Bouncing Around The Globe

Greetings from New Zealand. I am including a picture of Katie Samsill feeding a kangaroo in Adelaide for the "Ahh" factor it will generate. I have pictures of penguins, wombats, wallabies, etc. as well as pictures of our meetings with local leaders, Bible study groups and times in the assembly I will include in later postings. We had a good seminar in Adelaide and then Dwight and I took off for New Zealand. It is an amazing thing to see the Lord's Church in places like Australia and New Zealand! I am abundantly blessed... as well as a little tired.

A Creative God

There are few places I have been where God's creativity is more evident than in Australia (though South Africa is certainly in the running - I will see the giraffes, zebras and baboons again this fall). Going to see some of the sites with the Samsill family, I have seen koala bears, kangaroos, wallabies, a duck billed platipus, little penguins (their actual name), sharks, sting rays, crocodiles, and other "odd" creations. I have pictures of all of these, and will show them to you if you want. Our God certainly is creative and loves variety. God certainly has created a diverse and beautiful world for us to behold. As I was thinking of how He made these unique and different animals, it reminded me of how much He loves us. Only a loving Father would go to such trouble to create a wonderful world like the one we live in.

Partnership

It is always exciting to visit one of our ministry training schools and to preach and teach in local congregations, but it is even more exciting to do it with a dedicated mission partner. Mark Samsill (pictured left) is a member of the Sunset Council, an elder of the College Hill congregation in Fort Worth (my sponsoring congregation) and a good friend and mission worker. With his family, he came to Australia to bless the Christians here and see this important work.  Mark and I have taught side by side in Malawi, Tanzania, Ukraine, Australia, Texas, Wyoming, South Dakota and probably a few plaves I am forgetting. He has spoken in worship services, classes, seminars and chapel services around the world in Sunset's International Schools and the congregations that support them. We will be returning to Malawi later this year together to continue in the efforts of Sunset and College Hill.

Receptivity

Greetings! What a blessing it has been to be back in Australia!  We had a blessed time with the Macquarie congregation (more on this later) and have been blessed by the team we already have in place here in Sydney to work with the Macquarie School of Biblical Studies.  Craig and Tomya Peters, with daughter Micah, seem to be a perfect fit for the school and congregation here.  They also seem to have a real appreciation for the culture and love for the lost here.  Craig serves as our Administrative Dean/Missionary here.

Heading Down Under

Greetings. I am, once again, on the road. I am presently in the LA airport awaiting a flight to Sydney, Australia. I will be visiting the Macquarie congregation, meeting with MSOBS (Macquarie School of Biblical Studies) personnel, having a seminar in Adeliade, Australia, meeting with our 2 AIM teams in New Zealand, meeting with the Auckland mission team, and speaking at the Macquarie lectures. What a great opportunity!  I will be meeting the Mark Samsill family (Mark, Kelle, Tyler, Colton and Katie) there and will enjoy being with our good friends from College Hill in Fort Worth.

Just When You Get Cynical...

While on a family vacation to Washington DC, the crime capitol of our country (at least this is what I am told), I became 'separated' from my camera bag which held several items including cameras and a cell phone. Panic sets in as your mind races back to everywhere you sat, everything you sat down and who was sitting around you just moments before. Your mind begins to expect illegal phonecalls on your cellphone, devious things done with pictures and pawn shops with barred windows. More than anything else, you think of replacing the items that are estranged from you. You call around for help and are told that no one has seen your bag and that likely someone has taken it. They tell you to just wait a few days, maybe someone will turn it in. You think to yourself, "Yeah right."  I came home and began making plans to move on and replace what was gone.

On Being or Becoming a Missionary

When people ask me for my job title, I try to tell them, but it actually makes no sense to most people. After spending a few minutes trying to explain what a "Dean of International Studies" is, I generally just say that I am a missionary to a whole lot of countries. I like the idea of having a mission and going on a mission. In fact, all who enter my office at Sunset have to pass a sign on my door that reads, "If God calls you to be a missionary, don't stoop to be a King." Sometimes, however, i forget what an amazing role I am allowed to play in the Kingdom.

Goracke Family Arrives In Singapore

Charles and Tamara Cook and the students of the Singapore International Bible Institute (pictured here as they completed a course taught by Charles Cook on Revelation) are excited that Tom and Nancy Goracke and their children have finally made it to Singapore!  Our team in Singapore is now complete and SIBI and the Pasir Panjong congregation can now multiply the current classes and mission efforts to surrounding countries. The Goracke family will be staying with Winston Chong (a deacon at Pasir Panjang that works extensively in administering our school) and his family until their apartment is ready to receive them. This is a blessed event and we are thankful to God and to those who are supporting the Goracke family for making this moment possible.

Letter From The Family Regarding Sunday Ekanem

We have received a letter from Sunday Ekanem Jr. regarding the burial arrangements for Sunday Ekanem Sr (pictured here).

As you will recall, Sunday was a graduate of SIBI (class of 1973) and was working with the External Studies Division and International Studies Division of SIBI in Nigeria at the CAO Essien School of Evangelism. I will share the letter with you in the space below, but want to first let you know that if you would like to help the family with a monetary gift to cover funeral expenses, that would be appreciated. You can send it to SIBI and write on the memo line "Sunday Ekanem family" or send a note with your check. Thanks in advance for your generosity.

In Him,

Chris

What We Are About At SIBI International

I was asked an interesting question on Sunday morning. I was asked what my job really was at Sunset. I answered that I am a missionary, the Dean of the International Studies Division and an instructor in AIM and Advanced Missions. He asked me, "Okay but what does that mean? What does this SIBI International do?" I told him about the 57 schools in 37 countries and what the schools were like, but this isn't what he wanted. We talked about the conversions, the congregations planted and preachers trained, but this still wasn't what he had in mind. He wanted a mission statement of sorts, and I thought it was a reasonable request. I have never been comfortable with using human words to describe a spiritual work, so I will let the Holy Spirit put our mission statement forth through the writings of the Psalmist.

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