Passionate Preaching Clubs in Asia
Introduction to Alongla Aier
In February’s Langham Live, our focus was on a nation in South Asia (it cannot be named for security reasons). This is a vast country, which is divided into various states and has numerous languages and dialects.
For the Zoom event particular focus was placed on the Northeast region of the country, where it was a privilege to welcome Alongla Aier onto the call. Alongla is based there, where she lives with her husband Rev Dr Wati Aier. Together they have two adult children who both reside in the USA.
Alongla and her husband are members of a local Baptist Church in the region. Both Alongla Wati have a background in Theological education where she has now retired from being a professor of English & Communication at a seminary.
Despite her retirement as an educator, Alongla has maintained an interest in supporting theological training. This interest has caused her to focus on the development of expository preaching as a way to communicate the Bible. This interest led her to join the Langham Preaching Movement in her country under the leadership of the regional coordinator. Today she heads up developing Langham Preaching in a region of the country.
Within her role, Alongla focuses her time on providing administration assistance that is connected to organising Langham events on training preachers along with being a Langham facilitator where she uses her skills as an educator.
Preaching Clubs Development
Before the pandemic development in preaching clubs was very encouraging. However, although the pandemic has caused some disruption to these activities Alongla has the desire to develop preaching clubs that commence with church leaders being involved in local Bible studies. The purpose of these studies is not only to develop biblical knowledge but also to create a passion within the groups to learn how to preach God’s Word accurately and confidently. Recently there being excitement that these seminars are being held in local dialects.
With effort and the help of God, Alongla and her Langham colleagues have seen the preaching movements develop to where several Level 1 seminars are taking place in the near future with the possibility of others in the pipeline within the region. Already this effort is having a positive impact with local church pastors commenting on how the training is assisting in their preparation and delivery of
sermons. It is hoped that these developments will provide the catalyst for denominations in the Northeast of the country to fuse together so that lasting fruit may result in the region and beyond.
Blessings and Challenges
With the blessings of having church leaders hungry to study God’s Word and being trained to preach the Bible with confidence and accuracy, there is also the challenge of opposition which seems to be on the increase. Alongla’s desire is to provide support so that local church leaders will remain faithful despite any opposition they may face.
Langham Preaching 10th Anniversary
As Langham’s preaching celebrated 10 years in the country during the pandemic it was encouraging to hear Alongla’s report on the current positive status of the preaching movement there and the desire is that other states will enjoy the encouragements it has enjoyed under Alongla’s leadership.
Langham Scholars Programme Benefits Brazil
In the first Langham Live event of 2023, we were joined by our brother Danillo Augusto Santos who lives in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Danillo is a Langham Scholar who teaches as a New Testament Professor in a Christian seminary and works as an assistant pastor in a local church. He and his wife Alison have three children: Joel, Laura, and Samuel.
Watch a recording of the Langham Live call (Thursday 26 January 2023)
Read on to learn how Danillo’s calling has impacted the people of Brazil and how his work will help spread the gospel message as he translates the Bible into Portuguese for a modern audience.
Impact of the Langham Scholar Programme
Danillo was first introduced to Langham Partnership after completing his Masters degree while attending the Westminster Theological Centre in Philadelphia, USA. Through close friends, he learned about the Langham Scholars programme and applied to begin his PhD. He chose the topic of ‘The language of the priesthood according to the Apostle Paul’, a topic that was seldom covered among theologians from a Pauline perspective.
He believes that Paul’s concept of believer’s priesthood can be found in the book of Romans, Philippians, and 1st and 2nd Corinthians. The ‘temple’ language that Paul utilises promotes the message that all believers are part of God’s temple which is the true Church, the body of Christ. We are to be a kingdom of priests with God in the centre and strive to be holy just as He is holy.
Danillo’s passion for the importance of Biblical interpretation in people’s lives really shone through during the Langham Live event. His studies bolstered his belief that modern clergy as well as many believers need to get back to what the Bible actually says.
People don’t think through issues theologically – Danillo Santos
His goal is to promote fundamental Biblical teachings amongst a global network of scholars, each with a different evangelical background. That is what lead him to travel to Brazil with the desire to become a New Testament professor, teaching groups of 20-30 first and second-year students sound Biblical doctrine.
However, not everything went to plan.
Family Challenges & God’s Grace
When Danillo and his family moved to Brazil in 2018, his young daughter Laura fell ill. The doctors discovered a tumour in her adrenal gland. At a time when Danillo wanted to watch his vision grow, this tragic news forced him to shift his goals and take care of his child.
However, by God’s good grace, the treatments cured her and today she and her two brothers are happy and well. Danillo’s wife Alison introduced the Santos children during the call and thanked everyone for their prayers and support, especially those who donated to the Langham Scholars programme.
Today, Danillo not only lectures in Belo Horizonte (which means Beautiful Horizon) but is also part of the leadership team in a local church. He helps with the youth work and assists the other pastors in a congregation of two hundred.
A New Hope For Brazil
With the recent turmoil in the Brazilian political elections, Danillo shared his desire to see all leaders strive to be holy in their personal and professional lives. He was saddened to see Christians involved in the disturbances and called on everyone to return to the Word and obey what God has written, not what tradition would dictate.
With that sentiment in mind, he shared his current work with the group: developing a new NIV version of the Bible in Portuguese to reach a modern audience.
Danillo explained the difficulty in translating certain words. They needed to be accurate to the original text but also not become a hindrance to the reader. He cited Genesis 2 and the word ‘helper’ for Eve and said that ‘ally’ might be more applicable. His prayer was that God would give him guidance during this essential work and to always be Spirit-led.
Please pray for the Santos family, that they may continue to be supported financially and spiritually as Danillo carries out his work in the seminary and church.
Pray that the church and political leaders in Brazil may have a better understanding of the Bible and strive to be holy.
Pray that the NIV revision project will be blessed by God and reach over 2 million Christians in the country and beyond.
Pray that God will grant Danillo and the team access to essential resources as required, especially with the large tax levies imposed by the state.
If you would like to join the Langham Live event then please contact us. We would love to have you with us to encourage and pray for our guest speakers and the Langham Partnership team.
‘What God is doing through Langham Literature is staggering…’
Only four years ago, Langham held 850 preaching clubs and supported 69 scholars. Now in 2022, we’re holding 1143 preaching clubs and supporting 85 scholars.
God’s work and Kingdom is growing through the ministry of Langham, with your support in gifts and prayers. Then there is Langham Literature…
Last week Pieter Kwant was on our monthly Langham Live Zoom call, as he comes to retire from his role as Langham Literature Director at the end of the year. Pieter’s involvement goes back over 20 years with Langham, not just four years.
Only possible with God
But the stories, figures, plans, books to be released over the coming months and years that Pieter shared is staggering – all only possible with God. Humanly, it’s definitely impossible!
One-volume Bible commentaries are reaching almost every corner of the globe; we’re supplying books to 700 colleges across 79 countries; and if that doesn’t blow your mind, how about supporting 23 indigenous publishers in 20 countries. That’s an increase of 8 publishers in just four years.
Please do watch the edited video of Pieter speaking. On the call, he talked about sensitive countries. Please do join us live for future calls, to hear the full conversations. It was a great time to sit back and be joyful and thankful for what God is doing here on earth.
Read and pray for Pieter Kwant’s prayer requests (edited).
By Simon Foulds, Supporter Development Manager, LPUKI
Faith standing strong in Ukraine
It was a tremendous blessing, given the circumstances, to have Ukrainian brothers in Christ; Roman Soloviy joining from Lviv and Taras Dyatlik joining from Rivne on the Langham Live zoom last week. They shared their experiences and extreme challenges they are going through, serving God in Ukraine as they endure the Ukrainian – Russian war.
Both have been involved with Langham for many years and significantly in the Slavic and Central Asian Bible Commentaries and similar projects. Taras shared how these publications helped build up the community of theological educators and church ministers in Eastern Europe.
John Libby, LPUKI National Director, shared that originally there was a significant number of the Slavic Bible Commentary at risk in a warehouse in Kiev early in the war, but most of these have now been retrieved, Praise God.
Faith under fire
This horrendous war has unimaginably impacted their everyday lives. The Ukrainian population is all too familiar with the Russian oppression of their nation which has culminated with the horrific events of this year.
Thousands of people fleeing Ukraine, seeking refuge in neighbouring countries flooded all roads towards the borders. People displaced from their homes and cities started to fill all public spaces: schools, churches, seminaries. People were queuing for days to get across the borders. Roman explained how he and colleagues did everything they could to help those people in those days.
Extreme situations lead to having to make decisions that are very difficult. Shelling all around Ukraine led to deep questions having to be faced, such as “what do we do with our family?” History had shown them, and they knew what atrocities would be inflicted on the nation by the Russians.
Roman’s wife took their children to Romania. These are unforgettable moments, he explained. Not able to know if he would ever see them again. Such decisions need to be made in the moment, moments that will never be forgotten. Many men cannot leave the country because of their age and therefore face this harsh reality.
Taras’ family is scattered. Many are serving in special forces. The daily calls between them bring relief that they are still alive.
Both men affirm that the calling is to stay and serve with the churches and seminaries. There are very difficult days ahead, but as they share – the church is strong and will survive.
And still the war rages, people are devastated, tired and mentally exhausted.
The theological seminaries are working together with local churches and were the first to receive refugees as the Russian army moved in and displaced hundreds of thousands of local people. Many people stayed at the seminaries.
Taras shared how his seminary was one of ten locally who worked together as a coordinating group, creating a network of seminary-based refugee hubs. They have helped evacuate more than 10,000 people. Daily they help 4,000 refugees providing sanitation and clothing etc. They provide food and medical supplies to over 300,000 people.
In the midst of all that is going on, there are opportunities to listen to people and point them to hope, particularly the hope that only Jesus can bring.
War takes you to the root of your beliefs and theological reflection. It makes your theology extensional, Roman shared.
Churches are united, all churches are displaying their sacrificial nature. The amount of kind works they are doing is tremendous. God is active, even in the secular space there is coordination and work being carried out that can only be inspired through God’s love.
They believe in God’s intervention, reminding us it’s a challenge to faith when it seems that prayers are going unanswered. It can cost and challenge inner strengths, emotions, courage.
They are carrying faith to all the work they do having to daily and personally challenge the thoughts and doubts, looking for biblical, human hope and perspective. In the cold reality of the circumstances, it’s easy to want to run from this all but daily end up running to God where he meets them. It’s like daily becoming a Christian again and again in the growing of faith under challenge.
Prayers for Peace
Roman asked prayer for God’s miraculous intervention as it’s a David v Goliath war. He seeks prayer for their work helping internally displaced persons, 265,000 in one region. He encourages us to pray for these people in desperate situations and for the theological educators in the very difficult situations that they are facing.
Taras thanks God for the partnership working with them, outlining without this help they couldn’t survive. He sought prayer for millions of divided families: fathers, husbands, wives and children who are all separated because of this war.
Over 70 people attended the zoom call and were allocated to breakout rooms to pray about these requests.
It was a privilege for all who attended the Langham Live session to pray into this war, to seek God’s intervention on behalf of the millions affected. There was a real tangible sense of God’s presence with heartfelt prayers raised to God
Please do join us for the next Langham Live calls at the end of November.
By David McMullan, Deputy CFO, LPUKI.
A privilege to pray for Dr Riad Kassis in his vital role
Dr Riad Kassis, Director of the Langham Scholars programme, joined us on Zoom last week for Langham Live while relying on solar energy. Power cuts are extremely frequent in Beirut, Lebanon, where Riad lives.
As he shared with us, his home country is facing many political and economic challenges – and yet Syrian and Iraqi refugees are welcomed in. Riad’s wife is the director of an organisation which serves refugees called ‘Together for the Family’.
Highest number of Scholars
Meanwhile, Riad directs the Langham Scholars programme: he shared that this year, Langham is supporting 98 current Scholars in many countries and contexts. It’s the highest number of current Scholars since the programme was started by John Stott decades ago.
Riad emphasised that Langham’s support of these students is not just financial. Langham provides vital pastoral care for them and their families. He even pointed out that Rev Geoff Gardner, his own pastoral care coordinator (when he was studying for his PhD at Nottingham University in the 90s), was on the call!
Langham also endeavours to provide Scholars with further professional development once they have gained their PhDs. This includes study residencies, writers’ grants and opportunities to present papers at academic conferences.
Points for prayer
For example, on the call was a Langham Graduate from Mexico, who is taking up a residency at a college in Bristol, UK to work on a book.
Over 50 people were on the call, eager to hear Riad’s points for prayer. He asked us to pray for safety as he speaks this week to university students at a conference in Syria. People there are in a very distressed situation following 11 years of war.
Riad also expressed his gratitude to God for the many prayerful and financial supporters he has all over the UK.
Supporters from Scotland, England and France
It was a privilege to break into smaller groups and bring before the Lord these matters for prayer. In my small group, supporters from Scotland, England and France approached the throne of grace in earnest.
Please do join us for the next Langham Live calls at the end of October, when we will focus our time on praying for Ukraine.
By Victoria Marsay, Digital Content Producer, LPUKI.
Watch Advent Conversation with Rev Dr Gift Mtukwa
On Tuesday 14 December we gathered on Zoom to hear from Gift Mtukwa, a Langham Scholar who graduated from the Nazarene Theological College, Manchester last year. He’s now serving back in Kenya. Watch the recording of the call, which included an advent devotional and a live Q&A.
Watch Langham Live with International Director Tayo Arikawe
Catch up with the conversation between Langham’s new International Director Tayo Arikawe and our Global Ambassador & Ministry Director Chris Wright. As Tayo started in the role in April 2021, Chris asked about his upbringing in Nigeria, his journey to faith and why he’s so passionate about working for Langham.
It was recorded on Thursday 28 October 2021, during a Langham Live prayer call.
Langham Live with Jonathan Lamb and Emeka Egbo
During the Keswick Convention this year, Jonathan Lamb (Minister-at-large, Keswick Ministries) and Emeka Egbo (Associate Director for Langham Preaching Africa) spoke together on a Langham Live Zoom call. (The interview begins 07:46). They discussed how Emeka came to be involved with Langham, the development of Langham Preaching in Africa and the impact of Covid-19 has had on the programme. Watch the recording now:
Langham Live: Focus on Asia & South Pacific – 6 July 2021
Over 70 people joined us in July to hear Dwi Handayani, Langham Preaching’s Director for Asia & South Pacific, share about her life and ministry. It was an inspiring time, including a live Q&A and pre-recorded interviews. You can watch the Zoom call recording now:
‘John Stott 100 – The Vision Continues’ Webinar
2021 marks 100 years since the birth of our founder John Stott. In this special webinar on 26 April, we heard first hand from those who are now seeing his legacy playing out in the Majority World. Catch up with the recording on YouTube.