This is my first trip to Namibia and I am not sure what to expect. Africa is a country of contrasts—some of the friendliest people in the world, beautiful scenery, vast wealth, and vast poverty. They live behind walls with barbed wire running across the top. It creates a bit of fear in the foreigner who is traveling here. Yet, the people are smiling, they are happy to talk, they are helpful. In a meeting, or a church service, they welcome you into their lives with open arms.
We have partnered with History Makers Academy for a number of ministry goals. Ones of the values we bring to the relationship is my years working with CBN and TBN on Christian television. I have produced a number of programs for television and working with my niece, Caroline Clonts, who is a Hollywood-based television and movie producer, we have begun to help Derek Schneider develop a cutting edge television program for Canadian Christian television.
This trip to Bulgaria was the most interesting one so far. First, we were in three cities. Usually when we travel we are in one or two cities. We were working with local ministers in Sliven where there is a thriving Christian community. One of the things I learned in Sliven is that homeschooling is considered illegal in Bulgaria. Also, Christian private schools are not allowed, except for Orthodox schools. This is not unusual in an Orthodox country. In these countries it is considered normal for the church to have much greater influence than is typical in America and Western Europe. This is a two-edged sword. It means that there is teaching regarding Christian principles in the schools. At the same time, there is less tolerance for evangelical beliefs in public. It is one of the ideals our founding fathers did not want when they envisioned a church that was free from state influence and a world where the state was free from denominational church influence.
I am traveling all around Bulgaria with the History Makers Academy. We are filming Pastor Derek Schneider’s television program, Beyond the Four Walls. It is exciting to be a part of this team, this partnership! We are meeting pastors and others who are learning how to be history makers. They are learning how to move in the seven mountains of culture, how to find what they were created for and then become excellent in that area.