We finished our week of training here in Kenya today. We have tomorrow (Saturday) off for the first time in ages, and then I preach on Sunday morning. I leave for the airport on Sunday afternoon for the long flight home (arriving home in IA on Monday evening). It has been an interesting week with lots of surprises. The pastors and women worked very hard at learning how to do bible study. It is obvious that they have never been taught anything like this before. It became apparent that they rarely have preached on anything other than what they have heard. Looking in the bible for what it says and preaching on that is new to all of them. But they have come to realize that this is what they need. They are so open to learning and changing. They have made steady progress but still have a long ways to go. Considering their lack of study skills, it is amazing to me that God has preserved them from so much of the false teaching and heresy that are common in churches around them. God has been gracious to them and now they have the privilege of beginning to learn from His word directly.
I asked one day how many of them had read the whole bible. None had. I challenged them to do so within the next two years, a great challenge for them. They were eager to try. Few seem to have ever read through any book in its entirety. We worked a lot in Philippians to get them started working through the whole book. We got almost all the way through chapter two so they now have studied and have preaching outlines for that much of the book. My hope is that they will preach through the whole book in the near future.
I do not want to give the impression that these men are immature. Far from it. What they lack in study skills is more than made up in other areas. I listened to my translator pray in English and was amazed at the depth of reverence, intimacy, submission and expectancy in his prayer. I was moved. I thought of how shallow my praying seems in comparison. I have learned much from my Kenyan brothers. What a privilege to help them learn to study and preach and to teach others as well. Each pastor was assigned one or two others to train them in what they learned this week. They are excited to begin this. Would you pray for them that they would not only grow in their own ability but also be able to help others grow in His word as well?
Thank you for your interest, prayers, support and partnership with us in this ministry. The pastors asked me to tell the people in the US how much they appreciate the training they received. I wish I could communicate their smiles, hugs and enthusiasm to you. One day you will see it yourself when you meet them in God’s presence. God bless you.