Last Night I Took A Journey

Last night I took a journey
To a land across the seas.
I didn’t go by ship or plane
I traveled on my knees.

I saw so many people there
In bondage to their sin,
And Jesus told me I should go,
That there were souls to win.

But I said “Jesus, I can’t go
To lands across the seas.”
He answered quickly, “Yes, you can
By traveling on your knees.”

He said, “You pray, I’ll meet the need.
You call, and I will hear.
It’s up to you to be concerned
For lost souls far and near.”

And so I did; knelt in prayer,
Gave up some hours (minutes) of ease,
And with the Savior by my side,
I traveled on my knees.

As I prayed on, I saw souls saved
And twisted persons healed,
I saw God’s workers strength renewed
While laboring in the field.

I said, “Yes Lord, I’ll take the job.
Your heart I want to please.
I’ll heed Your call and swiftly go
By traveling on my knees.”

Written by  Sandra Goodwin

Fishers of Men

Someone has rightfully explained that a fisherman expressed his greatest lesson he could give on fishing. “You can’t catch them if you don’t go get them.” So, if anyone happens to ask of my whereabouts, just tell them that I’ve gone fishing!

The Dream that Rocked the World

Three and one half minutes rocked the world. The memorable rendezvous was January 21, 2009. It was the day that, out of obscurity, Susan Boyle, with her Celtic twang, encumbered by learning difficulties and shyness, stepped onto the stage of Britain’s Got Talent in Glasgow. She literally shocked the panel, and mocking crowd, when she started to sing eight words, “I dreamed a dream in time gone by….” One of the judges gave her the biggest yes ever awarded in three years of the contest. She arrested and then liberated the hearts of millions. There have been more than three hundred million hits on the YouTube capturing of those short moments. Susan’s “I Dreamed a Dream” holds the global record for the most preordered albums of all time. She defied preconceptions, probabilities, and set the stage for anyone and everyone with a dream.

All I ever wanted was to make a difference! To take my talents and place them in the Master’s hands, use them for His glory, and hear Him say, “Well done!” That aspiration took me to West Africa over twenty-eight years ago, a week before my twenty-third birthday. I was armed with a degree in education, only three years in the United Pentecostal Church International, deficient of religious pedigree, but with a vision of “teaching all nations” beginning in thickly populated Nigeria. I was so naïve back then. I had never travelled overseas, but did prepare my last will and testament before departure (thankfully and obviously I have never had the mishap of using it). I couldn’t sleep that first night thinking that a powerful python was going to crash through the hotel window robbing me of my dream and my life. I survived! A couple years later, in the jungles of Africa, I met my wife, a teacher from Alabama. We’ve been on a journey ever since. Our mutual heartbeat has been unwavering: teach others so they can reach their own people. My relentless dream is to entrust, empower, and equip the next generation.

I still dream of taking God’s Word to the world, touching people, transmitting truth, and transforming nations. More than that, I get to live out that dream, thanks to my leadership in the Foreign Missions Division, on a minute by minute basis. They have graciously allowed me to serve as the coordinator of their new global Bible school program. I dream of raising the standard of excellence and relevance in our Bible schools globally through the Global Association of Theological Studies and my leadership of the Global University of Theological Studies (See English: and Spanish ). GATS is made up of seven academic programs, in multiple languages, with a growing edge: certificate, two levels of diplomas, associate degree, bachelor degree, distance education, and faculty development. It’s a gigantic project. It causes us to stretch heavenward to our supplying God; outward to a waiting, wanting world. It calls us to continuously improve. It is a revolutionary concept for training leaders globally using a partially standardized curriculum. The purpose of GATS and its membership schools is to develop and equip men and women to reach their potential in apostolic ministry. My dear friend, Dr. S. L. Poe sent me this encouraging note, “I have worked in our Bible schools since 1985 after changing careers, and GATS is without doubt the most positive step I’ve seen.”

I dream of establishing a global distance education program to multiply the number of those trained. This includes Portable Bible Schools International, Reaching through Teaching Ministries and the Global College of Ministry, and the GATS distance education program designed for educating and motivating believers toward maturity and acts of service in God’s kingdom. I dream of establishing a global faculty education program for Bible school instructors overseas. To advance Bible schools it is crucial we advance educators. Missionary Bennie DeMerchant commented on the value of faculty education, “This is a good solid move for the future of Bible schools. Trained teachers produce great students who develop into great leaders. Training faculty starts dominos falling in the right direction.” Ongoing faculty development is a priority. A twenty-four lesson basic program is being created and is called Advance Educators Series .

I love the inscription on the Bible school and headquarters’ facility in the Ivory Coast, built by one couple. They requested these words to be placed on the dedication plaque, “A man and a woman blessed of God, passed by here.” That’s me! I want to be like that. Writer A. W. Tozer said, “A man by his sin may waste himself, which is to waste that which on earth is most like God. That is man’s greatest tragedy and God’s heaviest grief.” God grieves when I waste my split second in eternity and fail to attempt to measure up to my fullest potential in accomplishing His divine plan and purpose. An Arabic proverb teaches that the dawn does not come twice to awaken a person. Opportunity knocks but once. An opportunity missed will eventually bring ample repentance. I have one chance to impact my world. A Middle Eastern Blessing says, “When you were born, you cried, and the world rejoiced. May you live your life so that when you die, the world will cry, and you will rejoice.” I’ll be the one rejoicing when I get to heaven and see multiplied thousands there that are recipients of a dream and of the truth that rocked their world.

Jumping in June

Someone once remarked that if you want to impact the world: build a model church, preach to preachers, and write books. The Lord has blessed me to be part of building model Bible schools globally through GATS, opened doors for me to preach to preachers, and blessed my efforts in writing books. June provided ample opportunities to preach to—or fellowship with—preachers. Our first stop was the East Africa faculty education seminars.

Participants at East Africa Faculty Improvement Seminar

Brother Sisco and Sister Poitras joined me as we taught twelve of the Advance Educators Series lessons. Brother Sisco returned to Ghana while Sister Poitras and I remained in Nairobi to teach a couple of GATS related sessions at the East Africa Sub-regional conference. I especially enjoyed teaching two new lessons: one was on expanding our Bible schools from central locations to the local church. It was called, “Going Local” and I believe it is a trend of the future and will multiply our training efforts. I also enjoyed teaching on the “Forgotten Component of the Great Commission.” Many think the main verb in the Great Commission is the word “go” but it really is the word “teach” commonly translated as to “make disciples.” Both of these lessons have joined the Advance Educators Series.

We returned home to Accra in time for the annual Bible school graduation. Brother Sisco and staff did a fabulous job with it. Over seven hundred attended and we had eight graduates for the ripened harvest. There is nothing like multiplying yourself into the lives of others. Bible school—as you have often said—is one of the most important things we do. 

A Couple of the Eight Graduates

Immediately following the graduation visitors started arriving for the West Africa sub-regional conference. We had delegates from thirteen nations and I think the conference was the best ever. I enjoyed preaching about the symbolic significance of the 153 fish caught in John 21. Truly, the intent of the Great Commission is taking the Gospel “to every tribe and nation: JESUS.” Our regional missions offering was almost $10,000.00 and more will be coming in. We are sending the message and training the messenger.

Preaching at West Africa Sub-regional Conference 2011

After recuperating from sub-regional conference I’ve spent the week drowning in GATS work and writing the Advance Educators lessons.