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“Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes and I shall keep it to the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your Law; indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it. Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to covetousness. Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things and revive me in Your way. Establish Your Word to Your servant, who is devoted to fearing You. Turn away my reproach which I dread, for Your judgments are good. Behold, I long for Your precepts; revive me in Your righteousness.” Psalm 119:33-40
The Importance of Libraries
Libraries preserve history and truth and make accessible a treasure-trove of wisdom, insights, knowledge, biographies, devotionals, examples of excellence, commentaries, dictionaries, handbooks, concordances, atlases, encyclopaedias and much more.
The Father of Modern Missions, William Carey, launched the Greatest Century of Missions with his electrifying sermon: “Expect Great Things from God! Attempt Great Things for God!”
The Desperate Need for Accessible Leadership Training
There is a tremendous need and hunger for literature and leadership training throughout Africa. However, one of the ongoing problems is that most of those who leave rural areas for urban training institutions tend to stay in the urban centres and are lost to the rural communities who sent them for further training.
Urbanisation and Diaspora are Depleting Church Leadership
Similarly, most of those who go to first world nations for further training tend not to return to their third world countries of origin. In this way, the church is haemorrhaging in Africa. Some of our most promising leadership candidates are failing to return to their communities. The rapid urbanisation and mass movement to first world countries is devastating to local congregations. Most pastors in the rural areas where we work have no tertiary education at all.
Every year Africa loses 23,000 university graduates. This includes the very teachers, doctors, engineers and other qualified professionals that Africa most desperately needs. This does not include the many hundreds of thousands of others who left for training overseas and never returned.
Most of the pastors of rural areas where we work have no tertiary education at all. Numerous provincial hospitals are paralyzed for the lack of a single doctor. Not that the community has not produced doctors, but most of them have moved to the city, or emigrated overseas.
Sudanese Christians in America
During a recent ministry trip to the USA, I spoke to a Sudanese Christian Fellowship in Omaha, Nebraska. Many of this congregation had come from Sudan many years ago to study. There were numerous doctors, teachers, technicians and engineers amongst them. They informed me that there were over 30,000 Sudanese just in the city of Omaha. I presented an inspiring slide presentation on what God is doing in Sudan and challenged the Sudanese Christians to seriously consider returning home to help rebuild Sudan on Biblical principles. I reminded them why they had come to America and undertaken their studies in the first place and how much they were needed back in Sudan.
In June, we participated in the Bible School Consultation, hosted by Mukhanyo Theological Seminary. 70 Participants represented 20 Bible colleges from all over South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia, Malawi, Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe. We were brought together in a lovely Christian lodge with blue crane, springboks, swans and ducks in the tranquil environment. When we saw a bushbaby in one of the trees, it made me miss my bushbaby from Angola who used to sleep in my pocket as I hitchhiked around the country and would come out and play all night!
Tombstones of Seminars
There were tremendous and important presentations at the Bible School Consultation. Professor Flip Buys from Potchefstroom University presented a horrific exposé of the abuse of very young children accused of being witches by so-called church leaders in the Congo. The need for a thoroughly Biblical and practical training for our ministers and missionaries is essential. He laid out the Seven Tombstones of Theological Seminaries:
The William Carey Bible Institute is a Reformed, Evangelistic, Biblical and practical leadership training programme. Inspired by the steadfast example of the “Father of Modern Missions”, Dr. William Carey, this Institute is dedicated to changing lives and transforming cultures.
THE ROOTS OF EDUCATION
The pursuit of the knowledge of God in a systematic, philosophical and in-depth way led to the phenomenon of universities all around the world. It was the Christian Faith that gave rise to the very idea of higher learning. Christianity has been the greatest force for education throughout all of history. Most of the world’s languages were first set to writing by Christian missionaries. The first book in most languages of the world has been the Bible. Christianity has been the greatest force for promoting literacy worldwide - throughout all of history.
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US President Barack Hussein Obama has raised the issue of the Crusades as “evil done in the Name of Jesus Christ” as some kind of justification, or distraction, from Islamic Jihad today. It is impossible to understand the Crusades without first understanding the five centuries of Islamic Jihad that preceded it.
A Reaction to Jihad
The crusades were a reaction to centuries of Islamic Jihad. Muslim armies had conquered most of the Byzantine Empire. The enemy was literally at the gates of the greatest Christian city in the world at the time, Constantinople. Muslims had conquered Spain, Sicily, Southern Italy and many of the islands in the Mediterranean Sea.
Persecution and Piracy
Vast territories which had once belonged to Christians were now under the rule of Islamic rulers who abused the Christians, looted churches, kidnapped, tortured and ransomed Christian pilgrims. Millions of Christians were being enslaved by the Muslim world. Muslim Pirates were threatening Christian shipping. Christian lands were threatened by Islamic raids and full scale invasion.
400% Increase in Persecution
The persecution of Christians in the 10/40 window area of North Africa, the Middle East and South Central Asia has increased by 400% over the last 10 years. Some of the worst persecution of Christians is taking place in the Arab nations of the Middle East, particularly in Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, in the Muslim dominated North of Nigeria, in Sudan, in communist China, North Korea and in Buddhist Burma.
Coptic Christians Targeted in Egypt
In Egypt, Salafis Muslims are kidnapping Coptic Christian girls for forced conversion to Islam and marriage to Muslims. Coptic girls have also been subjected to violent attacks on the streets. Frequently these knife attacks are by Muslim women wearing hijabs (a black face covering with only narrow slit for the eyes). These hijabs prevent the assailants from being identified for prosecution.
Over 3,000 Christians are imprisoned in Eritrea and all missionaries have been expelled from the country.