Greetings from Tamale!
The Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies has just completed its eighth term and students are packing up to head back to their homes for a three week break. When they return in January they will have just two terms left to complete their two year program. I know the students are looking forward to getting back to their families and having some time to enjoy the holiday festivities.
We have received reports from some of the schools graduates informing us of the work being done in the kingdom. Avoca John Mbilla, who is working at the Poyamire congregation in the Bawku area of the Upper East region, writes:
Through my personal evangelism work and outreach programs with churches within this quarter of the year, I realized that most of these churches that were planted some years back had scattered and fallen away due to lack of skillful trained church leaders as well as preachers to take care of these churches after planting. This has been a genuine problem across almost all the churches within the upper east region of the Bawku municipality. Based upon that I took the pain to initiate with all the preachers within the Bawku municipality and the Poyamire church leaders and we were able to organize a three day leadership training seminar in August 2012, but this was not enough. We would therefore wish to appeal for assistance to open a new Biblical leadership training program within the Upper East Region in June 2013, inviting all interested church leaders within the municipality to be trained to help address some of these issues and to promote the growth and sustainable improvement of church planting within the municipality.
The Bible Institute is making plans to assist John with the leadership training requested. In addition, John and his congregation will be working with the school in February when we do a church planting campaign in the village of Koligungo, which is on the Ghana-Burkina Faso border. Poyamire is the closest existing congregation to Koligungo and will be assisting in providing teachers and preachers for the new congregation.
A report was also received from Albert Malir who is working with the Chamba congregation, which is outside of Bimbila in the Northern Region. Albert writes:
The church members are doing well in time of church attendance. They have no problem with the church doctrine and its practice. This indicates their maturity in the scriptures. It is the hope and desire of the church that by the middle of 2013 the weak churches near Chamba should be strengthened, so the church is deciding (sic - asking) that if leadership training could be offered to them so that they will be able to help the nearby churches of Christ.
The Bible Institute has not yet been able to schedule a leadership training class for Chamba, but hopes to do so in the near future. Albert also reported that seven additional souls have been added to the church in baptism since his last report, bringing the Chamba congregation membership to 40.
The final report came from Isaac Moakel and David Waja who are working in the villages outside of Salaga. Together they help to support seven different congregations in the area. Since July of this year they are reporting four baptisms in Kulpi, three in Kvuwani, two in Kayeriso, three in Malchee, one in Loloto, ten in Kpajai, and seven in Butan. 30 precious souls added to the kingdom!
Both Albert and David also reiterated a need that we hear constantly from the preachers in the north, the need for better transportation. As these men attempt to help additional congregations the ability to get from place to place is the single greatest limiting factor in how much they can do. Both are seeking the means to purchase a motorbike for their work.
Next week I will be traveling to Burkina Faso to continue to look for opportunities for the kingdom to grow. Please keep both the students and the staff here in your prayers.
Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies