"Can the Holy Spirit leave a believer?" Peter fired off this question near the end of our week-long seminar. Peter had an honest question and at first glance a simple one. But I refused to answer it. It would do you no good to hear what I believe," I said. "Instead, when I return next time, let's study together what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit. Then you can reach your own conclusions based on what you find in God's Word!"
In our next seminar, as promised, we conducted a study of the Holy Spirit. We began with instruction on basic rules of Bible study to cultivate their skills of observation and interpretation. Then, layer by layer, we explored John 14-16 and 1 Corinthians 2-3, where the mother lode of truth on the third person of the trinity can be found.
As we worked through the Scriptures, they began to grasp the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit and God's permanent, unconditional acceptance of the believer based solely on His grace. By week's end their restlessness was quenched, their hearts were settled, and Peter's question was answered. But most importantly, they had discovered it themselves through a study of God's Word.
The rapid growth of the church in East Asia has created a huge leadership deficit. Many pastors are struggling to care for 20 - 30 churches. Until recently, most of this growth has taken place in rural areas. Recently, however, the center of church growth has shifted
to the cities, and biblical training is urgently needed to equip leaders for the emerging urban church.
Although over 5,000 are currently involved in BEE training in East Asia, we have less than a third of our courses translated and even fewer published and ready for students to use. If we are to meet our goals, we must accelerate our translation process. We have classes ready to begin as soon as each course is published.
BEE World will continue to multiply leaders for both rural and urban churches in East Asia, continuously expanding the scope of our training through partnerships and the Internet Biblical Seminary. Our goal is to train 50,000 leaders, who will in turn train 500,000, by 2020. Concurrently, we will also seek to indigenize our work in East Asia, preparing for the day when national leaders will assume full responsibility for its continuance.