We make our plans and the Lord laughs. I had imagined that I would knock out all of the tasks associated with launching a Bible College / School of Ministry. I hoped that after I reach out to all the churches in the Spokane region, they would embrace this uniquely better plan to help them grow their churches and expand their ministries. I expected that all of the people that I'd served and helped over the years would jump at the chance to help me crowd fund this grand endeavor. What can I say, I'm an unrealistic optimist. True story: Years ago, I would buy lottery tickets and be sincerely surprised when I didn't win.
To my surprise, the Lord has opened a door to train pastors and leaders in Haiti. This is not what I planned, but what our Omniscient God has provided. I am excited to share that in just a few weeks, and in cooperation with Happy Kids International, Atlas will begin a 1 year BETA test of our Bible College program. The BETA test is crucial to our future success in Haiti as we must determine where Haitian culture, values, worldview, and common knowledge intersect and divert from ours. You may find it shocking, but unless Haitians are educated by westerners, they are not taught critical thinking. Critical thinking is essential for employing sound hermeneutics and developing a good exegesis of the Scriptures. We will also have to create an educational process for three distinct groups of people. Group 1 consists of Haitians that can read and write English. Group 2 is Haitians that primarily speak and write Creole, and group 3, the last group we will engage, consists of illiterate Haitians (40 plus percent).
Full implementation of the program for groups 1 through 3 will take about 5 years and $50,000. At that point, it will be fully run by Haitians, and self duplicating. For example, a leader in a rural community who has completed the Atlas program, may be the only reader in their area. As an educated person, they will be commissioned to transfer the gift of reading to their community. As a spiritual person with a solid foundation in the Word of God and the ability to interpret the Bible properly, these individuals will be the "watchman on the wall" for their neighbors (Ezekiel 33:7).
I'm glad that God does not make his plans based on MY vision for how things ought to be. Team Atlas is really encouraged by what God is doing. We don't fully understand it, but we are confident that God has a plan for us. We know that somewhere in Spokane and throughout the world, our students await us. We are confident that God is with us and that with his presence comes his providence. The adventure is just beginning!
As they say in Haiti, Bondye Beni ou (God bless you)
Photo credit - https://forgingfutures.org/ They are making a difference for Haiti
Note - $50,000 is a rough estimate that includes travel and tech expenses only
Atlas Bible College - Classes Start September 5th - Join us for the Journey!
We all have portions of Scripture and impressions of God that really impact the way we think, live, and interpret the world around us. Isaiah is a good biblical example of this idea. In Isaiah chapter 6, he was called by God to be a messenger; a prophet. Read the passage below and take note of the picture of God’s holiness (v. 1-4), and Isaiah’s reaction (v. 5).
1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” 4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” Isaiah 6: 1-8 ESV
God knows me. He knows that if He gives me a year to complete a project that should only take six months, I will never get it done. He also knows that if He gives me six months to do a job that should take a year, I'll grind it out and get 'er done. That in mind, is it any surprise that He gave me 6 months to start our Bible College/School of Ministry?
We are making great progress. Now, all we need is money and students. Money is starting to trickle in as wonderful people begin to catch our crowdfunding vision, and our students are being prepared by the Holy Spirit to join us in September. I am praying for them. I hope you are too. This is shaping up to be a pretty cool adventure!
Thank you for stopping by.
This is the first post of the brand new Atlas Bible College blog. You can expect posts in three concentrations: Our Founder's Journey, spiritual development, leadership tools, and biblical interpretation.
If there's content you're interested in seeing, or topics you'd like us to cover, please don't hesitate to let us know. We want this blog to be a resource for our Atlas Bible College family.
We're excited to see what the Lord has in store for this ministry, and we're looking forward to creating and sharing meaningful content for you all.
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The Atlas Team
Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.