07 June 2019

Goodbyes—and Hellos

The first week of May marked the end of our final semester of classes before returning to the States to report to our church partners. We are looking forward to time with friends and family we haven't seen for some time, but we're also sad to leave our church family here.

During the second week of May, I worked through oral exams with my students. It is always gratifying to see how well the students who give themselves to their studies do in answering difficult questions from Scripture.
Next came our strategic planning meeting with Pastor Doran. He and Pastor Ben Edwards came from our sending church to help EABST think through what it needs to do to continue improving as a school for pastors in Nairobi. Two Kenyan pastors also attended the meetings, and their input was indispensable. I'm so grateful for everyone's insight and help, and our team is eager to implement what we've learned.
After a brief team retreat to Lake Nakuru, we have been bustling about in meetings, tying up our discipling studies, and praying with many of our dear friends here that our God would keep and grow us until we meet again. One special delight was the opportunity we had to meet Tamanda, one of three babies born to members of Emmanuel Baptist. We hope to meet the other two little ones before we leave.
Keep us in prayer as we prepare for our time in the States. There are many last minute details to attend to, but God has been kind to continue grant solutions to issues one step at a time.

26 April 2019

Three Sermons, Two Weddings, One Historic Confession

While continuing to teach pastors at EABST, I've had the great privilege of preaching this month at Emmanuel Baptist Church. We made it all the way through the book of 2 Peter in the last three Sundays. The Lord has been teaching us about combatting false teaching by making our calling and election sure and by growing in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus. Having the opportunity to preach about the new creation from 2 Peter 3 on Resurrection Sunday was a special delight.
In other news, Emmanuel Baptist Church voted this last week to officially adopt the New Hampshire Baptist Confession (slightly revised) as its statement of faith. We see this as an exciting step toward equipping the members to proclaim and protect the gospel by giving them a tool that summarizes what we believe the Bible teaches about itself, God, man, sin, salvation, and other critical matters. Please pray for us as we seek to be vigilant for the truth in a world captured by the father of lies.
However, the truth of God is not merely meant to be known or even just to be defended. It's meant to be lived out. And one of the greatest opportunities to live out gospel truth is in the context of marriage. (See Eph 5:22–33.) That's why we're elated by the two weddings EBC has had this month. Jenny and I worked with both couples during their engagement to help them prepare to take these big steps together. Walking with couples through pre-marital counseling has greatly strengthened our own marriage as well.
Please keep praying for us as we seek to hold fast to the gospel, to live it out, and to make it known.

07 March 2019

On Single-mindedness

Recently we had the pleasure of hosting John Musyimi in our chapel at EABST. The school exists to equip men for pastoral ministry, and John's challenge from 2 Timothy 2 was spot on! He reminded us that the Christian life, and especially the life of a Christian pastor, is a soldier's life. The point was that we must leave behind self-pity and distractions and whole-heartedly serve as soldiers in order "to please his commanding officer" (2 Tim 2:3–4).
We are nearing the midway point in our semester at EABST. Christian Family has proved to be a very insightful course for me, and I trust helpful for the students as well. It's enlightening to consider how society is pressing our families into its mold, and how we are called to be transformed on account of God's mercy by the renewing of our minds.
Please continue to pray for our students. Pray that they will give their ministry opportunities and local churches their due priority while juggling school and home responsibilities.
Please pray for us teachers. We long for these men and women to be equipped for a lifetime of service to Christ's church, but that takes the Holy Spirit's work through our feeble efforts.
Please also pray for our preparations for our Stateside assignment beginning in June. Things are beginning to come together, but there are many details yet to resolve.