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Trips

Philippines (Mindanao) May 2017

Mindanao, Philippines May 26 - June 4, 2017

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. Curriculum to be taught: Gospel of Mark

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

Jun  2nd,  2017Physically Demanding...Spiritually Rewarding

 Our week of teaching the book of Mark and assessing the preaching of this fine group of 48 Filipino Pastors has come to an end. It is the practice of TLI to gift a book to each student at the Friday afternoon closing session after classes have finished for the week. This year we were able to provide Expositional Preaching by David Helm. Here is a picture of the students receiving their books.

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               The week was physically demanding but spiritually rewarding as we have watched these students learn and grow this week. Three of us on this team were here a year ago and have seen the improvement in our students in their ability to interpret Bible passages and then preach them.

               We have once again had a royal hosting by Pastor Levi and his family. I much appreciated the respect from the students and their desire to learn. Our students greatly appreciate the opportunity to come to the training center every three months. We also know that our students appreciate the teachers that come every three months for new sessions. Graduation is in sight for these students, just one year away after three more courses – John, Galatians and 2 Timothy.

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               It is with mixed feelings of joy and sadness that we leave these students behind as they return to their towns and villages to serve Jesus in some difficult circumstances. On behalf of everyone on this team I want to thank you for your prayers and support that made this trip possible.

                Below is a picture of our team with Pastor Levi,TLI national partner in Mindanao.

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Ron Latulippe

 

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May  31st,  2017Passing It On in the Philippines

In 1982, John Stott published the book Between Two Worlds, The Art of Preaching in the Twentieth Century.  As a pastor in my early twenties, this book had a profound impact on my view of preaching.  Well, it’s not 1982 anymore and we’re not practicing preaching in the 20th century anymore, but I am thrilled to take what I learned from Stott long ago and pass it on to pastors and church leaders this week in The Philippines.

I was privileged to be here last May to teach Hermeneutics and it is wonderful to now teach the Gospel of Mark to the same group of students.  What is different about this week is that we are not only teaching Mark, but also teaching how to teach Mark.  The TLI curriculum is arranged in such a way to make this possible.  The first three courses lay a good foundation and then, through the following six book studies, students are given opportunity to preach and be evaluated.

Each morning one member of our team brings a brief sermon to the entire assembly of students before we break-out to our classes.  Today was my turn so I brought a message from Mark 3 on the calling of the disciples.  When we reached our class, we had a good discussion on the structure of a sermon, how to form a main idea and then support it, and how to identify contemporary action principles based on the text.  Many of these things that I learned years ago are new to these students, but they are excited about going home and knowing how to teach their people.

We will never be able to measure the reach of this training across this island where we are.  The results of this training will be multiplied many times over.  If you support TLI in any way, thank you.  None of this could happen without God’s people praying and giving so that a few of us could go.

Please continue to pray that we would finish the week strong.

Larry Stromberg

 

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May  29th,  2017Monday - Training Begins

Training began today.  Ron, Larry and Weymann reunited with students they taught last year and I was warmly welcomed as a new professor.  

We are teaching the Gospel of Mark with a view to trading them to preach through it.  We each have our own class of 8-13 students.  Today we reviewd Hermeneutics and some themes of Biblical Theology from previous courses.  In addition, we covered basic introductory material of Mark and have our students their preaching assignments.  They will each prepare and give a 15 sermon on their assigned passage on  either Thursday or Friday.   
The students come from as much as 9 hours away.  Travel has been somewhat slowed by military check points because Martial Law was declared last week.  And some of the pastors have lost church members in the recent violence and others come from troubled areas that live under the constant bomb threats.  
The students I have spoken with are thankful for the opportunity to come here to study and be encouraged.  It is a privilege for us to be here to serve these dear brothers and sisters.
Blessings,
Pat Curtis 

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May  28th,  2017Training Pastors Under Martial Law

There is always an element of risk involved in training pastors in countries around the world, especially in “closed” countries and in those where Christians are persecuted. This is true on the island of Mindanao, the southern most island of the Philippines.  

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You probably have seen on the news the violence that broke out because of clashes between government forces and a group inspired by the so-called Islamic State in Marawi City on the western end of the island. As a result President Duterte declared martial law on the island as a practical solution to curb this violence.  Last week, TLI was monitoring the situation to determine if we should move forward in sending our team for the week of training pastors in Mindanao (May 29 - June 2). The U.S. Department of State recommended ceasing all "non-essential" travel to the island. However, TLI's national partner in Minadano informed us that the training is at the opposite end of the island, far from the troubled area. In his evaluation, he felt it would be safe for our team (and the pastors who will be attending) to continued with the week of training as planned.  Of course, we know that there are no guarantees. So we decided to proceed cautiously and prayerfully.

 I have learned over the years that living by faith means that we will never have all of our questions answered. If we did before we made any decisions, there would be no faith involved. "And without faith it is impossible to please Him" Hebrews 11:6.

Team at Breakfast before Flight to Mindanao

So stepping out in faith, our team left our homes on Friday and all arrived safely in Manila on Saturday evening. The next morning, we returned to the airport for our flight to Mindanao. We met up with our national partner who drove us to our hotel for the week not far from the training site. Everything at the airport, on the road and in the city appears to be normal, just like on previous trips that I have taken to this site. So we thank the Lord for the safe arrival of our team and entrust ourselves to Him for the week.

Pray for our team (Pat Curtis, Ron Latulippe, Larry Stromberg and myself) as we begin leading the pastors and church leaders through a study of the Gospel of Mark. They will have an opportunity at the end of the week to teach an expository lesson or preach an expository message from the book. Thank you for your prayers.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Weymann Lee, Team Leader (for the Team)

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