William Ndawula preaching his excellent sermon Husbands' small group at Kilifi, KE mariage conference
The women who prayed for me in Kilifi, KE
Expository Preaching--He "gets it"!
At the expository preaching workshops, I concentrate on analyzing passages of Scripture, and then emphasizing four aspects of the sermon that should flow from the analysis of the passage: (1) the "proposition" (i.e., the one big point of the passage); (2) the organizational sentence (a brief "roadmap" the preacher should give the listeners about where he will be taking them); (3) an issue or problem-based introduction (the issue of people's lives which the passage of Scripture deals with and provides the answer); (4) specific application (how the passage can be applied in people's lives to deal with the issue or problem of life raised in the introduction). All of these concepts generally are new to the African preachers. It generally takes at least two (or ideally three) expository preaching workshops for the students to really "get it." At the workshops, I preach to illustrate what I am talking about, and then a number of the African pastors will preach on the passages we analyzed. The entire group then critiques the sermons. On Zanzibar one of the two African preachers clearly understood all of the concepts, and preached an affirmatively good sermon. Praise the Lord!
Marriage conferences and more
After leaving Zanzibar we traveled to the coastal city of Tanga, TZ for a conference on biblical marriage and parenting. That was followed by another marriage and parenting conference in Kilifi, Kenya. We concluded this trip with a conference on 1 Timothy in Mombasa, KE. I always try to have good African teachers do as many of the marriage teaching units as possible, because there are such strong cultural influences that affect marriage. I don't want to come across as telling the Africans that their marriage relationships must look like Western marriage relationships, because Christian marriages can be expressed differently in the different cultures of the world. (One huge problem with the early missionaries is that they, in effect, equated Christianity with Western culture.) On the other hand, the Bible confronts us in areas where our culture is contrary to God's plan for our lives. Thus, we begin the conferences by looking at what culture says about the relationship and roles of husbands and wives, and then see what the Bible says. Small group discussions among just the women and just the men are always very enlightening and productive, as both groups come up with practical suggestions where they commit to make changes to create better marriages. After I returned home I got an email from my TZ coordinator, Joram Ibrahim, who said, "my marriage is now renewed. We have started a new honey-moon. . . . I believe there are as well many other marriages which are reformed." That is so imprtant, since marriage is spiritual; it is a picture of the relationship betwen Christ and His bride, the church (Eph 5:32).
An interesting day
On the last day of the Kilifi marriage conference I woke up at midnight realizing that I had to get to the (outdoor, pit latrine) bathroom NOW! I don't know if it was something I ate, malaria (as my African friends thought), or some other parasite I had picked up. But that entire day I was very sick. I spent all day in bed (in between my seven trips to the toilet). Ernest Mwilitsa and Tereza Amayo finished the conference for me. I was unable to eat anything. My friends were so concerned. The old Pentecostal bishop at the conference led prayers for my health, and said that what we were doing at the conference was so important that the evil one wanted to disrupt it. About 9:30AM all of the women who worked at the compound where we were staying came into my room to pray for me. This was not a brief "please heal him, Lord" type of prayer--but began with singing, lots of fervent prayer, speaking in tongues, and lasted for about 15 minutes (until I told them that their prayers evidently were working, as I had to make a visit to the toilet). They were very sweet. By the evening I felt well enough to make the 1 1/2 hour ride to Mombasa (praying that I would not throw up or have an "accident"). I made it OK. I was still sick the next day (Sunday), and only able to eat some soft fruit. By Sunday night I felt considerably stronger, and by Monday morning I felt pretty much back to normal, and was able to complete the 1 Timothy conference which began that day without problems.
Despite precautions (I never eat salad or uncooked vegetables in Africa or drink unbottled water) these things can happen. That is why I am grateful for your prayers and, of course, for the prayers of my African friends. I am amazed at how quickly the situation cleared (God uses prayer).
I am now home until August 20. I will be finishing a comprehensive set of notes on Biblical Eschatology, and will be able to begin, if not complete, an important addition to my notes on Biblcal Stewardship. God bless you all.