I am sitting in Pastor Elisante’s church in Manyoni. My heart is full and grieved at the same time. The news of the class has spread and pastors have been coming from many kilometers away to receive the training. They have come by bus, motorbike, bicycle and on foot because the word has spread that there is someone here who can teach them how to feed their people. They sleep on mattresses on the floor and some are being housed by members of Pastor Elisante’s church members. We were expecting 40 pastors. Finally, at 52 we have had to close the class because we cannot accommodate them.
I stood this morning with Yohanna, one of our new leaders in training, as he pleaded with me “Please mama, this man has come from very far and he needs what we have. Please do not turn him away.” My heart is breaking with the burden of so great a need. We have had to close the class with still others coming.
Friends, I sat with my friend Elisante last night as he passionately spoke with tears in his eyes of the pastors who are trying to lead churches. Pastors who have almost no education. As tears welled up in his eyes and his voice cracked with emotion he said “Can you imagine trying to lead a church and you have not even escaped (completed) primary school (elementary school). Can you imagine one of the students has never even attended school at all.” He just kept shaking his head over and over saying “Oh my, I thank God for Ancient Promise, mama, that He has decided to send you to the village.”
There are no words for this Mazungu (white person) to speak to tell you of the burden in my heart. I am sitting right now listening to the low murmur of the Swahili language flowing gently around me as these men are working through the steps of the training in their small groups. The sound is mixed with the chirping of birds who are calling to each other in the rafters of this windowless church building. It is both soothing and yet reminds me of how far I am from America and all the abundance there.
Brad has been working hard this morning filming a video that will be put on SD cards and sent home with these pastors so they will have a way to become grounded and solid in the training. I am so grateful to those of you who sent him with us. I don’t know if he understands the gift he is giving to these people.
Please pray for us. Pray for Ezekiel who is teaching the Bible study skills part that is usually taught by Diana Berns. Ezekiel is doing such an amazing job. He has been well trained by Diana and I couldn’t be more proud of him.
Many Blessings to all of you, please continue to pray for us in this great work God has put in from of us. We are so grateful for your partnership.
Ancient Promise Ministries