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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.


Ukraine Update #2


Today’s reflections are courtesy of Ellen.

Yesterday was an exciting day at Regent Hill in Kiev, Ukraine. With gleaming pots full of coffee and trays of delicious Ukrainian cookies at one of the finest event venues in Kiev (our event would not have been possible without the generosity of its owner!), our team welcomed 400 teens and young adults, plus several dozen local pastors and leaders, to the launch of Revolution: How Millennials Can Change the World and What They Need from the Rest of Us. There was a lot of excitement and expectation as the time approached. We wondered if everyone would come, but the auditorium was filled by the time the worship band began the music.

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Phil, Boris (our national director for Ukraine), and Vladimir (a popular local pastor), team-taught the sessions, each presenting with their own style, which added to the effectiveness of the messages. Session Three was especially powerful. Boris interviewed four attendees, each representing the different generations: Builders (ages 75-96), Boomers (ages 58-75), Gen X (ages 38-58), and Millennials (ages 18-38). Listening to each one describe their experience of particular points in the history of Ukraine during their lifetime was so interesting. But more importantly, it allowed them and the audience to gain a new perspective for each generation, their identity, and their value and roles in God's overall purpose for His kingdom. By listening instead of criticizing and resisting one another, each began to appreciate and value the other. After the Millennial described his perspective, the older Builder humbly asked for forgiveness and pledged his support to help younger leaders move the gospel forward in this generation. The Spirit was present. It was quiet until the silence was interrupted by spontaneous applause. These were beautiful moments, and we could feel God's pleasure.

All the planning and prayer and hard work that went into this large event proved to be worth the effort. We're continually amazed with the quality and giftedness and faithfulness of our team here. It was an especially huge blessing to see all their families involved in making the day a success, highlighting the focus of the course that the Millennial and Gen-Z generations are the leaders of today, not tomorrow!

Ukraine Update #1


It was 1994 when I made my first international trip for Walk Thru the Bible, right here to the newly independent nation of Ukraine. Has it really been 24 years since I came here for the first time? I left a big piece of my heart here, and thankfully I’ve been able to come back and check on it every 3-4 years since that initial CoMission trip. But this trip is extra special because my wife, Ellen, is with me for the first time. Seeing Ukraine through her eyes is like rediscovering my first love.

After a desperately needed night’s sleep and a restful day, Yuri drove Ellen and me to their apartment where his loving wife, Natasha, and their son, David, had prepared a traditional Ukrainian feast. Think Thanksgiving, only with an entirely different menu. There were several courses, but we could have stopped after the introductory bowls of borscht, a hearty soup made of beets, potatoes, and carrots, with a spoonful of sour cream on top.

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Yuri and I have been friends and partners in ministry for more than 20 years. Any time I get to spend with him is full of raucous laughter, heartwarming memories, and mutual encouragement. But this year we were in for a totally unexpected surprise. Natasha has been taking English three hours a day, three days a week. Gone are the days when she has to wait for Yuri to summarize our conversation in Russian. When she took Ellen by the hand and led her to a separate room, Natasha bubbled, “Now we can talk, just the two of us, like I have always wished we could.”

Later this week we’ll convene our European regional conference with delegates from nearly 20 countries. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of stories and pictures to share as we equip our European leaders to launch Revolution, our new resource focusing on the parallels between today’s young adults and King Josiah. But first, there are other strategic opportunities that need your prayer support. Tomorrow I’ll be teaching Revolution to more than 400 young adults and a few dozen influential pastors and church leaders. Then the next day I’ll be meeting with two different groups of denominational leaders to explore how Walk Thru the Bible can help them accomplish their God-given goals.

I used to view days like today as a necessary waste to overcome jet lag and begin to adapt to a new culture. Oh my, has my mind been changed over the past 24 years! How many times did Jesus purposefully lead his closest friends (we call them disciples) off to a remote location simply to enjoy and encourage each other? God, as three persons in one being, is relational to His core, and that’s the primary reason He created us humans. I’m sure we’ll have plenty of early mornings and full agendas before we fly home. But could it be that tonight with Yuri, Natasha, and David turns out to be one of the most eternally significant events of our trip?

Speaking of relationships, our entire ministry would cease to exist without your partnership. So mentally pack your bags and share this adventure with us through the miracle of prayer. Without Him we can do nothing, so please commit to pray each day as God surprises us with what He has planned for us to experience, teach, and learn. Thank you dear friends, and please stop coveting my borscht!

Colombia Update #3


First, we call adults of all ages to become men and women of the Book. Like Josiah, we want them to receive and respond to God's Word.

Second, we exhort all generations to value and celebrate other generations—especially Millennials. We create an environment for the Holy Spirit to reconcile the generations. At the end of Session 3 which is called Generations, we divide the group in half by age. Then we ask the younger adults to go to the older adults and thank them for their faithfulness and sacrifice. Tears often flow freely at this point as the older adults feel appreciated and honored. Then we ask the older adults to place their hands on the younger adults and ask God to bless their lives and ministries. Often many of the younger adults also start crying as they feel valued and affirmed for the first time in a long time. It's a high and holy moment when the Spirit's presence and power are undeniable.

I've seen God's Spirit use this simple invitation to bring reconciliation in the United States, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. But how would people from all over the Hispanic world respond here in Colombia? What if this risky idea bombs and all our trainees lose confidence in this new teaching resource?

Since I've already described the process, I will let these pictures speak for themselves.

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Once again God exceeded my expectations and rebuked my lack of faith! Why am I so quick to doubt Him? Will I ever truly trust Him for supernatural results rather than trying to control the outcome of my teaching? I long for the personal breakthrough Billy Graham experienced early in his ministry.

So how about you? Any shift God would have you make in your attitudes and actions toward other generations? What tangible change does He want you to make? Are you willing to reach out to those closest to you, and pursue reconciliation?

I warn you. I've seen our gracious Lord work miracles all over the world, so don't be surprised if does something big in your own church, business, or home!

Colombia Update #2


Our daughter Emily has been blessed with tremendous opportunities to see God at work all over the world. One of her favorite countries is Guatemala. She’s been there quite a few times and has served for several months at a wonderful orphanage called Casa Bernabé.

She has also questioned/nagged/rebuked me on many occasions saying, “Why isn’t Walk Thru the Bible active in Guatemala? They really need what y’all do.”

Well Emily, God has answered your prayers at last.

2018 03 27 image 01Meet Marco and Maria Elizabeth Bocaletti. They live in beautiful Antigua Guatemala, where they both serve as medical doctors. Marco is a GP and Maria Elizabeth is an OB/GYN. They also pastor three churches in their area, modeling God’s heart for both physical and spiritual needs.

They were introduced to Walk Thru the Bible (Caminata Biblica as it’s known in Latin America) several years ago by our regional director, Alejandro Oviedo, who lives in neighboring Honduras.

In Marco’s words, “It was love at first sight.” Maria Elizabeth adds “We knew immediately that God had sewn our hearts together with Caminata Biblica.”

Meeting them and watching their passion for our new course, Revolution, has been one of the highlights of this trip. I have no idea how they’ll find the time to build our ministry in Guatemala, but I’m confident they’ll find a way.

We tend to look for potential leaders with plenty of time available to partner with us. That’s solid logic. But sometimes the busiest candidates turn out to be the best choice because they have a proven track record of getting things done. Dr. and Dr. Bocaletti are the poster kids for this phenomenon.

Marco and Maria Elizabeth asked me to thank you for making this week of training possible. They also asked me to invite you to visit them in Antigua. They’d love to meet you face to face, even if you’re feeling perfectly healthy that day!

Colombia Update #1


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2018 03 26 image 03Greetings from Bogotá Colombia! Our 20 Hispanic leaders have gathered from 12 different nations to launch Revolution, our newest Walk Thru course on the parallels between young King Josiah and today’s Millennials.

This is an amazing group that demonstrates the true nature of global discipleship today. Most of the delegates lead our ministry in the nation where they were born and raised. Walk Thru loves to invest in nationals who instinctively understand their own culture and teach in their own heart language.

But we also love to partner with those who respond to Jesus’ Great Commission and carry the Gospel across national and cultural borders.

Many Americans assume nearly all missionaries are Americans. While there are many such missionaries, the truth is the past two or three decades have seen a shift from “Americans to the world” to “everyone to everywhere.”

Our group reflects this glorious transformation. Valentin Popescu grew up in Romania but now lives and serves in Peru. There are others who have responded to God’s call to take the whole Word to the whole world.

2018 03 26 image 02Meet Ike “Triple Threat” Rhyu. I had the joy of training Ike and his wife way back in 1997 when I was Dean of Faculty. From day one, 21 years ago, I knew Ike and Helen were special. They were born in Korea, raised in California, and were at that time serving as missionaries in Mexico.

I was training them in English, but each evening they would stay up very late translating our Old Testament storyline into both Korean and Spanish! By each new morning, they could teach fluently in all three languages.

Now Ike and Helen serve in Spain, but their ministry is global. Four of our Spanish-speaking leaders here at this conference were trained to teach Walk Thru the Bible over the past two decades by Ike.

What a great reminder that every time we train a man or woman to teach one of our courses we set in motion the miracle of multiplication. For some, the impact is focused on their home church, school, or camp. For others, dozens of churches in their home country now have access to our life-changing resources. And then there are those, like Ike, who multiply our ministry like we could never have imagined.

Most of us will never personally impact the world like Ike and Helen. But consider this: Someone paid for Ike and Helen’s training 21 years ago. Possibly one of you who is reading this update! Your reunion with them in heaven will be even sweeter than my reunion this week. And don’t be surprised if a few hundred or thousand of Ike and Helen’s spiritual kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids from all over the world want to meet you too!

Until then, please allow me to say thank you on their behalf. Your continued prayers and donations truly are changing the world.

Ghana Update #3


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So...... this update is a few days overdue. Between spotty internet access and getting sick, I left you hanging regarding our time in Ghana. Sorry about that. Apparently losing my voice affected my writing as well as my speaking! I’m home from Ghana now but want to close the loop so you know how God answered your prayers.

Our Heavenly Father graciously heard your prayers and allowed me to teach two of the six sessions of Revolution at our public launch event for pastors and other church leaders. In spite of my voice sounding like a croaking frog and being quite painful, people totally engaged with the story of Josiah and the parallels with today’s young adults. We had a perfect mix of adult generations, and their interaction was something to see.

The other four sessions were taught by Rich Leland who had traveled with me to help lead the actual training, and Philip Tutu, our national director in Ghana. Both did a superb job, and that’s really the main story of this update.

One of the core markers of ​the ​Walk Thru the Bible DNA is that the resources we create are TRANSFERABLE. They can be easily transferred from one person to another, across generations, languages, cultures, and styles.

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And that’s exactly what happened that day! Rich had team​-taught with me before, but Philip had only seen the course on DVD. Yet both were able to jump in with very little prep time and pour out the timeless truth of Revolution through their unique gifts, personalities, and experiences.

The pastors and church leaders could not have been more responsive. Not only were they moved personally, but many left eager to share this course with their home churches. For some that meant inviting Philip or another instructor to come lead a live event. For others it meant purchasing the DVD and workbooks, and for some it meant deciding to attend a future training so they can teach it themselves.

Would I have loved to teach all the sessions myself? Absolutely. In fact, that’s exactly why I was asking God to heal my voice. But this time God said, “No Phil. I have a better idea.” As I watched the day unfold, I had to agree.

All the trainees got the message too. This teaching isn’t Phil’s—it’s God’s. It belongs to the whole world. And it belongs to each of them.

They’re all ​back ​home now. Eager to spread the message of Revolution in:

Ivory Coast
Burkina Faso
Democratic Republic of Congo
And beyond!

Thank you for praying for us and encouraging us through a challenging week. It didn’t all go as we planned, but the outcome was even better than we had hoped!

Ghana Update #2


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


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


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 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



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