This month Paraclete Associate David Stevens visited Abidjan, Ivory Coast, where they’ve been invited to train over 360 pastors and church leaders in the study of God’s Word and the preparation of biblical, expository messages. Here are David’s words on the trip:
“Though this was our first visit to the Ivory Coast, we were very encouraged by the prayerful preparation on the part of the national churches for these seminars. Once again, I participated in this International Thompson Bible Institute under the auspices of African Pastoral Training.
What a privilege it was to see these men and women dig into the Scriptures using the Thompson Chain Reference Bible! By comparing Scripture with Scripture they learn, in dependence upon the Holy Spirit, to let the Bible interpret itself. But beyond that, they acquire some of the basic principles of how to effectively communicate the truth of God’s Word to others.
This past year over 2,000 pastors and church leaders were trained in our seminars held in Cameroon, the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Niger, Senegal, and Liberia. Here are a few of their testimonies:
“This workshop has really lifted my understanding of the Bible. I have been preaching (other) people’s messages but from now on I will make my own message through the help of the Holy Spirit who is my teacher.” “The training has been an eye opener for me. I have gained skills and knowledge in how to study the word of God, interpret it and even how to prepare a sermon that is biblical.””I have been made aware of what I have never known during my three years of my diploma in theology study.””I have really been encouraged and challenged by this workshop. I will commit myself more in studying God’s word and devote myself to a more serious approach to my preparation of sermons. My God richly bless your ministry. I have got more than I have anticipated.”
Here’s how you can pray for this ministry of God’s Word in the Ivory Coast:
1. Pray according to James 4:13-17, asking God for direction and safety in travel.
2. Pray according to Ephesians 1:15-23, asking God to move powerfully by His Holy Spirit in the lives of teachers and students alike as we open God’s Word together.
3. Pray according to 2 Timothy 2:1-3, asking God to raise up reliable national trainers who will be able to teach others.
Thanking God for your partnership in the gospel,