by Preacher James Tan- October 2016

Bible College of East Africa (Tanzania)

Thank God for the opportunity to spend three weeks at BCEA (Tanzania), the sister college to the work here in Kenya, before the semester started here in Kenya. I was able to teach an English intensive course daily, help out in other classes, preach at the morning chapel and the Sunday church services. It was a joyful experience to labour with fellow FEBC graduates, Dr Park Seung Kyu, Rev Judah Pallangyo and Joseph Amoz, in the mission field. The work in Tanzania is difficult, pray for the missionaries, and especially for faithfulness amongst the 13 students there, that they would be humble to receive the training in the school’s programme, and follow the Lord’s call.

Bible College of East Africa (Kenya)
Thank God for the start of the semester, with 92 students for this last trimester of the year. After some changes in the subject, I am currently taking the subjects of: Gospel of John and Exodus (1st Year), Joshua (2nd Year), and 1 Corinthians (3rd Year). The subjects are three credit hours each, with twelve teaching hours per week. I have also been speaking on rotation, at the Wednesday evening chapel and the Sunday evening chapel.

One of the struggles that the students face is being faithful to the preaching and teaching of God’s Word. Some of them are used to preaching that is motivational, or experience-based in nature. Also in regard to doctrine, some do not seem to have a sure conviction, and struggle with what they have been taught in their own denominations over the years. Pray that they would be convicted by the Scriptures. Unlearning some of these erroneous beliefs is just as necessary as learning the right doctrines.

We are now having the mid-term break, where the students would take the mid-term exams (if required), and have a slight break (Thursday afternoon to Monday evening), where some would return home. The graduation service will be held on the 26th November, where God willing, the 4th year students would graduate, and some others from the 2nd-3rd year classes.

Campus Church Ministries
As for the campus ministries, I am currently speaking every Saturday, at one of the fellowship groups, where the members would stay around at this neighbourhood called Marui. We have to walk for about 40-50 minutes average to reach the homes of the members, crossing through a highway and also some slum areas. Most of the members are middle to old aged women. There are few men who attend the fellowship meetings, as their husbands are usually working everyday, or they are unbelievers. It is often tough for them, both financially and spiritually at home. However, most of the members are faithful in coming every Sunday, even though there are many other churches at their doorstep.

On Sundays, I am preaching on alternate weeks at the youth fellowship, and at the Kiswahili choir fellowship. Most of the youths have started working, and few are consistent in coming to church due to work. The financial situations of their families are often tight, and proper, decent jobs are not easy to come by. Pray that they will learn to walk according to God’s Word and will as they enter into the young adult stage of life.

Prayer Items
* Pray for strength and health, early morning prayer meetings begin at 530am, and the day usually ends at 10-11pm with writing and preparations. I would have 3-4 hours of lectures from Tuesday to Thursday.
* Pray for safety while traveling around, especially while on foot. Road accidents are common, and crime can be rampant at some areas. Foreigners can be easily targeted.
* Pray for wisdom to know how to minister to the fellowship groups, I am currently going through Isaiah chapter 1 with the Marui fellowship, and Proverbs with the youth fellowship.
* Pray for the college and faculty, that the Lord will continue to provide and guide according to His Word and will, and also for the campus church as they elect leaders.
* Pray for the students, that they will remain consistent and disciplined in their studies, duties and conduct.
* Pray for the graduating students, that they will remain faithful to the doctrines taught as they seek to enter the ministry, whether they who would return to their denominations or start a new work.
* Pray for the country, the government, and authorities, the elections are coming next year, and we do not know how the situation will change. Pray that my work permit (currently being processed) will be approved.



Compiled and commented by Sister Eileen Chee Published in True Life BPC Weekly 30 October 2016

(1) http://lutheranreformation.org/history/

Done by The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Focus on Luther and how the Lutherans have progressed (or regressed) from then till now. Brief, pictorial, maps of Old Wittenberg and 16th Century Europe. Look out for downloadable article on Reformation Remembered under “Theology”.

(2) http://protestantism.co.uk/
Although founded on the ecumenical objective of uniting all church denominations through the study of church history, its contents are surprisingly and ironically sound and accurate. User-friendly, attractive design. On this website, you can find a beautiful Timeline, and sufficient information about the Reformers, the Five Solas and distinctions between the various Christian denominations. Clear, and simple. It is almost like the sketches found in The Sketches of Church History. Engaging read. Good internet resource. The “95 Theses” can be downloaded from here.

(3) https://answersingenesis.org/christianity/church/the-reformation-of-the-16th-century/
An article entitled “The Reformation of the 16th Century”, all in one page; comprehensive.

(4) http://www.apuritansmind.com/the-reformation/a-history-of-the-reformation-in-the-16th-century-by-dr-c-matthew-mcmahon/
Free ebook entitled Reformation Made Easy. It is “A historical sketch of the key and principal characters and events of the Reformation in the 16th century. This is a summary of the immense work done by d’Aubigne. The whole summary runs about 240 pages. It is divided into ‘books’ following d’Aubigne’s outline of the Reformation.”

(5) http://www.reformation21.org/articles/the-importance-of-the-printing.php
A detailed article on “The Importance of the Printing Press–Part 1”. This first part focuses on the technology of the printing press, in order to help us understand how instrumental it was in advancing the work of the Reformation.

(6) http://www.reformation21.org/articles/the-importance-of-the-printing-press-for-the-protestant-reformation-part-two.php
A well-researched follow-up article, this one highlighting Luther’s skilfulness in using the printing press and how Germany was geared up for the full development of the printing press.

(7) http://www.gutenberg-bible.com/
Simple short information on the man behind the press.

(8) http://www.reformationsa.org/index.php/reformation
Done by The Reformation Society (South Africa). Many articles on the Reformation. So many that it is impossible to list here but worth a visit. Each article is easy to read. Excellent resource.

(9) http://www.modernreformation.org/default.php?page=articledisplay&var2=750
Entitled “The State of the Church before the Reformation”, the author draws out the failures of the medieval church and interestingly, finds similarities between the backslidden church then and today’s church. As similar mistakes are being repeated today, he suggests lessons from the Reformation that could help the church today.

(10) http://www.history.com/topics/reformation
Secular website by the History Channel but contains nice yet basic video clips on Martin Luther and the English Reformation.