Friday, February 16, 2007

VOMC's Educational Ministry Expands

One of the more rewarding developments for me personally here at The Voice of the Martyrs is to see how God has raised up a man who will be able to help me in our Via Crucis ministry and, in particular, in teaching our biblical theology of persecution and discipleship seminars (which we are thinking of calling In the Shadow of the Cross Seminars). Bernie Daniel joined VOMC last fall after having served from many years with Campus Crusade for Christ. An experienced teacher and former church leader in Eritrea, Bernie is not only a highly qualified teacher, but one of the most joyful believers I have ever met. His love for the Lord and for His people is contagious.

With my own health declining over the last year, and the demand for this training increasing, Bernie's joining us was providential. Last month, he traveled to India where he conducted 3-day seminars in Chennai and Heyderabad to hundreds of church leaders from across the subcontinent. The response was reported to have been terrific.

Of course, I am hoping that I will be able to pick up more teaching responsibilities later in the year, as the Lord continues to restore my health. But having another team member who can take this essential message to the Persecuted Church will only be a double blessing. I had been concerned for some time that, should something happen to me, the work that I have done on this subject would end up collecting dust. With the addition of Bernie to the staff, this is far less likely to occur. Like me, he also has a passion to see others take this teaching and pass it on to others. To facilitate this, he is working on a study guide for my book, In the Shadow of the Cross. And in his "spare" time, he is translating my book into Tigrinya for use in a shortwave radio broadcast into Eritrea and in hopes of eventually having the book printed for our brothers and sisters in this oppressed nation.

Pray for us as we prayerfully consider possible teaching opportunities for our In the Shadow of the Cross Seminars in 2007. We want to be sure that God leads us to leaders who have the ability and influence to equip others to stand firm in the face of persecution. There are some intriguing possibilities opening up. The response that we have received to our seminars has been overwhelming, with persecuted church leaders (some having been in ministry for many years) saying that they had never received teaching like this before. I believe that we have a timely message for God's Church around the world. Pray that the right doors will open to us and that we will be prepared to walk through them.

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