Request for Prayer – a New Door Swinging Open
· It has been our passion, vision, and future goal to open a Bible / Theological training institute in Lichinga (population of 140,000 people and a jumping point for church planting and evangelizing among unreached people groups). We believe God has always been guiding us in this direction not only because of our passion but also because of the massive need for such an endeavor. There are virtually no Bible schools in the Niassa province of Mozambique (only 1 small institute far from Lichinga). The goal was to begin a project of this magnitude in the next 5 – 10 years. However, recently God has opened doors, and prompted us to begin this sooner rather than later. You could even say He threw us into this (with the help of the Mozambiquan church and also immigrationJ). We now really need your prayer for guidance and God’s favor as we need to put some meat on the bones.
· There are a few questions that need to be addressed in starting a school here and now. Most of these questions revolve around mode or style that the school takes. How do we create a school that is not “western” in style, so that it will teach and encourage learning in its cultural context? Should we include other types of training because many pastors need to also make a living? Facilities? Could the school become more mobile to meet the needs of more rural churches? What about curriculum?
We need to continue to respond well to all these questions and others will most assuredly come up along the way, but we believe we have ideas in place to respond directly and contextually to these questions.
Ø We are planning on introducing an oral curriculum and Bible teaching. If you are familiar with ST4T or STS (www.simplythestory.org) then you will understand the curriculum. This introduces a curriculum that fits the preferred learning method of the people here.
Ø We are planning on marrying this school with a technical school of sorts. We want to provide business, agricultural, and/or technical (carpentry, plumbing, mechanical, etc. . .) training because most of the pastors working in the church need to provide for their own financial needs. We actually have a possible candidate to come to be administrator of the school. There are however, many challenges in respect to governmental regulations that apply to the technical that don’t apply to the Bible institute, so these issues must be addressed in order to make this part of the school a reality.
Ø We are hoping to find land and facilities that are already constructed.
Ø The mobility of the school will be crucial in its success and we have a plan. In place of offering daily or weekly classes in a small rural village(which takes many resources and man-power) the idea is to provide 3-4 day seminars to churches and leaders that are run by a team from the school. These seminars would be offered on various subjects and can be presented in far off villages to any church that requests. We have found that the seminar method is also one of the most effective ways to present in rural settings for the most participation and continuity.
Ø Curriculum will vary depending on need and level of learning for the students. However, we plan to partner with an association called Proforte. It is an association of Bible school in Mozambique that gives encouragement and accountability especially in respects to curriculum and academic excellence.
God is definitely at work here and we are excited to follow his direction, but as with anything, we seek His wisdom and guidance because there are still many challenges, many unknowns, and much work to do so please pray for the following:
§ Interest and Students to abound (already have one church that says they have 20 students ready to come). Pray though for God to prepare more students and their hearts for the school.
§ Governmental requirements for Bible schools are basically non-existent. However, there are many requirements for a technical school so pray that we can understand what is required and act accordingly.
§ Prepare the hearts of people to teach and administer.
§ We need to find facilities.
§ We are trusting God to provide the funds for the facilities.
§ One goal we have is to get buy-in from the churches here. We don’t want this to be the school for one denomination or one church. Rather we would like to serve many churches and as a result reach out to plant churches among the unreached people groups. This can be a challenge here as there are many churches that are very denominationally driven.
§ We also want to create an advisory team of Mozambiquans and missionaries to help us answer questions and/or challenges as they are presented or as they come up. Please pray we can assemble the right team with a unified visionWe are very excited about this opportunity and ask that you would pray with us as we take these steps to getting the school up and running!! Thank you for your patience and continued prayers and support. You are each vital to our ministry here. I will be posting more soon!!!