  I was inspired by their love for their people.  We prayed for each other and asked that God would move mightily in each country.  What a joy to partner in the gospel with these pastors in Africa!

Rob Pryor

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Nov  15th,  2016Hawassa Update

Today was our first day training the pastors here in Hawassa since arriving on Saturday. After a refreshing day of worship with our Ethiopian brothers and sisters on Sunday, we were ready to meet with church leaders this morning.

What a great joy to join these eager students of God's Word! We arrived at our teaching location (a denominational office complex) at 9 AM to a group of 45-50 leaders. Our team introduced ourselves and gave greetings from our various churches before Dick gave an orientation to the week. The key point of the orientation for the week was to "stay on the line" of Scripture as we study Ruth and Jonah in the coming days. The leaders then split into groups for the rest of the week's training. Our day was filled with engaging discussion over the topics of hermeneutics, preaching and Ruth. We taught until 5 PM with breaks and a delicious Ethiopian lunch.

Our first day of training was a blessing to both our students and us. I personally enjoyed hearing my students share their own stories as well as needs of their various churches. The Church in Ethiopia desires your prayers in the needs of unity and theological training. Will you commit to pray with them?

I was challenged today by the yearning of my students to know the Word of God. My mind and heart were constantly brought to the question, "Do I desire God's Word this much?" I have been reminded of God's blessing through the training I have received and now have a deeper passion to share that with others. I pray this week that God will continue to use them to teach me as much as He uses me to teach them.

Thank you for your prayers and support! I have attached some photos of our day-to-day teaching operations.

Our students enjoy a much deserved break time.

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A team of our students are eager to learn.

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Another group of students learning Ruth.

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