Today the Bear Valley Bible Institute in Denver began the second quarter of the 45th year of training men to preach the gospel. Hundreds of men who have completed the program in Denver have been involved in doing the Lord’s work around the world and in every State of the U.S.
The Extension program will soon enter the 14th year of preparing men with the same purpose, now in 14 locations around the world. I am thankful to see how the program has and continues to grow. Several strides have been made over the past year to bring better communication to the program, as well as, a standardized approach to the work.
One of the most exciting aspects of Extension training is the fact that several hundred men can now be trained all at the same time. The number of students being trained to preach the gospel is over 200 and there is room for growth.
While the reports are encouraging and exciting, there are challenges to the work. Perhaps the greatest challenge is learning how to address the issue of dependency. One of the goals of Bear Valley is to provide the training in each extension to help men understand how to develop leadership within the church and self-supporting congregations.
The issue is not new. The problems experienced from dependency have existed for years. However, beginning in the classroom, we hope to provide a foundation in one of the fundamental teachings of scripture, stewardship. Students must learn to be good stewards and how to teach stewardship.
It may not be the only answer, but we are certain this fundamental element can be taught and practiced to help the work grow. As students learn about personal stewardship, a new mindset should begin to influence the direction of church growth and development. In the years to come we look forward to seeing and reporting on the growth of our efforts.
Remember Howell and Mary Ferguson as they work in Chimala, Tanzania. They will be at the Chimala Bible College working with Garry Hill for the next few months.
Jerry and Paula Bates have returned from their latest trip to India. We are all thankful for their safe return and the success of their trip. We will have a full report for everyone soon.
Denton Landon will be leaving later this week for a trip to Tanzania to teach in the Chimala Bible College. Please be praying for his travels.
Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies: Ghana
The following address is a link to the latest report from the director of the Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies, brother Joseph Baah:http://www.bvbid.org/PDFs/ExtensionReports/Ghana10_10.pdf
I want to plant a seed for you to consider. As the program of extension training grows, please consider how you can be more involved in the work. Recently, we discussed with several men the opportunity of serving as a coordinator for the work. They will need support.
We have also talked with a number of men regarding the possibility of teaching short courses in the schools. They will need to raise travel expenses. These areas are needed for men who are currently serving in these positions as well.
We are also looking at the possibilities of adding schools in other locations as opportunities open up. You can help in one or all of several ways.
1. Please continue to pray for this work. I appreciate your prayers more than I can express. I believe prayer is the most powerful way anyone can help.
2. Please tell others about the work. Share the news, the reports, and all the information you can with everyone you know. The more others know about extension training, the greater the opportunity for more to get involved.
3. Think about taking a trip to see the work first hand. There is nothing more powerful than having a “bird’s eye” view. The needs become so real when seen from the mission point.
4. Consider how to help financially. No amount is too small or too large. Every dollar coming into this program is beneficial in helping train men to preach. It may be a one time donation or monthly support, but there is always a need.
5. With the right qualifications, you might consider how to get involved in teaching a short course, or becoming a coordinator. As the program grows, so will the need for more men who are willing to fill positions in the program.
Now you have much to think about. Opportunities are unlimited. If you would like to discuss these areas further, please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reach me by phone at 303-986-5800. I would love to talk with you.
Let me close by saying thank you. Thank you for giving consideration to the needs and opportunities. Also, thank you for what you have already done and continue to do on behalf of extension training. You are awesome and I pray for you daily.