In thinking about Paul’s zeal that dramatically changed from “persecutor” to “apostle to the Gentiles”, the words of J. Oswald Sanders are worth considering.
“We can neither generate nor maintain our own zeal. It is of supreme importance, then, that we maintain a correct relationship with the Holy Spirit, and that we do not grieve Him. It is the work of the gracious Holy Spirit constantly to pour oil on the fire and keep our zeal at boiling point.”
It is no wonder that the zeal of the disciples dramatically changed after the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Now that He is here, we have no excuse except our own laziness to not be zealous for the gospel and advancement of God’s work through the church.
It’s been almost a month since I updated you on the ministry here in Chiang Mai, Thailand. So much has gone on and I cannot believe I have been away from the family for almost two months, longest ever, but God has been my faithful companion in all His love and fullness!
First of all, Henry and Peter were unable to get their visas to come to Thailand for preaching and training. I will trust our Lord’s sovereign purposes for this situation and grace for those who put obstacles in our path trusting and knowing our God WILL work it all for good. Therefore, we decided that I should go there since they had completed the pre-work, 63 lessons, and I thought it best to hit the iron while it was hot. So, I am leaving Chiang Mai this Thursday, September 19 for Zambia and will return to Chiang Mai next Friday September 26. I was really not excited about going to Zambia at this late date since I am returning home October 1, but this morning I received the following email from Henry. So, now I am pumped:
“Hello Tim, We have four days more to meet. How we look forward to this blessed time together in the presence of our loving father. I know it is going to be an extraordinary time. This training is indeed very important. Revival is like fire which is spreading to every place we go. Some people are calling it new teaching with wonders and signs. I shall share with you a testimony from Congo. (Highlight Mine) God is going to show us new things to edify us. We are eagerly and praying for this spiritual meeting. At the master's feet, Henry
(Pictures above are the students along with one of their final projects each had to condense 6 chapters on a white board; thrills my heart to see them exceed me, which is not very difficult.)
One of the highlights of my trip was the opportunity the Lord arranged to teach a group of students from the Bethany College of Missions headquartered in Bloomington, MN who were here completing their final 4th year of training, 3 years in class and 1 year on the job. I was so encouraged by their hunger to know Christ and desire to make Him known. The first week they worked on their own, completing most of the lesson pre-work. The last week, I taught every day or I should say I mostly facilitated our discussion around the Word. The last day we had T Dee come in to answer questions and share with them about Thailand as it relates to contextualization of the gospel. I was thrilled as I heard Dee shared the value or maybe I should say, the necessity of our personal walk with Christ, making sure we build our foundation on the Word of God only, the urgency of depending on the Holy Spirit’s power and leading, and the importance of marriage and family in missions and Church Planting.
Another thing that happen, the brother from Pakistan who we trained a couple of months ago sent an urgent email requesting assistant for a young girl, an American missionary and citizen, who had been arrested and not allowed to make phone call or have outside contact. So, with the info he gave me, I was able to contact US Embassy in Pakistan and apparently they got right on it because Paul Chesser verified with the US Secretary of State office in US that they were handling it. So, last report, I believe she is home. Praise the Lord for His Grace and mercy.
I believe I mentioned to you that the Karen Baptist Seminary had accepted and would now view the GPHC Seminary Course. We gave them on CD but they needed it printed out. So T Dee and I had three copies made and were astonished that each course was #700 pages. So we will present this to several seminaries and trust the Lord to grant favor. What an awesome tool to get into Bible Colleges and Seminaries to equip leaders to follow the Apostle Paul as he followed Christ. See picture to left of T Dee and course.
Lastly, I have been able to almost complete the Holy Spirit Journal that I have been working on for about 3-4 years. This tool takes every place the Spirit is mentioned in Scripture and creates a daily devotional for 366 days. I have learned myself so much about the Holy Spirit that I did not know and much of what I thought I knew, I could not find in the bible. Lord willing, I hope to have this ready by January 2014. Chris Esterly in Denver is creating some graphics.
I spent a couple of weeks training some unmarried young people and orphans on personal walk with Christ, Marriage, roles of husband and wife. This was crucial since Thailand might become the first Asia country to sanction same sex marriage. Although they had been in church most of their lives, they had experience little teaching concerning a biblical model and view of marriage. I also had opportunity to preach at Eternal Life Church a couple of times and also at a Rawang Church.
Thanks so much for prayers and encouragement as we travel this incredible journey together! I particularly thank the Lord for my wife, Edith, who cooperates 100% on this journey in Christ.
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