THE HOPE OF AFRICA SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY has been founded, and the response was beyond our wildest dreams!
The first week-long session was held at Shikomari, with approximately 85 in attendance. The pastors who came were so enthusiastic and receptive, pleading for another session in December. We had initially planned to gather the teachers from Kenya and Uganda to teach again in April, with John and I staying home. The need is so great, however, that we are rethinking our plans. In fact, we are heading to Uganda on September 5 for approximately five days of strategic planning to determine our next steps.
God has placed some incredibly talented ministry partners in our path who are well-equipped to run with this vision. We are looking forward to quality time with them in Busia. I am reminded of Jeremiah 10:23: “I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself, nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps,” but even more of Proverbs 16:9: “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” We are trusting God to direct every step we take.
Our second week-long pastor training took place near Kilgoris, Kenya. (Did I say near? To Kenyans, it is “just there,” but to us, it was a very long, dusty ride to and fro every day to reach the village where we ministered. The word spread throughout the week (or should I say, The Word spread), and by week’s end, we had over 65 in attendance. Same scenario as above: a roomful of pastors, craving a deeper knowledge of Scripture.
There are so many obstacles to overcome here. The prosperity gospel is rampant; pastors have had no formal training; and the witchcraft of the African traditional religion has a tenacious hold on believers.
I am praying that other churches will catch the vision of this great work God is doing. Our tiny little church in Cherokee, Texas fully funded this new phase of The Hope Factory’s grand plan. When we return, our hope is to share what is happening here with other congregations. This is a rare opportunity to invest in the kingdom work, knowing that every penny is spent for the glory of God, and not a single cent on administration costs.
God has been so gracious and merciful to include us in His work, and there is no way to describe the ways in which we have been blessed! We have even become honorary Maasai!
Much love from Kenya,