New Richmond pastor travels to teach
Once a year, Curtis Thomassen travels overseas to teach people about studying the Bible.
Thomassen, pastor at Cornerstone Assembly of God Church in New Richmond, is an international booster for the "Life in the Spirit" study Bible, often referred to as the "Fire Bible."
Thomassen said the book is more than just the Bible, it also includes numerous footnotes and articles that aid in the understanding of the text.
The special Bible, compiled by Assembly of God missionary Donald Stamps, is a tool used by pastors and lay people worldwide to study God's word. It took Stamps eight years to compile the Bible and publish it, Thomassen said.
"It's a tremendous study resource," he said. "I use it all the time."
The "Fire Bible" has already been translated into 37 different languages and translations in an additional 26 languages are underway. Thomassen said people around the world benefit from the Bible.
Thomassen was such a fan of the study resource that he created a class on the use of the "Life in the Spirit" Bible. As word got around that he was teaching the seminar, Thomassen started getting invitations from around the world to come and teach.
Over the past five years, Thomessen has taken one trip a year to share his knowledge of the study Bible with others. His New Richmond congregation supports his efforts with prayer and financial backing.
He's already traveled and taught in West Africa, Europe and Brazil. This year's trip, from Jan. 13-29, took him to the islands of Malta and Gozo in the Mediterranean Sea and also the Netherlands.
While in Malta, Thomassen offered his instruction at Global University, a Christian training college with campuses in various countries. In the Netherlands, he taught at the Master's Commission Bible School.
"I'm passionate about people being able to study the Bible," he said. "The 'Fire Bible' is not deep theology ... it just helps make the Bible clearer. That's what God's intent was when he gave us the Bible - he wanted it to be understandable."
As he looks to the future, Thomassen said he'd like to continue to conduct his class in other parts of the United States and around the world.
"It's not rocket science," he said. "I just explain the basics of the Bible and it helps people understand more."
While in the Netherlands, Thomassen also was able to visit his brother George who is a teacher at a seminary in Amsterdam. He also enjoyed a little sightseeing as well.
Thomassen said he's grateful to his congregation for allowing him to travel and teach. He said the prayer support he's received over the years has protected him from any major travel challenges.