Making the way smooth(er)
Mt. Elgon is about an hour and a half’s drive from the village of Kitale. It would probably only take about 45 minutes were it not for all the potholes, construction detours, washed out roads and foot high speed bumps (do we really need extra barriers?). Once you pass the village of Endebess you come to a cleared-out, rutted cow path that passes for the road up to the Pastor Training Center. For 5 years, pastors have been travelling up to 25 km on foot 2 days a week to learn bible truth at this Center, which was built on a former killing field. Two years ago, we stood in the corn field next to the Center and prayed that God would provide a dormitory for students so they could come and stay for weeks at a time and learn. Today, we cut the ribbon on a new 2-story dorm designed to house dozens of students and teachers! Bible training that previously took 18 months to complete because they could only meet about 6 hours a day, 1-2 days/week will now be able to be accomplished in 2-3 months! Come and see how God has provided!
This morning our team stood in the Center and taught some practical lessons on finance and church growth. Kenya is no different than the US in that money is always in short supply. Rachel and Frankie taught about how to form savings groups that are designed to help people in underserved and underbanked regions of the world to rely on each other. Savings group are formed with 10-12 people who contribute a small amount each month. When a member has a crisis or perhaps an investment opportunity then the savings group will lend them the money. This helps to avoid the panic that happens during a financial crisis and sometimes leads to bad decisions. Kent taught about the characteristics of the health New Testament church. He taught that churches must be self-governing, self-sustaining and self-propagating. The NT church is about training church members to do the work of the church. Many of the pastors needed to hear this because they tend to try to do everything themselves.
The largest celebration of the day happened just after lunch when 20 people graduated from the Bible teaching program on Mt. Elgon. As we mentioned above, many of them walked between 5 and 25 km, two days a week to receive training in basic bible doctrine. These graduates will be taking this knowledge back to their villages to preach and teach the Word of God. What a picture this was: Men and women, trained in the Bible up on this mountain; Bible teaching, held on the same ground where bloody battles were raged; Bible truth, saturating a community where previously only small pockets of truth existed. We are praying that God launches many men and women from this mountain who will be empowered to reach Kenya for Christ!