Saturday, May 16, 2009

15 years of Fruit...

Our director, Tim Hilty and his family, are in the states for a well-deserved furlough. But, he has been watching and praying and leading us from afar. He just sent the team a note the other day that I thought I would share it with you because I really think it captures some of the things we are doing here in Zambia and how the irony of our philosophy of long term training is actually producing some short term gain. I hope you are encouraged. I also thought it was insighful because it speaks about Veritas Bible Training. I am teaching that this upcoming quarter on the wisdom literature found in scripture, including Psalm, Proverbs and the the prophets. Thanks for your partnership with us!

Action Zambia,

I just wanted to respond to the encouraging reports that I've been getting from those of you on the field. Testimonies about the type of fruit we are beginning to see in our ministries are very good and it's important that we celebrate it when we see it. I'll mention but a few things. It was very heartening for me to hear the report from Brent about GCB and their decision to start another cell group within their ministry area. In this, we can praise the Lord how we see the church latching on to the importance of discipleship as well as multiplying (through the training they received). And in an email I received from Tracy recently - he shared how he was able to officiate at the graduation of ten pastors at Anderson Jere's church. The Veritas curriculm that ABI is using to teach pastors biblical exegesis requires that pastors also teach to others the same material that they have received. So when Anderson Jere takes what he has learned in ABI and in turn teaches it within his church we praise God for multiplying our labors and efforts. Please pray that God would bless the men and women we invest in - that they might apply the Word to their lives and be stewards of the training they are receiving. Of course there are many other examples we can point to as well.

I think it's appropriate to point out is that these things are coming about in part due to our long term focus in ministry. Multiplication, equipping, discipleship, relationship all have one thing in common - they take time and they require a "15 year focus" rather than an "15 month focus". Never give up in the work that you are doing and never abandon some of these principles because the great irony is that when we operate with the long-term in mind we will actually begin to see some dividends that last rather shortly...quicker than we would see if we operated with the short-term in mind. In other words, when we build for the long haul, we should also expect to see fruit from that - and some of that fruit will be evidenced quite early. We do not have to wait 15 years for fruit. The temptation is out there to make short-investments but what we need is long term investments. May we pray diligently that God would help us persevere and stay the course. Be encouraged, we are involved in a good work. May the glory of God be displayed in each of our lives.

In Christ,

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