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eNews August 2014
Ram Prasad Shrestha, the Executive Officer for the National Mission Commission of Nepal, gratefully receives a shipment of books from Langham Literature. The small school trains local pastors in Nepal, where resources to help study, understand and apply God’s Word are scarce.
Each year, with help from generous partners like you, Langham is able to send out tens of thousands of much-needed books and resources to pastors, theological students, libraries and ministries, like the National Mission Commission of Nepal.

Join us in prayer…

PREACHING:

  • Give thanks for the fruitful gathering of the global leadership team in July for key discussions regarding the work of Langham Preaching. Pray for Director, Paul Windsor and the rest of the team as they lead the Preaching Programme in regions around the world.
  • Langham Preaching Resources (LPR) is a publishing initiative from Langham Literature, designed to provide resources for the national preaching movements. The goal is to build a little library that is accessible to preachers and trainers around the world. Books have started coming off the press and many more are planned. Pray for the writers, editors and publishers – but also that God will use this initiative to strengthen preachers and preaching.
  • Join us in thanking God for the wonderful week in July with Langham Preaching in Papua New Guinea. Praise God for the growth in the local training team in both ability and confidence, and for the many different churches represented amongst the team of trainers and at the “Taste of Langham” days in Banz and Moresby. Thank Him for the good future planning for LP training in PNG with the desire the Church be built up to maturity in Christ.
  • Please pray for Preaching events happening in many parts of the world as per the calendar below. We would ask your prayers especially for another National Level 1 course being held in Indonesia 18-21 August with around 85 pastors and lay preachers coming from many parts of the country.

LITERATURE:

  • Please pray for perseverance for the team who are writing the New Testament section of the Arabic Bible Commentary and praise God they are now on the final strait! Pray for the team of editors who will soon start the hard work of editing the whole commentary.
  • South Asia Bible CommentaryNews just received from the South Asia Bible Commentary Team – ‘Overwhelmed with joy & gratitude to God on receiving the first draft of the Hindi translation of 1 Peter’ (picture right). Please pray for this very challenging task
  • The increase in the value of the Library Grant offered to our member colleges has been very much appreciated and this has been shown by an increase in uptake. Please pray for the large number of grant orders still to be distributed and for their safe and speedy arrival at the destination colleges.

SCHOLARS:

  • Give thanks for Dr Ma’afu Palu’s clear and challenging Keynote sessions at last month’s Melanesian Association of Theological Seminaries Conference, and please pray for his preparation and teaching next month at the Talua Training Centre in Vanuatu.
  • Give thanks Ronald and Qaiser had the opportunity to attend the Oxygen Conference in Sydney this month, and please continue to pray for them – Ronald undergoing treatment for his hearing loss, and Qaiser and his family as he continues his studies at the Melbourne School of Theology.

Upcoming Langham Preaching events

•   Aug 10-16 Colombia, Kenya, Bolivia, Zimbabwe
•   Aug 17-23 Costa Rica, Indonesia
•   Aug 24-30 Indonesia (Timor region), Sri Lanka, Nigeria, DR Congo, Panama
•   Aug 31 – Sept 6 Panama, Benin, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe
•   Sept 7-13 Benin, Argentina
•   Sept 14-20 Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda, Zimbabwe

Please pray for the Langham Preaching facilitators who will be involved in the training itself, and particularly for Paul Windsor, the Programme Director for Langham Preaching.


Breaking Down Barriers in Bulgaria!

In Bulgaria, 76% of the population belongs to the Orthodox Church, and Protestant evangelicals are generally viewed with suspicion. None of the evangelicals who had applied to the University of Sofia Orthodox Theological Faculty (the only PhD programme for theology available in Bulgaria) had passed the entrance exam. That is, until lawyer and theologian Kameliya Slavcheva made the attempt. She says about this experience:

Kameliya Slavcheva ‘From the beginning I was assured in God’s guidance and in the fact that He made things to happen. I knew that I was not accidentally in the Orthodox Theological Faculty. To be able to take the required exams, I had to learn Orthodox theology and understand and use Orthodox terminology. It was hard, but now it helps me a lot. First, because now I have many friends among my colleagues and teachers with whom I was for four years. Second, the Orthodox theology expanded my knowledge.’

During her studies, Kameliya consulted closely with another Langham Scholar, Dr Parush Parushev, who is the Academic Dean of the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Prague. As a result of her doctoral studies, she has become one of the premier experts on human rights and religious freedoms in her region, a vital topic where the religious rights of minorities are often ignored. God has opened amazing doors through her study. Kameliya now has opportunities to teach Church law within the Theological Faculty of Sofia University, as well as teaching on Masters-level courses at the New Bulgarian University. She also serves as Dean at the St Trivelius Institute, where she teaches her students ways to defend their religious rights and freedoms.

She says about her support from Langham, “A major difficulty was finding the time and resources to be able to read and do my research related to the doctorate. I had to work all day to take care of my family, take the time for the children and read at night. It was really difficult. Then Langham decided to support me. This gave me the opportunity to travel to find the literature that I needed and participate in various conferences, and to meet with different theologians.”

After her public defence (picture above), Kameliya received a unanimous vote by her doctoral committee to award her the degree, making her the first Protestant student to receive a PhD degree in Theology from a Bulgarian university, and the youngest Bulgarian Protestant to hold a PhD. Her public defense in Sofia was attended by people from Protestant, Orthodox, and Armenian churches, as well as the Union for Interreligious Dialogue and the Department of Ecclesiastical Matters.  Following in her footsteps are ten more Protestants enrolled at the Theological Faculty of Sofia University. Dr Slavcheva has helped to build a bridge between Orthodox and Evangelical churches in her country, and to deepen understanding of religious freedoms and human rights, all to the glory of God.


“The systematic preaching of the Word is impossible without the systematic study of it. It will not be enough to skim through a few verses in daily Bible reading, nor to study a passage only when we have to preach from it. No. We must daily soak ourselves in the Scriptures. We must not just study, as through a microscope, the linguistic minutiae of a few verses, but take our telescope and scan the wide expanses of God’s Word, assimilating its grand theme of divine sovereignty in the redemption of mankind.”  
John Stott, The Preacher’s Portrait 1988

Thank you for your prayers and support
Wendy Toulmin AM, Executive Officer, Langham Partnership Australia


 
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