My Trip to Mwanza, Tanzania

Ferdinand I

The above picture is one that was taken of Ferdinand and I during a recent trip (February 19–27) to Mwanza, TZ. When I went to Mwanza in 2007, Ferdinand was one the Bible Institute students that I taught. He is currently the manager of Grace Baptist Missions’ orphanage, Tumaini. It was great to renew my friendship with Ferdinand. The purpose of this blog post is to give a review of my tip to Mwanza.

A mission agency of Inter-City Baptist Church, Grace Baptist Missions, has established a ministry in Mwanza, Tanzania (below is a picture of two missionaries responsible for this ministry; they are standing just outside the entrance to the property of the mission’s land).

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This ministry has been responsible for establishing a number of churches, an orphanage, and a Bible Institute. The goal of my trip was to do a survey of the Old Testament Prophets in the Bible Institute. However, I arrived in Mwanza a couple of days before I began to teach. One of the benefits of arriving early was that I was able to see certificates awarded to the first group of students whom I had the privilege of teaching in 2007. The graduation services were held in two of the local churches. The first graduation service, pictured below, was at the Sweya Church on Saturday, February 19.

Sweya

This next picture is of the graduation exercises at the Nyakaliro Church on Sunday, February 20.

Nyakaliro

Once Monday came, I was ready to teach in Bible Institute. The students at the Bible Institute come from the local assemblies in the Mwanza area. Most of these churches have been started through the work of Grace Baptist Missions. The Bible Institute provides a biblical education that is designed to equip these students for ministry. One of the courses in the Bible Institute’s curriculum is designed to do a survey of the Old Testament Prophets. And, this is where I came in. In advance, I prepared a set of notes on the Old Testament Prophets which were translated into Swahili. My going to Mwanza was designed for me to teach my notes through a Swahili translator. Below one of the missionaries, Dan Eads, is standing just outside the Bible Institute. And, following the picture of Dan is a picture of myself, RJ and the institute students.

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I taught each day for as much as 7 hours, though I actually taught for less than half the time with the translator doing the bulk of the work. The next two pictures are of the students during class. An important part of having an interactive experience is to have a great translator. RJ is a great translator and is very interactive with the class. When you look at the second picture, don’t fail to notice that in the back of the classroom is Dan Eads with his mac laptop. Since I have used a Macintosh computer since 1986, I felt like I was at home.

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The next picture is of Leonard. When I saw Leonard, my heart was filled with praise for God’s saving work in an individual’s life. Prior to my trip to Mwanza in 2007, Leonard had been converted from a wicked life. In 2007, he audited two of my classes but could not take the classes for credit because he did not know how to read. Subsequent to that class, he learned how to read so that he is now able to take classes for credit.

Leonard

Because of God’s sovereign work of grace, my trip to Mwanza was encouraging. I was overwhelmed with how God is working to regenerate and sanctify his elect people living in Mwanza and the surrounding areas. This trip was great at reminding me how vast God’s work is in saving a people for himself from around the world. In concluding this post, I include two pictures of the missionary families living in Mwanza.

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RJFamily

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An Apologia for the 24-Hour Day View in the Creation Account (Part 3)

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On Friday, March 20, I began a three-part series at Sharper Iron defending the 24-hour day interpretation of the creation account. As I noted in my first part, because the tradition of Christian orthodoxy has a legacy of interpreting Genesis as a historic narrative, the prevailing interpretation of Genesis 1:1–2:3 has been that it is a record of God’s creative activity in six, consecutive, literal days followed by a literal seventh day of rest. The point of my first post was to provide a fourfold biblical justification for the 24-hour day interpretation of the creation account.

With my second post, I summarized four of the most prominent alternative views that have arisen largely as a result of the advent of modern geology and its claims about the (old) age of the earth.

With my third and final part that is posted today, I present three areas of weakness and a questionable presupposition that each view shares. To read this third post, go to “An Apologia for the 24-Hour Day View in the Creation Account (Part 3).”

My Day at the Campus Bible Fellowship

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Yesterday, I was privileged to speak about “Two Contrasting Worldviews” at the Campus Bible Fellowship at Wayne State University. Inter-City Baptist Church in Allen Park, MI is the local church partner for Campus Bible Fellowship at WSU. CBFWSU was given charter recognition in February of 2005 by Campus Bible Fellowship (to read more, click here).

The following picture is from my conclusion contrasting a Biblical-Creation Worldview with that of an Evolutionary Worldview.

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I gave a 30 to 35 minute presentation followed by a time for questions and answers. The men who met with us gave me their undivided attention. With my conclusion, I challenged the men to take up their cross and follow Christ. After my presentation, we had a Q & A session. Some very good questions were asked. The following picture is of the men during my lecture.

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Since people from every tribe and nation are found in the university setting, this presents a great evangelistic outreach for Campus Bible Fellowship (see Rev. 5:9). Some remained after our Q & A session and we gathered for one final picture.

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The Gospel and China

 

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 Yesterday, September 7, 2007 marked 200 years since the first Protestant missionary began his work in China. The name of this missionary was Robert Morrison, a Scottish Presbyterian. John Piper had a challening message on September 7, 2007 entitled Mark This Day and Marvel at the Work of God.Though the western world has limited knowledge about the gospel’s advancement in China—a communist country that has suppressed Christian missions since the middle of the twentieth century, I have heard of figures that estimate that there is anywhere from 40 million to 111 million Christians. I am convinced that God’s people, even in the midst of persecution, desire to snatch fallen sinners out of the fire and they do this by sharing the gospel. While we have limited knowledge about the spread of the Gospel in China, these figures verify a biblical truth that should create genuine worship and praise for our Triune God: God’s electing purposes cannot be thwarted.Because of God’s own good pleasure, he is saving out an elect people who transcend every tribe, language, people and nation (Rev 5:9). As Scripture clearly teaches, God only regenerates people in conjunction with the Gospel message. As such, God uses the necessary means of gospel-preaching, with missionaries such as Robert Morrison, to take the message of the resurrected Christ beyond their own lands in order to glorify their God as they see God’s people come to faith. This principle was reflected in the early days of the Church as the Gospel was proclaimed to Gentiles: “And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48). May God help us to glorify our God by being faithful in our witness both at home and abroad.