9 August 2018
The past 10 days spent in the company of Dr. Douglas Jacoby has been transformational.
He arrived Lagos on Monday July 30th, and for five days taught at the Ministry Training Academy. Our topic was Biblical Interpretation. He also preached in our region on Sunday, and the next day we left for Brazzaville [Republic of the Congo] and Kinshasa [Democratic Republic of the Congo].
Since he left two days ago I have been training 40 students in the Kinshasa School of Ministry on Biblical Interpretation -- using the same material Douglas taught at the MTA in Lagos -- but from a PowerPoint version I have translated into French. I envision many similar schools / programs emerging across French speaking Africa, in places like Brazzaville, Pointe Noire, Lome, Douala etc.
I learned a lot watching Douglas teach:
- His use of mission updates to encourage and connect Christians around the world
- His mastery of time and schedule
- His focus and ability to make people think, rather than get everything done for them etc.
Douglas has played a vital role in mentoring me, especially in the past 5 years during three of his Bible Study Tours, as well as during a one-week teaching trip to Ghana (2017), through premium access to his treasure house (the website), and these 10 days spent together.
I found these unedited thoughts in my journal from last Monday during our flight to Brazzaville: "Watching Douglas teach is simply an upper call in terms of biblical literacy, discipline, hard work, creativity, etc. Even yesterday's class was deeply inspiring on the Island -- his use of pictures (both real and virtual), his use of time, his sense of humor, and his ability to get people thinking, reflecting.''
Douglas encouraged me a year ago to build relationships with other teachers on the African continent, and that led to
- teaching at the MTA in Johannesburg this year
- teaching at an International Singles Retreat in Kenya, East Africa
- helping with translation at another MTA in Abidjan [Côte D'Ivoire] last month
- (now) teaching in the School of Ministry in Kinshasa, Central Africa.
My work will be recognized on 19 August 2018 through my appointment as a teacher in the Lagos Church and across our four families of churches in Africa.
I am praying for God to open doors to enable me reproduce the impact of Dr. Jacoby’s ministry across the African continent, but especially to use my language skills to bridge the gap that exists between French- and English-speaking churches on the continent. To date I have taught in 14 churches in 10 countries in the past 6 months -- and yet the need is enormous!
Update: I returned last night to Lagos after a memorable extra 4 days with the church after your departure. I was able to teach the foundations of biblical interpretation and left the material for Moses [Kinshasa leader] to continue where I stopped. The Kinshasa School of Missions might well become our 26th Bible Teaching program worldwide, especially with the needed support.
Note: IBTM (International Bible Teaching Ministry), thanks to your generous donations, was able to fly Gilbert to the Congo. We traveled together. 2 Tim 2:2. -- D.J.