Teaching at Mindoro Bible College

Tropical rain seeped in through the narrow sheet of protective plastic into the undercover area of the trike. Our driver stopped and, telling us to remain, stalked off to what looked like a greenish looking farmhouse, presumably to ask for directions.

 

The rain was rising now, and around us I could see drenched rice paddy fields, with no-one in sight, and, more surprisingly, no noise in earshot – very different from the crowded streets of Manila, or even the small yet bustling metropolis of Calapan we’d left that morning.


‘Are you the Australians?’ The driver had returned, and with him a few smiling faces. Jumping out of the trike and quickly leaving our over-charging driver behind, we introduced ourselves to the staff of the Centre for Servant Leadership Program, the Bible College Iljo, our OMF friend, had asked us to teach at for her…


Bible college teaching – me?


At age 23, with only 2/3rds of a diploma of theology completed?


Teaching students I’d never met before, at a Bible college I knew next to nothing about, in a culture I’m only just beginning to scrape the surface of?

 

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I might not have known the students, the college, or even the culture of teaching in the Philippines, but what I do know well is the Bible. Thanks to my parents, my various church families, my theological studies in my gap year and my ongoing training with my AFES group, I have been blessed with good faithful teaching not just of individual Bible stories, but of how the Bible fits together as one book.

  
The students we taught knew their Bibles well (better, perhaps, than some of us at Mittagong Anglican!). Most of them, however, were not familiar with the consistent storyline of God’s grace, kingdom and covenant-keeping through the Bible. It was a joy to be with them as we explained how, even in Genesis 3:15, God promises a Messiah to right Adam’s wrong, an offspring who will ‘strike your (Satan’s) head’.

 

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We raced through the Bible together, on our search for this ‘snake-crusher’, seeing this promise extended in God’s covenants with Abraham, Israel and then David, until finally seeing the kingdom of God coming to dwell with his people in the person of Jesus Christ.

  
As we looked at the cycle of sin, judgement and grace throughout the Old Testament, we encouraged the students to interact with the teaching in creative ways, such as in drama and art. While this gave them a break from our Australian accents (which some found difficult to put up with!), it also provided inspiration for them to teach the Bible with similar approaches in their own ministries.

 
Most of the students are in their twenties, and are preparing for full-time ministry once they graduate in April. Please pray that these students will be faithful teachers of God’s word, and that he will use them to train up other young people in their church. We had a wonderful few days with them, and were treated with beautiful hospitality by staff and students alike. Short-term mission is at its most effective when it supports long-term work, and this was what we were doing, helping out not only Iljo and the staff of the college, but the students, as they prepared for lifetimes of ministry.

 

- Jono

 

If you yourself are unsure of how the Bible fits together as ‘one book’, then I recommend reading Vaughn Robert’s ‘God’s Big Picture’. Copies can be purchased from the church office or via Koorong.

 

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