I know this week, in the U.S., is one where families are taking time to express gratitude. I also know we are all aware of how important it is to be thankful beyond one day each year, but everyday. For this reason, I want to take a few moments of your time to express, on behalf of the everyone at Bear Valley, our gratitude. Specifically, I want to list a few of the areas for which we are thankful.
First, we express thanks to our God for His Son, and our Savior, Jesus. Because of Him, through Him, and in Him, this work exists and grows.
Second, we give thanks for the opportunities our God has provided to be involved in taking the gospel to the world through the avenue of Extension Training.
Third, we give thanks for the men who sacrifice so much of their time and energy to keep the program growing. The hours in travel, time in preparing and teaching, as well as, away from family is greatly appreciated.
Fourth, we give thanks for the wives and children who keep the home strong while their husbands and fathers are away. They continue to provide encouragement for the work. Without your support, it would not be possible to continue to serve.
Fifth, we give thanks for the wonderful men and women who continue to labor in each of the extension school locations. They are the real heart of why this work is so vital and successful. The diligence demonstrated to maintain, recruit, educate, organize and provide necessary information is what reminds us all of the need and sacrifice we should make to serve our God.
Six, we give thanks for you, the supporters of the work. The sacrifices you are willing to make are the backbone of why the work continues to see success in saving souls around the world. I do not want to think of what we would do without your help.
In the midst of such economic difficulties in this country, it is fitting for us to pause and remember the growth of the program and give thanks. We serve a great and awesome God. I am thankful to see His power working within each of us.
The future of Extension Training holds wonderful promise. As the new year begins, Bear Valley will be working hand in hand within 15 locations around the world in preparing men to preach the gospel. I get goose bumps when I consider where we have come from and where we are going... and we are just beginning.
Gary Fallis and Fred Cabler are now home from teaching in Ghana. We will have an update on their efforts in the near future.
Howell and Mary Ferguson are home from their work in both Ukraine and Chimala.
Andrew Connally School of Preaching
The news from Arusha, Tanzania continues to be exciting as the program of work grows. Cy Stafford sends the following report.
Greetings Fellow Workers
We hope and pray this note finds you blessed by our God in all the right ways. We thank you all who have been praying for Stephanie's mother, Exel. She continues to improve and if all goes to plan she will have surgery on her ankle Monday and go to a rehab ward for a week or two. It even gets better, she has decided to obey the Gospel and wants to put Christ on in baptism as soon as possible. To God be the glory for answered prayers! Amen!
We had a wonderful week of service in the Kingdom this week. We have finished our courses at the ACSOP for the year. I picked up Roger Shepherd at the airport Friday night. He will teach the second year students their final course before they graduate on Saturday, Nov. 27th. Yesterday (Sat.), the Arusha ladies hosted a youth day for the young girls here at our home. Lisa Holiday really helped in hosting the event due to Stephanie being out of Country. There were around 25 young ladies plus the speakers, Lisa, Nancy Smelser, Agnes, Makunde, Carolyn, Jane. We are so thankful for our Christian sisters, their continued spiritual growth in the Lord and their willingness to plan and carry out such edifying events.
"I can't shut up.....about the Gospel", said Isaac when I asked him how he had met Judith. On Monday, Judith was baptized into Christ. On Tuesday when Isaac and I were headed to her home for a follow-up study I asked him how he had met Judith. He said she was his neighbor and when he passed by her house he "could not shut up about the Gospel." Oh what a lesson for each of us. During our study with Judith we were blessed with three other ladies, friends of Judith's. One was a wayward Christian who, during our study, repented and was restored. We went back on Saturday afternoon for our continued follow-up studies, resulting in one of Judith's friends, Sia, obeying the Truth and being baptized. Roger led this study, "watering the planted Seed, resulting in God giving the increase." Amen.
Isaac and Sadick studied with a group of ladies at the new Church plant, Kwamrombo (SW part of Arusha) on Friday. Saturday morning we went and picked up two sisters in Christ and Grace. Grace has been part of our follow-up studies with this group of Christians for the past couple of weeks. Grace was baptized and added to the Lord's Church! Amen! Yes, a great week in the Kingdom of God here in Arusha.
I also received a note from Gasper saying two sisters in Christ at Mto wa Mbu were restored last Sunday. The work of God continues, and to say any more would only lessen the report of the Good News mentioned above. To God be the glory. Great things He is doing.
May our God bless your lives richly this week as you continue to grow in Him, serve Him, and teach others the saving message of the Gospel.
In Him, Cy & Stephanie
Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies
Brother Joseph Baah sent a report about the activities of the students with the Tamale Institute in Ghana. He includes a list of the names for men applying for the next class scheduled to begin in May 2011. The address for the report is /extension-news/2010/11/22/tamale-institute-of-biblical-studies.html
The news is awesome. I am thankful to read the reports each week of all the work around the world. I pray your lives are blessed in reading the news as well.
The week ahead will only continue to provide more. I guess that is why it is so exciting to share the reports with you each week. Thank you for taking the time to read them. I urge you to share them with others.