THOMAS' TRAVELS - JULY 2011
Germany, Rwanda, & USA:
At the European Baptist Mission Convention in May, I had the privilege of meeting delegates from several countries. They heard me speak on sharing our material blessings, our ideas, and sharing in the furtherance of the Gospel. Over the following two days, delegates from Peru, Argentina, South Africa,
Sierra Leone, and Bangalore, India, expressed a desire to have me minister in their countries. I reckon that these invitations are enough to keep me busy for the next three years, as this is in addition to the invitations I have already to Malawi, Tanzania, Cameroon, and Uganda. All I lack are the funds to get there!
As I think of ministries that will contribute to church growth and development in these countries, I believe that ten-day to twelve-day schools of evangelism with on-the-job training would be one of the best ways forward.
- The role of the evangelist is often minimized in the eyes of the church. Yet in Ephesians chapter 4,
Paul lists the evangelists as one of the five ministries that God has given to the church to equip the
saints to do the work of the ministry.
- Generally in Africa, the evangelists have a minimum of Bible training, and are not adequately prepared to equip the saints.
- Some evangelists are discouraged in their lonely efforts of ministry.
- Some get caught up in syncretistic movements, or in "prosperity" teaching.
- Some fall victim to unethical practices in areas of money and morality.
- Others find it hard to get financial support for their ministry.
There is a whole range of features that could go into the schools of evangelism and on-the-job training. For example:
- Seminars on basic theology for evangelism.
- Micro-finance, where attitudes allow, to help them to become self-supporting.
- Counselor training.
- Meetings in prisons, schools, hospitals, open-air campaigns, and local churches.
- Ministering to the sick and afflicted, and to the demonized.
- Ministering to broken families, to alcoholics, etc.
Not every situation will have all the same features. Also, some things cannot be programmed. But I trust you will appreciate what I am aiming for and what I hope to do. It will multiply the effectiveness of this ministry as well as your investment in it. In fact, I would hope that some of you will be able to come along with me to one place or another. Please let me know about your particular interests.
RWANDA, June 15 - 18
These are the dates of a big crusade in Rwanda organized by Africa New Life Ministries, who invited me to be the evangelist. I will give you a full report in my next newsletter.
Please remember that I will be traveling to the States from mid-September to mid-October. Please contact me as early as possible if you would like me to include you in my itinerary. So far, I am scheduled to be speaking in Ohio, Texas, and California.
Thank you for caring and sharing in this ministry,