Adventures of the Bible: A word from Mark Halvorsen

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."–Matthew 28: 19, 20
"And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others."–2 Timothy 2:2
 
Halfway through our family's first nine month stay in Liberia, the thing causing my heart to beat faster than anything else is MAKING DISCIPLEMAKERS! Not just making disciples, as good and important as that is, but really aiming to make disciples who make disciples who make disciples, in accordance with the verses above.
 
I feel like there's three primary ways God has opened the door for me to pursue this:
 
The first is leading the weekly adult Sunday school and preaching the weekly sermon at Eternal Love Baptist church. After spending five weeks discussing the significance of our words from James 3 and Proverbs, we're currently discussing Jesus' Sermon on the Mount in Sunday school. As for sermon series, we completed a 12-week journey through 1John, and will take 12 weeks on Ephesians, after wrapping up 2John, 3John and Jude. 
 
The second is "Discipleship Monday" and "Discipleship Saturday," open to anyone who wants to come and be real about what's going on in their life and ministry, as together we dive into God's word, prayer and fellowship. Our four most consistent attenders have been Bob Liberty, an on-fire Pastor of a small church who is perpetually inviting people to visit their fellowship; Johnson Chuluty, a dear brother who aspires to church leadership, but currently serves as more of an assistant to his Pastor; James Kollie, our most consistent attender, who serves as an assistant to his Pastor, with aspirations of more; and 25 year old George Grasco, our youngest regular, who has already graduated from Bible college, and has strong ambitions toward spiritual leadership and evangelism.
 
Thirdly, on a monthly basis I travel 4-5 hours to the village of Gbenequellah to teach Old Testament Survey at the Bible Institute for Church Ministries(BICM). This is a Bible training center specifically designed to better equip Pastors and aspiring spiritual leaders from the Interior, as their access to learning opportunities in the past has often been limited due to the remote location of their village. These 14-18 pastors and up-and-coming leaders are humble and hungry to learn and grow spiritually. They are especially enjoying learning from the "Action Bible," which Sheila and Jesse Cote so graciously provided  five copies of. It's been such a hit, they've made it clear to me they're praying every student will be able to have their own copy.
 
Additionally, other opportunities arise as well to build into people in a discipling manner. I'm slated to address about 50 people from the Interior Church Planting group over two days. And when I get the chance I love reading the Action Bible to interested kids to help them develop a better awareness and understanding of everything that's in God's Word.
 
So keep praying for us as we labor on into the second half of our first year in Liberia! As I begin most of my prayers, "God is good and what He does is good," but also, as Isaiah 55:8,9 tells us, "His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts."
 
God's best to you and yours in 2017,
 
Mark Halvorsen

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