In just 2 short weeks from now, I am off to Lusaka, Zambia. My trip is centred around an opportunity that I have to teach at Hope College, a pastors ministry training college headed up by ministries (i.e. leaders) within our network of churches.
I am looking forward to this visit on several fronts.
1. It’s been a while since I was last in Zambia. It’s actually been 4 and a half years since my last visit, which is a bit crazy to think since I had been travelling down to Zambia once per year from 2004-2007. But coming into a transitionary situation like our church in Belgium, I needed to stay focused on the main task at hand. So it will be good to again walk the land, greet the people, teach and preach, and sip some Mosi beer down in the evening.
2. I will be teaching. In the past, my hand was a bit more in the arena of teaching at the college-university level. But I have now moved more into practical-pastoral leadership within a local church context. Both are good, both stir me in ministry. But at times, I do miss teaching. So here I am able to teach for a full week, about 6 to 7 hours per day. The topic will be centred around Genesis & Bible Themes – giving an introduction to the Bible as seen through Genesis, and then launching into some themes that run through the whole of Scripture. I’ve not yet taught this course, so it should be refreshing to approach something new.
3. I am also introducing a special project to the college, one of internet tablet training (think iPad, but it’s a less expensive Android tablet). The world is moving more and more towards electronic training resources. Amazon now sells more books via the Kindle and Kindle app than paper copies. So here is a resource for books, Bible translations, internet, email, social networking, Bible software, teaching notes, audio lectures and more. It does not replace personal teaching and training. But rather comes as supplementary. Currently, this is a kind of ‘tester’ stage, as I have raised money for 5 tablets thus far to be given out to a small group of pastors. If all goes well, if we receive positive feedback from the pastors in a few month’s time, then we can consider raising more funds to supply all pastor-students in the future. And not just in Zambia, but in varying other places around the world.
My prayer is for my family while I am away, as my amazing wife cares for our 2 boys. And that my heart be stirred and enriched in God, while seeing fruit borne during this time in Zambia.