Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Africa Day and a Long Post

So today is Africa Day. We rode to the training center and it was noticeably different in terms of traffic and people. Not many were awake and out and about for this holiday. Yet here I was, headed to train for 9 hours. And even more than that, 70 plus pastors, wives and church leaders were getting ready to hear teaching on Matthew, John, Psalms and Genesis from 7:30 am -6:00 pm.

I am grateful for the opportunity but am exhausted after two days of 9 hours of teaching plus all of the other things we are doing. What makes this worth it all the more is watching this group soak up the teaching and want more. It is so exciting to teach people who are hungry for the Word. In fact, we had a break for "tea" while they were doing observations on a passage. My class stayed behind to finish discussing the passage rather than stop and get tea. I know me...I would be the first person getting that "tea" break. Yet there hunger and excitement for learning new things from the Word kept them in their seats...I am humbled by that.

Yesterday, I went through how to study the Bible, using the principles of observation, interpretation and application. One of the biggest challenges here is shallow, allegorical and out of context preaching. Many don't know better since that is what has been modeled for them. Recently on this trip, I heard a 40 minute message from the book of Job that was so out of context, it actually supported the exact opposite of how it was being taught. I am told that it is typical here and among those at the conference where we are teaching. So each trainer is taking the time to teaching on correct hermeneutical principles and how to use them on the book they are teaching. I can only imagine how challenging it must be to realize that you have been doing something wrong.

Yet these people are humbly taking in the teaching that is correcting what they have been doing for years... and for the most part, they are eating it up. Maybe tomorrow I will share some stories. Time and time again, I have had numerous people come to me and thank me repeatedly for taking the time to help them understand the Bible. They are so thankful and want more and more teaching. it reminds me of how blessed we are and how blessed I am for the privilege of studying the Word under Godly men, for having the privilege of attending seminary and for all of the resources that I have at my fingertips. Each one of these people would love to have even a small amount of what I have in theological training. And yet, I get the honor of investing in them.

Pray with me as I pray for them. Pray for me as I teach them. Pray for me as I learn from them.


Betsy said...

What an awesome opportunity, Jason! It must be so exhilarating and exhausting all at the same time to be doing what you're doing. It's always refreshing to be around a hungry Christian and you're surrounded by them. I'll pray for your physical strength and stamina as well as for spiritual wisdom and that you'll see much fruit from this good work.
Travel mercies, too.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jason,

Been praying for you, Thomas, and the others since your trip began ~ just now had the chance to sit and catch up on your blog posts (2:00 pm Wed lunch break - I "worked until I was hungry")! - Was glad to hear preliminary updates from Steph at church on Sunday, and so happy all is going well, that God is blessing the conference immensely!

Thank you also for giving us encouragement as you recount your preaching topics and the pastors' responses to the depths of God's word. Praying the week concludes beautifully and that teachers/students alike are strengthened to the end. ~ Dawn G.

Margrave said...

Great news Jason! We will continue to pray for endurance and for the Word to spread through those leaders!


Anonymous said...

Hey Brother,
Been praying for you and the team. What a life changing experience for you and how blessed you are to be use by the Lord go greatly. I am so excited for you! I pray that the Lord will continue to uphold you with His Almighty hands.
Love, Yoly

Jason Beals said...

Thanks so much for your comments and for your prayers. These help me know that people are reading this.