Like Family

BTCP weekend class at our apartment.

The thing I like most about Bible Training Center for Pastors (BTCP) is that it is more than just a class. The shortest track is at least 400 hours of class time. When you spend that much time together it’s less like a teacher-student relationship and more like a family. We have a couple of traditions that I particularly enjoy. We always start off class with prayer. Often I am tempted to cut this time short, but I am convinced that better work is done during this time than any amount of teaching I can do. Our other tradition…which is a fairly recent addition, is a Friday-Saturday class one weekend every three months. We do this to get in the occasional “sprint” into our learning marathon so that we don’t start lagging too far behind.We make something special out of it, opening up our home and having meals together. It’s a time of fellowship mixed with teaching and though they are a lot of work for me AND for Liz, we both have come to enjoy them.
I was preparing for our latest weekend class on Thursday when I got a call from one of the students. He had called to inform me that his job did not renew his contract and since his visa was dependent on his work he was likely to have to go home for good. I asked him how he felt and he told me he wasn’t sure, yet. I was only the second person that he had called. He seemed to have a peace about moving on, even though he had been here for the last seven years. I think the two things that he most regretted leaving behind was the church that he is pastoring and our class. I was touched by his encouraging words, as I never really knew how much our class time really meant to him.
I don’t say this to brag. I say this to say thank you, all of you, who read, pray, and give so that we can be here and share life with the people that God puts in our path. And if you think about it please be in prayer for my friend and the church that he pastors.

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