Monthly Archives: November 2014

November 25, 2014 Newsletter

IMG_0475 - Carroll Wall on Nov 4 2014 banner
What gratitude is ours because of you!

Pastors’ Fellowship

Out of our conference in August, we formed a group of pastors who meet for prayer. Already as a result of the meetings two different pastors who were on the verge of quitting the ministry renewed their strength. In our September prayer letter we asked you to pray for “Daniel” who was tempted to give up because of a Diotrephes on his staff. He reports, “Things have improved, and I am searching my own heart to see if perhaps I was making things out to be worse than they are.”

Preaching at “Daniel’s” church

Another pastor reported: “I had been feeling like Elijah in the cave [1 Kings 19:9-10], and had given thought to quitting, but since our last meeting God showed me that there are other pastors here serving who are serious about God’s word. Now my burden of ministry seems so much lighter. I’ve been fairly singing as I go about my work!” It is out of these relationships and the churches represented here that we will begin to draw new leaders for training.


Jorge (in red) is a member of our pastors’ fellowship. Ten years ago, he was a student in classes taught by Roberto. In October his church ordained him for ministry.




As a group, we attended a conference on Biblical Exposition hosted by Goiânia’s First Presbyterian Church (left), where we were encouraged and equipped in our proclamation of Christ and his word.



In 2015, our class at church for new believers draws to a close, though we will offer it again. Also I’m preparing to teach Hermeneutics, or “How to Interpret the Bible”, at our church.

We are talking with prospective speakers for our biblical counseling conferences in 2015 and 2016. The speaker we have invited for 2015 has a book we’d like to have available in Portuguese in time for the conference. Please pray that God would orchestrate everything and that the church would be equipped.

Wall Construction Update:
We praise God for providing for us so marvelously through your generosity!

When we presented the need, we reported that we needed to raise $2000 to cover our construction costs. That included a 10% allowance for “unforeseen” circumstances. But that evening after I mailed the letter, I realized the money for the wall would come to us as income, and that I had forgotten to account for taxes and administrative percentages. I groaned, “Oh, no! I should have reported our need to be at least $3000 so that after taxes we’d still have our $2000 for the wall!”

Well, thankfully, even when I forget taxes, we serve a God who accounts for taxes (See Mt 17:24 and 22:21). All told, we received $3245 in donations! And to our great surprise, our Brazilian church also took up a collection to help us build our wall! We are blessed!

We did, of course, have a number of unforeseen circumstances. We had to dismiss our first contractor for dishonesty and for not showing up for work—after we had paid him 40% of the money for completing 25% of the work! We then hired a new contractor, but had to rent equipment that the first contractor had provided and then took with him.

Then, as our new contractor finished the wall, we asked if he could just patch over some exposed brickwork on our house, adjacent to the new wall, where mildew forms in rainy season. He pointed out that the problem was not the wall, but the severely cracked sidewalk that lets rain under our floor. So we began to replace the sidewalk—and discovered an old gaping septic tank below that corner of the house!

Thankfully, our contractor was able to fill the hole under our house with rubble from the old wall, and pour a new side walk. It’s not a permanent solution, but it should let us keep living here for a while. 🙂

We have so much to be thankful for! Most of all, right now we are grateful to Christ Jesus who instructed us not to be anxious about the basic needs of our material provision, but to “seek first His kingdom,” with the promise that “all these things will be added to you” (Mt 6:25-33).

We also praise God for each of you who partner with us in this ministry through your faithful prayers and gifts. We pray always for you, that God will “supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19).

With hearts overflowing in gratitude,

Matthew & Elsiene Carroll

Action International Ministries
Google Voice phone: (559) 372-9098

Planting a Seminary: Where to Start? — An Example from Ukraine

A few months ago, I took our blog to Spain to look at “How to Plant a Seminary in Four Steps.” I remembered a seminary professor who said, “Pity the man who tries to launch a full MDiv program all at once from scratch. Better to just start teaching one class. Then add another. And then another.”

But where would you start? Which class should you offer first?

Interview Greg White 2To answer that question, our blog goes to Germany and Ukraine. The Irpin Biblical Seminary was founded in 1991 near Kiev. The European Bible Training Centre was founded in Berlin in 2001. Both schools are members of The Master’s Academy International.

In the video below, EBTC director Christian Andresen interviews Greg White, dean of the theology department, at Irpin. Both are graduates of The Master’s Seminary in Sun Valley, California.

The main point of the five-minute interview is an apologetic for continuing education for pastors. Andresen observes that graduates from Iprin are teaching in EBTC’s Russian-language program, while they are also returning to Irpin to deepen their theological training. Andresen asks White, what vision does Irpin have for these continuing students.

Greg White summarizes the 23-year history of Irpin Biblical Seminary and its vision for its students in the space of little more than a minute.

Watch the video, and see if you can catch what class they taught first:

Hermeneutics. The first class they started to offer was “How to Study the Bible.”

[1:40] “We started off really at the basics, just like most of the training centers,
just giving them the foundation of Hermeneutics, or How to Study the Bible.”

From there, they taught how to put together a sermon, from the text in their own language. Then they developed a complete Master of Divinity, with study in the original languages. Then they offered specialization in Old Testament and in New Testament. Then the students began to take the place of the teachers, and Irpin offered a Masters of Theology to further equip the national faculty responsible for training up the next generation of pastors.

But it all started with a class on “How to Study the Bible”.

Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He [Jesus] explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24:27)

Could you explain the things concerning Jesus in all the Scriptures?
If not, where could you find a class on how to study the Bible? Maybe at your own church?
Then, whom could you could teach how to study God’s word?