February 2014 Update
Larry & Sallie Fogle (2004)
FOGLE “PEP TALK” FEBRUARY 2014
PEP / Baptist Mid-Missions
REPORT ON PEP TRIP TO CHAD JAN 29 – FEB 17
Team-teacher: BMM missionary Tim Fink, who again stepped away from his ministry in ROMANIA to join me.
Hosts: BMM missionaries Dr. Joy Hart and Miss Anna Beth Wivell, and Pastor Takia Missi-Antoine (Director of the School of Theology). Joy moved out of her house temporarily to stay with Anna Beth, and left her house for the three visiting men (Tim and me, plus Joshua Hedges, a BMM missionary who serves as a Bibles International consultant, who was there at the same time for a Bible translation workshop).
Location: The small town of Balimba, just outside the larger town of Sarh in southern CHAD.
• BMM’s ministries have been located across southern CHAD since the 1930s; there are hundreds of churches and scores of pastors across the country. I was born in Sarh, so I really identify with this part of the country.
• Balimba is quite a mission center now, with two missionary homes, a church, a dispensary, the School of Theology (where Tim and I were to teach), and the Bibles International translation center (the hub for eight Bible translation projects in CHAD).
Primary ministries on trip: Teach a two-week module course in the School of Theology, attended by a total of 28. There were 13 registered students on three different levels, plus a number of auditors – seven student wives, six faculty and administrators from the school (who are also pastors), and two other area pastors. I would guess that the average age of those in the class was about 40, not just kids out of high school! At least 11 in class are currently pastors or have already been pastors, and the others are all involved in key ways in the local church and are headed for “full-time” ministry.
Module course taught: “The Pastor’s Life and Work,” a course that deals with the pastor’s qualifications, call to ministry, relationships in the ministry, family, duties as a pastor (especially focusing on preaching, administrating and counseling), and perils to be avoided in the ministry. The course is jam-packed with counsel for those wanting to be effective as pastors or pastors’ wives.
Response to the class: There was a great spirit in the class – eagerness to learn and a willingness to grapple with various issues related to the ministry. The interaction with the students was great, although more difficult for Tim who needed a translator in order to communicate. Everybody loved Tim, his passionate teaching and preaching, his concern for them and the problems they face, and his illustrations from his ministry among the “gypsies” in ROMANIA (a situation surprisingly similar to their situation in CHAD). We were both invited to return to teach again. We’re not sure how soon that can happen for Tim, but I have scheduled a return trip for May 2015.
Total number of speaking hours: 52 hours (including 40 hours of class, plus 6 chapels plus Sunday preaching opportunities) – Larry 23 hours, and Tim 29 hours.
Total number of decisions: 15 made specific decisions about specific issues discussed in the course of our preaching/teaching, and determined to make the required changes in their personal lives and public ministries as God had convicted them.
A few interesting things from the trip:
• Missing baggage. We arrived in Ndjamena, the capital of CHAD, late on a Thursday night – with neither of my suitcases. I declared the missing baggage, but knew that the next flight from Paris that could bring it would be the same flight three days later! We were to leave for the south the next morning by small chartered plane (a 2½-hour flight) – and there is no such thing in Chad as delivering your missing baggage to your door! We debated what to do – I could manage with the one change of clothing I had packed in my hand baggage as long as I bought some extra clothes, even used, in the market. But what I could not do without for the next two weeks were my extra blood-pressure meds. Plus it seemed such a waste to have worked so hard for weeks on the French notes for the course, and now leave all the student manuals behind as I went to teach the class! An early morning call to Dr. Hart in Balimba helped us decide that we should wait for the Sunday night flight for Paris. We rescheduled our chartered flight for Monday morning, and used our time well for study while waiting for the baggage – which did arrive Sunday night.
• An expert translator. Tim speaks Romanian but not French, so I was expecting to translate for Tim whenever he taught. That, of course, would eliminate one of the benefits of having a team-teacher with me, because after doing my own teaching portions, I would have to continue to serve instead of sitting down to rest. There were other reasons why I wanted Tim on this trip with me, so I was willing to do what I needed to do. But we were both relieved when Dr. Hart expressed her willingness to spend the two weeks translating for Tim in class!
• A Chadian missionary. One of the students, an experienced pastor himself, visited with us one afternoon asking for counsel. Many years ago he and his wife felt called to be missionaries among Muslims in a remote part of CHAD. They received their basic Bible training, but their home church wanted them to serve for a while as pastor of a daughter church that grew only slowly and required from them a great deal of patience. They have done that for ten years, but still believe that God wants them to be missionaries. They are back now for more training before stepping out to do what they have long wanted to do. Bertin came to us with a sense that they have wasted ten years of their lives; he went away with an assurance that God has used those ten years to develop in them the diligence and the patience that they will need in the future in a pioneer mission work.
• One problem after another. Our younger missionary colleague, Joshua, was in CHAD for a Bible translation workshop. He used to live in CHAD (in this very house briefly, in fact), until a medical problem required them to be based in the US for a while. Anyway, during the two weeks we were together, Joshua attracted all the dangerous things. He killed a centipede in our house. He killed a scorpion in the doorway of our house. He killed a foot-long (baby) poisonous snake just off the porch of the ladies’ house. Then he was stung by a scorpion – in his bed, under a mosquito net, in our house. (I wasn’t even using a net, but Tim began to ask himself whether by tucking his mosquito net around him he was keeping the scorpions/bugs out or in!) Then, to top it all off, Joshua came down with malaria in his last couple of days there and came back to the US pretty miserable.
Again we offer our simple thanks for your prayers and financial gifts; you are such an encouragement to us!
Larry and Sallie
Larry L. Fogle, D.Min.
PEP Pastoral Enrichment Program
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