Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bible School in a Briefcase, Watamu

Corrugated iron sheets covered Pastor Tsofa’s church (a former Bible School graduate) where 22 pastors gathered for the final session of Bible School in a Briefcase. As the sun beat down on those sheets, we became increasingly thankful that this particular church had no wall on one side. Kathy finished her teaching from the morning as Kelly parked the car having delivered Karen and me from the Malindi airport.

A celebratory lunch made up of rice and fruit (is avocado a fruit?) awaited the students. No goat this year, a decision made in light of necessary adjustments to the typical class schedule. Awards to those with perfect attendance, graduation ceremony rehearsal, and we moved on to the dessert for the day…communion.

Having attended a plethora of church services in East Africa, I have such a huge appreciation for the work Kelly and Kathy do through Biblical Life Ministries. Rural pastors often receive their post by assignment from the community because they have the highest level of education. Sometimes they’re appointed simply because they love someone called Jesus. But these pastors lack basic yet fundamental theological knowledge. Often their understanding of who God is comes mixed with tribal and traditional beliefs such as witchcraft or animism.

Many pastors do, though, have a genuine longing to rightly know God and to bring others to that right understanding too. Bible School in a Briefcase makes that possible. 22 pastors having this teaching in the area of Watamu means that this whole community can be changed for Christ. That’s a huge impact. I am so thankful for the way God connected our ministries and to have a small part in influencing people for Jesus.