Persecution in the Middle East: August 8, 2012
Because overseas scheduling can be fragile, I often wait to announce Aqueduct seminars until the arrangements are as settled as possible. So when I was invited several months ago to give a seminar in Faisalabad, Pakistan, I waited to see whether my application for a visa would even be processed before sharing about this opportunity. The Middle East has been on my heart for some time, and I was looking forward to the possibility of working with our Christian family there.
Shortly after setting up a tentative schedule in February, I received some terrible news: the ministry center where I hoped to conduct the seminar was brutally attacked by religious extremists, leaving several Christians badly wounded and the future extremely unstable. Let me thank you in advance for taking the time to read the full story at http://www.aqueductproject.org/persecution and for joining us in prayer for the ongoing situation.
Reflecting on the Incarnation: December 16, 2011
Last Christmas my wife’s parents gifted us with a beautiful African nativity set, a reminder not only of the holiday’s true significance, but also of Gerlinde’s own childhood on the mission field in Tanzania. As we set out our nativity set this year, we participated in a tradition that not only appears all across the globe today but has an almost eight-hundred year history! Francis of Assisi is credited as the arranger of the first nativity scene in 1223—a vivid illustration that God, in the person of Jesus Christ, “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). The incarnation is the heart of the Christmas story, and it has profound implications for our understanding of theology and evangelism too.
I hope you will find the time to reflect with me on the significance of the incarnation at the Aqueduct Project website, and I wish you a memorable and meaningful celebration of Christ’s birth this holiday season. http://www.aqueductproject.org/incarnation
Reflections on the Arab Spring: November 15, 2011
On December 17th, 2010, a small protest began in Tunisia that sparked a wave of revolutionary demonstrations across the Middle East. As this “Arab Spring” takes an increasingly important role in the global arena, I find myself asking what this means for the church in the Middle East.
Many Christians have responded to the Arab Spring through talks, books, and Internet dialogue, but as I continued to mull over the questions raised by the developments of the past year, I was reminded of a conversation I had with Brother Andrew several years ago. Although most famous for his work in Communist countries during the Cold War, Brother Andrew has dedicated much of his time in the last three decades to strengthening the church in the Middle East. His words have continued to bring clarity and comfort to my own thinking over the past year, and I would like to share them with you.
I hope you have time to check out the full article on the Aqueduct Project website, and I hope you will join me in praying for our Christian brothers and sisters living through these turbulent times in the Middle East. http://www.aqueductproject.org/arabspring
Next Stop: Asia: October 12, 2011
“One of the greatest challenges facing churches in China is training enough pastors to keep up with the booming Christian population,” claims a September article in Singapore’s The Christian Post. This assessment puts the problem most succinctly. Rev. Gao Feng, president of the China Christian Council, however, puts it most colorfully. When describing the theological problems caused by this lack of education, Gao Feng recounts the story of a church that was found to be teaching “that Jesus had already returned as a young woman.”
Many Asian countries share China’s struggle to equip pastors fast enough to meet their needs, and the problem has only grown more acute over the recent decades. Through Aqueduct Project, I’ve been blessed to work alongside Christians in Africa, the United States, and all over Europe, but as I look at the globe it’s impossible to ignore the needs of Asia. Please join me in praying that God would open doors for a 2012 seminar in Asia. http://www.aqueductproject.org/nextstop
An Interview with Tony Weedor: September 15, 2011
It’s a familiar conversation starter: if your house was on fire, and you only had time to grab one thing, what would it be? The game’s a simple one, but it offers a surprising window into our values and priorities.
It’s also a situation most of us will never face.
This past April, I had the privilege of meeting a man from Liberia who faced this exact scenario. Tony Weedor and I met at a conference in Orlando, and as we walked from one seminar to another, I asked him to share a little bit of his story. I realized within minutes I was listening to something remarkable. We reached the building where the next seminar was going to be held, and I discovered it was owned by the Jesus Film Project. On the spot, I rented out a studio and was able to record Tony’s story.
I hope you have time to click over to the Aqueduct Project website and listen to Tony’s story. I think you’ll be surprised to hear what took with him when tragedy forced him from his home. http://www.aqueductproject.org/weedor
Miracles in Nigeria: August 31, 2011
When was the last time you experienced a miracle? That question wasn’t on my mind as I prepared for my trip to Nigeria, but by the time I flew home I knew I’d just witnessed three. The seminar was also our largest to date, and sharing the teaching with Moses added an incredible richness to our discussions on how the theology of the ancient church fathers applies to current African issues. Beyond the success of the seminar, God used my time in Nigeria to change me as well.
To read the story of the miracles God worked for us during my time in Nigeria, please follow this link over to the Aqueduct website. I’d love to share the full story with you.
Thank you too for your prayers. God answered them in ways that humbled and awed me. http://www.aqueductproject.org/nigeria