All Things New!
“Behold,” God says, “I am making all things new!” As we celebrate the New Year, we remember that God is in the business of renewal. He continues to do new things in very old places. Exhibit A for us is a cold and ancient city that first received the gospel just over 100 years ago.
The pastor of a very large church network based in this city has watched many trainings come and go, from both within and outside the country. But because of his excitement for our practical approach, we are the only training provider he has chosen to continue partnering with.
Seventy pastors in this network (divided into several training groups) are in the process of completing our three-year certificate program. In November, our trainers taught a course there on Practical Church Management. Two of these trainers, Ningo and Music, were deeply impressed by the attitude and commitment of the students. Hear their experiences in their own words:
Music: Without His help, we absolutely could not have completed this course
This was my fourth time training the same group of students in this city. Although the weather was cold, when I saw their eager faces, my heart was immediately warmed. I said to myself: “I must go all out and give my best to them.” By the third day of the training, I had developed a cold that was only getting worse. Yet there was peace in my heart. I was convinced that God would give me the strength to finish the training, and he did!
Local trainers and trainees agreed that the training was tailored to their needs. Even though I helped create this course 8 years ago, I was amazed as I watched and listened to the other trainers teaching it. It was clear to me that God had enabled us to develop it. I give thanks to God: without His help, we absolutely could not have completed this course.
Ningo: Any teacher would be willing to teach this group.
Even though this was only my second time with this group of students, I felt like I was meeting with old friends. The Lord has bonded us together. We are one in the Lord.
I felt very humbled when I saw the students on the first morning. They have a simple love for the Lord and work very hard, and they traveled a long way just to attend the training. I felt as though they love the Lord more than I do. They were an example and motivation to me. I think this encouragement was worth my whole trip.
I believe that any teacher would be willing to teach this group of students. They are careful, dedicated, and eager to participate in class activities. I could see in their eyes how eager they were to understand and grasp what was being taught.
In February, the second group of students will graduate and a third group will begin. Please keep this training site in your prayers. Pray for security and for the health and safety of our trainers. We look forward to sharing with you all the new things that God will do!