The weekend held one special event as the second class of the Center for Biblical Studies in Kpalime, Togo held their commencement exercises. The class originally began with twelve men, but due to the lack of initial funding, several had to leave. The class of eight men were able to complete the program of study and were honored on Saturday.
Over 400 people assembled, including a number of local officials to share in the excitement of this day. The singing was incredible, the commencement lesson (at least what I could understand from the translation) was inspiring, and the encouragement given from those families who had traveled so far to share in this day made the event exceptional.
I was privileged to hand out the certificates to these eight men who have endured many challenges, worked diligently, and overcome a number of obstacles to complete the courses of the past two years. It was an honor to hand the certificate to David Wama. Brother Wama was converted from a denomination where he was preaching. He was able to convert about half of the congregation where he served previously before the denomination stepped in and evicted him from his home, sued him for past salary and put him in jail until it could be paid. This man is a great example of the dedication to the Lord demonstrated in Togo.
It was interested to be asked why I was doing this work, traveling through the rough / brush area (where were traveling at the time) to Togo when I could be back home in the U.S. All I could think to say was “I just keep thinking about David Wama." After his experience to prepare himself to preach the gospel, how could I not make the journey to share this special day of achievement with him. It was worth the trip!
The picture on the right is one of the students being surrounding by over 20 local preachers in Togo (many who traveled great distances). We were led in prayer by one of these men on behalf of these graduates and the work they were about to begin for the Lord. The excitement of eight new men entering the work of preaching the gospel will have a great impact for the Kingdom.
The school was established by Willie Gley, who actually lives in Accra, Ghana. Willie was instrumental in helping this school get started and grow to where it is today. CBS is under the direction of Cephas Nyemanta. Cephas has been an incredible instrument in the hands of God to convert all eight of these men and assisted four of them in reaching a number of souls who were a part of a denomination in this area.
Bear Valley was asked to get involved with the work in Togo last year. After visiting the work and seeing what had been accomplished and the plans for the future we were excited and thankful to be involved. The work is under the oversight of the Gabriel Oaks Church of Christ and they have done a wonderful job in helping with the great financial need, as well as, direction for the program.
I am excited to know the future of the school is in very capable hands as the future class (beginning in September) is looking to host 20 students. I ask you to pray about this work and the future of training men to preach the gospel in Togo.
The reports from other locations in the Extension Program are listed below. The news continues to shine as men are being trained, the gospel is being preached, and souls are being saved around the world.
Reports from the coordinators are now located on the website, under Staff Reports. The address is /extension-schools/
Please pray for Gary and Sarah Fallis while they are in Cambodia to work with the school and local congregations.
Campaign To 14+ Villages Produces Fruit: The recent news from Cameroon continues to demonstrate the great work of these students in reaching souls for Christ.
Diary Of The Work In Tamale: Tony Johnson demonstrates his growth and the development of the work in Tamale as he continues to teach and serve in Tamale, Ghana.
Thieves In Uganda: While the Wechesa family was at worship Sunday, thieves broke into their home. Francis tells about the situation in Uganda.
Grand-Slam Week In Arusha Safari For Souls: The work in Arusha is incredible. Not only is God giving the increase, there is a little extra news near the end. Take time to read Cy’s report.
Impressive Work Of A 17 Year Old Preacher: The Gee report gives information about the work of a 17 year old young man who is doing a great work for the Lord.
I think you would agree the material in this week’s report continues to be uplifting as the work grows. Everything we do is possible because of you. In all the ways you support this work, it keeps us moving forward and we thank you.
I will have more to report next week about the graduation in Tamale, Ghana, as the first class to complete the program will be honored.
Thank you all for all you do to help.