We just returned from Chimala Bible Institute with a warm heart about the program of training preachers in this African country. I am constantly amazed at the amount of work that goes into running a competent Bear Valley Bible Institute school. We were sent off with many well wishes from Christians in Georgia, Kentucky, Arkansas and Indiana. We picked up support from two new sources to help us as the coordinator of the Chimala Bible Institute.
We landed in Dar and then the next afternoon in Mbeya. I was with Dr. Robert Curry, whose congregation generously allowed him to come and teach two intense short courses on the General Epistles and the Godhead. Then we met brother Rueben, a preacher and school administrator in Nigeria. As you can imagine these two godly, dedicated men were able to give a wealth of knowledge, experience and ministry teaching to our students. They both spoke in chapel, mentored students and brought material that the students will be able to use for the rest of their ministry. Personally, it is also energizing to me to be around these men who have a tremendous heart for training men for the work of the Kingdom.
I was very happy to teach the two graduate classes on Christian education and Church Planning and Growth. There are some amazing men in this class. These dedicated evangelists already have many years of ministry experience. We have all of our CBI faculty as well as local preachers, including men from Malawi, who are both preaching and teaching in the school in Msusu. The material we covered was appreciated and we had many hours of classroom discussion on the work of the church in education and church planting. One of the activities these godly men are already involved with include a jail ministry in Malawi in which 34 men have been baptized. Another activity was the planting of five churches in a region where Christianity had not existed before. Another master’s student has started a Bible teaching program in four local secular schools in which many young men and women have been taught New Testament Christianity. During our two weeks together all 14 men had 30 hours of lecture and all wrote a 12-page paper in which they discussed an aspect of the class subject. We left them exhausted, and elated at the amazing amount of work they have put into their studies. This is being done while they also have been involved in the greatest work in the world; the preaching of the Gospel.
On the last day of school for the summer some amazing young people from Oklahoma joined us. They attended chapel and the singing and fellowship was as close to what I imagine heaven must be like. They are working at the hospital and schools during the morning and having a VBS in the afternoon. The students and staff were well rewarded by their attendance and enthusiasm. Speaking of that, we have also been able to make friends and fellowship and teach “the way of the Lord more perfectly” to two amazing young Doctors from Hong Kong. Tony and Grace came this time to the mission looking for a Christian hospital to work with. One evening I was able to have a Bible study with these amazing young people and we have promised to keep in touch and continue to study together.
Both Lord’s days we went with Robert Curry, Ezekiel Harrison and some of our students to Uturo. We bounced along the dirt road to the building and both services were so rewarding. Israel, one of our graduates of last November, has moved there to build the church. When we arrived we saw they were having a ladies class in one house and the men’s class in the building. Israel had taught the teachers, who are members of the church, to teach those classes. Last year we were having around 12 in attendance. Both Sundays we were there they had over 30. The work is going well because of the training and dedication of this one young man that CBI was able to provide.
The last weekend we traveled to check on some churches and drove through a nearby game reserve. Just about dark we rounded the dirt road and came upon what I thought, at first, was a large pony, but no, it was the largest lion I have ever seen. We followed him for over mile until he went down to the river to drink and prepare for his nightly hunt. Of course I was remained of the “devil as a roaring lion seeking whom he might devour.” I also was reminded of the dedicated supporters, teachers and students of the Chimala Bible Institute that are working hard to prevent this as we train workers for Christ (2 Timothy 2:2).
Garry L. Hill
Coordinator Chimala Bible Institute