Bear Valley Bible Institute in Togo is in Kpalime, located about 2 hours from Lome, the capital city of Togo.
Togo is a West African French speaking country. This particular workshop provided me an opportunity to try out my “French language vocabulary.” It was a very interactive workshop for 78 people; most of them were preachers of the gospel; students at the Bear Valley Bible Institute; Agricultural Agency workers; church and community members.
Willie Gley, Director of the Bear Valley Bible Institute in Togo, and his team did an excellent work of putting everything in place for the workshop. We observed devotion times and shared knowledge and experiences in effective sustainable agriculture using Biblical principles. I can say that the participants comprehended the lessons based on their excitements and intellectual questions they asked. We also demonstrated all the techniques during the field demonstration seasons. At the end of the workshop, the participants formed an Association ready to go out to the communities and demonstrate the new techniques.
Bear Valley Bible Institute Holds 4th Graduation Program
Eighteen men received certificates for successfully completing a two year program at Bear Valley Bible Institute Togo, formerly Center for Biblical Studies. Fourteen of these men started as denominational “Pastors” or church leaders in 2013. However, by the close of the second year, all fourteen men were baptized and added to the Lord’s church.
The director of BVBI (H Willie Gley) used the occasion to tell the story of the institute- how it all started in 2005, where it is at present, and where it intends to be.
The guest of honor was Samuel Ayim, a banker and a lawyer with Ecobank. He encouraged the graduating class to understand that leadership is influence. They were encouraged as preachers to influence their followers for Christ.
Steve Ashcraft, on his part as the coordinator, used the occasion to speak on behalf of Bear Valley and Gabriel Oaks Church of Christ, sponsors of BVBI in Kpalime.
This year’s graduation program saw the largest attendance of over 700.
New Preachers Conduct Worship Service
The new preachers organized and conducted the worship service on September 6. The service was attended by over 250 worshipers.
One of the students taught the Bible class and one delivered the sermon. One student is going to work with the chariot and another one will be working with the churches in Cinkase, Northern Togo.
Joseph Weds Ellen
Joseph is a lucky man, graduated on Saturday and got married on Sunday. I had the opportunity to join Joseph and Ellen together immediately after the worship service.
Final Word To Preachers
I spent a few minutes with the new evangelists to encourage them to always continue to preach the word in good times or bad times, with or without financial support.
One of our activities leading to graduation was a leadership seminar. We invited all our past students who are now preaching in different parts of the country, current students, church leaders and staff of BVBI. The two topics discussed included: “The Contrast of Leadership,” in which we looked at the leadership qualities of Moses from the book of Exodus and contrasted that with Aaron. The second lesson centered on “How Preachers are to Pay Attention to Themselves and Their Ministry” instead of forgetting about their own spirituality.
As part of our tradition at BVBI, we always organize dinner for the graduating class and their families, preachers and church leaders. The occasion is used to encourage them and wish them well in their endeavors. We had time for optional speeches, too. Above all we enjoyed the company of each other.
10 Baptized During Kpele Campaign
Though the work in Kpele Beme started a couple of years ago, it was faced with the challenge of denominational influence in the town. Several were baptized but due to modern day persecution, they quickly left the church. Beme is a predominantly Evangelical Presbyterian community. About two years ago, we had to move the church from Beme across the street to Tutu, which is more moderate and tolerant to the existence of other churches. We were fortunate to have a family head donate one building plot to the church. By God’s grace we were assisted to build a place of worship on the land which was provided.
It is against this background that we decided to organize a three day campaign in Tutu and invited prospects from Beme and an adjoining town, Atime. During this campaign, 10 were baptized.
BVBI Receives Another Motor Bike
God has blessed BVBI in Kpalime with another bike. This brings to two the number of bikes the school has to facilitate, visitation, evangelism and other outreach programs of the school. Students use the bike on Sundays to visit local congregations.
The French Version of Bear Valley Bible Institute: 12 Men Enroll at BVBI
Just after the graduation, another batch of 12 men started a journey that will take them between 2 and 3 years. There are plans to enroll this batch of students in an apprenticeship program to acquire some skill before they graduate. Should this plan work, we shall extend the duration of academic work to three years instead of the regular two years. The interesting thing about this group is that out of the twelve men, only two are not members of Church of Christ. However, it may interest you to know that one student was baptized after one week of classes.
H Willie Gley