Dear friends and family,
I’m back and recovered from 14 days of teaching, traveling, and enjoying some good fellowship with the other international trainers at TLI.
I spent three days at our bi-annual staff meeting in Minneapolis, with Dr. Jim Plueddemann. He is the resident expert on cross-cultural teaching at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. We enjoyed his presentations and discussion designed to help us better equip pastors in other cultures to teach and understand the Bible. I stayed with another TLI international trainer and his family. We enjoyed a great time of fellowship and I really appreciated the accommodations!
I left with the team on Thursday afternoon from Minneapolis, overnighted in Washington D.C., and arrived in Ethiopia on Saturday morning. After a full day in Addis, the capital, we left on Sunday morning early so we would be in Ambo in time to check in to the hotel and preach in nearby churches. I preached to a very full and enthusiastic crowd of 160! This is huge in the non-health-and-wealth church in Ethiopia.
On Monday morning, we began teaching. The students were bright and engaged in the teaching. We had lively discussions and many, many aha moments. Now that I have taught the “Story of the Bible” course 2 material, I can say – WOW!! It is very well-written and incredibly insightful. I am reading the Bible with new eyes myself. If anyone would like a copy of the teacher’s manual let me know, I can send a PDF version, it would be eye-opening. The Bible is truly a grand story of the King, the story that oversees all other stories, and God has called us into it as participants. My students understand this now. Thank you for your prayers and support!
We teach the story using symbols (see attached picture). The central symbol is the Cross with a Crown above it. At one point in our training, I took them down and tried to continue teaching. The students objected strongly and would no allow me to continue until the King was in His rightful central place. Probably my best memory of the week, see attached picture.
The rest of the courses in our 9 series curriculum builds on this, story, telling it in more detail while equipping pastors and church leaders to interpret the different types of literature in the Bible (wisdom, poetry, history, prophecy, gospels, narrative, epistles, etc.) and preach/teach/lead their people.
Great time! Grateful for your support. Grateful to be home.
My next trip will be in India in December. I need a little break, it’s been a whirlwind of activity through the summer and September.
Bob and Vickie