In January 2018, TLI began training about 40 village pastors from Northern Luzon along with Jun Fabra, our national partner in the Philippines. He and his wife Amy have served as missionaries for 16 years reaching out to a tribe there with the gospel. As a former pastor, Jun also has a heart for training the rural village pastors in his region who have no access to formal Bible training. In response to this need, Jun's desire has been to provide quality theological education that is affordable. That's why he's partnering with TLI. And so far, there's been an overwhelmingly positive response from the students.
Jun likes the fact that the TLI training gets the attendees to examine the biblical text and see how they can study and interpret it for themselves. One of the results of their lack of training, he says, has been that pastors often "practice eisegesis rather than exegesis." But Jun shared that the curriculum has helped the pastors to grow deeper in their knowledge of God and His Word. It explains hermeneutics and exposition of the Scriptures in a way that they can understand and replicate.
“Jun likes the fact that the TLI training gets the attendees to examine the biblical text and see how they can study and interpret it for themselves.”
After each of the courses, students are expected to pass on what they have learned. Their assignment is to teach the material to others, whether an individual they are discipling, a Bible study group, or a Sunday school class. Whenever the TLI teams return to Northern Luzon, it's always encouraging to hear of the students' excitement from passing it on to others.
What is even more encouraging is that our national partner, Jun, has taken it one step further. He's already started using the TLI curriculum to train other pastors and church leaders in the Philippines. Recently, he taught Course 1 (Knowing God, Scripture, and Ourselves) to 30 church leaders among the Kalanguaya people in Northern Luzon, plus 32 more in the city of Baguio. In fact, he desires to teach more groups in the region and, Lord willing, one day open a new training site with TLI on the island of Palawan. Jun's goal in all of this aligns perfectly with 2 Timothy 2:2 and the overall purpose of Course 1: "to know God and make him known."