Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Proposal Development Seminar

A low duck through the entryway of the mud and grass church – sometimes not quite low enough given the lump on my head – revealed a large space packed with more than 100 pastors and church leaders. Benches and mats were filled and the people overflowed to the outside of the church. Children’s faces packed the crevices allowing a glimpse of the goings on. The people who filled the taxi the night before prepared the sound system for morning worship. Introductions of me are always more flattering than deserved.

The three-day workshop began with a teaching about God’s economy in comparison to the market economy. We talked in depth about who God is, how God sees others, and how God sees us. Connecting the idea of God’s economy to proposal development was easy enough given the perceived competition for funding. The questions that followed the seminar indicated that the group had been paying close attention to the teaching. They were anxious to learn about the material prepared for the next day and some of their questions had to be deferred.

What followed the first part of the workshop was supposed to have been a teaching from the pastors about strengthening the local church, but the group opted for work time to begin developing their proposals so that they would have my guidance while I am still with them.

God deserves the glory for a very successful conference. People were serious about their projects, worked hard, worshiped hard, and expressed lavish praise and gratitude that anyone would come so far from home, stay in deep village conditions, and share their wisdom with undereducated pastors…all for free. Multiple invitations to join pastors of other districts will likely result in more workshops in a variety of districts.

Thank you for partnering with Surprised by Hope so that the people of East Africa – specifically these pastors – could have teaching otherwise not available to them.