With the holiday pressures now behind us, we pause to reflect on our achievements of this past year. It’s an honor and an awesome privilege to serve our King and we thank you for allowing this ministry to continue to change lives for the Lord.
One of the main encouragements of the year has been the effectual growth of our “think tank” for serious Christians: the Koinonia Institute. It continues to be manifestly clear that we will be riding a tide of “new wine” being put into “new skins.”
We are already approaching 1,000 students who have collectively completed over 1600 classes, in groups of (typically) twelve, in over 100 “virtual classrooms,” assisted by one of our 58 volunteer Teaching Assistants. Our students are from 16 countries, encouraged by 30 Area Representatives worldwide. We have already awarded 167 Bronze Medallions to students who are now heading for Silver!
With the completion of Psalms and Lamentations, we have now completed verse-by-verse commentaries on the entire Bible, and in 2007 we completed DVD versions of the Psalms, the Pastoral Epistles, the Epistle to the Romans, and are in the process of completing the Epistle to the Hebrews. These last two, especially, are primary cornerstones of our programs to advance students toward the Gold Medallion.
We are still in the process of converting all of our expositional commentaries into “courseware,” with study questions, discussion questions, weekly quizzes, and final exams. We will also continue to cautiously explore the addition of suitable material from other authors and teachers as well. As the technology (and budget) permits, we also hope to add some video conferencing capabilities to provide student access to panel discussions among nationally recognized authorities on timely (and controversial) topics in the future.
KI is not simply a Bible study series: it pursues a balanced program of individual spiritual growth and personal stewardship, regardless of specific calling. For more information, see the KI website at www.StudyCenter.com and download our Handbook.
We had the Second Annual Meeting of the Institute at the Coeur d’Alene Resort on November 9-10, which was remarkably successful. We had attendees from all over the world, including Europe, New Zealand, and Israel, and our speakers were nationally known and clearly anointed.
Among the various festivities, we awarded Honorary Gold Medallions to Tim LaHaye and Jerome Corsi, and a posthumous award to Walter Martin (presented to his widow, Darlene). However, Walter always manages to get in the last word: his tombstone reads, “I rest my case.” This year’s conference is scheduled for October 24-26, 2008. (If your plans include attending, please let us know early so we can assure proper arrangements.)
Israel Insider’s Briefing
As you may have noted in last month’s Personal UPDATE, we just returned from a most successful and enlightening “Insider’s Briefing.” We were treated to presentations from top-level leadership: the Director of Intelligence of the Mossad; the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces; counter-terrorism experts, etc. General Avigdor Kahalani, one Israel’s most famous heroes, briefed us at the Valley of Tears in the Golan, and then treated us to a spectacular demonstration involving five Merkava tanks with live ammunition.
For the first time, we flew in small aircraft over northern Israel from Megiddo to the Golan, the Sea of Galilee, et al. All in all, this trip was, indeed, a unique experience.
While being received at the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, we presented an Honorary Gold Medallion to a dear friend of our ministry, Rabbi Benny Elon, a member of the Knesset (and the proposer of the controversial Elon Peace Plan).
Each year we plan two trips to Israel: a devotional (“Berean”) Bible Study Tour in the spring, and an (“Issachar”) Insider’s Briefing for a select group each fall. This year they are scheduled for March 25-April 4 and October 28-November 9, respectively. Both trips have optional extensions to Petra. (Pray about joining us this year; it’s not too early to sign up for either one.)
Our sponsored tour of Australia and New Zealand earlier in 2007 was the most effective in our history of these areas. (We are now on 300 radio stations in Australia.) We plan to return this April.
In New Zealand, Promise Keepers provided 3900 copies of our outreach edition of Learn the Bible in 24 Hours to those making a commitment to Christ. In Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, the major churches cancelled their Sunday services to encourage their people to attend our all-day conference in the Civic Auditorium!
In Europe, our DVDs are regularly being aired on European television three times each week. The BBC even sent a documentary film crew to accompany our group on the Issachar Israel trip last October! We plan to visit England this March; the details are still being worked out, so keep checking the calendar page of our website (and also the speaking schedule page of this publication).
The emergence of the Institute opens a number of special opportunities for which we covet your prayers and support. These include: special incentives for exceptional students; internships-both domestic and abroad; upgrading our video and auditorium facilities; advanced courseware development; advanced Internet software development; teleconferencing facilities; and, broadening the media coverage-radio and cable TV, etc.
Donations or endowments for any of these areas are also a way we anticipate that the Lord will provide us specific direction.
We know that the coming year will offer many truly exciting challenges and opportunities, and we are counting on your counsel to assist us in focusing on the most effective ones. We will continue to work hard at keeping you up to date on the Biblical relevance of current events as they unfold.
Thank you again for being our partner-a Koinonos-in these undertakings. Please pray that our Lord is glorified by our efforts here at K-House and that we will continually be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit in all that we do.