Approached by a beggar for a handout, one of my team members asked the man whether he knew Jesus. “Of course! I attend the ‘Thing-A-Mi-Jig’ church!” Sadly, I’m reminded that, a ‘Thing-A-Mi–Jig’ Gospel’ aptly describes an understanding of the Gospel shared by many African Church leaders who have had very little or no training in Scripture. In reality, a large percentage of African church leaders have had no Bible training. People aren’t growing spiritually because of a lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). In fact many are spiritually dead, because leaders with little understanding lead people with even less. In many cases the only thing “Christian” in churches, is the name.
But there are thousands of Christian leaders who desire training and an opportunity to be equipped for their task. Unfortunately, most don’t have access to affordable, quality training. But, AFnet offers a solution. Through the International School of Ministry (ISOM) video training program we offer quality in-service training, already available in many of the main languages of Africa. Thousands have already completed our training.
Now, having recently completed translation of the curriculum into the Bemba language, there seems to be a new and dynamic move of God’s Spirit. All across Zambia there’s been an upswing in interest among rural pastors. And so, for months we’ve been working non-stop producing manuals, also taking several extended trips to deliver tons of materials, and launching new Bible School programs. Seeing and experiencing such excitement among the hundreds of pastors and trainees that we recently met with was humbling. Registering 19 new extension Bible Schools across Zambia, with 506 new pastoral trainees registered for the 2-year program reminded us that there is Hope for Africa. Yet the reality is heart-rending.
Most African pastors can’t afford the $25/month it costs us to train a pastor. And so we must pay their way! Perhaps you also can become an active partner in this dynamic program. For $3600 you can sponsor a school, training 10 pastors through a full year. For $300 you can pay for 1 pastor’s training. Or for your $25/month commitment we will be able to continually register new applicants every month.
This is a unique opportunity to help empower the Church in Africa. We cannot all go out as missionaries. But we can all contribute towards the equipping of willing and available African leaders. Thousands are eager to be trained, but they do not have the resources. With your help we can train them, without them ever needing to leave their churches and community to seek training in the formal training intuitions elsewhere. Thank you for prayerfully considering your participation in this exciting and dynamic program. Take hands with us that Africa may be saved!
Johan and Christa Combrinck