The student models servant leadership, equipping others in a God-given direction through Christlike character, leadership capability, and love.
The biggest part of my internship was wrapped up in spear-heading a project for Keep Believing Ministries. By partnering with Trans-World Radio, Keep Believing has begun the translation, production, and broadcast into China of over 300 of Dr. Ray Pritchard's sermons. Broadcasting went live on March 26th, 2012 along with the Chinese web site JianXinZhenLi or "Keep Believing in the Truth." The site houses the mandarin broadcasts and scripts for download via the web or mobile apps.
Working with the board of directors and president of KBM I helped develop and design written material for mailings, fundraising meetings, and internet donations. You can see what I helped design and develop here:
Through attending seminars held by the Mission Increase Foundation, I developed a fundraising strategy to raise $300,000 (we currently have raised ~$170,000) by Spring 2014 that relies heavily on personal relationships and small home meetings to get the word out. I presented this strategy to the board of directors in October and it was implemented by late November. We continue to see donations come in from folks we've never met who have had their hearts stirred by what God is doing in China.
Along with the various fund raising duties, I was also responsible for the collection and organization of the the English sermons. This included prepping them for translation, organizing them under a new file naming system, and creating the needed meta data. An example of what I created can be downloaded here:
This was a very diverse and full ministry experience, much more so than I can communicate here. I've included a year end review that details more of what I accomplished and where I grew.
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DTS Definition of Cultural Engagement
The student demonstrates appreciation for the contributions of different cultures and is committed to evangelism and biblically based ministry with appropriate engagement with people in those cultures.
I spent two weeks in November, 2011 teaching 1st Peter at the Word of Life Bible Institute Bible in South Korea and then equipping and encouraging Chinese Pastors in Dalian, China. Below are the blog posts (videos and pictures included) and my wrap-up thoughts on both experiences.
The China trip was interesting on a bunch of levels and I could write about this portion of the trip for pages and pages because I have a lot of different thoughts on a lot of different aspects of this trip. For your sake (and the sake of my fingers), I'll par it down to 3-4 for things to share. So, lets do this.
1. The Pastors: You know those stories that revolve around incredibly intense persecution or involve some miraculous or unexpected Gospel presentation? The pastors we met seemed to have stories that included one or both of those aspects. It was as if they were reading their own stories out of a Randy Alcorn book. What was so striking is that many of these pastors had experienced very real, very intense persecution for their faith and that persecution, though it still stung, didn't dampen their love for Christ or lessen their desire to proclaim the Gospel. We talk about "living missionally" here in the states; this just seems trite and silly in comparison to the lives our brothers and sisters live under such great duress in China. Impressive and Godly would be two words to describe those brothers and sisters we had a chance to meet.
2. The Pastors Seminar: We held a pastors seminar for around 20 pastors from all over China, some coming from as far away as XinJiang. We all gathered in Pastor Peter's new apt and worshipped, prayed, and opened the Word together. Dad did the vast majority of the teaching (thankfully) and it was focused around dealing with discouragement and disagreement within ministry. I taught once from Jeremiah 20 on 4 reactions we should have in difficult times. In typical Chinese fashion, the men and women there were feverish note takers. The best times of ministry were done when we opened the floor for interaction and personal stories from the front lines. One dinner, we spent time just telling our stories about how we came to know Christ and how he brought us to the point we're at now. Really, this interaction with the pastors was the best part of the trip. We were let into their lives in a very personal way and were given front row seats to the stories of their Salvation and a recounting of their struggles and victories; it was amazing.
3. The Students: We landed in Dalian early on Saturday afternoon and Pastor Peter let us know to prepare to speak to a group of students who were meeting that night for worship and teaching. This particular group of students was composed of two smaller, student-led, university churches. They come together every so often to worship and fellowship together; this was the crowd we interacted with that night. Both Dad and I taught and then took questions from the group. It took a while to get the students comfortable with asking questions but once they started, they just kept coming. From questions like, "When we're in the valley's of life, how can we get out?" to "We know God is our Father, Friend, and Christ will be the husband of the church, how can a young man prepare to be intimate with Jesus without it being considered a sin (in reference to Homosexuality)?" Most of these students deal with the constant pressure of needing to succeed financially for their families and this includes getting the best grades, connecting with the right people, marrying the rich boys (for the girls), and eventually the taking on the of financial responsibility for their families. We would've liked to stayed with these students longer to answer questions and pray with them but as the nature of these meetings go, it was best not to stay too long in the apartment. It was a truly memorable time of fellowship with those bold and committed students. I hope our paths cross again.
The time in China was short and most days are a blur in my memory but these three experiences are clear in my mind and close to my heart. This portion of the trip was a new experience in China to me. You hear about these closed door teaching sessions and the tight need for security but to be a part of an event like that is something altogether different and amazing. One I hope to have the privilege to be a part of again as time winds on.
I created and prossed all the video the day on the same day.
The time in South Korea was more like spending time at a really nice camp in a mountain forest; the days were busy with studying and hanging with students. Here are some thoughts on the total experience.
1. The Students: There were 21 students at the BI on Jeju Island. Some of them from S. Korea, the US, Japan, Taiwan, and other countries. Some of them had been believers for most of their lives but most of them (the majority of the Asian students) had come to know Christ through English camps (think sports camps minus the sports and add English). This meant quite a few of the students were studying the Bible for the 1st time in their life. That, in particular, made it a joy to teach these students. The simple truths that I often take for granted were eagerly, if not greedily, hoarded by the students as if they were gold coins; this eagerness seemed inexhaustible.
2. The Teaching: Entering into the week, we didn't really have a plan for how we were going to "team-teach" 1st Peter. Niether my dad or I had ever done anything like it before so it was uncharted territory. I ended up teaching chapters 2 and 5 and other various portions (intro, theme, etc). I hadn't ever taught the Bible in a classroom setting verse-by-verse and it was certainly a challenge. You don't realize how much knowledge you need to have to teach it well and completely. Through watching my dad bring up some of the most obscure references (that made complete sense in light of the book) I gained an appreciation for the time it takes to teach a book well. Overall, the teaching portion of this trip was a blast and some great experience doing something I've never done before.
3. The People: The folks who run the BI made this trip easy to think about doing again. Not simply because they handle logistics well but in a deeper and more significant way, they loved us well. It wasn't unsual to sit and talk with Steve, the Executive Dean, for hours about any number of topics. It wasn't unusual to sit and talk John, their Theology Prof (and more), for hours about theology (and not in some lofty, heady, inaccesible way) and ministry. It wasn't unusual for their families to open their homes up for dinner or to take us out on the town for Korean BBQ. I suppose it's because of the smaller enrollement on Jeju Island but upon arriving, I didn't feel like I was a guest speaker, I felt like I was part of the team, part of the family. It's a rare thing to experience such hospitality and I was grateful for that.
There were other things but these three really encompass my experience at the BI on Jeju. When people have asked what Vanessa and I are going to do after seminary, I often respond saying something like, "We want to train the next generation of Christian leaders overseas." I usually say that knowing full well that I have no idea what that could look like. On this trip, I was given a better idea of what that could look like and that is something that will serve me well as I inch closer and closer to finishing my Masters here at DTS.
DTS Definition of Communication:
The student is able to persuade others with respect to biblical and theological truth through oral, written, and electronic media.
I had multiple times to teach over the trip to South Korea and China. I taught the book of 1st Peter, Haggai, and a sermon from the book of Haggai. Since a lot of the media is present in the "Cultural Engagement" tab, I'll include some of my teaching materials, outlines, and power points here so you can get an idea of what I taught.
1st Peter Teaching Outline
1st Peter Power Point
An Exposition of Haggai I wrote that I used for sermon material.
Through this internship I had the opporutnity to teach university students, pastors, and those studying at a Bible institute. I found that though I felt underprepared and inadequate, the Holy Spirit reall does do the teaching and transformation. I'm excited to continue teaching at the Bible Institute in South Korea and other opportunities that arise. This area of my professional experience needs refining that comes through repeated exposure to teaching opportunities.
Here is my resume!
Feel free to contact me at the phone number or email on the resume.
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The last few days have been an amazing time of fellowship with other brothers and sisters.
We have heard stories of the triumph of the Gospel and stories of the evils of Satan.
Through all of these stories one thing is clear:
Our Father is doing amazing things in this place.
Thanks for your prayers.
Please continue to pray for us and our brothers and sisters.
We have arrived in China!
Internet it spotty and video uploads will be more difficult than before, so we'll do what we can.
We landed in China and were basically off and running.
We had dinner with some local friends and leaders and spoke in their fellowship that night.
Dad teaching the small group of believers.
Dad makes an animated point during the morning service at fellowship.
Pastor Peter leads the congregation in worship.
Tomorrow, we start a 2 day pastors conference along with various other meetings along the way.
That's all from here.
Keep us in your prayers.