Thank you for bringing this teaching on Romans!
The entire team has done an outstanding job of communicating as God has answered your prayers for us.
I [Joel] began the conference summarizing Rom 1-10. Imagine, it took 2 1/2 hrs to summarize what took a week to teach last trip. This set the stage for the rest of Romans.
So we began on Romans 11-12. We moved from the certainty of our salvation in Christ to the ways we begin to change in our Christian walk. “I appeal to you therefore by the mercies of God, present your bodies as a living sacrifice…”. Working through the gifts, grace, love to others, how to respond to an enemy who harms us. Imagine sharing such a message with people who have lived with years of war, unspeakable brutality, broken economy, and hardship on every front. Romans says “give water and food to an enemy.” They wrestled. Sometime you would hear a lot of voices break out as they spoke to one another.
Yet, as these areas unfolded, they continued to drink in the teaching of God’s Word. Then there were moments of celebration. Singing. Fervent prayers of thanks to God. Smiles. Praise God! They don’t hide their amazement at God’s Counsel.
Another cause for praise occurred on Wednesday, when I [Rick Renninger] spoke with a young man (+/- 30 yrs) I met 9 months ago when Jim and I taught a Leadership Conference on 1 Timothy here in Chennai, India. His name is John Paul. Last July I learned that he started a house church and within one year 19 people had made professions of faith. John Paul is a physical therapist who gives all the time he can to evangelism and leading his church.
He told me that he reaches out to poor people; people who do manual labor and may only find work a few days a week. Since last summer there have been fewer conversions, and even though some people have stopped attending his church, he currently has 25 people gathering together for Sunday worship. Praise Him!
But here’s what really blew me away! Having no idea how he would answer I asked John Paul this very open-ended question: “In the past year, what has most encouraged you?” Without a moment’s hesitation, he replied, “The Leadership Conference on 1 Timothy!”
John Paul hungers to grow in his understanding of the Scriptures, not only to encourage and feed his own soul, but to teach others also. And praise God that that is just what he is doing, teaching 1 Timothy regularly. In this, he is representative of what many others are doing as well. In fact, when I was in Rwanda Theophile, who serves as a bishop for some 60 churches, told me that it is a requirement for ordination that a man seeking the pastorate must take ELI’s Leadership course on 1 Timothy. This ordination preparation for pastors is not occurring by ELI staff, but through Rwandans who have been taught the material (2 Timothy 2:2).
Thank you for your partnership with me in promoting healthy Christ-exalting churches that impact Majority World communities by the transforming power of the Gospel!