‘My understanding of the gospel has changed. I used to preach that Jesus is there to solve your problems because he has solved my problems. Now I clearly understand that Jesus did not die on the cross to give us a better job, a better house etc. He died on the cross for our sins.’
That’s Pastor James speaking. He’s an Indian pastor at a nondenominational church for migrant workers in the United Arab Emirates. Pastor James and many other church leaders in the Gulf region are reliant on the kind giving of Bible Society supporters for resources and training that help them gain a greater understanding of God’s word.
Pastors such as James are taking Systematic Theology training sessions via Zoom in the Telugu language, an Indian language spoken by many migrant workers in the Gulf region.
These are migrant workers who often struggle to make ends meet, especially during the pandemic. Many have lost their jobs and find it hard to support their families. Many have lost hope. Thanks to Bible mission in the Gulf, more and more are rediscovering hope through the gospel and the ministry of pastors such as James.
Pastor James expressed to us his great appreciation of the generosity of Bible Society supporters, which makes his crucial training possible.
‘My theological training is very limited,’ said Pastor James. ‘With my family and church responsibilities, I cannot go to a seminary. I am deeply grateful to God and to the Bible Society for bringing good teaching within our reach freely. Notes are available in Word, PDF and Power Point files. Topics such as the Bible, God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, Angels, Sin, Salvation, the Church and the future are taught. Proper knowledge of these topics equips us better while we do Bible stories and answer questions asked during our Bible studies.’
As for his move away from the belief that Christ is about solving our problems rather than saving people, he added, ‘Topics like how to become a follower of Jesus, marks of a disciple, and marks of a healthy church are helping us to have a strong foundation in faith. If not for the Zoom Bible teaching sessions, we would have remained in our ignorance.’
Another pastor, Sebastian in Kuwait, said, ‘Thank you for doing three [Zoom] Bible stories with our prayer group and three more stories for our children. Initially I was not sure if you would do a story for a small group. All our families and children enjoyed the Bible stories thoroughly. I have had an opportunity to see how you adapt stories to children and hold their attention. Thanks also for links for other recorded stories. Please, do share stories with our group and our children as often as you can.’
This vital Bible ministry, which supports pastors in the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain, is completely reliant on the generosity of people such as yourself. The impact your kind giving is having on discipleship, evangelism, church growth and training for pastors is immeasurable.
It is equipping pastors such as James who do not have a deep theological training and helping equip them with greater knowledge of the Bible. They can then pass this on to their congregations, which are flourishing thanks to your support.
Author: Simon Bartz, 23 September 2021 (Last updated: 27 October 2021)
We are so excited to be at Big Church Day Out this year, officially hosting spoken word at the biggest Christian festival in the UK for the very first time.