Reaching & Teaching has just completed one of our most agenda-packed, ministry-rich months ever. God is blessing both the ministry and me personally in incredible ways. A quick day-by-day look at the month will give you some idea of what I mean:
January 1- Returned from speaking on ministry among primary oral learners in St. Louis at Urbana 2012. I really enjoyed meeting so many missions-minded folks who attend the triennial meeting hosted by InterVarsity. I especially enjoyed seeing old friends like Dave Howard.
January 2-5- Spent time catching up on campus, writing, and helping a doctoral student with his dissertation defense.
January 6-11- Visited with good friends at To Every Tribe Ministries in Los Fresnos, TX where I taught a week-long orientation session on Contextualization and Intercultural Communication in their Center for Pioneer Church Planting.
January 12-19- Flew to Lima and traveled by bus to Huaraz to speak in the Annual Pastors Conference hosted by Peruvian Baptists, Ingleside Baptist Church of Macon, GA, and the IMB.
January 14- Met with an IMB missionary and a SBTS PhD student to discuss his work in Lima and his rapidly approaching date with his comprehensive examinations at Southern Seminary.
January 19- Met with IMB missionaries in Lima to discuss ways that Southern Seminary and Reaching & Teaching can help meet the need for theological education and pastoral training in Latin America.
January 19- Consulted with Peruvian pastors at the Lima airport to advise them regarding a challenge they face of how to train and provide chaplaincy for almost 500 public schools.
January 19-21- Flew to Tarapoto met with Pastor Jairo and the brothers of the high jungle in the area around Tarapoto and Chazuta, Peru, preaching there on Sunday and meeting with leaders to plan a training program for leaders in their area.
January 21-23- Flew to Iquitos and met with pastors, leaders, and missionaries serving in the Iquitos and Nauta areas of the Amazon River region, preaching in a church and planning training program for the pastors of villages along the Amazon River.
January 24- Met in Houston with fellow founding board members of a newly formed organization seeking to reach and teach in Central America.
January 25-26- Traveled to New York City to teach Introduction to Missiology in the Southern Seminary extension center.
January 27- Spoke at Sojourn Community Church’s missions academy in Louisville, KY on Intercultural Communication, preparing the missionaries they will send out from their church.
January 28- Led the Annual Reaching & Teaching International Ministries Board meeting.
January 29- Participated in the spring semester convocation and new semester launch at Southern Seminary.
January 31- Attended the International Mission Board’s Expo dinner with IMB personnel and candidates for missionary service.
In our annual meeting, the board of Reaching & Teaching decided on several new ministry directions that will enable us to have a larger international footprint to impact the kingdom in exciting ways. We will be launching two new three-year training commitments—one in the Canal Zone in Panamá City and one in the Peruvian jungle town of Nauta, an hour and half beyond Iquitos. You will hear more about these exciting and strategic opportunities in the months to come. Begin praying now about joining us on one of them.
We are also responding to requests for weeklong intensive conferences in other locations in the Peruvian mountains and jungles in a new effort to meet immediate needs before we commit to launching a full three-year program there. We have also decided to expand our ministry by approving experienced candidates to be team leaders, allowing them to recruit and lead their own teams to begin three-year pastoral training programs in areas of their own interest or ministry experience. This will free me to participate with them on a rotating basis and allow us to have greater impact in more places as the Lord leads and provides.
Some of you who follow our ministry with prayerful interest to see what new developments are underway have been asking how these January trips went, and where we are going next. In a desire to answer these requests—without over-estimating your interest—I will be posting a series of 3-4 shorter blogs over the new month with updates on developments from the week in Huaraz, the encouraging results from meetings with the IMB, and the week in Tarapoto, Chazuta, Iquitos, and Nauta.
In the meantime, pray that the seeds planted will grow, relationships begun will mature, roots will sink deep and bear lasting fruit from this rich month of labor in many places, over many hours, and covering many miles. Finally, as I have challenged you before, would you consider joining with us by giving, going, or praying so that God’s people may have biblically qualified and prepared leaders in New Testament churches around the world? How might God use you? What is it that is not being done that ought to be done that you could do, and if it were done, would result in greater glory to Christ and extension of His kingdom? Let Reaching & Teaching help you do it!