As I write this portion of my blog I am thankful for a healthy battery on the MacBook. Power went off in the middle of the night (as usual) and we have been conserving gasoline in the generator until someone more mechanical than me figures out how to hook up a battery bank.
Our meeting place this year is the third one the institute has rented in my three trips. It is in a relatively quiet neighborhood (with the nightly exception of roosters, barking dogs and some anonymous creature that screams like a crime victim). We are surrounded by palm, tropical pine, mango and other unidentified trees, which spare the house from hot afternoon sunshine. The concrete house is showing its age, but must have been designed many years ago to make an impression on visitors. We are surrounded by walls, but there is no razor wire this time.
Seventeen of the 18 registered students are here for this set of modules (four classes in eight days). We are having a great reunion so far. I have noticed a marked improvement in their English. They have probably not noticed much improvement in my French.
Today I started out introducing the human authors of the synoptic gospels (first three books of the New Testament) and pointing out how vital it is to understand the Hebrew Scriptures when we interpret the New Testament. The synoptics were penned by a former crook, a ministry deserter who took a long time to become useful and a medical doctor who loved to sail. This foundation is important because it shows that God used ordinary, fallible humans to carry an extraordinary, infallible message. This encourages Christ-followers to simply deliver the goods rather than try to dress up the message to attract more buyers.