Sunday was a good day in which I was able to preach in two churches, one in the morning and one at night. The morning service was a delight with great evidence of a mature lively church. It was a joy to preach and to have great attentiveness. I preached on Paul's prayer in Ephesians 3 talking about how his prayer is so different that the ones we usually offer. I mentioned that as I travel, I often am asked to pray for individuals and the requests are almost always about external circumstances, health, family issues, money, education, etc. In contrast, Paul mentions none of these, focusing on the internal, eternal issues in our lives.
In the evening church I did not feel nearly as good about the atmosphere of the church and struggled through the worship before I preached. I preached this time on John 17 and our oneness in Christ. Afterward I was bombarded with requests for prayer, yes, the same as always. But I learned that the church was only 1 year old and made up mostly of babes in Christ. Several came up for prayer that said it was their first time ever to attend a church; they weren't yet believers. Yet I saw I was one with this little new congregation as well, even though they were immature. A good lesson from my own sermon.
Monday was a holiday and we just lazed about, walking a bit on the beach, (a small perk that the Lord provided is that the beach is one block from our small hotel). A good rest after a long trip.
Today, Tuesday, was our first day of training and it went very well. The men enthusiastically offered testimonies of how Pathways was impacting their lives and churches. One man said that he was being transformed by studying the Word and so was his church. Another, a professor at the seminary, said they all used to preach junk but now preach the Word. All enthusiastically engaged in the discussion and study. It is clear the training is taking hold and changing them. What a blessing for me to have such encouragement.