A Year in View

What will this next year look like?

How easy planning would be if we had an answer to that one simple question, and then Jesus says, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34

As I write this, the Orality Institute Board is considering the decision of whether to travel to Malawi, or train over Zoom. This trip has been on and off several times because of the virus. Training for three ministries, in different locations, with multiple teachers, from two countries takes time to coordinate in order for everything to run smoothly.

We want everything to go well and to use our time wisely, so our response is to plan out the details and the back up plans. But there are things that we just cannot control, especially when it comes to international travel. Maybe in the past we thought we had control even though we were dependent on the Lord for everything. Jesus said, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26

For now, we plan a February 21st – March 11th trip, trusting that the Lord will work out details that we cannot see and cannot control. We go forward, knowing that He has called us to “Go and make disciples of all nations.” We keep in view this year, that God is in control, that He loves us, and that He is working out everything for His purpose and His glory. These past two years have reminded us again that training nationals to train their own people is the only way that the Word of God will reach the nations. When disciples start making disciples the result is multiplication and we need to empower others to carry on the ministry regardless of whether we can return. That is what Jesus taught His disciples when He was returning to heaven and looking into the future.

A Year in Review

When we take time to look back at what God has done, it can give us clarity on how we should proceed forward.

It is encouraging, amazing, and humbling to see all the ways that the Lord has been at work when His Word has been taught around the world.

In Uganda, we had three graduations, eight zonal meetings, and two board meetings. Each graduation and every zonal meeting was filled with excitement and anticipation. Pictured above are just the teachers from the Kamuli zone. How encouraging to see former students who want to see the Kingdom of God grow and are willing to give of themselves to teach others.

In the Dominican Republic, it was amazing to hear of how the unruly youth from an immigrant community were affected by the training and they began to talk about God in their school classroom. Their teacher was so amazed at the change in her students that she went to observe these classes for herself. The parents also noticed a change in their own kids, and they began attending the classes to learn the stories. News of this transformation began spreading among the members of the community and among the pastors.

In the Baja of Mexico, it was humbling to meet eight students from classes taught three years earlier. Three of them were working with students in the orphanage, three in the Bible College, one is a local pastor, and one a church member. All eight of them had continued to teach others using the oral strategy that they had learned.

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My Word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11