I trust everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving break and was able to spend time with family in one way or another. As we are drawing near to the end of 2012 and looking into the face of 2013, there is much wonderful news to share.
Keith Kasarjian has been a tremendous asset to the program since its beginning 15 years ago. He is one of several who are full time staff members on the Bear Valley team. Keith has been working to put together year end information for the entire program of Extension Training to give us all a perspective of where we are and where we are going. I am thankful to have such a capable right hand man to work with as we move ahead in the work of training men to preach. The information below was accumulated and written by Keith.
Please take time to read through his report and consider what God has done with the cumulative efforts of all that is involved in this program.
It is hard to believe, but the end of 2012 is quickly approaching. At Bear Valley, we have had a banner year, unlike any other, and are even more excited about the prospects for next year and the future to come. This year has truly been unprecedented in the history of the Bear Valley Extension Program and we want to share some of the excitement with you - our friends, partners, and supporters.
There are currently 17 extensions, in 14 different countries around the world, with 277 full-time, preacher training students! This year has also witnessed 90 men graduate with their degree or certificate from Bear Valley. Just think of all the potential in those men and their families in the years to come, as the vast majority of them are serving in fertile parts of the world. This is truly exciting! This year has also seen the addition of four new extensions (the most ever in one year), new coordinators, directors, and partners.
However, at Bear Valley, we know that we are not doing this alone. We depend on partners and supporters to help in training preachers around the world. In addition to our all-important supporters, 91 different local teachers taught in Extensions where Bear Valley has been partnering with others in training men to preach. In addition to those local men, another 60 men made the journey to an extension to teach a “short course” to these students. This truly is a team effort at every level.
In addition to teaching these men how to preach and live, we want to instill in them a passion for soul-winning. This is borne out in the many studies, campaigns, and gospel meetings that they are involved in throughout the year. As a result of these efforts, we know of at least 664 baptisms, 13 new congregations, 130 restorations, and the conversion of several denominational preachers. To God be the glory!
This has truly been a remarkable year, but we are not resting on our laurels as we look to an exciting future. There are already 105 new students set to enter the program next year and we will be partnering with a new extension in Asunción, Paraguay. 2013 promises to be the most exciting year yet.
At Bear Valley, we thank all those who support us and those we partner with to carry out the mandate of 2 Timothy 2:2. What you are doing is making a difference and we literally could not do it without you. Thank you for the confidence you have placed in us and we look forward to continuing to serve together as long as the Lord allows.
Now on to the other reports...
Reports from the coordinators are now located on the website, under Staff Reports. The address is /extension-schools/
Appreciation - A Noble Theme In Cameroon: The focus of chapel lessons in Cameroon helps students understand the need for Appreciation.
Graduation And Recruitment At The WCSOP: The West Coast School of Preaching graduates one class and prepares another in Takoradi, Ghana.
Classes Move Along Well In Kenya: The Kenya School of Preaching is on a short break between quarters, but the work of these men is proving to do well and the need is great.
Kingdom Of Hope In Ghana: The efforts of Tony Johnson in Tamale, Ghana, along with others, to train men to preach is also connected to a great outreach to help children.
125 Graduates, 150 Church Plants In Tanzania: If you have ever wondered about the difference made in training men to preach in their own countries, just read this article.
Short Courses And Graduation At The ACSOP: Another class has completed their studies in Arusha, Tanzania and the work continues to grow.
We hope everyone enjoyed a relaxing time over the Thanksgiving holiday. The end of the year is approaching quickly and we are continually working to develop ways to improve our efforts of training faithful men to preach the gospel. As stated earlier, we cannot do this work without you. Our God is great to have provided such loyal and dedicated individuals and congregations to be actively involved in extension training. We love and appreciate all of you.