A Week Of Giving Thanks...

“I can put it in their head, but the national can put it their heart.” Mike Olson.

Mike delivered these words during chapel to the students at Bear Valley in Denver as he spoke about the work in Vanuatu. Mike is part of a team of graduates from the Bible Institute that began working in Vanuatu just over 6 years ago. One of the most powerful lessons he expressed involved the statement above.

It characterizes what the entire Extension Program is all about. The goal of this work is to train men in their own country, culture and language; to put the word of God into their heads so they will put it into the hearts of their own people. As you read through the reports this week, I believe you will have a better picture of what this means and how it works.

Thanksgiving is Thursday. I feel it is important to take a moment to share with you a few of the areas I am thankful for most in this work.

I am thankful for the generosity of both the congregations and individuals who so willing make the financial contribution necessary for this work to grow.

I am thankful for the incredible staff of coordinators who labor both stateside and abroad to develop this work. They work to raise money, travel countless miles, prepare classes, and work with the men “on the ground” to train faithful men to teach others.

I am thankful for the dedicated men who serve as directors and teachers in each location. These men are the real heart of success in the work. They labor diligently and sacrificially. They endure the challenges of keeping these students on task in preparing for the work.

I am thankful for the diligence of the students who leave their families to attend school. They are willing to survive on very little to gain much. Their love for the Lord, His church and the lost drives them to do whatever it takes to learn God’s word and share it with others.

I am thankful for our sacrificial love of our Savior. Because of His love for the world, He left the glory of heaven and came to this earth to offer Himself for our sins. He took upon Himself what we deserved. Without Him, we would have no hope or need for an Extension Program.

I am thankful for a faithful God who has given me the opportunity to be part of a work that involves the greatest men and women I have ever known. You are all a wonderful blessing in my life and I count it the highest privilege and honor to be working with you.

This is only a small portion of my heartfelt gratitude. The list truly goes on and on, as I am sure it does for every person who is involved in this work. We have many reasons to be thankful this time of year and every day of the year.

Coordinator Updates
Reports from the coordinators are now located on the website, under Staff Reports. The address is /extension-schools/

Keith Kasarjian and Mike Reese recently returned from Kenya. We are looking at the potential of establishing a school in Western Kenya. Read more in Keith’s report.

Extension Reports 

Reaching The End Of The First Year: Neal Pollard and Josh Austin are wrapping up short courses to complete the first year at the CBIW. This report shares news about their trip.

Graduation And Master’s Classes In Takoradi: The West Coast School of Preaching held graduation recently, combined with classes in the Master’s program with Gary Fallis.

Growth In The Church And School In Togo: The outreach of the current and former students at the Center for Biblical Studies is having an impact on the development of the church in Togo.

Cambodia Mission 2011: Wes Autrey shares news about a recent trip to Cambodia. Several from Bear Valley traveled to participate in the work of the church and school.

Classes Move Forward In Tamale: The work of training men to preach is not slowing down in Tamale. Brother Baah’s report this week talks about the upcoming classes.

Efforts To Be A Self-Supporting Congregation: This is the ultimate goal of any location. Seeing the efforts in Uganda to help congregations reach this goal is encouraging news this week.

Christianity At Its Best: Learning many of the basic, yet powerful, truths from God’s word are usually found in the most unusual places. Cy Stafford’s report shares an incredible account.

One More Soul Rescued From Satan’s Grip: The Gee report emphasizes the growth of the church in Arusha.  

Final Thoughts
Well, what do you think? It has been a pretty awesome week in the Extension Program. Let me just close by saying you are all appreciated far more than I tell you. Thank you for being involved in the work of training men to preach the gospel.

I pray you each have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. 

God bless

Posted on November 20, 2011 .