Thursday, February 16, 2017

Weekly Dossier: Week 7, 2017

Monday Meals
Monday nights Liz goes to and English conversation group that is an outreach of our church. That means I cook dinner and put the kids to bed. I plan out the meal on Friday and I have as my goal to make a large enough batch that we can get at least three or four meals out of it. We usually freeze a portion or two back, which really helps when I am out of town and Liz has to take care of the kids by herself for the week. This week, I made a favorite dish from my time in Russia, Plov. Plov is a simple Uzbek dish of rice, usually with chunks of lamb or in this case beef. The ingredients are simple, but it takes at least a couple of hours to cook!
Report from Ukraine
Mark and Tim are back from Ukraine now a couple of days ago. Mark came over to our house and had dinner with us. He entertained the kids with stories and paper boats. They really enjoyed him. Then he told us all about his time in Ukraine. He said he was intimidated at first, but once he got to know the students, he really enjoyed it. They are a great bunch of brothers and sisters. I think their faithfulness is an encouragement to us as much, if not more than, we encourage them. Now, if we can just figure out how to print the books there. I'm not sure why, but the printer seems to have problems with our files. Hopefully, we have worked out our communication issues and will be able to start printing soon.
Friday Discipleship
I got to teach intro to the inductive Bible study method. It is probably one of my favorite sections to teach out of the first book. It is fun to see the lights come on as they figure out the difference between observation and interpretation. This can be really life changing for the students. Right now they are all so young in the faith and they have so many questions. It is a lot of fun most of the time, but can also wear on you. I can see why Moses was in need of Jethro's advice (Exodus 18). One of the teachers of the course likened what we are doing with Bible study methods to teaching men to fish instead of giving them a fish. Last Friday was a good beginning to that process. The students were starting to discover things for themselves in God's word. It was truly Glorious!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Weekly Dossier: Week 6, 2017

Home for now

After being on the road it has been nice to be home this week. I have used the time to make a start at cleaning my office and sets some goals for the coming year. Being back in the States for the missions conference was good and refreshing in ways, but it is nice to be back home and in the swing of things. Though I have been doing quite a bit of teaching lately, I would really like to make more time for one-on-one meetings and personal contact. I love teaching, but I always want to put myself in a situation where I can both get to know people and be known. Transparency is so important in life.

Ukraine update

The reason I get to stay home this week is because Tim Ford and Mark Maddox are taking care of BTCP in Ukraine this week. From what Tim tells me there has been quite a bit of snow there. They were delayed in getting there and so missed their first night of teaching. The plan was to do a survey of both the Old and New Testament, but now they are doing more sample lessons, which is good because this group should be able to teach already anyway.

I know the guys are doing a great job without me and I am grateful for the chance to be home, but I do miss being there. So far, all of the churches that we have worked with in Ukraine have been fantastic, and I miss seeing how the students are growing and developing. I am glad to be able to share that with others, though. It is a blessed ministry to be a part of.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Rest for Refugees

Photo: The Traiskirchen Refugee Processing facility AKA The Camp

Last night was my first night at the Oasis since coming back to Austria. It was good to finally go down there again. The meeting was packed out. I’m a bad judge when it comes to numbers, but I would say a capacity crowd for the room would be 80-100 and we got to that pretty quickly. Of course that’s a small fraction of how many are actually at the camp. Right now there are between 4-5,000 refugees in the facility. That is over 3 times the maximum capacity! Many are there sleeping outside and they have stopped taking in refugees and are hoping to send some of them to facilities in other countries. Nobody else seems to have room either. The amount of refugees this summer is truly unmatched by any other year in record. 

They asked me to prepare a message. I was inspired by Mike Grifis’ sermon on Jesus’ call to come to Him to receive rest by taking his yoke and learning from him in Matthew 11:28-30. 5,000 weary and heavy laden who leave everything behind because of fear, fighting their way through many perils in order to come to a place that has no room for you. Many because of their religious background, like those under the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, are also heavy laden with fear. They fear that they can never be certain they have done enough  in order to please God and gain acceptance from Him. I could think of no better message than Christs’ offer of rest if we come to him, become his servant and learn his ways. Rest for our souls that even in the circumstances of leaving behind family and friends, letting go of all that is familiar and embracing uncertainty to sleep out in the elements with 5,000 others. I pray that these men and women would find Christs’ rest. I pray also that we his servants, would daily embrace it.
#fa #blog

from Activity in The Plaza for Denton Bible Church