Pray BFF Letter #251
Friday, October 24, 2014
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I shall give thanks to Thee!
Dear Prayer Partners,
“I shall give thanks to Thee, for Thou hast answered me; and Thou hast become my salvation” (Ps 112:21).
Although I have landed safely back in America, my mind still seems to be in a cloud. Sorry I could not update you earlier! I had 3 studies to prepare for yesterday.
The training trip to the Philippines and Taiwan was wonderful. The Lord used your prayers to slow that oncoming typhoon (hurricane) around Japan so I could get in and out. The flight left early. You do not often hear that! Full finances came in. My health was fine. Calm on the home front. But most importantly, God’s people were further equipped and encouraged to minister! This challenge to equip God’s workers (Eph 4:12) always leads my way.
There were two full seminars in the Philippines. The first, in southern Philippines, was held north of the city to enable pastors, who don’t usually have access to training, to come. We can’t always do this, but when we can, we do. (Click pictures for enlargement.)
For instance, we held our seminar in a restaurant called Barbie Darhls. The place didn’t look suitable, but they did a tremendous job. The coordinator thought we could eat in 30 minutes and due to their kind and efficient service, it actually happened. Because the attendees needed to go home by dark, we could end right on time if not a bit early.
Reaching Beyond Mediocrity: Becoming an Overcomer brought great help and encouragement to these workers. The seminar trains them how to Biblically deal with personal struggles. This helps them personally as well in discipling others. They really appreciated the translation, though many could speak English. We not only handed out certificates for attendance, but received one of appreciation, also!
The second seminar, in a big church in Bacolod City, was quite a different ministry setting. This church, in contrast to most, actually has an active discipling program. Their many small groups, the pastor said, are inefficient in discipling but are great means for locating those eager to be discipled. My training was largely to better equip these small group leaders t o clarify the vision and understanding of discipleship. The pastor stated, in response to the seminar, that though they understood the form of discipleship, this greatly helped them in grasping what content they needed.
In this trip, I have worked with both key pastorsbefore. Each has proved to be faithful and devoted to God’s Word. May God enrich the pastors and leaders that attend the various seminars.
Taiwan’s trip was remarkable. I loved being back in the new Taiwan. We left in 1990 after serving there in the 1980s (Picture is from 1986). My only brief return was in 1997 as part of my study on revival. Taiwan has since modernized, much like Singapore. Where before it would take hours of hot travel, now nice subway and highway systems enable quick travel. The streets are now orderly (traffic cameras).
In the brief 4 days there, I traveled and met up with old pastor friends, one now also leading the Logos seminary (below 3,4) in Kaohsiung, and OMF Taichung missionaries (below 2). How exciting to discover that OMF now has quite a number of church planters in the neglected areas of Taiwan. I stayed with missionaries in two different spots. Our mother church, Wuchang (next page right), is now one of the leading churches in Kaohsiung and has recently started 8 more churches.
It was great visiting our old turf, including the Nanjing church (next page left), which we helped start with a great team back in 1986. The new pastor is excited about its recent growth. I met up with two parties from our church here in Pittsburgh (one - below right). So much to say but little space to write of the exciting stories of each meetin in Kaohsiung, Taichung and Taipei.
Our biggest prayer item is for guidance. Although it seems the training from this trip is over, each place (and more) sought me to come again. Your prayers have made these trips so helpful to many and myself, but I need to carefully seek God’s guidance for the future. One church in Taiwan wants a family seminar and so I am trying to line up other training opportunities at a similar time perhaps in Malaysia, Philippines and Taiwan to make the trip most fruitful. Pray for God’s guidance.
Thanks again for your prayer and financial support. Your prayers are making a worldwide difference!
Lots of Praises!
Each seminar went well with good attention and attendance.
All the support needed for the trip came in.
So thankful that not only STM support came in but also for BFF’s general fund. Thanks!!!
Every connection was made smoothly. Excellent times training, with pastors and missionaries.
Special opportunities to minister to needy people and share the gospel.
Kathryn has applied to one college.
Already have one seminar and its videos posted!
Join with me in rejoicing for such a fruitful trip!
Join Paul on Twitter! @PaulJBucknell
Teaching this Sunday on Romans 4:1-12 (Oct 26).
Full readjustment to being back.
Still to edit and post the Visaya D2 seminar.
Looking for guidance for next STM trip–probably to Asia.
My pastor friend wrote that a powerful typhoon knocked down 80% of trees in Vizianagaram, India (search images: Vizianagaram storm). We have sent some from our Love Fund for them.
Thanks so much for your prayers!
Rev. Paul J. Bucknell, President and Instructor
Biblical Foundations for Freedom
Phone/text: (+1) 412-398-4559 (Mobile)
3276 Bainton St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 USA
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