Dear Friends of the International Bible Teaching Ministry,
Season's Greetings from Atlanta. It is good sometimes to look back and take stock of how God has moved in the course of a year.
Issue 15: Year in Review, Synagogue Debate, 2010 Podcasts
This newsletter is a synopsis of 2009. Reviewing all that's been accomplished, three things strike me: the persistent thirst of so many disciples desiring deeper biblical teaching; how long a year it has been (a jam-packed year, which feels like two smushed together); and yet (still) how many needs remain unmet. Although there is far to go, positive signs are everywhere.
As I communicate with brothers and sisters from Santiago to Anchorage, Reykjavik to Capetown, Moscow to Hong Kong, Kuwait to Melbourne, I sense a genuine love for God's word and desire to grow. And as I travel globally, I'm constantly reminded of the mission. Such places as Panama, Bangladesh, and Colombia come to mind -- churches intent on evangelizing their cities and nations. Moreover, there are a number who have become Christians through this ministry, particularly in Asia and the Americas. It is always especially thrilling to meet new brothers and sisters in whose journey I've played a small part. It is, after all, the Lord who does the work. We are never more than the little girl who stands by her mother's side, stirring the soup, and yet proudly exclaiming, "Look what I did!" I also feel gratitude for what I have been given: education, the tools of technology, a good standard of living, and everything else that comes with living in a modern western society. I say this because, in so many cities I visit, church members' salaries are only a few dollars a day. I have so much, but at times complain about what I don't have. They have so little, yet understand their true treasure. Last, I often witness the power of the Spirit to change lives. In my travels I meet so many Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists who have come to faith (India, Iraq, Korea); people who've overcome trauma, such as civil war, natural disaster, or leadership challenges (Uganda, New Orleans, Venezuela); and many seemingly entrenched atheists who have renounced their atheism (Norway, Ukraine, Moldova). May many more be reached for Christ through this ministry, even more in 2010 than in 2009.
When I stop and think, I feel so small: how significant is the role I play on the stage of life, amidst thousands and millions of others who enter, say their lines, and depart. The one constant, the central figure in the spotlight, is Jesus Christ. As Paul said, "For we do not live to ourselves alone" (Romans 14:7). International teachers are members of teams: local teams of elders, preachers, and other leaders, and equally part of the worldwide brotherhood of believers.
Below you can see at a glance the overall impact of the 2009 ministry. Be sure also to take a peek at the exciting podcast plan for the New Year, at the end of the bulletin. But first, I'm eager to tell you about the latest IPI release, a debate/dialog with content, passion, and spontaneity. Keep reading....
PEACE DEBATE AVAILABLE
Who was Michael Jackson's spiritual adviser? And who is Oprah's favorite rabbi? That would be Shmuley Boteach (pronounced bo-TAY-ah). Would you be interested in watching a lively debate between yours truly and Rabbi Shmuley -- IPI's latest release? The event took place at Manhattan's Safra Synagogue, and this was our second debate. In fact, in April 2010 Vicki and I will share a Shabbat meal with Rabbi Shmuley and his family. (He and Deborah have 9 children!) Please say a prayer that during our third time together, Christ will be glorified. Click to ORDER the debate.
The Jacobys (L to R): Vicki, Lily, Emma, James, Douglas. Picture credit: Cameron Mackenzie. Not pictured: two cats and a dog. Location: North River Church of Christ.
posted by Jerry Maday