In two days, I leave for Africa, along with six other fellow-believers! Someone commented to me recently that the most difficult part of doing a missions trip is all the work you have to do before boarding the plane - after that it's easy! That's not far from true. The last few weeks have definitely been very busy.
Here's a quick update:
The money is almost all in! We've had over $23,000 given towards this trip, and lack less than $2,000 in reaching our goal! God is so good. Year after year, I am learning that God is faithful to missions. Thanks to all of you who have contributed to this work. You share in the fruit of what will be accomplished. May your reward in heaven be great.
The books are packed! We just barely fit everything in our alotted luggage. Nine out of ten our check-in suitcases are packed tightly with books, including 90 copies each of two John Piper books (Desiring God and The Supremacy of God in Preaching) for every student and staff member of BBTC, and a dozen copies each of another dozen or so books for the Strategy 112 students. We've also sent over 40 Reformation Study Bibles (for first year students, the second and third year students already have them) and have purchased in Africa 90 copies each of IVP's New Bible Dictionary and New Bible Commentary. This is the most we've ever done with books, and will be such a blessing to the students at the Bible college. Most of them only have old, used Bibles and perhaps one or two other books. Now they will all have brand new Study Bibles, as well as the dictionaries and commentaries!
The lectures are prepared! I will be doing about eight hours of lectures on expository preaching next week, and Rodney Tolleson and I will together be doing another 25-30 hours of teaching on various topics and workshops on expository preaching. I think I will be speaking twenty times in the course of eight days - and all the work is done! Of course this is not all new material. In fact, alot of it is material I've taught before and have just expanded or refined. But to have it all on paper, with handouts prepared, and notebooks assembled (Thanks to my secretary, Shirley) is a relief.
The grass is cut! That was this morning's job, after about three weeks of growth. Today and tomorrow are mostly days off, for which I'm thankful. Stephen and I went to lunch today (Long John Silver's - one of his favorite places!). Holly and I have a date planned for tonight. Tomorrow morning will be my last in-house visit to Starbucks before leaving the country, for a couple of hours of unhurried reading and reflection, followed by lunch with Matthew. Tomorrow afternoon I'll finish packing. Then we leave on Sunday morning.
Obviously, I won't be posting for a couple of weeks. But you can expect a report and some photos after we get back.