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phil-tuttlePhil Tuttle: Welcome to my blog! For those of you new to the site, I am the President of Walk Thru the Bible, an organization based in Atlanta, GA, dedicated to igniting a passion for God's Word—here in the U.S. and throughout the world. In this blog you'll find a crazy blend of random thoughts, bizarre humor, and even an occasional deep insight.

Please jump into the discussion because, as we all know, a conversation is way more fun than a monologue.


 

Ghana Update #2

2018-02-21

Today’s update is written by Rich Leland, my wingman on this trip. Rich has been a Walk Thru the Bible instructor for 35 years and he just recently transitioned the leadership of the Nantucket church he pastored for 31 years to a young pastor. He’s uniquely qualified to train others to teach Revolution because of his sustained pattern of empowering younger leaders. Enjoy!


2018 02 21 image 1It's the dry season here in Ghana, but right now we're having a torrential storm. This place is wild! And our training is wildly amazing as well!

What an impressive group of brothers and sisters in Christ! They’re creative, insightful, skilled, and hilarious! During session 3 of the Revolution course we have a panel of four, each representing a different generation. During training today we heard incredible stories from each. Because we didn’t have anyone over 60 years old, our national director for Ghana, Philip Tutu, flawlessly impersonated his grandpa representing the oldest generation.

We think we've had rapid change in our country? Here we had several of the guys who remember news being relayed by "talking drums" as each village had a distinct sound and they'd relay it through the forest. Later, messengers became popular. Always one main messenger with two supporters to make sure he got it right. Can you imagine what those generations must think of smart phones, Instagram, and WhatsApp?

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Some generational issues are even bigger here than at home. The young pastors have been able to experience education and they often look down on the older, uneducated leaders. The older pastors think book learning is nothing compared to decades of ministry experience. As usual, God is using this new course in much different and bigger ways than we could have ever planned.

Because Phil is having pretty severe voice issues, he is planning to only teach sessions 1 and 4 of our public course tomorrow. Philip Tutu and I will fill in the rest as needed. We know God will provide, but please pray that God will allow Phil to teach.

Bottom line? If you’ve ever wondered whether God is at work in this world, just come to Africa and your questions will be answered! These countries will soak up the truth of this Biblical Character Course like dry ground welcoming the rain.

Update From Ghana

2018-02-20

Well, here we go again on another adventure together. Thanks so much for traveling with me through the miracle of prayer. A special welcome to our 50 new friends who have joined our prayer team after studying Revolution together last week at Sky Valley Resort in Desert Springs, CA.

2018 02 20 image 1If you’re like most Americans, you’d be hard pressed to find Burkina Faso or Burundi on a map. And yet, those nations are full of people God has targeted with his eternal love. The Church is growing rapidly in most of Africa but the crying need is training pastors and developing leaders. I’m in Ghana in west Africa for our African Continental Conference. Our leaders from 14 different African nations are here to be trained in Revolution: How Millennials Can Change the World, our new course of the life of King Josiah.

Generational issues are a huge deal here in Africa. The divisions are real and deep — both in the culture and in the church. This course addresses these issues head on. Josiah’s life also rekindles our hope that God can transform any people group that humbles themselves before him. Most of all, Josiah models the importance of God’s Word as the most powerful catalyst for lasting life change.

I’ll try to send an update each day this week, so keep your eye on your inbox. One specific request is my health. I’m feeling pretty rough with either a cold, sinus infection, or mold allergy. Thankfully Ellen packed me a mini pharmacy so the symptoms are mostly under control. Please pray that my voice will hold up, especially the next two days. Rich Leland is with me to assist with the training so everything will go forward with or without me, but I don’t want to miss a minute of this miraculous movement of multiplication!

Thank you for fully engaging in this strategic week of training. Please take a moment to leave a comment below and send a few words of encouragement. You have no idea how much your partnership means to me and our team here!

India Update #4

2018-01-19

Here is an update on our trip from Rich...


What do you get when you blend 25 of the best south Asian Bible teachers with Revolution, Phil’s latest Biblical Character course? You get a week of phenomenal preparation to teach and train others.

I thought you might enjoy hearing how we’re equipping them. The training began with the model course that we taught as a public event.

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After each day’s morning devotions we walk our intrepid crew through how to teach the details of the 6 sessions. We discuss the importance of personal heart preparation, the biblical context of King Josiah, and the big idea and goal of each session.

The heart of the training then takes the group through every lesson, describing and demonstrating the best ways of teaching it. At the end of the day, we distribute teaching assignments for the next day’s practice teaching.

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Today we have divided our teachers into four small groups for their teach backs. After long hours of preparation last night, each is presenting a half hour course segment to others in the group.

When each teacher concludes, the group participates in a talk back. They express the best parts of the teaching and encourage each other as to how they might strengthen their next presentation. Great collaborative learning is occurring.

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So that’s our training road map. But this is not all that’s happening! Did I mention our tea times and fellowship? Singing that wows you? Deep conversations about challenges these Jesus’ followers face in ministering in their home regions? Lots of laughing, crying, and praying? And meals of rice and curry... and rice and curry...and sometimes curry and rice?

These gifted servants of God will soon return to their homes equipped to train many others to teach God’s life-changing Word.

Are you ready to you hear South Asia’s goals for 2018?

-1500 trainees at least 40 trainings

-at least 20 thousand teaching events

-1.2 million people attending events!

Incredible! Let’s pray for them!

Thanks for helping to make possible this remarkable work of God!

India Update #3

2018-01-18

2018 01 18 image 1Group pictures and summary stories are great. But the real strength of our ministry is the individuals who God brings into our global family.

Meet Gloriana (Glori for short), our training director for Indonesia who focuses on reaching the next generation with Walk Thru resources.

Below you can see a picture of the workbooks Gloriana’s team created to teach Crucible (David) and Detour (Joseph) to the youth of Indonesia. We’re not talking about just design, they’ve rewritten the entire workbook in student-friendly language without compromising the message at all.

None of us here had ever met Glori before this week. Now none of us will ever forget her.

She’s extremely intelligent, vivacious, culturally sensitive, and loves Jesus with all her heart. She’s also fun to hang out with and brings a fresh Millennial perspective to our team.

2018 01 18 image 2She taught her practice session from Revolution as if she were teaching a room full of teenagers. For a few wonderful minutes many of us felt like we were young again! And she had already thoroughly contextualized the material I created in America for the vastly different culture of Indonesia. That’s no small accomplishment considering she heard Revolution for the first time just two days before!

We’ve finished training Gloriana and the five other leaders who joined us from our Asia Pacific region. They’ve headed home to Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, and Japan, eager to launch this new course in their own countries.

Each one of them is worthy of their own update. I can’t imagine a higher privilege than serving men and women like this!

Now we shift our focus for the next three days to Sathyabal’s team of 25 full time trainers from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan. I’ll ask Rich to write another update about that tomorrow.

There’s no way any of this would be possible without your partnership. So please keep the prayers and emails coming. You have no idea how much your encouragement means to all of us here!

Serving together with you,
Phil Signature
Phil Tuttle

 

 

India Update #2

2018-01-17

2018 01 17 image 1Today’s report is from Rich Leland, my wingman on this trip. Rich has been a Walk Thru instructor since 1983. He was my trainer when I learned to teach Walk Thru the Old Testament in 1988. He’s led 50+ trainings for us all over the world with the encouragement of the church he pastored for 31 years on the island of Nantucket. He hasn’t been to India for 12 years so the reunion has been sweet for Rich and our team here. Enjoy!


Ashirwad is an oasis in the middle of teeming Hyderabad. An intricate weave of corridors bleached by the Indian sun, leading to pristine meeting rooms, surrounding a spacious auditorium.

This was the setting for our first day of training after yesterday’s model Revolution course. Our day began with the Asia Pacific and South Asia teams gathering together for devotions. We then moved to the meat of our week as training commenced for six leaders from Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand. These weren’t raw recruits. No, these five men and one woman are among the master Bible teachers in their countries, veteran Walk Thru leaders all.

I wish you could have experienced their give and take, wise questions and enthusiastic interactions, insightful ideas for culturally contextualizing the biblical truths, and their total buy-in for taking Revolution to their countries. It was an incredible experience to see master teachers grab hold of these lessons from the life of young King Josiah for their own nation’s millennial generation.

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The representative from one country would share insights that were picked up and expanded by another. This was cross pollination at its best, for the glory of God! Our presentation of different options for teaching each session was met with enthusiasm and a collective desire to learn and apply as much as possible when they returned home.

What productivity! And it’s only day one of training! We have another tomorrow where each Bible teacher will present one session to the rest of our group and then we’ll have feedback.

This whole process will occur again Thursday and Friday with our 25 South Asia Walk Thru leaders.

Josiah’s generation was revolutionized by the discovery and application of God’s Word. Just think what God may be pleased to do through the millennials of our generation, at home and around the world!

-Rich Leland

 

Update From India

2018-01-16

2018 01 16 image 1Greetings from Hyderabad​, India where the weather is hot and the food is hotter!

Rather than gathering our regional leaders and key country directors in one annual global conference, this year we’re hosting five continental congresses over the next six months. This excellent idea by our International Director, Wahid Wahba, will allow us to connect face-to-face with several hundred of our global leaders instead of just 30.

In Asia, Africa, South America, Europe, and the Middle East, we will launch Revolution, our new course on the life of Josiah. Each conference will also include significant discussion of key topics like in-country fundraising, board development, innovation, and accountability.

Depending on how these conferences go, we may repeat this approach every few years. The only major downside is the intense travel demands for Wahid and me over the next six months.

I’m currently at the first of these continental conferences in Hyderabad​,​ India. We’re meeting with Sathyabal’s 25 full​-time trainers from our South Asian team as we often do in January. In addition, our national leaders from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, and Japan, are here too. The cross pollination of ministry ideas is invigorating!

Wahid couldn’t come on this trip due to US visa issues so veteran instructor and global trainer Rich Leland is with me to help with the training.

Rich and I arrived Sunday after 30+ hours of travel. After an involuntary nap and a good night’s sleep, we hit the ground running yesterday on Kite Day, a national holiday here in India.

We led a Revolution seminar targeted at pastors and other Christian leaders but open to the public. We were hoping and planning for as many as 300, but ended up with over 450! The conference center staff managed to cram extra chairs into our crowded meeting hall, and multiply the rice and curry for lunch.

Rich and I team taught this new course on Josiah with the able assistance of Sanjay who translated our words into Telegu. All ages were well represented as we presented “Revolution: How Millennials Can Change the World — And What They Need from the Rest of Us.”

Together we discovered the parallels between today’s Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) and King Josiah who brought great social reform to the land of Judah. If you haven’t seen this new resource yet, I’d encourage you to order the DVD series and workbooks from our website.

2018 01 16 image 2There were several highlights during our day, but none of us will ever forget the beautiful moment when each person under 40 paired up with someone over 40. Each younger leader thanked an older leader for their faithfulness and long​-term commitment to the Gospel in spite of intense trials and even persecution. Then the older leader placed their hands on the younger leader and prayed God’s blessing on their ministry. Somehow amidst all the chaos, tears were shed and generational walls collapsed.

Today the big crowd is gone but the real significant work begins as we’ll train our Asian leaders to teach this course to thousands and train others to teach tens of thousands.

Tomorrow, Rich Leland will share more about this training and our leaders’ vision for Revolution in their own countries.

We need your prayers! Will you participate in this strategic week of equipping?

Will you commit to pray daily as we experience the 2 Timothy 2:2 miracle of multiplication by training faithful people who will teach many others?

If so, please comment below to send a note to encourage our team here. Thank you, dear friends.

Philippines Update 5

2017-11-17

Hi, this is Ellen, and it's my turn to tell you what we saw God do today.

Sometimes God brings a person across your path again to remind you of how He continues to work out His plan and how your story fits into it. It's such a surprise and an exhilarating feeling when you realize that God has been directing your paths to intersect right when you need to be reassured that He is real and involved in your life, and you're having an impact because your work is making a difference. I call these reunions "full circle stories" where you find out why God brought you back together and what He has been doing behind the scenes.

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We got to hear a full circle story today when we visited the Tanza Child Development Centre in Tanza, Cavite, Philippines, with our World Teach Philippines team. The school was established in 1989 by a husband and wife team, Dr. Pedro Solis and Dr. Victoria Gabriel-Solis, both medical doctors. It offers Elementary, Secondary, and Senior High School education and is known for its excellence in robotics training at all grade levels. TCDC is currently directed by the founders' son and daughter-in-law, Profs Romeo and JoJo Solis.

TCDC serves families from all economic levels. Some of their students arrive in luxury cars, while others must sell fish at the market before coming to school.

Our World Teach director, Attorney Fetan Tancongco, knew Romeo and JoJo over thirty years ago through school and shared ministry in Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ) but they had lost track of each other.

So recently they were surprised to meet up at church and find out that they had a lot in common. For the past twenty years, Romeo and JoJo have been using Walk Thru the Bible materials to train their faculty and staff. He had heard about the new course, Revolution, How Millennials Can Change the World, and What They Need from the Rest of Us, and was hoping to find a local source for it rather than ordering it from Atlanta. That's when they (coincidentally?? Not) bumped into each other after all these years. Fetan, through World Teach, has been providing these tools and leading training conferences and seminars for Filipino Christian leaders, pastors, and teachers for years now, so he was very happy to reconnect with Romeo and JoJo and plans to supply TCDC with the materials they need in the future as well as friendship and support in the ministry.

As we met today, we dreamed some big dreams for the future. Fetan is building a 12-course curriculum for these friends which they will use not only with their own faculty, but with many under-resourced pastors who serve in their area.

Their story came full circle! What a joy to see a reunion of friends who will go forward and accomplish great things together for God's kingdom.

Philippines Update 4

2017-11-16

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Not only is that how I'm feeling right now, it's also the name of the ministry where I just spoke. W.O.W. stands for Women Of Worth.

I guess God figured if I was going to crash a women's Bible study for the first time ever, it might as well be a big group -- like over 300! WOW indeed.

2017 11 16 image 2These women meet every Thursday morning, and for the past few weeks they've been studying our we course on the life of Mary. It's called Chosen: When God Calls Your Name.

The first three lessons were taught by three different women using the PowerPoint and workbooks we developed. These three gifted communicators studied the DVD series together and then personalized their talks. All the table leaders also went through the DVD series in advance so they'd be ready to lead quality discussions.

So it just so happened (if you believe in coincidences) that they were scheduled to present session four today while I'm in town. What an honor to teach such life changing material in person and then watch so many passionate women discuss the implications of Mary's life for them personally.

Today's lesson, When Life Must Go On, focuses on Mary's life after she watched her son, Jesus, die on the cross. Though her life appeared to be spinning out of control, she made four difficult choices that made all the difference. As each of us face our own tragedies, Mary's four choices can guide us when we feel like giving up but have to find a way to keep on living.

2017 11 16 image 3Nearly an hour after I finished teaching and had to leave for another meeting, the discussions at each table were still going strong. I wish I could capture what I experienced today, bring it home, and pour it all over our American churches.

I also wish you could have each been here to witness what I saw today. It's your generous donations and faithful prayers that make the creation and distribution of resources like Chosen possible. So thank you. Thank you very much.

P.S. If you're curious what choices Mary made, consider ordering the Chosen DVD series and workbook for yourself, your family, your small group, or your friends. After all, we each need a little more "WOW!" in our lives, don't we?

 

Philippines Update 3

2017-11-15

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Big, high visibility, public events are great. They help build awareness, momentum, and can often open new doors for our ministry.

But the real story of our Walk Thru the Bible is the small, private events that few people even know are happening. Such is the case this week here in Manila.

2017 11 15 image 2It was exhilarating to share Revolution, our new course on Josiah, with over 3,000 small group leaders last Friday night. And to watch them purchase 1,692 DVD sets to share this life changing teaching with their groups was nothing short of thrilling. And speaking to over 1,300 Christian school teachers and administrators on Saturday was also pretty cool.

But those things are nothing compared to what I got to witness on Monday. I had the privilege to stop in and visit a group that is among our first ntLIVE trainees. They were beginning several days of hard work learning to teach our new 40-step overview of the New Testament under the able guidance of Gil Balignasay, our Filipino training director.

Gil asked me to give these 14 men and women an overview of what God is doing through Walk Thru the Bible around the world. They were thrilled and motivated to realize they're part of a huge global family of like-minded Bible teachers in 138 other countries. Gil also asked me to challenge them from the Word as they begin this new ministry adventure.

What an honor! And so humbling to see my 31-year-old self in each of them as I remembered my first training with Walk Thru 29 years ago. (Yes, your math is correct, I'll hit the big 6-0 in January!)

Hardly anyone even knew that training was taking place. And yet, before they're finished, that tiny group will impact more people for Christ and turn more people on to the Scriptures than all my big events this week put together.

Such is the miracle of multiplication. We are a 2 Timothy 2:2 ministry committed to entrusting what we've received to faithful people who will in turn teach many others, most of whom we'll never meet this side of glory.

2017 11 15 image 3So if you've ever wonder what happens after I get on a plane and fly home, don't worry. Things continue on just fine. My role isn't that of superstar. It's more like player-coach or maybe even cheerleader.

The real miracle of Walk Thru the Bible is being carried out by quiet servants like Gil. Nearly every week of the year there are multiple trainings taking place in the nooks and crannies of this planet. And someday when we gather in heaven, you'll meet people from every tribe, tongue, and nation whose lives were changed by anonymous servant leaders who are intimately known by our Lord.

Until then, please pray for Gil and these 14 new instructors and the 25,000 or so men and women who actively teach our courses around the world.

Big events have their place, but often it's the smallest events that yield the largest, most lasting fruit.

Philippines Update 2

2017-11-13

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After the huge first evening I told you about in my first report, I thought things couldn't get any better here.

But I was wrong.

2017 11 13 image 1One of the members of our Filipino board is Dr James Tan (pictured). His mother founded a Christian school soon after WW2. She had no land, no money, no building, and no husband after being widowed. What she did have was five amazing children, laser-like vision, and inexhaustible perseverance.

Fast forward to today, and Grace Christian College—that's what they call it though it actually is a collection of schools from kindergarten through university—is one of the largest and best in the world. Her son James and his wife have faithfully led this bilingual (Chinese and English) school for decades.

When Dr Tan realized that our visit would coincide with their annual conference for 1,300 Filipino teachers and administrators, he invited me to give two keynote addresses. Those talks on Keeping First Things First and Protecting Your Family from Your Ministry went great, but that's not what I want to tell you about.

Our team of excellent Walk Thru the Bible instructors here in the Philippines (see photo above) offered several of our courses as workshop tracks during the two-day conference. They've seen this partnership flourish over the past 20 years.

When I say "several" courses, I mean precisely 13 different titles!

2017 11 13 image 2Everything from Bruce Wilkinson's classic 7 Laws of the Learner, to Chip Ingram's Effective Parenting in a Defective World, to Howard Hendricks' 7 Laws of the Teacher, to my last few courses in the Biblical Character Series. I think I managed to capture nearly all of the workbooks in the photo here.

I was blown away by the passion and excellence of our team! They served up something for everyone, and I overheard several delegates struggling to pick just one. The good news is they can choose another course next year, as this 20-year partnership just gets deeper and richer. Dr Tan believes there are simply no better tools to equip these teachers and administrators. Some of these men and women travelled 17 hours by bus to learn how to serve their students and their families more effectively.

Each of our global regions excels in something. They set the pace for the rest of the world in one or two areas, and we all learn from each other. Our team in the Philippines are the best in the world at building partnerships. They rarely sell a single event or resource. Instead, they forge lasting relationships with churches, schools, denominations, businesses, and government authorities.

Many of you who are reading this are generous financial supporters and faithful prayer partners. I wish you could have seen what I saw yesterday. The seeds you're helping plant and cultivate are yielding a huge harvest here in the Philippines through the power of partnerships. We truly have much to be thankful for!

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