transform Spring 2019
Langham Partnership News
A feast for
Leadership in Ukraine and Indonesia
The Bible in the Balkans
Word on the World
Equipping a new generation of Bible teachers
Chair of Trustees Mary Evans
National Director John Libby
International Ministries Director Chris Wright
International Executive Director Mark Hunt
Programme Director: Paul Windsor
Langham Literature Programme Director: Pieter Kwant PO Box 296 Carlisle CA3 9WZ E: email@example.com
Langham Scholars Programme Director Riad Kassis
If you would like multiple copies of this magazine for friends, church members, etc., please ask Liz Wright, address below. Please send donations to: Mrs Liz Wright 19 Whitfield Place, London, W1T 5JX Tel: 020 7209 0915 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Langham Scholars: so much in common yet diverse parts of the world
‘Giving a true legacy
CEEBC speaks into
A milestone for
Langham Preaching in Ethiopia
Word on the World 10
A study by Chris Wright
conflicts in our region
1 & 2 Samuel speak in Balkan conflicts
Langham Partnership’s Vision and Mission
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Have you considered including Langham Partnership in your will? Like many mission organisations we can benefit greatly when friends make a final gift that continues to bless the ministries they have generously supported in life. Once you have made proper and primary provision for family and friends this can be a very effective way to go on making a difference to the church on earth when you have joined the church in glory! If you would like to consider this option in your will please let us know and we wiill send you a helpful legacy leaflet. Contact John Libby: email@example.com If you would like to discontinue receiving Transform please email us on uk@ langham.org
Langham Partnership’s Vision is to see churches equipped for mission and growing to maturity in Christ through the ministry of pastors and leaders who believe, teach and live by the Word of God.
Our mission is to strengthen the ministry of the Word of God through: nurturing national movements for biblical preaching (Langham Preaching); fostering the creation and distribution of evangelical literature (Langham Literature); and enhancing evangelical theological education (Langham Scholars), especially in countries where churches are under resourced.
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Greetings from the
National Director: Discipleship calls for Depth!
ery much aware of the rapidly growing majority world church, John Stott reflected on a current description of the African church as ‘a mile wide and an inch deep’. According to “ first introduced by Preaching Today, the phrase was an American journalist Edgar Nye in 1889, the USA Platte River providing the basis for the metaphor; at times the river was, deceptively, no more than a very wide series of linked puddles. Our Langham founder was very concerned about the lack of depth amongst the mushrooming numbers of those attending church. He found those numbers encouraging but knew they certainly weren’t everything. Where was the investment in the appropriate leadership and training which would help succeeding generations avoid the pitfalls of heresy and personality cults; how could members be challenged to mission and ministry and cope with the pressure and questions that would surely result? Where was the godly desire for deeper discipleship? You can relatively easily observe and estimate ‘width’, but to find ‘depth’, at the levels we’re talking about here and without losing the metaphor, you need to walk through the river and get your feet wet. There’s no real short cut – we have Google maps, Google satellite and street views, but not as yet, Google depths! True to our founder’s vision, Langham focuses on adding to the inch rather than widening the mile. This is longer-term, more ‘below the surface’ work. What we find in this Transform are some exciting examples of those who Langham encouraged to walk through the waters with their indigenous church. Langham responded to their request for the resources that deepen discipleship. Langham helps train those who train the pastors and preachers, mentor the leaders, and who encourage the study, writing and reflection of their local authors, then shares those insights with the wider church.
This ‘deepening’ is what Langham is doing, and doing well according to informed, independent assessment: by invitation, walking with indigenous leaders and their fellowships as they move towards greater Christian maturity and in return, challenge us to do the same. This issue closes with the beautiful but sobering model of John the Baptist mentoring his disciples, coaxing them to deeper trust and faith as he himself in prison was being prepared for his sacrifice. Of course, it would be very presumptuous for any Christian fellowship to assess the depth of any other without allowing itself to be assessed by similar criteria. Part of Langham’s role is to enable relatively mature churches to recognise mistakes and share the enthusiasm and insights of many from the majority world. There is a further extension: it is presumptuous of any Christian individual to lecture their own fellowship about ‘depth’ if they themselves avoid their call to deepen their own discipleship. These accounts should challenge you (and me!) by giving us resources to reflect and pray, and then to share and so deepen the lives of those with whom we worship. Thank you for your support for Langham. It is our prayer that your discipleship might grow in depth as a result of your partnership and that you might encourage others to join you, and that together we might grow the inch into the feet that represent growing disciples!
John Libby National Director, Langham Partnership (UKI)
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Langham Scholars: so much in common yet diverse parts of the world Despite living over 7,000 miles apart, Langham Scholars Oleksandr Geychenko and Yuzo Adhinarto have much in common. They are both now presidents of Bible colleges in their home countries, Ukraine and Indonesia.
You may remember Oleksandr from Autumn 2017’s Transform. Two Scottish churches ‘adopted’ him while he studied at St Andrews as his wife and two daughters stayed in Ukraine. Oleksandr was installed as President of Odessa Theological Seminary in December 2018.
But churches there have “unprecedented opportunities” to share the Gospel and “Christian values in the public space”.
Indonesian Langham Scholar Yuzo Adhinarta, who finished his PhD in 2010, became president of Reformed Theological Seminary in Jakharta in 2016. Yuzo and his wife, Yuliwaty, have a son Jason (15) and a daughter Janice (10). These two men have the opportunity to shape future leaders in the Majority World, helped enormously by their Langham-funded studies. They are working in very different contexts. Oleksandr explained that
the situation in Ukraine has changed “tremendously”: “We find ourselves in the midst of war in the east of the country with thousands of internally displaced persons, daily casualties and many people suffering from post-traumatic syndrome. Association with the European Union opens a new wave of labour migration and brain drain in Ukraine.”
“The church leaders will inspire many to seek for God, to live for Him, and to do His will only when they’re nurtured and well versed in the sound biblical doctrine. With the presence of such leaders, the future of Bible teaching in Indonesia and the world will become a lot brighter.”
“The church leaders will inspire many to seek for God, to live for Him, and to do His will only when they’re nurtured and well versed in the sound biblical doctrine. With the presence of such leaders, the future of Bible teaching in Indonesia and the world will become a lot brighter.” Yuzo was also recently ordained as a teaching pastor at his home church, Gloria Abdiel Christian Church, in Surabaya. He has asked us to pray for him as he takes on this role, while remaining as seminary president. Both Oleksandr and Yuzo are extremely grateful to Langham for their support. Oleksandr made the difficult decision in 2014 to study in Scotland without his wife Tanya and two teenage daughters Olesia and Taia.
standards and practices to run and develop this seminary.” Yuzo has already developed a curriculum in order to train leaders to be “disciplemakers”. He was burdened to join with Indonesian churches to “wrestle with the Great Commission”. Yuzo plans to “make more strategic efforts to empower churches” in this. Many church leaders across Indonesia are impacted by Yuzo’s work in developing discipleship: “I hold national training sessions for small group leaders and trainers, I hold national seminars or theological consultations with church leaders, I also do some research and develop small group curriculum materials.”
“I was away from my family for significant periods of time which was rather difficult. Langham provided spiritual directors who helped me to cope emotionally with this and constantly encouraged me.” Yuzo also thanked Langham, because without their financial support, his PhD would not have been possible: “Langham Partnership also initiated annual regular meetings with a mentor to supervise, encourage, and edify me throughout the doctoral study.” By supporting the Langham Scholars programme, you are equipping leaders like Oleksandr and Yuzo who in turn shape future generations of Bible teachers across the Majority World.
Yuzo Adhinarta and family. But churches there have “unprecedented opportunities” to share the Gospel and “Christian values in the public space”. So Oleksandr’s vision is to build his seminary around “mission mindedness, openness to partnerships, academic excellence, transparency and trust”. “My PhD studies helped me to understand how mission, partnership and trust relate to each other and substantiate theological grounds for working together.” Yuzo Adhinarto also said his PhD prepared him for being president of a seminary, both theologically and socially: “Having gathered a lot of information and network connections during my studies in the US, I have a very valuable preliminary knowledge of good
Oleksandr Geychenko and his family at his induction service.
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true legacy It is Langham’s mission to equip a new generation of Bible teachers. Ever since John Stott saw the hunger for biblical teaching and resources in the majority world 50 years ago, we have been striving to connect people with the Bible through preaching, literature and our scholar programmes.
Through our faithful supporters, with their gifts and prayers, we have for 50 years built on the foundations of those who’ve gone before us reaching millions of people - equipping leaders, developing biblical resources and training pastors. You have been reading the amazing impact of this support in this edition of Transform. Just one example, in the past year alone, through gifts and prayer we have had preaching events in 73 countries, meaning over 10,000 pastors and church leaders have been helped in teaching God’s Word to their congregations. However, we realise there is so much more we need to do. By 2032 we aim to see 25,000 pastors and church leaders helped each year in their teaching of God’s Word.
Gifts in wills are among the most significant ways of ensuring the work not only continues but grows for generations to come; by remembering Langham when you make your will, you’ll enable people in the future to experience the teaching of the Bible for themselves. A gift in your will could transform thousands of lives by strengthening the maturity and the impact of God’s people around the world. Giving a true legacy. If you have been thinking of giving a gift in your will to Langham, we would love to hear from you, so we can thank you and share with you what your gift could be doing for generations to come. Please email Simon Foulds at simon. firstname.lastname@example.org in strictest confidence.
CEEBC speaks into conflicts in our region 1 & 2 Samuel is relevant to Balkan conflicts The Central Eastern European Bible Commentary (CEEBC) coordinator, Katharina Penner, reflects on Marcel Măcelaru’s editorial work on 1 & 2 Samuel. She says the Bible speaks into the conflicts faced by Central Eastern European believers today:
arcel M˘a celaru, an editor of the CEEBC, is Romanian but lives in Croatia (pictured) and has Croatian citizenship. “Marcel Valentin M˘a celaru is Romanian but also has Croatian citizenship. He lives in Osijek, Croatia together with his wife, Mirela (who is Croatian). So Marcel has good insights into Romanian politics and church life. He also has insight into the never ending ethnic conflicts in the Balkans. “These conflicts became irreconcilable, especially after Yugoslavia – which had comprised eight entities – fell apart, followed by bloody wars (in the 90s), ethnic cleansing and economic collapse. These entities – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Serbia, Vojvodina and Kosovo – are constantly in the headlines.
approaches on how to deal with it. “Some Christian leaders are also effected by ‘balkanisation’. It is difficult to work together, even though this would help lead to a more effective use of resources, human and financial. And it would be a much brighter witness to the Gospel. But that is not easy when sometimes identity is defined against each other, not with honour and respect for the differences of the other. “The Bible has many things to say about the calling of the Church. We are
to work hard to counter divisions and tensions with a message of unity. This includes loving “the other”, being the body of Christ where the “dividing wall of hostility” has been smashed. “While we usually remember the New Testament message on these issues, there is much in the books of Samuel which Marcel will bring out. He will apply 1 and 2 Samuel to Romanian and Balkan realities, for the Church to receive some guidance in everyday questions of ethnic conflict and godly leadership.” The CEEBC will include about 100 articles on various regional issues related to a Christian’s spiritual and practical life. 16 of these articles are already in the editing process, for which we should be thankful to God. So, please continue to pray for the CEEBC, which is set to be completed in late 2021/early 2022.
‘Balkanisation’ “There is actually a term – balkanisation, to balkanise – which was coined even before the 90s. It describes the fragmentation/division of something whole into hostile and uncooperative parts. The Church is not exempt from these tensions and there are quite varied
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Jennifer Cuthbertson, Langham Preaching’s Coordinator for Trainer Development, co-led the workshop. She used learnercentred techniques to teach the attendees how to lead Langham Preaching seminars.
Jennifer described the 14 participants, which included an Eritrean refugee, as “interesting, engaged and engaging”.
Mercy Ireri from Nairobi, Kenya, joined Jennifer to facilitate the training. And they were kept on their toes!
On their toes
On their knees
“There were young and older, pastors, professors, writers, a professional translator, Bible study and youth leaders, international teachers and denominational leaders.”
Jennifer explained: “Our classroom interaction was robust! Their engagement with the materials buoyed me and the final results — their facilitation of four seminar lessons —
“Ethiopia has a huge young population, the church is growing”
Attendees of the trainers’ workshop took part in learner-centred activities.
A ‘milestone’ for Langham Preaching in Ethiopia Last month, a diverse group of Langham Preaching trainers from across Ethiopia gathered at a retreat centre on Lake Babogaya to receive training themselves.
A ‘feast’ Frew Tamrat, Langham Preaching’s coordinator in Ethiopia, said the week’s training was a “feast that the Lord provided” for them. He said it was a “milestone” for the work in Ethiopia: “There is something coming – be expectant!” Another attendee said: “You can’t help but learn, through the way we were taught at the workshop’.
Please pray Please pray for the growing work of Langham Preaching in Ethiopia, particularly for work amongst Eritrean refugees and the ongoing Preaching Clubs around the country.
Participants brought to their knees in prayer were impressive. One of the teachings brought us to our knees in prayer.
Passionate “Three men came from the north of Ethiopia to attend the workshop. They lead a relatively new Langham work, rich in Preaching Clubs! Mercy is already making plans to visit them and their people.”
Ruth Slater, Associate International Director for Langham Preaching, also attended the workshop. She said the participants are all so passionate about the work of Langham Preaching: “Ethiopia has a huge young population, the church is growing. They recognise that now is the time to train those leaders, as they reach other young pastors in their communities.”
Mercy Ireri, from Nairobi, Kenya, came to co-lead the workshop in Ethiopia.
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Chris Wright puts himself in the sandals of one of John’s disciples who took John’s question to Jesus. The story is in Luke 7:11-23. Hope beyond tragedy When people lose hope they lose the will to live. Suicide rates among teenage girls in refugee camps are tragically high, and the commonest reason is the utter loss of hope and the shattering destruction of anything that seems worth living for. Can faith survive when tragedy destroys hope? John the Baptist may have given up hope in the hell-hole of Herod’s prison.
My name is Josiah, and I’ve been a follower of Jesus for years now. I was a follower of John the Baptist first, after my friend Gideon and I heard his message, confessed our sins and were baptized ourselves. Then John pointed out his relative Jesus of Nazareth and told us to follow him, so we started going around with the crowds following Jesus and his little group of close disciples. We didn’t abandon our master John, of course – especially after Herod threw him in prison, which was a horrible rat-infested dungeon. He couldn’t have survived there if we hadn’t visited him with some food and clean water.
Jesus must be a great prophet (like Elisha I suppose), and that ‘God has come to help his people!’ Well, Gideon and me, we legged it back to John in prison as fast as we could and told him what we’d seen and what everybody was saying about Jesus. John was impressed, but not quite sure what it meant. And he was in great pain from hunger and beating. So he said, ‘Of course he must be a great prophet, if he raises the dead. But is he really the Messiah? Or is he simply another forerunner of the Messiah, like me.
‘A great prophet!’ One day we were in the crowd when Jesus arrived at the village of Nain. It was a sad day there. Everybody was wailing out loud. There was a widow and her only son had died and his corpse was being carried out on a stretcher to be buried. Jesus was really touched by that mother’s grief, then he stopped the stretcher and told the young man to get up. And the dead man sat up, started talking, and hugged his mother! What a sight! The crowd began to shout that
After all, according to my father, I was born to be a great prophet and God was coming to rescue us. So if Jesus is the Messiah, why has he not overcome our enemies and got me out of prison? Surely Herod would be no match for the Messiah!’ He shook his head for a while, and then spoke directly to Gideon and me, ‘You two go back and find Jesus. And ask him directly, “Are you the One who is to come, or should we wait for someone else?”’ So – off we went again, two men on a mission! It seemed a pretty important question and a lot depended on the answer. When we found Jesus, it took a while to get to talk to him - he was surrounded by people in all kinds of suffering and sickness, and he was walking among them, talking to them, touching and hugging this one and that, healing, comforting, freeing people from evil spirits, taking someone’s head gently in his hands as he gave them sight, or helped them hear and speak. It was riveting to watch. Eventually, he took a break and his own disciples brought him some food and water, and we took our courage, went up to him and told him what John had asked, ‘Are you really the One who was to come, the Messiah, or should we wait for somebody else?’ I’m not sure what we expected Jesus would say to
that. Would he be angry, ‘Of course I am! Can’t you see my halo?’ or something?
Look around you! He just smiled and put his arm around us both, and turned us around to look out at the crowds. ‘What do you see? What can you hear?’ he said. ‘Go and tell John what’s happening here.’ It was a bit disappointing, really, since we’d already done that after what happened at Nain, and John wasn’t convinced then. How would this help answer his question? I mean, why couldn’t he give a clear Yes or No? Well, we didn’t argue (not a good idea, we’d noticed, with Jesus). We just headed back and reported this to John. At first John hung his head in what looked like disappointment and despair. If he hoped he’d be getting rescued from prison, that hope seemed to have gone now. But then he looked up and asked, ‘Is that all Jesus said?’ ‘Well, not quite all,’ we answered, ‘but the rest of it was just telling us what we could see for ourselves.’ ‘Yes, but what did Jesus actually say?’ John persisted. ‘Well,’ I answered, trying hard to remember his exact words, ‘he said, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard, the blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” Like I said. We could see all that anyway!’ John stared at us for a few moments. Then his face slowly broke into a huge smile through the pain and dirt of the prison. And then he started to chuckle and cough with laughter. ‘What?!” we asked in surprise. ‘Don’t you get it?’ he grinned. ‘Can’t you hear that Jesus is speaking like the prophet Isaiah? Typical Jesus! He always has to connect the dots by quoting Scripture. Listen, boys!’ And then John (who knew vast chunks of the Scriptures by heart),
quoted these words to us in a trembling but triumphant voice. say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.’ Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. [Isa. 35:4; 61:1]
‘Your God will come’ ‘It’s him, all right,’ said John as he stopped laughing. ‘The promised One. I was right! Blessed be the name of the Lord.’ And as we joined him in praising God, another thought occurred to me. That prophecy of Isaiah said, ‘Your God will come....’ and then all these things would happen. So if Jesus is now doing what God promised, who is Jesus? Not just a great prophet. Not even just the promised Messiah. In Jesus the Lord God of Israel has come among us. It took my breath away, just thinking about that. Well, that gave all of us in the prison with John that day renewed hope and faith. And just in time. For all our hopes suffered the devastating shock that, not long afterwards, John ended up with his head on a plate
in Herod’s palace. And not many months after that Jesus ended up bleeding to death with his hands and feet nailed to a Roman cross. How can your faith survive when both the masters, on whom you pinned all your hopes, are brutally slaughtered? Two things kept us going, and still do. First of all, God raised Jesus from the dead! No kidding! And we saw him one day along with about 500 others – more alive than even that day we’d talked to him. So we know that if God has defeated death itself, in the death and resurrection of his own Son, our Messiah and Lord, well then, there is hope, real hope, no matter what happens (even if they kill us, as has already happened). But the other thing is this. That word of Isaiah doesn’t stop with the wonderful things Jesus did in his earthly life. He goes on to envisage a whole new creation of joy and abundance that we know still lies ahead. We can endure shattering shocks and tragedies now, because we know that one day we will walk with the redeemed in the city of God, when, as Isaiah promised, everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away [Isa. 35:10] God kept his word when Jesus first came. So we know he will keep his word when Jesus returns.
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Giving a True Legacy
s part of a local mentoring club, led by her Langham-trained pastor Peter (pictured below), Jane learns how to share the Gospel in her community. “God’s word – it has really helped people”, she explains. “the children, orphans, the widows – we go and we speak with them. Now that we are equipped, we can encourage them with God’s Word, and they respond by coming and joining us in the churches.”
Jane’s love of God and His Word overflows to impact the lives of the most vulnerable in her community.
Training from Langham helps Pastor Peter equip Jane to share God’s Word in her community.
Join the Langham family Around the world, our founder Dr John Stott is known as ‘Uncle John’ for his own personal legacy investment in Langham – a gifting of all of his book royalties. Please consider joining Uncle John and others in the Langham family by including Langham Partnership in your will and equipping faithful Christ-followers like Jane in over 130 nations.