Monday, October 25, 2010

How seeds can grow!

It was 17 years ago (1993) that I had a quiet Korean student in my School of Biblical Studies at The King’s Lodge.  Working in English was a challenge so Yang Hee audited the SBS the following year in order to review her work and pick up things that might have been lost due to language the first time round.

I remember my surprise about 10 years ago when I receive a simple email from Yang Hee, asking me to come to teach on the SBS which she was leading in Korea.  I arrived to find a school of about 45 students (including a number of pastors), eagerly studying the Bible and my ‘quiet’ student from The King’s Lodge showing exceptional confidence and leadership ability.  She now leads a team of nine working at the SBS centre in Korea who minister around the nation and are writing Bible study materials for the Korean church.

When I arrived yesterday in Korea, I was picked up from the airport by another King’s Lodge graduate from 2000/01.  Ji Wung was not only my student but also worked for three years on our TKL SBS staff.

Over a rather nice meal on the way back from the airport, I asked Ji Wung, now the SBS leader in Korea, the story of how this training has developed there over these past 10 years.·          
  • There has been an annual nine-month SBS, training between 40-60 students each year.       
  • For this current school they had to turn away about 30 people, so they are now preparing to run two schools each year. 
  •  They have developed and support two SBSs in Seoul for Business people, running concurrently each year.  So far, between 600-700 people have been trained through this program. 
  • They have developed and support a SBS especially for Pastors (similar to the one for business people). 
  • They run a Pastors’ Bible seminar three times a year, reaching about 200 pastors at a time. 
  • They have been instrumental in introducing a week of ‘How to Study the Bible in a Dynamic and Effective Way” into every DTS in Korea. 
  • They have trained leaders and staff, and support two SBS school in China and Mongolia.  Southern Thailand is next on the agenda. 
  • Ji Wung is now a sought-after speaker throughout Korea, and often ministers in Thailand, China, Vietnam, Mongolia, Japan, Kyrgizstan and soon to the Korean community in Seattle, Washington.
We don’t often get to see the results that unfold after our students leave The King’s Lodge.  Clearly they are gifted, committed and anointed people and it is our privilege to be a part of their growth.  It is a huge encouragement for us to get a glimpse of some of this fruit 17 years on.  As partners who have prayed and given and shared your lives with us, please join us in celebrating!

I begin teaching the wonderful book of Romans tomorrow (Monday), to a class with 58 students and a staff of 22.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

On the road again


Phil leaves Friday (22nd) to teach Romans in Korea.  After day at home to repack, he travels to Los Angeles on the 31st to teach on Psalms and Proverbs for a week. 

Upon return, our own SBS gets to sit under Phil’s teaching for 1 and 2 Corinthians.  The next week he takes Elisa with him for 4 days in Wiler, Switzerland, where he will again teach Romans.

Watch Elisa on Channel 4!

Elisa's film will be included in next week's broadcast of 4thought.tv.  Her 90-second interview will be broadcast on Sunday 31st October at 6.55pm on Channel 4.  It will also be available to view on http://www.channel4.com/programmes/4thoughttv/ after the initial broadcast.

Please pray that this piece is thought-provoking for young people as they consider their own stance on sex before marriage.  Also please pray a covering over her as she has made such a bold stand for purity.

Sharpening the focus

Isn’t it interesting how you can think you are moving in a certain direction for a certain reason, and then realise the direction is right but the reason is different to what you expected!

Our priorities in these past few years have been pioneering on-line (field-based) learning within YWAM and the development of the Biblical Teaching and Preaching School (BTPS).  Both of these took giant leaps forward during our year in Kona, Hawaii. 

Plan A was to lead another BTPS in Kona January 2011.  Establishing this course at this strategic site was the avenue which opened so we could develop Bible teachers.  Sadly, as we faced last year, the majority of applicants can neither obtain visas nor afford the travel and tuition. 

Experience is telling us that teams of missionaries in the flow of ministry are desperate to grow in the Bible while they remain “on the field”.  Wisdom gained also highlights that those who feel the need and passion to learn to teach and preach are not living in the Western World but are in India and West Africa.  These clear truths are rearranging our path.

So Plan A has been set aside and our eyes have turned to the Indian sub-continent as the better location to see the BTPS re-established.  Future leaders have already identified themselves and this is a key to stability.  Lots to pray about now and soon there will be more stories to tell.

Plan B has emerged as a greater strategic priority rather than being second-best since the other fell through. 

On-line learning is sweeping the world.  Our own children being educated through it! Our mission wants to grow in it but as of today there is only one on-line course in YWAM – the Field-Based SBS which Phil has designed.  Now for the problem:  the Old Testament is not complete and revisions are in mind for the New Testament (instructional material – not the Bible text!).  Both time and technical support are needed.

Plan B is to continue to make our scheduled trip to Kona for 4 months, connecting with highly-skilled techies on site and being in a position to focus simply on the task of developing on-line learning.  Breaking this ground as a YWAM pioneer in on-line learning will pave the way for multiple courses to become available to so many more.   

So this return trip to the Pacific will have quite a different flavour than we expected, but we are very excited and expectant at the opportunities we have to initiate a whole new, more accessible training model for our mission.  The price for going is £3,000 in airfares ($4,800USD) and about £3,500 ($5,000USD) in rent.  We're keeping our eyes on the outcome!  Please let us know if you want to be a partner in this development venture.

Just this evening one of our Health Care students who works long-term in Mozambique asked for details about how her entire team can enrol in the FB–SBS!

It’s why we do what we do!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

School of Biblical Studies Pod Casts

The School of Biblical Studies International has created a site to house a series of mp3 teachings by various SBS teachers on the books of the Bible and other Biblical subjects.  These are available for free download. 

Check out http://thesbspodcast.com/  If you scroll down the list, you will find a series of teachings on Luke which I have recorded, and Obadiah and Jeremiah are in the making.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

In the land of the Pharaohs


It has been just about a week since I arrived in Egypt and begun introducing the students here the School of Biblical Studies.  At this time of year a few dozen such schools around the world, in a variety of languages are beginning in much the same way.  The students are taught how to approach the Bible in a simple but effective way that will open up the truth that is there, and also the method we use in our schools that helps them to study in a really practical way.  I never get tired of the comments that come from our students, even after just one week of such study.  They are often amazed and thrilled at what they are discovering for themselves, “the Bible can make sense and is so applicable” is the kind of excited comment I hear.  

At this school we have over a dozen students from six nations, two of them being in the Middle East and it is a joy to see this school continue to flourish and grow.  We do have some interesting moments as everything is translated onto Arabic, and when the Arabic Bible says something quite different, but I am so grateful for excellent translators.

I leave here on the 1.0am flight Wednesday morning!