Thursday, June 11, 2015

Kaberamaido TLT - Preaching

Last week I finished manual 4, "Biblical Preaching," in Kaberamaido.  It proved to be the most difficult week of TLT I have had yet, both because it is the most difficult manual to teach, and because we had a very large group.  But it was very successful and meaningful.  I was exhausted by the end after going non-stop from 7:30am to nearly 8:00pm each day!  But I am so thankful that God was with us that week and helped all us to grow and learn together.  It was a week of worship and preaching to one another.  I'll keep this blog post short as you can read about the content of this TLT manual in my previous blog post, Amuria TLT - Preaching.

I enjoyed hearing the wonderful things God has done through these pastors and leaders through their action plans from the last manual, "Overcoming Violence in the Family." 

Five TLT members had teamed up to make one big action plan.  They put on a marriage conference for 60 couples.  The attendees were church leaders and members of the board of PAG Kaberamaido's development organization and their spouses.  They drew heavily from the TLT manual for the conference, but also had a guest speaker who really made a powerful impact.  During their report I got to see pictures of the married couples holding hands and hugging as part of the conference activities.  So many people gave testimonies that they had not done things like this with their spouses since they were first married, or ever!  Unfortunately the guest speaker died in a car accident only one month later.  We can say that he was working for God's Kingdom right up until the end of his life.  He is already greatly missed and PAG members from all over the country came to his burial.

In the town of Otuboi, another three TLT members put on a similar couples conference.  They had 30 couples attend and they taught what they had learned from the TLT manual.  They even got some of my fellow TLT leaders to come and lead some of the sessions.  It went so well that people are asking for the teachings to continue, and those who missed are begging for them to do another conference.

Kevin, a female pastor with an interesting name, had a goal to reach out to 3 drunkards in her community.  She tried to minister to them without much success.  Then her neighbor started a fire on accident that burned down her house.  The neighbor had to pay people to build her a new house.  It turns out that the laborers were the very drunkards she was trying to reach.  They ended up becoming friends and although they have not stopped drinking, they are now visiting together with Kevin once a week and are willing to hear God's Word from her.  When Kevin's co-pastor was giving the report he said with a smile, "God allowed her house to get burnt so that she could reach the drunkards."
Simon had a plan to get one day of rest every week along with his entire family, to share God's Word together and play with their children.  He had been convicted when we discussed in TLT that God commands us to rest for our own good.  When Simon went home and told his wife about his action plan, she thought he had "become a mad person because there is too much work to do."  But she was willing to try it out, along with the kids.  Now his wife's health is improving, her back hurts less, and the neighbors have commented how healthy and happy the family appears.  She is now fully appreciating their days of rest!
One of my co-leaders, Betty:

A couple pastors taught 40 youth the biblical perspective on marriage and sexuality.  This is not a topic that is talked about here directly (very different from American culture).  At times, if you dare to teach about this subject in church, the Christians may criticize the pastor for teaching about something that shouldn't be spoken about.  So I was very proud of them that they did this teaching.

Another testimony that makes me smile:  After pastors taught families about how to honor one another and treat each other in the family, they came back again later for follow up.  The wives testified that their husbands have changed and now listen to their wives' ideas, and the children testified that they are so happy when they now see "their mother and father playing and smiling together."
The Bishop had tried to get some drinking joints to voluntarily shut down.  He has not been fully successful, but one drinking joint actually moved their location after he talked with them, farther away from the town center.  At first, the people he talked to would ridicule him and call him names.  But he has earned their respect through his love and patience.  The drunkards and drinking joint owners now come to him when they need prayer.  They brought him a very sick boy who was healed after he prayed for him!  And now whenever he comes to talk to them, they get out their Bibles and get ready to listen to him.


There were many other encouraging testimonies of families being reconciled, husbands and wives learning to love and serve one another, houses being built for widows, people getting saved, drunkards giving up drinking, and teaching families or church leaders lessons from the TLT manual about how to have healthy, godly families.

These Kaberamaido leaders have really taken to TLT.  They are enjoying it very much and it is growing their capacity as leaders.  If you couldn't see this from their reports, I have further evidence that they value this training.  Some of the members valued the last manual so much that they translated much of it into Kumam, their local language, in order to teach others.  In addition, one of the TLT participants was just given the position of pastor for the first time, overseeing one of the churches, because of his training from TLT.  Since only a few pastors have ever been to Bible college, going through TLT is quite significant preparation to qualify someone to become a pastor.

As you can see in these pictures, it is mango season and people were really enjoying them.  I was amused.  These pastors sit dignified in formal clothing one minute, and the next minute, shoes come off and they scamper up the tree just like they did as children.  They climb 50 feet high up branches I surely couldn't manage, and then they shake the branches and the sky rains mangoes, 50-100 of them dropping at one time like a barrage of hail.

I was also amused that so many people at all of these "Timothy Leadership Trainings" are calling me "Timothy" accidentally.  "Anthony" is a bit difficult to say for some people here.  And I guess being associated with TLT in such a close way isn't a bad thing.  I've had many worse nicknames!

Group work outside:

Some members have to take their babies with them to TLT!

It was very exciting to hear them preach their sermons, which we then evaluated.  Only four of the eight groups had time to actually preach their sermons to all of us, but all eight groups wrote very good sermons over the course of the week.  They are excited to go out and preach these sermons in their churches and teach other pastors what they have learned.  I was impressed by the humility shown by all the participants.  They were eager for the evaluations and corrections.  They are hungry for learning and change.  Their attitude is contagious and I hope I can also be the same way in all my life and ministry.

I won't say much about the action plans other than that all of the participants are excited to put into practice what they have learned.  They all want to improve their preaching, and most of the participants made action plans that involve teaching what they learned to the pastors and leaders who were not able to attend TLT.  This is the beauty of multiplication.  This group was nearly 50 leaders, and thinking about all of their action plans and who they intend to train, another 500 leaders may get trained by them.  May God bless these pastors and use them to proclaim his Word. 


  1. Thank you again for the wonderful updates of how God is using you both and blessing your work. We continue to pray for you and are very thankful to be a part of your support team. Nell

  2. I LOVE hearing how God has worked through your students' action plans! I am especially encouraged when I hear that pastors are treating their families differently. May God continue to bless your TLT, Timothy!