Tonight our students finished preaching from theGospel of Mark and we said our goodbyes. It was hard to say goodbye to them but we are also happy to be done. Everyone is tired after a week of hard work.
Listening to them preach has been very encouraging. In my class, all the 13 students who preached edified me. I understand it was true of the 11 who preached in the other class. Each sermon was true to the text and they worked hard to apply what they have learned in other courses.
It has been an encouraging week overall. Most encouraging to us is that our students are able to take a text and do their best to stay with it and interpret it from the context of Mark and the rest of the Bible. There were excited to point out how Jesus the Messiah, is the Son of God who fulfills Scriptures. With each text, they answered the question, “Who is Jesus?” from the point of view of Mark. Non of the students who preached in my class ever conveyed anything that is not evident in the passage. They are able to identify the main point of each passage, communicate it and then apply it to their own context.
The work of TLI here in the past two years is bearing fruit. Students remind us of what they learned inHermeneutics, Biblical Theology, Genesis, Ruth and Jonah and how that is helping them feel more comfortable preaching. A few students who could hardly preach during our course on Genesis preached with boldness this time. One explained that he is growing more and more in confidence as he learns more and more how to handle a text and work through it. God is at work here and we are privileged to see the beginnings of the fruit.
In addition to the courses we are teaching here, we are noticing unintended benefits of the work TLI is doing. Students commented about how they are able to stand up in front of people and deliver a message with boldness. That was not the case before. They are learning how to evaluate each other and to take criticism without feeling like they are being attacked. There is a willingness to learn from each other and ask help from each other in understanding a passage. We are also realizing that these trips give pastors an opportunity to come together and talk about ministry issues that they are struggling with. The team members who come with pastoral experience are very helpful to these young pastors.
Thank God with us for the work here in Iasi. Pray for us as we have a full weekend of ministry opportunities.
Here are some pictures of students preaching.