Posts filed under Reports

TOGO: Extension #14

The Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver is officially connected with the work in Kpalime, Togo. Togo is located on the eastern border of Ghana. However, the journey between Ghana and Togo is far from an easy one. We traveled approximately 22 miles from Ho, Ghana to Kpalime, Togo and it only took about 3 hours. Not even pictures could describe the conditions of the roads we traveled.

However, the journey does not compare to the powerful opportunity afforded us when we arrived to meet the director and students of the Center for Biblical Studies (CBS). The time we shared in answering questions and discussing matters surrounding the school were uplifting and insightful.

Ten men are beginning their second year of classes at CBS. Nine of these men entered the program as members of a denomination and six of the nine were preaching for denominations. While this is not Bear Valley’s approach in training men to preach, we were impressed with the news to follow.

All of these men have been converted to Christ and four of the six men have been involved in converting  the entire congregation where they were working. Additional teaching is being done with the other denominations. Several hundred new brothers and sisters now exist as a result of the work being done.

We are excited to be connected with the work of training these men to preach in Kpalime. We are also excited about the potential for the future. Future students will be produced from these congregations that now belong to Christ.

The vision for the school in Togo is the result of a man by the name of Willie Gley. Brother Willie was converted after picking up a World Bible School brochure sticking up out of the dirt. He began searching for the truth and found the answers in God’s word via World Bible School correspondence.

Several years later, after receiving an education in Bible through the Brown Trail School of Preaching, he returned to work in his native country of Ghana. Willie’s vision has expanded to train other men in preaching the gospel. The school was born out of this vision a few years back with three men who are now working in the field. One year ago, the number of students increased to twelve, however, two were not able to stay in the program for various reasons.

The future of this work is very promising. In the months ahead, they will recruit for the next class of students for the summer of 2011. We pray, and ask you to pray, for the development of this program as Bear Valley joins hands with the tremendous work of training men to preach in Kpalime, Togo.

Coordinator Updates

Remember Howell and Mary Ferguson as they work in Chimala, Tanzania. They will be at the Chimala Bible College working with Garry Hill for the next few months.

Jerry and Paula Bates are in southern India working with various congregations. They will be in India for two more weeks. We will have a full report on their work upon returning to the U.S.

Denton Landon returned this past week from teaching in Takoradi, Ghana at the West Coast School of Preaching.

The following report is from Gary Fallis about his work in the extension program over the last month. The address is

Donnie Bates’ monthly report regarding the work in Honduras and Guatemala is located at the following address:

Extension Reports

Siem Reap, Cambodia

The International Bible Institute of Siem Reap and the work of the local congregation continues to grow. The news is always exciting from Phanat Ouch who serves as the director of the Bible Institute. You can read more at the following address:


Final Thoughts

There are never enough words to describe how thankful I am for the opportunity to see and share in this work. I am constantly amazed at God’s guidance and faithful hand to work in so many ways to take the gospel throughout the world.

I truly believe the answer to world evangelism is based in training men in their own country to preach the gospel to their own people. As we continue to develop the extension program, I thank you for seeing and sharing in the same vision.

Without your help, we would not be able to do what is needed to develop and complete the task before us. Thank you for your labor and generosity to the work of training men to preach the gospel. I hope you know how thrilling it is for me to report the news weekly connected to the extension work.

God bless


Posted on October 4, 2010 and filed under Reports.

From Ukraine to Tanzania

Those of you who are on my daily devotional email list already know that we completed our three weeks in Ukraine and have now been in Tanzania for two weeks. Overall, everything has gone basically as planned without a major hitch.

Shortly after arriving in Ukraine, I participated in the welcoming and orientation of the students to the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Ukraine. We began with nine new first-year students and six existing second-year students for a total of fifteen students. Reflecting back at a very difficult time a little over a year ago when BVBIU was down to only four students, we were very pleased to start the new Sept. 2010 school year with fifteen students.

My original purpose for going to Ukraine at this time was to welcome the new students. However, because of circumstances with Andrew, Terry and Marina Harmon’s younger two-year-old son, I decided to extend my stay to also assist teaching in Terry’s absence. As you may know, little Andrew was diagnosed with Histiocytosis, a rare disease in children in which immune cells mistakenly attack the body instead of fighting infections. Because of the serious nature of the disease and the need for the best treatment available, the Harmons made the difficult decision to conclude their successful work in Ukraine.  

Fortunately for BVBIU, Terry had been mentoring one of the teachers, Denis Sopelnik to one day take over the directorship. And even while the new position is weighing heavy on his shoulders right now, Denis immediately and smoothly assumed the directorship. That’s not to say there are no new challenges. Having more students means more money is required to house, feed and teach. I’m not a prophet, but I don’t foresee things getting any cheaper. That means an increased budget and the need for more support. On top of this, cold weather is already on its way in Ukraine.

However, a project was already underway when I left to install four 1,000-liter hot water reservoir tanks enabling BVBIU to heat water when electricity is at its lowest cost (between midnight and 6:00 am). This will enable the building to be heated during the day from the boiler reservoir tanks without heating water during peak daytime hours. We believe the savings will be significant especially when the weather becomes bitter cold for long periods.

But cold weather wasn’t an issue during the three weeks Mary and I were there. I completed my class on Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther, and enjoyed the other times of Bible study and fellowship while we were there. Denis, Natasha (BVBIU secretary) and I had a meeting the day before we left to tie up loose ends and discuss other matters. Mary transcribed the meeting notes.

With all that we could do in Ukraine behind us, we began the second objective of our trip—to spend time in Tanzania working with the Chimala Bible College. While the cultures are completely different, we love  the people just  the same. Once we  landed in Dar-es-Salaam, we had to wait an additional day for our luggage to arrive from Nairobi. It was so good to see Bill and Cyndi Stinson at the airport; and once we finally made the 11-hour road trip, to see the familiar faces on the Chimala Mission.

There were some logistic issues we had to address: exchange money, get cell phone and internet/email SIM cards, get my resident permit stamped in my and Mary’s passports, and renew my TZ driver’s license. Of course, the most important issue was getting some good Rift Valley coffee! 

Monday after we got to the mission, I received my class schedule teaching the book of Isaiah to the first-year students on Mondays, and teaching Church Planting and Development to the second-year students on Thursdays. The other six courses during the six-week fourth quarter are being taught by Garry Hill, Peter Kamatula, and Joshua Mwakyasima. Afterwards, Garry and I will teach the last four courses in the two-week short courses.

This visit to Chimala is unique in several ways. One, this is the longest visit to the mission we have ever spent—nearly two months; two, Bill Stinson—the Chimala Mission administrator, and his wife, Cyndi have left for the states for a few months to take care of matters at home leaving the mission without an administrator; and three, Garry Hill has now “moved-in” to the Chimala Mission as a permanent CBC teacher/missionary. So we have been left here also serving as the “eyes and ears” of the mission in Bill’s absence. However, Bill has left a system of responsibility in place for the heads of the different departments. I agreed to use our SKYPE every first Saturday afternoon at 4:00 for the department heads to communicate with the elders of the New York Ave. congregation. Probably by the time you read this report, we will have already had our first SKYPE meeting.

Here at the Chimala Mission there are a number of small matters we hope to address. One of the areas is to improve the library. A container is planned to be  shipped after the first of the year which will contain some books for the library; but in the meantime we want to implement some policy changes so the library doesn’t continue to shrink. We’re relocating the CBC/CSOP secretary’s office in the entrance so no one can enter or leave without her knowledge. We’ve also made a new break room for the students so they can have their ten o’clock tea or coffee. Other administrative matters will be worked on such as updating our student handbook and permanent student records. There are also plans to be made in preparation for our CBC 2010 graduation in November. Lord willing, I’ll update you on these things and other matters in next month’s newsletter. Until then we ask for your continued prayers

- Howell Ferguson

Posted on October 3, 2010 and filed under Reports.