When a trained man is shepherding his church—teaching them sound doctrine and living out this truth in his own life and ministry—it transforms communities. The truth of the gospel preached causes churches to mature, saints to be equipped, and sinners to be saved. This is the efficacy of the gospel message and a trained pastor with a shepherd’s heart.
The truth of Scripture’s sufficiency is timeless and immutable, yet it is being set aside for what is more convenient for the sake of innovation. However, there will always be an inseparability between the Bible and missions. You cannot have God-honoring and truly effective missions work that isn’t directly derived from the Bible.
When we look back on this past year, we rejoice in the ways God has used men trained at TMAI training centers to strengthen their local churches and transform communities. And as we look forward to 2024, we see the urgent need as more men are seeking this training for the sake of this purpose.
In the words of the Christmas hymn, “a thrill of hope” is being proclaimed, and “a weary world rejoices.” Steadfast men, faithful to their churches, are enduring through bombings, invasions, and occupations, continuing to shepherd and preach to those who remain. And more men like them are being raised.
Around the world, souls are starting to hunger for the truth. The lies of the enemy have catapulted our world into a dark and disastrous agenda—all to lead us away from what is beautiful and true. This has been a reality since the Fall, yet in our modern day, we feel it even more keenly. Confusion is the weapon of choice. Many have fallen victim to these poisonous influences, and have become fatigued, weary, and deceived.
A believer named Robert shared how he saw a post about the Bibles on Facebook weeks before they arrived, and specifically prayed that God might provide one for him. A week later, his pastor told him their church would receive some. With a MacArthur Study Bible now in his hands, God used your giving to answer prayer.
Recognizing the present need, churches in Myanmar reached out to TMAI, inviting the head of the Pastoral Training Seminary (PTS) in India to train men in expository preaching. By the ministry and labor of PTS—along with likeminded ministries like Children’s Hunger Fund—many key faculty members in Myanmar were equipped, and a new training center for the nation was formed.
What are the means that God uses to transform someone who does not believe that they are a sinner? Who actively reads the Bible, but only for the sake of affirming a homosexual lifestyle? How actively is such an unruly adversary pursued by the local church?
The story he shares surrounds what God has done in the small church of his friend named Konstantin. Konstantin is a student of TMAI’s school in Ukraine who pastors a small church in the north of the country. His war-time ministry was first mentioned in TMAI’s August 2022 prayer email, and now his friend shares more of how God enabled Konstantin’s church to weather the war.
TMAI currently operates schools in various countries throughout the 10/40 Window, and the influence of these training centers extends well beyond their physical location. Not only can students from across the 10/40 Window join our programs, but, once trained, they can also go back out to spread the gospel among their native people and throughout neighboring countries, where Christ is rarely known.
Early this year, a ministry partner of TMAI in Croatia received an email that read like an SOS. Through his internet connection on his home island, 17-year-old Luka* reached out asking where he could attend a faithful church. And as Theological Biblical Academy (TBA) began to correspond with Luka, they discovered just how spiritually isolated he is.
“One of the reasons we stayed in Ukraine after the invasion,” said a TMAI professor and missionary, “is because we hoped the Lord would save more people as a result of the war.”
Men like Julio come to TMAI because they love God’s word, and when they return to their churches, they often see the Lord use His word in remarkable ways.
Miguel has a heart to equip others with the word, there were several years in which he and his church were not doctrinally aligned. The church held certain practices that were not driven by the Bible, and it pained Miguel because the church was also struggling through a time of trial. “We desperately needed to implement changes,” he thought.
Believers who live under constant threat and discrimination face intense temptations to grow weak and discouraged. What they need more than anything is the strength that comes from an ever-deepening faith in the gospel (Eph 3:14–19), and that’s why Christ equips His Church with local pastors who can help His body grow (Eph 4:11–16).
It’s easy to feel the world around us is growing more and more complex.
With so many issues and challenges demanding our attention, it can be hard to focus on the right things. In all the chaos, clarity and purpose can be tough to find. And yet, Paul reminds us that we must not be led away from “the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” (2 Cor 11:3). When we keep the glory of Christ our primary goal, we will find the focus that we need to lead us forward.
It’s clear that God has led TMAI into a time of increased international opportunities.
Last year, we tallied approximately 55 doors that the Lord opened for future ministry. Though exciting, the complexity of it all is sinking in. As our schools continue to expand and indigenize across cultures, we are seeing an increasing need to resource more languages. And yet, the opportunities keep coming, and when we stop to consider what’s before us, it’s not hard to feel the weight of it all.
It’s impossible to state how crucial a tool this is—to have a complete systematic theology…It’s the best gift you can give church leadership.
“…in order to make a real movement take place I think there has to be more than preaching. I think there has to be writing. And I think people have got to have—in front of them—words that aren’t flying by…words that are frozen on a page. And that lends itself to their thoughtful consideration of those words.”