What a joy it is to hear a response from one of the participants at the end of the presentation: “Thank you! My mind has been always looking for what I knew in my heart. Today I have heard it and seen it – loud and clear.” Nineteen M.Div. students and about eighty undergraduate students of Belgorod Theological Seminary (with Missions emphasis) were trained in FaithSearch Discovery and a complete presentation on a CD was added to their missionary toolboxes. I was not left empty-handed either, receiving two very flattering offers: to come again in November as a keynote speaker at their Conference on Missions and Christian Education; and to become their visiting professor for an extended course on “Applied Apologetics.” They want me to come four times a year, even if for a couple of days, and teach at both graduate and undergraduate levels. They will pay my travel from Moscow and a professor’s hourly rate at 120 RUB (~$3.50) an hour.
My travel and lodging arrangements there were, as always, simple but fully accommodating—an overnight train and a student dorm room with three meals and Wi-Fi service in some corners of the main building. Our conversations with faculty and students lasted for hours and touched on subjects of faith, culture, politics, arts, family, history, and many others. My audiences were rotating, as they had to run for shores and lectures, but they were coming back with more questions and inquiries.
During of my both teachers’ trainings in Moscow earlier last week the same question was raised repeatedly: “How shall we present the case for the validity of Christian faith to many students from a traditionally Muslim background?” This gave me an excellent opportunity to try some of my new material on these audiences and to hear their feedback. So far, it was mostly positive and encouraging, but answering some of their questions made me reach to the very bottom of my knowledge base in the subject. I have to keep reading and researching more on the Muslim theology and culture before I feel and sound confident and comfortable.