Having a traditional breakfast before getting into a study session with potential student pastors.
Pastors in the Bush have a tremendous passion for the people who depend on them to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ. All of them that I know take little of no salary from their churches. Most live a considerable distance from the church they lead and are considered VERY blessed if they have a bicycle to get them to church on Sunday. They usually walk a great distance; it is not uncommon for a pastor to walk several miles both ways to get to their Sunday destination. They are committed. They have a passion for the people - and the Word of God..and for teaching the Gospel to those in need.
I was surprised to learn, however, that the vast majority of them have little or no biblical training. At best they have a Bible to teach from - just a Bible...no concordance or any other forms of study helps or guides. I asked 5 different pastors last week how much training they had and 4 of them said "zero training". This is a consistent theme I have found as I learn more about the surrounding bush here in Zambia.
2 Years ago I began to realize this problem and have been praying about it and seeking a solution. Recently, I came across a program that I believe can make a difference. It is a Bible Training program that is aimed at pastors and leaders from 3rd world countries who use English as a second language. "Hey, That's Us!" It is 2-3 year training schedule taught from 36 - 100 lessons. The student studies a lesson for 3 weeks and then, takes a test. Upon passing that test, the next lesson is taught and handed out for another 3 weeks of study. When he has passed all the lessons a diploma is issued and the student can then be registered with the government where they are recognized as having sufficient knowledge to be qualified as an official Zambian Pastor. ....And the best part of this plan is IT IS COMPLETELY FREE!
This week is being spent traveling to remote bush areas to identify and register qualifying students to begin their studies. We will start with an interview session to determine if they are truly called by God to preach...and then, put together a plan to that will allow them to be successful at completing this program.
The students will gather at strategic locations where the lessons will be presented and left for them to complete at their own pace for 2 or 3 weeks at which time we will return to administer a test. If they pass, a new lesson will be presented and handed out and the process will be repeated until completion of the training. If they fail, we will do it again until they pass...or they determine they are unable to grasp the material...at which time a new strategy will be suggested in their quest to become a pastor.
WE NEED A LITTLE HELP! This training will necessitate frequent travel into the bush on a biweekly schedule. I feel it is necessary to provide each student with a good Bible - preferably something like a Life Application Study Bible. Study Bibles must be shipped in - there are none like that available here. So, we need funds for fuel and maintenance on the vehicle and funds to get the Bibles. If you feel called to help, go to our SUPPORT page. To send Bibles, contact my son, Chris, at 865-696-7006. He can provide information and instructions to get us the needed Study Bibles. Our initial need is for about 20 study Bibles.
We will be grateful for your prayers for this program!
I woke up one day and discovered God wanted me to quit what I was doing for me...and start doing something for Him.