I included quite a few pictures and two short videos just to give you a feel for what I was doing. (If you double click the pictures, they will get bigger.)This morning started early. I woke up at 4:15am to take our two house guests to the bus depot. When I came back home I studied hard for about 2 hours in preparation of the second day of the conference out at Kanyama. After coming home, God was so gracious, enabling me to put together a lesson that really accomplished what I wanted to say. I took a taxi and got there around 9:00 am. On the way there, Pastor Bruce called and asked if I was close. I told him, “No, not really. You told me that you would tell everyone to be there at 8:00 and I would be there at 9:00am (that is how it works hereJ ) Well, apparently they all showed up at 8:00am and were waiting for me. Well, they weren’t actually waiting but they were worshipping and praying. When I arrived, I was blown away. It was fuller than it was yesterday. And by the time I got up to teach, people were coming in and sitting behind me. They said the count was around 225-250. The day went really well. I started off sharing my testimony, sharing some funny Zambian things we have done since being here and then got into the study. I taught both inductive and expository preaching and was able to preach two sermons, one from Romans 12:1-2 and Romans 12:3-5.
Some highlights of the day: As I was teaching them how to ask questions regarding the scriptures and they were getting pretty good, I gave them a 2 minute break to stretch. As I was fixing something on my computer, I heard those at the conference asking each other, “Why two minutes? Where should I take my two minute break? How should I take my two minute break? What is a two minute break?” I laughed pretty hard at their inductive humor. Part of inductive study is to ask questions of the text – For example, in Romans 12:1-2, it says, In view of God’s mercy… So the goal of inductive study after you observe the text is to ask questions… So, you might ask, What is Mercy? Why did God show mercy? How did God show mercy? When did God show mercy? By asking these questions you are both revealing what you don’t know and what you need to know. So, to hear those joking showed me they were really listening and getting it.
Another highlight was meeting these different pastors and leaders who encouraged me. One was from Tanzania and he invited me to come and train the pastors there. Another asked me if I would come with him to the southern province of Zambia to train the pastors there. I said to him, how about I train you so you can go there… He enthusiastically agreed and the idea was born, that my strategy of teaching should really be teaching them to teach. After all, how much more foundational is being able to understand how study the Bible?
Another highlight were these older woman in the front row with smiles so beautiful and hearts so pure. They loved Jesus so much and they radiated joy and enthusiasm. I know as a speaker you are not to feed on the audience you are speaking to, but it was impossible not to feel encouraged by these women... The pastor’s conference include deacons, elders, Pastors, Bishops and lay leaders so it is not uncommon to have some ladies show up, including nursing mothers who nurse pretty openly while I am speaking. Welcome to Africa:)
Another highlight was during the message on Romans 12:3-5 and I was speaking on pastors and pride. I laid into pastors pretty good, exhorting them to not take pride in the gift of grace to be pastor they have received. They responded enthusiastically... All in all, it was a great day. But, what stuck with me throughout the day was how strong I felt. I prayed that I would have strength today, but I was a bit surprised with how awake I felt, strong and great all day. Even now, I feel good, despite an early morning, speaking and standing on my feet most of the day and coming home to a house full of energetic girls. The prayer was answered so clearly. Thank you for praying. O.K. now I am really tired. I can barely keep my eyes open...