Pastor Ramón from the La Yaguita Bible Church has been dreaming of starting a church in this community for some time. On Sunday he began asking the group questions about Ephesians 2. We encouraged their efforts as they answered tentatively, yet correctly. Ramón drove home the point that we are saved by grace through faith and not by works.
Our almost-four-year-long leadership training course ended August 12. Since younger men who attended the course are assuming more responsibility in his church, Ramón is now free to pursue his dream in Ámina.
As I (Bob) began the last class, we felt the electricity from the excited students. We’re not sure if the excitement was because they were finishing the course or because we were about to celebrate with pizza! The pastor of each group had summarized in class the history of their church, which prompted me to comment, “In your presentations, each one of the pastors credited past missionaries who mentored them. I encourage you to go mentor someone else. Be that rock for that next potential leader.”
I then asked what course made the biggest impact. “Bible Study Methods and How to Teach the Bible”, they replied. “Due to the observation, interpretation, and application method you taught, weknowhowtostudytheBibleproperly.” Twopeoplesaidthatthesecourseshelpedthem become better employees at work due to increased analytical skills. A veteran pastor stated that he can now more easily outline a Bible passage.
We began the leadership training classes for the Bible churches here in Santiago in April 2011. Starting with 84 students from five different churches, with their pastors attending as well, I felt a bit insecure. However, God changed my attitude from, “I don’t know if I can do this” to “If I prepare well, I CAN teach these courses!”
Thirty men and women completed all eight courses. Along the way, the students caught a vision to expand their outreach. We know of at least 5 small group Bible studies they have started. Two of the churches are looking to start new churches, beginning with community activities and small group Bible studies like the one in Ámina. We’ve been invited to participate, but the initiative is totally Dominican!
We’ve also had a request from a church just outside of Santiago to start a Bible study methods course to help train their leaders. The church is five years old, and already has almost 100 people attending. We’re wondering, “What will Ámina be like in five years?”
Please continue to pray for these young leaders as God directs them to new challenges.
Serving a Great God,
Bob & Judy Kay