The goal of this bulletin is to keep you up to date with the International Bible Teaching ministry through a report that you can read in 2-3 minutes.
10 August 2014

Saludos de Mexico, and from a conference of 4000 persons, Todas las Generaciones. I'm honored to speak in Mexico City, and even more honored to support my friend Arturo Elizarraras, who spearheads the teaching ministry down here. Soon my offering, La Sana Doctrina (Sound Doctrine), will become a podcast in English -- available at the website on the 15th. It's truly been a packed and rewarding summer, so let me begin by thanking all of you who have provided such generous support so that Vicki and I can teach globally.

Southern Africa

For two weeks in June and July we labored in Africa. The countries where we spoke (see map) were South Africa (Pretoria, Durban, Johannesburg), Angola (Luanda), and Namibia (Windhoek). But don't think for a minute that we were alone! Teaching, like theology, is best done collegially -- with others, not solo.
Vicki and I were joined on our transatlantic flight by Dave and Beth Pocta. Imagine our surprise when at the last minute we found out that we were seated together (29CD meet 29EF)! It was great fellowship, and especially convenient to sit together since we were headed to Africa to speak in the Ministry Training Academy (MTA), which Dave directs.
Dave is doing a terrific job training leaders in multiple African nations. Dave is a clear thinker and a personable presenter, with passion to see others rise up and lead confidently, rooted in the word of God. Vicki taught on parenting (Durban) and faith (Pretoria), as well as sharing during the MTA (Christ & Culture). We appreciated the hospitality and fellowship of many disciples in Pretoria, Angola and Namibia. (Eleven-year-old Namibian lion pictured -- video at and photos Facebook).

Rethinking Hell

A few days after Africa, I found myself at one of the most interesting seminars I've ever attended, Rethinking Hell. (Plenty of variety in the teaching ministry!) The event took place at the stunning Lanier Theological Library in Houston, and was dedicated to reexamining the nature of final punishment. Speakers espoused a variety of views, though the majority hold to the position that the Lord does not coerce love by the threat of infinite torment in hell -- the view I've taught since 1990. Heaven & Hell explores the relevant issues.
     The class I presented at the seminar will be included in a book to be published in 2015. Afterwards I was able to preach at The Houston Church from the Psalms. A lot of my recent sermons were born in this book of the Bible -- perhaps because the older I am as a Christian, the more aware I am of my own emotions and fragility -- and need for God. A few days later, and I was on the way to the Caribbean.

The Damian Jean-Baptiste Caribbean School of Ministry (DJBCSM)

A new school, like the MTA, just opened in Kingston, Jamaica and (two weeks afterwards) Port of Spain, Trinidad. It is a memorial to Damian Jean-Baptiste, missionary pioneer, college, and Bible teacher. It was heartening to be present for both launches -- and share the teaching load. The school is directed by two of our top AIM graduates (next section). Had Damian lived to this day, he would have taught alongside us, as he was one of our early graduates. Even though he had to watch 150 hours of AIM by DVD and take the examinations online, he was self-motivated, finishing the course in just two years. He put into practice what he'd learned -- as an inspiring expositor of scripture.
     In Damian we had one of our staunchest advocates, and (in case you can't tell) he is sorely missed. We were all honored by the presence of his widow, Karlene Jean-Baptiste, at the program in Port of Spain. She is one of our new students in the DJBCSM!

Caribbean teachers

Here I stand with Caribbean colleagues Courtney Bailey (Kingston) & Tyrone Marcus (Port of Spain). Like Damian, both are AIM graduates who have been zealous for in-depth biblical training in the islands. They are brilliant teachers and highly respected.
The Caribbean program is two-pronged. In the picture (left) are students in the Jamaican program, DJBCSM-West -- at the University of the West Indies, Kingston. The DJBCSM-East holds session in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Tyrone and Courtney, both of whom lead busy lives as family men and full-time attorneys, are making time to teach in both programs.
In case you aren't familiar with AIM, this biblical training program -- with over 30 teachers -- grew out of the old MTP (established in London, 1995). Today there are at least 20 sister programs: AIM, MTA, NESM, MSM, and more -- though none with a longer acronym than the DJBCSM!
   Pictured: Greg & Simone Baugh, leaders in Kingston.
After each DJBCSM session, I made an excursion. From Jamaica, I headed to Nassau (teaching on the Holy Spirit). After the DJBCSM in Trinidad, I headed to the South American nation of Suriname (the Corinthian letters). This is the usual pattern: adding on a visit to a smaller city or congregation whenever possible. I think it promotes unity, while making a statement: You guys are important. These were my first visits to the Bahamas and Suriname (hopefully not the last).
The students were eager to learn, both through lectures and various written and recorded materials. Between the sessions in Jamaica and Trinidad, we taught 60 credit students, plus another 150 auditors.

Teaching Material & Teachers

On the website front, I've recorded more podcasts. Noah (the film), Divergent (the film and the book on which it is based), and Israel as a counter-cultural community are the three most recent. Two more will be posted this week -- nearly 50 new recordings in 2014. Many of you use the website regularly, and make no mistake, this means a lot to me.
     Spreading the knowledge of God's word by creating teaching materials that should outlive me, and especially helping younger teachers to rise up, are central purposes of the International Bible Teaching Ministry. Whether instructing alongside Dave in South Africa, Courtney & Tyrone in the Caribbean, or Arturo (pictured) in Mexico, I certainly realize that the ministry is so much bigger than any single person. It's about the kingdom of God.
Finally, in a few days I travel to Texas to join in an evening honoring Ira & June Hill. This couple have been an inspiration to me personally since my baptism, as well as to hundreds of preachers in Swaziland and surrounding nations. It's Ira's 80th birthday. I can't help but ask myself a question. If I make it to that octogenarian milestone, what will my impact be? Following the Lord for a few years is relatively easy. It's the decades that count. 
     And speaking of the long journey... I will soon join my wife in Singapore, for an international leadership conference, Build! What am I building? What are we building? Before we return to Atlanta, Vicki and I will teach in two Indonesian cities -- and then to Myanmar (Burma). Please remember us.

Yours in Him,
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