16 September 2017

School Days, Family Days, and Every Day

Classes continue for both EABST students at work and the Pittsley boys at home. Right now I can hear Josiah working through the rudiments of calculating interest in his online math classes. In EABST's Old Testament Survey, we've just completed the initial preparatory questions: What is the Old Testament? How has it come down to us? And what are we supposed to do with it? Now we're prepared to dive into the text itself. Pray for us that we would see the glorious reign of God as he sovereignly prepared the path for Jesus through the sometimes hard and sometimes happy history of Israel.



This semester Monday is officially family day, and I've been working to keep that day free for hanging out with Jen and the kids. It's been a treasure recently to deliberately set aside time for discipling, enjoying, and relaxing with these guys. Each of them is a pleasure to talk to and play with at this stage. At the same time, Jenny and I long to see them grow toward faithful, godly adulthood, and this time together an investment in that future.


Please also pray for us as we reach out in our community. We need wisdom to capitalize on the opportunities that God sends our way for the spread of his fame and the gospel. The man pictured to the right is a complete stranger. In the middle of a local grocery store the other day, he asked to take a picture with me, and I obliged. I have no idea what use that picture is to him, but as I think of it now, I could have used this chance meeting as an opportunity to get to know this man whose life intersected with mine in what appeared to be completely random circumstances or even as an opportunity to bring up the saving gospel of Jesus. Keep praying that we'll be faithful to this task that we all share every day. Thank you for your faithful prayers and partnership with us as we work for the progress of the gospel here in Kenya.

02 September 2017

12 August 2017

Post-Election Silence

Around 9 years ago this fall, I preached my first deputation message on our long journey to Kenya. The text was 1 Timothy 2:1–7. There Paul instructs churches to pray for those in authority that we may "live peaceful and quiet lives" not for the sake of our own comfort but because "God our Savior…wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." National peace and stability is a strategic tool in the hand of God for the sake of the progress of the gospel.

The results of the Kenyan election were given last night, and the incumbent was declared the winner. While the opposition leader has disputed the results, he has not called upon his supporters to protest publicly—at least not yet—and for that we're thankful. There have been some skirmishes between police and protesters here and there in the city and around the country, but on the whole sanity has been maintained.  Right now, it's really quiet outside, and we're okay with that. 
Please continue to pray for peace, for the sake of the many Kenyan lives at stake, and for the sake of the Name.

10 July 2017

Courses

Opportunities to train and equip leaders for the expansion of the gospel in Kenya have continued to grow. Last month, I had the opportunity to facilitate an online course for Emmanuel Baptist's church-planting interns. The course gave an overview of the rules of Bible interpretation and application. My role was to help the students stay on schedule and to discuss all of the videos and assignments. It's a very high quality course although we worked through it quite rapidly. We could have easily expanded our month of coursework into a whole year.
This week, we've welcomed Dr. Jeff Straub back to teach a week-long intensive course on the early church. The students will get to see the early expansion of the Church, its struggle with the Roman Empire, and the roots and development of Roman Catholicism. Discussing the doctrinal progress and aberrancies of these periods will reinforce the biblical truths the students have learned in other classes and help them develop the kind of discernment so necessary to faithful pastoral ministry.
If you are attuned to the world of politics, you may be aware of the approaching Kenyan elections. The 2013 presidential elections were relatively peaceful, but the previous elections of 2007 became quite tumultuous. Tensions between various ethnic communities escalated and violence erupted. Many were killed, and many more lost their homes. Please pray for peace as the country goes to the voting booth on August 8.