Down Memory Lane can be an emotional High! Exactly two years ago Outreach To Asia Nationals invited me to be their Director of Training. Events last month prove how goodness and mercy follow all who make the Lord their Shepherd. Invited to speak at churches nearby, I visited my alma mater TTU: Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga and Leeds University in UK. Oh, the memories of all the teachers, subjects; foods, moods; friends made, games played; graduation talk, future shock! One realizes the only constant is change and how we manage it today determines the memories we will have tomorrow!
There were several church-and-mission trends I gleaned. For instance, there seems to be a fine line between tolerance and compromise that ‘church’ today has little to offer contemporary society. Interestingly, while religion is waning, spiritualities are on the rise. Secular people still find the need for (a) faith that gives clear purpose and makes sense of daily living! It was a pleasant surprise when Prof. Nigel Biggar, my PhD guide, called to rejoice in ways my research has equipped me for what I now do.
It was a treat for Dorothy and me to minister at five missional communities of South Parade Baptist Church in Leeds, we served for five years. We also spoke at a variety of gatherings: From the Rora revival camp to the chaplaincy, home groups to international students; an Ethiopian inner-city church to multi-faith initiatives. ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever’ wrote Keats, and this is our experience as we celebrated grace and cultivated deeper partnerships with friends who have journeyed with and supported us.
Just completed teaching Biblical Mandate for Evangelism at Grace Evangelical College. Guess what? Word of Life Bible Institute, where we started in 1985 has invited me to speak at their Mission Conferences (NY,FL) and teach at the Institute! Last month we certified 20 OTAN staff for church planting and new members joined our team. A retreat to learn a course I’ve written and discuss cross-cultural issues is organized (22-24 July) at beautiful Island Falls, Maine!
I’m excited doing what most others are not willing, able or permitted to – creating curriculum and training Asian national leaders for indigenous missions in restricted access countries! What a feeling doing what I was born to! For our family the coming 6 months are crucial ‘next steps’ with Alethea, our daughter joining… Liberty University! Time doesn’t fly; it disappears! Life and choices seemed simpler then, but now it’s our kids’ turn to attempt great things that make valuable memories! Changing Nations, One National Leader at a time!