What a Trip!


I write this flying over the Gulf of Oman on my way home.  To pass the time (this flight is 10+ hours, and that gets us half way home) I’ve totaled my statistics for this trip. SPOILER ALERT: if you aren’t comfortable with numbers this isn’t for you.  So, all you non-nerds can jump ahead to the next paragraph while you who share my compulsion to count everything to better see and organize it are in for a treat.  I’ll give you the final totals. This year I lead 10 conferences: 6 for seminary students (graduate degrees in Bible) and 7 for pastors.  You are right – that doesn’t add up to 10.  Three of the seminary conferences also included a lot of pastors so in effect we had 2 conferences at once (and it was a bit challenging with such different audiences together).  We had an average of 4 sessions each day so 40 sessions in all.  A total of 561 pastors, 66 wives and 404 seminary students attended.  Since 2006 I’ve led 200 days’ worth of conferences for 8,800 pastors and 2,600 wives.  Pastor Moses and Rev Rick Reilly have led an additional 40 conferences for 2,000 more pastors and 500 more wives. That’s not counting all the church services we have done.  That means it costs about $20 per attendee for our conferences ($20,000 for 1,000 people).  In addition, it costs $25 to provide them with a stack of 15 books. (We gave out 15,000 books this year.) Thus, the cost per person is $45, an excellent investment for all the training they get – but it still adds up so keep praying and giving.

Now, for the general audience: I am very pleased with how the conferences went this year.  Each one was excellent, above what I was expecting.  The enthusiasm and response of those who attended was over the top.   Having so many graduate students provided a great opportunity to expose them to our books, web site and pastor’s blogs.

Living in India, traveling in India and teaching 4 or 5 full sessions a day is grueling, draining work, especially as I get older.  So, God provides dozens of moments of blessings and rewards every day.  For one things, it’s a joy and privilege to share God’s truth with those who are thirsty for it.  Virtually everyone is younger than me (I only met one older man this trip) and it’s exciting to use what God has taught me to influence them and their paths in the future.  I talked about what God expects of pastors and churches, including a short marriage retreat worked in. I traced the plan of redemption from Genesis to Revelation, showed them how to study the Bible and turn the results into sermons, dressed as Noah or Nehemiah a few times and always concluded with a session on spiritual warfare.

I have never regretted going into the ministry.  I think it’s the greatest privilege and honor to serve God full time in that way. If I had 100 lives to live I’d spend every one of them the same way. And if I could start off knowing what I now know, all the better.  That won’t happen for me, but in some small way I can help some of these committed men and women as I, in some small way, shape their future.

The content of the sessions speaks loud and clear to them.  “Very practical” is what I hear most often.  But it seem my style of communication excites and motivates them as well.  The creativity of what I do (gospel magic, dressing in costume, stories, pictures and illustrations, etc.) opens their horizons to what can be done to better communicate truth to children, youth and adults.  Methods of creative communication has become a theme within the conferences.  In India, when electricity is either not present or not consistent, it’s important to think outside the box.  That’s not always encouraged, so I am deeply touched by the gifted young men and women who talk to me or email me about how they can apply some of these forms to their ministries.  They like how I communicate as well as what I communicate.

Our conferences days are long and convey a lot of material, but there is only so much that can be effectively taught and remembered in one day.  Therefore, much of what we do is whet their appetite for more.  We want to motivate them to read the books and use the web site wherever they live, and to tell others about them as well. (January 28, 2024  Over the Gulf of Oman)

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.


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(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)

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