GPA – June 8-12: The Academy

Hey everyone! I would like to apologize for the lack of blogging commitment but the schedule at the Dallas GPA 2014 is intense yet super beneficial. Since classes started on Monday and everything have been rolling like an ICE ball down the mountain.

In this issue, I intend to:

  1. Master Coaches
  2. Connect, Unite and Strengthen strategy
  3. Prayer Request
  4. Miscellaneous

Master Coaches

The Global Proclamation Academy has a purpose to Connect, Unite and Strengthen pastors from around the World. Therefore, our master coaches come from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. Let me introduce you to the master coaches we’ve met so far:

Dr. Ramesh Richard

Dr. Ramesh Richard

 

Day 01: Dr. Ramesh Richard:
A theologian-evangelist, philosopher-expositor, educator and author, Dr. Richard holds a ThD (in Systematic Theology) from Dallas Theological Seminary and a PhD (in Philosophy) from the University of Delhi. In addition to serving as a president of RREACH (Ramesh Richard Church Health), he serves as Professor of Global Theological Engagement and Pastoral Ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary, and as General Chair of the Global Proclamation Congress for Pastoral Trainers to be held, the Lord Willing, in 2016.

 

 

 

Day 02: Dr. Celestin Musekura

Dr. Celestin Musekura

Dr. Celestin Musekura

Dr. Musekura, is the President and Founder of African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM, Inc.). He is an ordained Baptist minister who was born and raised in Rwanda. He received a Bachelor of Theology at Kenya Highlands Evangelical University in Kenya, a Master of Divinity at the Africa International university (AIU), a Master of Sacred Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary, a Master of Science in Justice Administration and Leadership at the University of Texas at Dallas, and a PhD in theological studies at Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas.
In addition to his theological studies, Celestin has done more studies in Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Reconciliation at the Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia (USA) and Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. (you can Google his name to get even more results)

 

 

Dr. Bruce Fong

Dr. Bruce Fong

 

Day 03: Dr. Bruce Fong
Ministering at the intersection of parachurch, pastoral, and academic ministry, Dr. Fong is committed to teaching God’s Word “to anyone and everyone who will lend him an ear.” By serving as the Dean of DTS Houston and Professor of Pastoral Ministries, he is excited to minister to and train the next generation of Christian leaders. Dr. Fong received his BS from Western Baptist College, his ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary and his PhD from the University of Averdeen.

 

 

 

 

Day 04: Dr. William E. Brown

Dr. William Brown

Dr. William Brown

Dr. Brown became president of Cedarville University in June 2003, following a 10-year presidency at Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee. A graduate of the University of South Florida, Dr. Brown holds a master of theology degree and PhD from Dallas Theological Seminary.
As a nationally recognized expert in worldview, Brown has authored three books- Making Sense of Your Faith; Where have All the Dreamers Gone? Observations from a Biblical Worldview; and Making Sense of Your World with Gary Philips – and more than one hundred articles for journals, magazines, encyclopedias, and newspapers. He is also the executive producer of re:View, a film series which helps students discern culture (www.re-films.com)

 

 

 

Connect, Unite and Strengthen

Praying Time

Praying Time

Academic class room is not the only focus at the Global Proclamation Academy. Just like at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Lebanon, things are very intentional:

  • Room mates from different cultures
  • Breakfast, break, lunch, break and dinner
  • Global Lunches were we get to meet new friends
  • Hearing daily testimonies from at least 2 of the 25 pastors.
  • Hearing daily ministry news from at least 2 of the 25 pastors.
  • Recreational gatherings.
  • Workouts

Every single point mentioned above, is intentional in braking the barriers between 25 different cultures. And it is working so far!

Global Lunch

Global Lunch

Prayer Request

As we get deeper into the program, knowledge about what Christ is doing all around the globe gets wider. Please pray for God to give us all the wisdom on how to stay connected, united and strengthened.

Miscellaneous

As I lack time to write in depth blogs, I content myself with saying that “a picture is worth a 1000 words…”

Having Fun

Having Fun

Fixing the sound anywhere!!

Fixing the sound anywhere!!

GPA – Day 01: Orientation and Prestonwood Baptist Church

It’s always a pleasure to sit down, reflect on what happened during the day and share it with you guys. I pray that you are enjoying reading it as much as I am enjoying cooking it.

In this issue I shall share with you the following:

  1. Jet lag Vs sports
  2. South America, Europe and the Middle East
  3. Dr. Ramesh Richard visit
  4. Prestonwood Baptist Church visit
  5. Prayers
  6. Miscellaneous

I know the above topics sound voluptuous, but I’m going to try keeping it to a minimum.

Jet lag Vs sports

It never occurred to me that I would be a “jet lager,” but when I woke up at 5:00 am today without the alarm’s help then I understood how difficult it is. Yet, I decided to somehow overcome it! I put on my shorts and went down for an hour of running and stretching. I guess that if I maintain this pace of work then I might actually start loosing weight.

South Africa, Europe and the Middle East

Specifically speaking about Brazil, Hungary and Lebanon… I’m not actually talking about the 2014 World Cup taking pace in Brazil.

Middle East, South American and Europe

Middle East, South American and Europe

Today, Norton from Brazil (in the middle), László from Hungary (on the right) and I (on the left) sat down after breakfast and had several discussions regarding the church’s challenges and successes in our respective countries. It is interesting to mention that regardless of the region and the hindrances –  according to our discussion – the church seems to be having this new wave of young visionaries oriented and tasked towards God’s Kingdom.

Dallas GPA is a wonderful opportunity for such open-minded discussions that will help us stretch ourselves. One of our talk consisted on Dr. Martin Accad’s SEKAP spectrum. “Martin, teaches Christian-Muslim dialogue at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Lebanon.  That topic is often testy in the United States and explosive in the Middle East. Accad teaches what he calls a “SEKAP” spectrum. SEKAP is an acronym listing five postures or tones of interfaith dialogue.

They are:

S — Syncretistic (“all roads lead to heaven,” multicultural and pluralism promotion)

E — Existential (looking for common ground in truth or morality all parties can agree on; for instance, loving the poor or social justice)

K — Kerygmatic (positive proclamation of the gospel in respectful, civil dialogue that allows those of other faiths the same reciprocal opportunity)

AApologetic (recasting the case for my faith to persuade outsiders)

PPolemical (aggressive, triumphalist assertion of one way, excluding all alternatives).”1

 

Dr. Ramesh Richard’s visit

Dr. Ramesh Richard

Dr. Ramesh Richard

At lunch time, Dr. Richard and his wife Bonnie visited us to fellowship and kick off the orientation day. Ramesh seems to be an “eloquent understanding multicultural person,” and we’re looking forward to hear what has to offer us on Monday.

 

 

 

 

 

Prestonwood Baptist Church visit

At Prestonwood Baptist Church

At Prestonwood Baptist Church

J. John Canon was invited to kick off a series regarding the 10 commandments for today’s life, the sermon was based on his book : “Just 10.”  If you’d like to know more about this mega church visit this link: Prestonwood Church.

Prayers

Today we really felt the seriousness and importance of the Global Proclamation Academy. Please pray that the Lord gives us the power to proceed with the program with no hindrances.

Miscellaneous

Hula Hoop Game

Hula Hoop Game

In an team work effort, we played a team work game: ” The Helium Hula Hoop.” The game consists on several team members holding the hula hoop with on two fingers trying to lower down the circle to the ground. I know it sounds simple and easy… Now it’s your turn to try it!

 

Well i still have plenty of things to share about today, but it’s getting late and I surely could use some rest.

Good night dear readers,

Be blessed in Jesus’ Mighty Name


  1. http://www.abpnews.com/extras/rh-archive/item/27782-trendingsekap 

GPA: New Arrivals and Sports Day

Hello again from Dallas,

Today was supposed to be a resting day, but of course we always manage to occupy ourselves while waiting for the rest of the pastors to arrive.

In this issue i’m going to chat about:

  1. My Room mate
  2. DTS facilities
  3. Prayers
  4. Miscellaneous

My Room Mate

Ali & Paul

Ali & Paul

I’ve missed to inform you about one of the new friends that I’ve made. Pastor Paul is from Indonesia, and him and I are sharing the room till the end of June. Paul seems to be a very calm and mature thinker who surely knows when to smile.
I won’t be able to disclose additional information regarding his ministry but I am sure that you will manage the math 😉

 

DTS Facilities

We still haven’t had our orientation yet (tomorrow is orientation day). Nonetheless, my room mate and I managed to kill all our energy till the last drop. We managed to play ping pong, pool, basketball and swim as well – Pray that I manage to get back in shape. But most of all we visited the 3 floors library with its two computer labs specialized one for Mac geeks and the other for PC addicts!

You don’t believe me right? well check on the pictures:

PC Lab

PC Lab

Mac Lab

Mac Lab

The Library: Enjoy the view

The Library: Enjoy the view

Prayers

At the moment, it is so easy to be drifted into loosing energy in a very fast manner. It’s almost midnight here, and I feel that my body needs to rest.

Keep the prayers high as we approach the first days of the real deal.

Miscellaneous

A Real Squirrel! he was jumping in front of me and I barely managed to snap a shot of him

A Real Squirrel! he was jumping in front of me and I barely managed to snap a shot of him

 

Okay! I did not want to post it at first but then I said: "hmmm"

Okay! I did not want to post it at first but then I said: “hmmm”

That’s it for today! catch you tomorrow.

Trip Towards the Journey

Greetings to every family member, co-worker, church member and blog follower! Let me kick off today’s story by saying:

“God is in control!”

In this issue I will be tackling the following subjects:

  1. Lebanon – Beirut Airport
  2. UK – Heathrow Airport
  3. Texas – Dallas Airport
  4. Prayers
  5. Miscellaneous

Beirut Airport

Ali Khalil

In the British Airways Plane

I woke up this morning (June 5) at 5:30 am, dressed up, loved my wife and hugged my parents then I directly headed to the airport. I was a bit worried about the flight details, since the system did not help me check in on both flights, yet as soon as I got there, the ground flight attendant said: “Mr. Khalil, great choice of seats! How did you manage to get it? We usually sell those at 70$, because it’s the first row in economy.” So I just ended up smiling and this is how I started proclaiming that “God is in control!” Well of course, after I proclaimed that “God is in control”, another piece of news popped in and the ground flight attendant said: “Sorry Sir, I’m not able to get your second flight’s boarding pass. Sometimes they do that for security check.” I smiled back again took the current boarding pass and headed to the gate and waited for the boarding to happen. Three hours later we boarded on the plane to fly four hours to Heathrow Airport.

UK – Heathrow Airport

UK From Above

UK From Above

Due to the air conditioning on the first flight, I had a huge headache throughout the whole flight as well as the new airport and trip. Regardless of that, I arrived to Heathrow and headed directly to the American Airlines security agents where I was asked lots of questions (1st time), then I proceeded to the ground flight attendant who asked me back the same questions (2nd time), then I continued to the gate where I was asked back the same questions (3rd time) with an additional gift: “Full security check and search.” What is a full security check and search you may ask. Well that means that I had to open up my luggage, take off my shoes so they can peak in the shoes as well as beneath my feet… huh? Yes, yes, beneath my feet. But let me tell you, the agents were super respectful, humble, gentle and understanding! I don’t want to be mean, but, in your opinion, what would happen if a person is to go through a similar security check at the Beirut Airport? Do you think they will be similarly treated?

Ali & Jim

Ali & Jim

Anyways, I finally boarded the plane, and since “God is in control,” my fellow passenger turned out to be a Pastor of a small congregation in New Mexico. So you know, the ten hour flight was not as boring as I was expecting it to be. Pastor Jim and I talked for hours, learning about each other as well as our ministries, countries and cultures. I managed to watch a movie: “Need for Speed” – which I don’t quite recommend! Nonetheless, I was able to get a couple of hours of sleep and rest but most of all; I spent around 3 hours in prayers, bible reading and listening to worship songs. You see, when “God is in control” time flashes by, especially if you’re in His presence! Oops, sorry I got carried away in preaching…. That’s not the purpose, right? Let’s head to what happened at the Dallas Airport.

Texas – Dallas Airport

After all what happened previously, I did not know what to expect in Dallas. So I kept on proclaiming that “God is in control,” and you know what? I had the smoothest check out ever where I found my friends Robby and Bob waiting to pick me up.

Andrew, Ali and Robby

Andrew, Ali and Robby

Prayer

I would like to thank you guys for your continuous prayers and support. At this time, kindly pray that I don’t have a jet lag, and that tomorrow would be a resting time before the D-Day comes.

Miscellaneous

This is part a tiny part of Dallas Theological Seminary and tomorrow I will write you more about it.

Recreational Area for the DTS students

Recreational Area for the DTS students

Enjoy your day everyone.

GPA Countdown

Global Proclamation Academy – Dallas, TX

Hi everyone! I know, I Know… It’s been quite a while since I shared something with you, but I surely pray that what I will be sharing in the coming weeks will be beneficial for all of us.

Lately, I have been invited and accepted to attend this year’s Global Proclamation Academy (GPA) in Dallas. The opportunity seems interesting and promising as we seek to  learn “from the best—from world-renowned, experienced Master Coaches–whom I will brief you about in later posts–who will sharpen our focus on the three critical areas of our ministry: biblical spirituality, theological discernment and effective preaching.”1

Final Preparation Days

The trip starts on Thursday June 05, 2014 and rolls for another 26 days. It’s my first long trip away from my wife, my family, my church as well as my work. So you can imagine the stress, right?

Today, I managed to finalize 90% of my packing, yet I still have to make sure to grab my laptop, print my itinerary, write down some important phone numbers and then I will be all set.

Prayers Needed

The main reason of this brief blog is, actually, to ask for your continuous prayers and support. Kindly pray:

  1. For the Lord’s protection,
  2. For my wife and family to be able to cope with that long distance and period away from each other,
  3. That all things run smoothly at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (my work), as June is a very busy season. You can read more about it here, as it will help you focus your prayers.
  4. That I manage to benefit from this trip on both spiritual and intellectual levels.

Finally, I would like to thank you for reading this blog! And i’m so excited to keep you posted with all the upcoming news and events regarding the Global Proclamation Academy – Dallas.

Have a blessed day everyone!

 


  1. http://thegpa.net