SIBSREP – AUGUST, 2015
Both of our two programs –the regular full-time two-year Preacher Training and the Master’s program are making steady progress. So far, the eleven students in the full-time program are working hard to complete their studies. We also continue to receive enquiries and applications concerning the Master’s program.
The recent Master’s class held with Jerry Bates was equally a great success. Two preachers, Ebenezer Makinde and Isaac Oluwol, continued to attend from Nigeria, and overall student participation was very encouraging. There was a preacher, Alfred Beeyan, from Liberia who attended for the first time to enquire about the admission. This time around, nineteen students participated in the class excluding five brethren who were present to audit the class. Four other local preachers have since then submitted completed application forms to enroll in the program, and others are making more enquiries hopefully intending to enroll.
As information continues to get around about our school, some brethren are expressing a deep interest to enroll, however, they are unable to attend because of their work. At a meeting with Steven Ashcraft and the staff of SIBS, the issue of part-time classes was extremely considered. We noticed that since some wanted to enroll, but except on part-time basis, we thought a week-end program must be considered. In that case, interested candidates could have the time to do so. Classes would be organized on Friday afternoons and the whole of Saturday. A total of ten hours of classroom work per week was required to obtain a BV diploma, while any study time less than BV requirement could attract a certificate or award from SIBS.
Admissions For 2016/2017
As the final school term for the current students is approaching, it has become very demanding upon us with the second batch of students. We continue to visit and talk to some congregations, depositing enrollment forms in specific locations and at seminars. Although there have been some responses, we are working on more students. We plan to hold interviews during the first week in December which will determine who are going to be our next batch of students. Please, continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
Brethren Donate To [SIBS]
The church at Achimota College in Accra showed their kindness to [SIBS] when they donated some food items to the school. Received with appreciation, we also asked them to continue with this kind gesture and hope other brethren would emulate such kindness to support to the school.
Hope we are always in your thoughts and prayers.
SIBS REPORT – SEPTEMBER, 2015
The main purpose of the establishment of [SIBS] is to proclaim the gospel of the Lord Jesus. This gospel reveals God’s power of love and grace in the sacrifice of Christ to save the lost. Although [SIBS] plans to at least establish one church each year, we are so thankful to God, a third church has been established in our second year.
New Church Planted – Pokuase-Amanfrom
Pokuase-Amanfrom in the Greater Accra region is virtually a place of new settlement, where mostly the working class in the city are re-locating and building a new township. New churches – both Orthodox and Pentecostal are mushrooming rapidly. [SIBS] plan is to identify towns and villages where other churches are, but the Lord’s church is not to preach the gospel in these places.
In a week’s campaign here with [SIBS] students, several people were reached with the gospel, and heard of the church for the first time in their lives. However, their problem here, as elsewhere, was making an instant decision to be baptized into Christ. With some already affiliated to some church, they felt reluctant to “leave” their church and “join” another church so instantly. They thought they needed more time to make a decision.
As we went round studying the gospel with people, we also met some members of the church who have re-located to this place. While some of them ride back and forth to attend worship in their former congregations, others could not afford to attend worship because of the distance and their new location.
By the close of the campaign, there were ten baptisms, and two who placed membership, and twenty-nine in attendance at the first worship service.
Third Church - Bole- Upper West
About this same time, another group of our students and some of our instructors traveled to Bole in the Upper West region on a second mission trip. Blessed with three baptisms, four restorations, and a couple of old members here, the believers started meeting as a congregation for the first time. We are so thankful to see a third church started in the second year of [SIBS], the church at Dobro, being the first one to be established.
SIBSREP – OCTOBER, 2015
Perhaps the unanticipated Agricultural Workshop sponsored by Healing Hands International came in as a timely response to some concerns raised here concerning livelihood of our students and preachers. There were about eighty-four participants at the workshop. This comprised three main groups. Besides students from SIBS, students from the Hope Training Institute [HTI], and Agents from the Department of Agriculture were invited to the workshop.
Providing Sustainable Skills
As the goal of the workshop was to provide sustainable training skills to participants, students from the HTI embraced the program with exception. According to the Managing Director of HTI, the school has always been anticipating an Agricultural program of this kind to support the Institute’s feeding needs. HTI’s response to participate in the workshop was overwhelming.
The government is giving some priority to the Agriculture sector, hence our invitation to the Department of Agriculture in the municipality, who responded so favorably. About thirty Extension Agents and workers led by the Municipal Director, Mrs Ruth Woode, participated.
The two-day workshop which aimed at introducing SIBS students and other interested participants to improved farming techniques was more than a success. The workshop centered particularly on compost making, and drip irrigation. Since SIBS students depend on generous support of brethren for livelihood, the program was found to be a motivation to get us involved in vigorous backyard gardening to supplement our feeding needs.
All participants fully appraised the program. Brethren from the HTI could not help entreating the resource person to visit their campus. This was to observe the great need there for further future training or support that could be given them to sustain their feeding needs. The Agents from the Department of Agriculture were not an exception in their own evaluation. Although these officers receive periodic training, they did not hesitate to admit learning additional techniques and deriving immense benefit from the workshop. They thought the government should have provided this kind of training periodically to promote farming locally. Consequently, they requested for any further possible collaboration with HHI in the area of further workshops and technical assistance to improve farming in the municipality.
At SIBS, our plan is to apply the new technique on our just acquired two-acre land to support the schools feeding. In that case, there would be the need for a technical assistance – the need for services of an Agricultural officer to guide and supervise the school farm. What is more, some of the students at SIBS thought they could take the technology back home after graduating from school to support their livelihood.
[SIBS] has been able to acquire a two-acre plot of land for our school campus. We have just made a small down payment until we ascertain the authenticity of all the land documents, when we can go ahead to make the total payment.
Hope we will continue to be in your thoughts and prayers.
Southern Institute Of Biblical Studies