On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. – 2 Corinthians 1:11 NIV

In the Northern Hemisphere, this weekend marks the end of the summer season. Most kids are back at school on Monday, many colleges and universities are starting back up, and most all of those who were lucky enough to to surf, loaf, bake on a beach, and maybe chill at a cottage somewhere are getting ready for September and autumn. What have the ICOC teachers been up to this summer? Here’s a smattering of a few of our ICOC teachers’ recent endeavors:

After 34 years teaching chemistry and physics, Dr. John Oakes (San Diego, California, USA) officially retired in June 2018. So what does retirement look like for a disciple of Jesus Christ who is also a recognized Biblical author and teacher? John kicked off his retirement with a self-funded three- week missionary teaching trip to Russia, Japan, Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan. Read about what he learned and what he taught on this trip here, at evidenceforchristianity.org.

John taught a series of lessons on the Book of Luke at the INSPIRE International Singles Conference in Phoenix from Aug 31-Sept 1. Notes, power point and audio will be posted at evidenceforchristianity.org In addition, he will be teaching a four-part series on Daniel in September and October, as well as a six-part series on the Book of Acts. Be looking for all materials at the website, or if you live in the San Diego area contact him for information so you can attend ( john.oakes@gcccd.edu). Also, John is teaching a class on the Book of Hebrews with Robert Carrillo for the Los Angeles School of Ministry and Missions September 13-14. Click here if you are interested in attending. Lastly, John and Jan will be traveling to Israel, Amman Jordan (10/30-11/3), Beirut Lebanon (11/3-11/6) and Cairo, Egypt (11/6-11/12) for a missionary teaching trip October 22-Nov 12. If you can attend any of these meetings or want more information, contact John about these meetings.

August 2018 found Dr. G. Steve Kinnard (New Jersey, USA) teaching a dynamic group of about 25 ministry interns in Lagos, Nigeria, on the topic of church history.

Douglas Jacoby also taught in Lagos in August. He led a series of MTA / AIM lessons on Biblical Interpretation to 60 West African leaders, “powerful Christian men and women who want to make a difference in the world,” said Jacoby. He then traveled to several locations in Congo, and taught on Acts Chapter 2, Biblical Interpretation, and Prosperity Theology (or the “health and wealth” gospel). After a few weeks at home, he plans to return for another teaching tour in South Africa, Botswana, and Malawi in September. See his notes from the month of August, below:

  • Co-teaching with Gilbert Kimeng.
  • Learning that Gilbert, along with Nigerians Emmanuel Emeh (my former AIM student), and Fred George (one of my M.A. students at Lincoln Christian. University), were officially recognized as teachers
  • This parallels the good news in Latin America a few months back, when colleague Arturo Elizarrarás appointed three teachers in Mexico .
  • Spending time with Geoffroy Gankoue-Dzon, church leader in Congo (Brazzaville) and presidential advisor (his full-time job).
  • Not having to worry about ebola , as the previous outbreak had officially died out, and the latest outbreak is still in the far east of the country.
  • Talking theology with Moses Gad.
  • Spending fellowship time with cheerful and grateful Congolese – after all they have been through (civil war, pillaging, rape, murder, malnutrition, corruption, and grinding poverty).

To read more from Douglas Jacoby, you can subscribe to his newsletter at douglasjacoby.com.

Gordon Ferguson (Dallas, Texas, USA), beloved author of 15 books, continues a prolific writing ministry at the wizened age of 75. Keep up with his new blog on racial issues at blacktaxandwhitebenefits.com

Dr. Glenn Giles at the Rocky Mountain School of Ministry and Theology (Denver, Colorado, USA) reported that, “perhaps the highlight of this summer is the extent and quality of growth God has given us at RMSMT. We now have 74 RMSMT students worldwide. We have ICOC students from more and more nations applying to take courses. These students reside in the Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Kenya, Burundi, India, Sri Lanka, Russia, Mongolia, South Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Haiti, Bangladesh, Trinidad, UK, Northern Ireland, Canada, Columbia, Mexico, and the United States. We now offer 4 Master of Arts Degrees: MA in Biblical Studies, MA in Biblical Studies with Languages (we are beginning a year of Biblical Hebrew this semester, Greek next year), MA in Christian Ministry, and MA in Christian Counseling (this degree just officially began this fall). It was so heartening to hear of three of our students just being appointed Teachers in Lagos this last week. In addition, we are planning to have our first graduation ceremonies this coming May, 2019!”

Andy and Tammy Fleming (Kiev, Ukraine), have been in Kyrgyzstan this summer, for a serendipitous overlap with John Oakes, teaching at the largest gathering of disciples from the five churches in Central Asia in fifteen years – 65 adults plus 43 teens and preteens came together for the first ever Central Asian Youth Corps. Some of these churches – all in mostly Muslim nations – are very small and isolated; only one of the five has a legal right to assemble.

Andy has recently published two significant papers, “Let Each One Be Careful How He Builds,” an investigation into the circumstances that led up to the crisis of 2003 in the ICOC, focusing mostly on church-building strategies and leadership organization; and “Giving Thought to One’s Ways,” an introduction to practical theology and a survey of sociological literature regarding new religious movements and the effect of charismatic leadership.

Dave Pocta (San Antonio, Texas, USA) has just finished a teaching tour, speaking at the Northwest Churches’ Conference and teaching nine days for the church in South Korea. Michael Burns (Roseville, Minnesota, USA), following on the heels of his timely and much-appreciated work, Crossing the Line: Culture, Race and Kingdom, has published an introductory article for a new book soon to be published, The Power of Story to Divide or Unite Us.