International Ministries

"More pleased than my students..."

October 30, 2011 Journal
Join the 2972a432a74b4583829edc19ff319dbd9e825c34d424d8aee9fa0e79b5eacefd Tweet

"I am even more pleased than my students... for I see them discovering Biblical truths for themselves!"

It was wonderful to get a grateful email from Egla Chavez this week.  She is a Methodist pastor in Durango, Mexico.  She is taking the learning we did together a couple of years ago and multiplying its impact.  She "got it," and is enthusiastically passing it along to her fellow pastors and the churches she serves.


As I teach, I try to connect with everyone in a course.  But you never know.  Sometimes a seed sown in a conversation or classroom bears fruit only much later.  So, teaching is about patient, faithful sowing, whether or not one gets to see immediate results.


But in most learning situations, there will be a few people (or perhaps only one) who really "get it."  You can see it in their eyes and hear it in their voices.  They make teaching fun, and sometimes deeply moving.  And after the course is over, they take what they have seen and heard and discovered and shared... and they run with it!  That's what Egla has been doing all over northern Mexico.


What a delight to stay in touch with Egla as her ministry develops!  I am grateful to have been used by God to play a small part in that development.  I look forward to getting together with Egla again someday, to have the kind of experience Paul talks about in Romans 1:12.  In the preceding verse, Paul tells the Romans that he is eager to visit them and to give them some spiritual gift.  But then he immediately corrects himself, saying he hopes "that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine."  Exactly.  Egla is grateful for the way God used me in her development--and I am grateful also for the way God has used her in my own growth.


I am also grateful for the way God has used to you encourage and support me in this ministry--thank you!!


As I write, I am heading back toward Philadelphia at the end of a trip that included teaching and preaching in Spain, and participating in the semiannual sessions of the board of trustees of the International Baptist Theological Seminary (IBTS) in Prague.  It was a delight to work among the missionaries of the Evangelical Baptist Union of Spain--and alongside our own missionaries, Carlos Bonilla and Mayra Giovanetti.  As always, it was also moving to talk to enthusiastic students from Eastern Europe at IBTS.  Today I am heading back, and will be returning to a new combination of mission tasks within American Baptist International Ministries.  I hope to fill you in on the new developments very soon.


For now, though, thank you for the prayers, notes and gifts that continue to make it possible for me to serve the Lord as part of the global mission effort of International Ministries!