Iraq Middle East Theological College Update
Our second two-class module for Middle East Theological College was held during this most recent visit to N. Iraq, and the first one in our new Ministry Center, which is nearly completely renovated.
For the first time, we had an Arabic-speaking lecturer, Pastor Ara from our Baptist Church in Baghdad. This is a major step toward our goal of all local/regional instructors. As Pastor Ara taught New Testament Survey, the students soaked in his teaching in their own language, and received his special insights into NT culture and its close relationship to the local culture as well.
Pastor John’s home going on March 30 cut the last day of classes short, but the students wanted to continue and move into the second class that I was to teach—Principles of Bible Interpretation. They wanted to honor Pastor John and his vision for this school, and so the next week we went ahead and I taught this class as well.
With some of our students leaving the area after the first class, and new ones coming this time, we continue to see momentum, even as we have intentionally started small. We are learning how the relationship we have with each pastor in the area will be key to seeing students come to our classes. Please pray with us as we work to deepen ties with more of the churches.
One way this was happening even upon our arrival in the city was our attending a small Baptist church that grew out of a pastor’s having to flee his home a few years earlier. He has begun a small but consistent work. John, Justin and I went just to attend, but as we met Pastor D., he invited to stay for tea and conversation. Through our time there, John was invited to return and plans were being laid for follow up conversation. One student came to us from his church the very next day!
Our work in the college also reminds us of the difficulties believers still face, especially those who come to faith from the majority religion. One such student joined us who was living in hiding from his family. His father had called upon the rest of the clan to kill him because he had chosen to follow Jesus. On the first day of our second week, he received a phone call and had to leave immediately. We don’t know what happened, but we are praying for him and others who face the cost of following Jesus.
Thank you for your continued prayers for this vital ministry to the Church in Iraq. We know that God has a plan and will continue to use this school for his glory. Our next module is in June.
– Craig Miller, Director of Educational Development