Greetings in Jesus name,
This is just a little write up synopsis to give feedback from the recent mission trip to the Harvest Bible College UPCI, located in Glasgow Scotland United Kingdom, November 2018.
Brother and Sister Kelley, developed a burden for this portion of the world dozens of years ago, and the fruit of their labor is now manifest today in the New Life Pentecostal Church and the accredited Bible College called Harvest Bible College. The name of this college is absolutely appropriate, because this ministry and all of those associated with this ministry have one theme in all that they do: Reach the world and be the laborers’ to reap the harvest for the souls of mankind for the kingdom of God. Every aspect of this work in Glasgow is based on the big picture of harvesting souls. Shouldn’t this be true for us all?
I was visiting with Sister Kelley one day and during a general conversation she mentioned to me that she has spent her ministry life trying to get people to see beyond themselves and obtain an understanding that all we do is greater than we as an individual, and greater than we as a church that is located in a specific area. Somehow we have to get our people to think beyond themselves and see the “church” from the perspective of God. This being said, truly is the vision of the UPCI in Glasgow Scotland and it comes out in virtually all that they do both in the Bible College and in the adjoining Church.
My purpose for being there was to teach a two week course as part of the Harvest Bible College Curriculum “The Historical Books of the Bible” This is the portion of the Bible that begins in Joshua and ends with the book of Esther, this period is referred to as the 12 historical books. It covers the period of time that the Jews left the wilderness and entered the promise land, eventually get taking away in captivity due to sin, and ultimately the release from Babylon to rebuild the temple and the walls in Jerusalem. This time covers the ruling of the judges, the establishment of kings such as Saul, David, Solomon, the building the first temple in Jerusalem, and etc. In other words, there is a lot of material to cover in two weeks.
I had 9 first year students in my class, if memory serves me correctly they have had as few as 3 and as many as 16 first year students. One needs to keep in mind that this college is the only UPCI accredited College in all of Europe! Europe is made up of 50 different countries. Brother Kelley is responsible for most of Europe with regards to overseeing missionary works in this part of the world. Sister Kelley is mostly responsible for the running of the College there in Glasgow. When Brother and Sister Beek return from deputation in the USA they will then pastor the New Life Pentecostal church and will also join in the missionary efforts of the UK, Channel Islands along with other areas of Europe. This return will be a big relief for Brother and Sister Kelley who has been pastoring the church in their absence, along with their other important duties. I am telling you these are some high energy people and all that they do is ministry minded for the kingdom of God. From what I can tell every fiber of their existence is ministry and missions. It was in inspiration to be with them and the other staff including Brother Hefner the Academic Dean of the College.
Graduates from this college are now located in 17 different countries, and they have contacts with others from other countries. The scope of what is taking place here globally is actually somewhat hard to fully comprehend. Of my 9 students, I had students from France, Botswana Africa, Columbia, Ecuador, Ireland, and the United States. Four of my students English was their second language, and one student in particular spoke in four different languages. I must admit I had to change my teaching method just a bit to help my students that were learning English at the same time as they were learning the material needed for the tests and written paper assignments. Part of my preparation work involved putting together the curriculum that I would actually be teaching to cover the major themes, people, places, and lessons to be learned from each book. I also developed the homework assignments, exams, and then the grading point scale for the work to determine final grade percentages. This is the work that I was doing prior to my departure.
I come to learn that at the time when I met Brother and Sister Beek in Augusta while they were on deputation at our church, it truly was ordained by God. I was told that it can actually hard to find someone to teach the historical books curriculum for the two weeks and it would place a very large burden on the small staff at the college if they could not find a guest instructor. When I offered up my services to the Beeks’, it filled a much needed void for this school year. However, it also filled a much needed void in my personal ministry of which I had been seeking the Lord about in a great way.
I would like to share a short testimony that took place while I was teaching one day in class. My class consisted of two hours with a ten minute break in the middle. As I was nearing the end of the second hour I was expressing to the students how the Lord loved his people even when they would fall into great unbelievable sins he gave them opportunity. I then turned to them and told them that they were so special that of all of the places in the world they could be they were at Harvest Bible College in Glasgow Scotland. I was telling them how much the Lord loved them, and that no matter what happens after I leave and in their lives with future ministry that the Lord always loves them and will always provide a way out for them if they turn to Jesus. Humble themselves and pray and seek the Lord so the Lord can come and heal their situation (2 Chronicles 7:14). During this time of encouragement the Holy Ghost filled the room, and I noticed a couple of the students starting to cry as the Holy Ghost moved upon them, as we started to all pray others including myself started to be touched by the Lord. It was a beautiful and powerful move of God that interrupted a formal classroom setting, and he reminded his people including me that he loves us so much when we are focused on him and doing his will. However, if we ever stumble and fall, he will be right there to help us if we turn our ways upon him. Just like he did over and over with the Israelites. It was beautiful!!
In conclusion: Praise to the Lord, I have been formally asked to return as a professor adjunct and the door for routine and consistent missionary work at Harvest Bible College has opened for me and it will be a large part of my ministry calling for the years to come. However, this also has an impact on the First United Pentecostal Church of Augusta, for you now have a local missionary who will be returning annually to Scotland and together we all will be doing the work of God there.
If I could leave just one thing with the saints of God here in our assembly that would be remembered from me when I am departed from this life, it would be this: The church and this Christian life is so much bigger than us, it isn’t just about me, and I(we) have to consistently think beyond oneself. When Pastor Paul Records (deceased) baptized me in Jesus name 25 years ago in a small little Pentecostal church in Lander Wyoming, he had no idea that this young man at that time would later be traveling the world furthering the gospel in a global way. All he was concerned about at that time was having the lord save my soul and adding to his little flock in that small home-mission church.
Perhaps this is why I am called into the ministry that I am called: my thinking has always been and continues to be so much bigger than me. I see that I am just a small tool in Gods great big toolbox, but my purpose is so much more than “what can I get out of it”. We can work locally, but we have to be thinking globally. Thanks to all of the saints of God who prayed for and supported this aspect of Global Missions. My report to you is this: Together we are having an impact on this world, and together we will return at the appointed time and continual the work that has been started at Harvest Bible College. You are making a difference and just keep the faith and continue to think beyond oneself. God’s blessing to all.