Oct. 13-15. Because the hotel did not serve breakfast, we were given a voucher to a restaurant down this narrow street where Tim and I went at 6:30 a.m. since B., H. and T. would pick us up at 7:30. Sitting outside in a garden-like setting, we enjoyed coffee, fried eggs, sausage and a few vegetables. Each of these three days was sweet fellowship as we were driven to and from the training location by H. to the place where about twenty-four gathered to start working in the manual. I got the sense throughout this week at both locations that security conditions of the immediate vicinity were such that we were dropped at the front door and quickly entered the building (a house church) and went to the fourth floor. The age range was amazing with the youngest at 15 and the oldest well over 70. Exuberant worship began each day. Since Tim and I were together, we shared the teaching sessions, which is always a great joy.
There are always indicators at these training sessions that we watch to see if the principles of Scripture are being clearly communicated and understood. We were much blessed to have T. as our translator. Because she worked with B. in translating the manual into Vietnamese, she had a handle on the teaching already that grew over the six days together. There were times when T. would explain in greater detail the principles so those present would truly capture the concepts. On Tuesday afternoon we assigned the lessons in Chapter Six, one to each person, so they could study them overnight and share what they observed from Scripture on Wednesday. After Tim and I spoke on God’s order in the church, beginning with our personal relationship with Christ and how that affects our marriage, family and the church, we began hearing from each person on the lessons. At first, it seemed that the presentations were more preaching and storytelling. But with the help of T., the observations became Scripture/Christ centered. As so often is the case when the Holy Spirit begins to work and bring conviction through the Word, there are a few who have difficulty holding back the tears of conviction. There is no question in or minds that most in this group will complete the lessons and prepare for our return so that together they can work on the projects and form their own strategy for reaching the unreached and planting strong churches in their culture and beyond.
I must add a note regarding the young man (15 years old). He was a proof that the younger generation is the key to grasping these principles and implementing them. As we always do in these sessions, we often ask them to summarize what they have learned on the white board. He was one that always got the answer right on the first chapter – “Return to the Scriptures”.