Thursday, February 4, 2016


On January 11th of this year 4 teachers and 20 students met in Kabaale Village for the first day of school at Faith Bible School.  They were joined by Paul Mwesigwa (Africa Director of Hope and Mercy Mission).  The day had been much anticipated and there was a lot of excitement amongst the group.

We received this report from Paul Mwesigwa regarding the first couple of days: “We had a great start…Today being the reporting day, we started a little bit late but by 10am we had all the students. The teachers started with orientation and then each made an introduction to the lesson topics… The pastors (students) had selected among themselves a leadership team. With a class captain, prayer leader, welfare. I was able to meet with each teacher to assess their comments and all seems to have worked perfectly for each…Day 2 was great and better, unlike yesterday, everything was on time. There are great testimonies from the students already and they can’t stop thanking you for obeying the voice of God and start a school. Last night I was able to visit with a few of them and they shared how the school had started in high gear already focusing on those important things they want to learn.”

The school meets at Sunrise Christian school in Kabaale Village for one week per month.  This allows the pastors to continue to serve in their ministries and care for their families while they attend.  Students meet Monday through Friday for a period of one year (Certificate of Biblical Studies) or two years (Diploma of Church Ministry).  They receive instruction in the following: Bible Knowledge (including an overview of both the Old and New Testaments); Bible Study Methods; Christian history; Bible Doctrines; Personal Spiritual growth; Biblical Ministry Practice; English Language.

A lot of planning and preparation went into establishing the school.  As Pastor Bob Emrich (US Director of Hope and Mercy Mission and pastor of Emmanuel Bible Baptist Church0 explains, the school has been established to meet the specific needs of these pastors: “During the past seven years, we have worked with pastors in many villages of the Masaka region. It has been a great joy and blessing to witness the desire to honor the Lord among these pastors. Very often with little or no formal education, and without an adequate knowledge of how to interpret Scripture, these pastors have faithfully preached the gospel and have given themselves to establishing local churches. Other pastors from the US have worked with us and bear witness to the same things. We have helped distribute Bibles and discipleship materials alongside these pastors. We have hosted Bible teaching and training conferences at least annually over the last seven years. We have been privileged to help pastors in five geographical areas to form alliances with one another for encouragement and shared ministry. We have sent some pastors to schools close to the area, but have found it difficult to follow up with them during the process. While these efforts have helped to provide wonderful results in the churches, it is very clear to us that they are not enough. The pastors have a great need and strong desire for a deeper understanding of the Word and the Work of God. We also believe that good stewardship requires us to use available finances more efficiently. Thus we are convinced that God is directing us to establish a Bible Training Institute in the region.  Because of the economy of the region, it is unreasonable to expect pastors to leave home to attend school for a prolonged length of time. The churches in the region are unable to provide for the financial needs of the pastors and their families. Therefore, the pastors must be home to continue caring for their family’s needs.”

According to this plan we have worked together with the alliances to select both the teachers and the students for the school.  Again, as Pastor Bob explains, the school has been established according to the model that we find in Scripture: “Our intention is to begin with the foundational principle of 2 Timothy 2:2; “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” Our plan is to continue spiritual mentoring of three or four faithful men who have demonstrated spiritual maturity, gifts and abilities to serve as teachers. The work of these men will be supplemented by occasional visits by pastors from the US. We will provide, as God enables us, necessary guidance, curriculum and materials for these teachers and their students. We will do our best, by God’s grace, to provide a stipend for those chosen to teach.

Four well-qualified men gladly responded to the call to serve as teachers.  These men are not only well-qualified spiritually, they have a lot of experience and have demonstrated both the desire and ability to teach and lead.  All four—Pastor Henry; Pastor Grace; Pastor Titus; Pastor Joel—currently serve as pastors.   A limit was set at 20 students for this first year of the school.  The 5 pastor alliances each selected four students.  These students all currently serve as pastors.

There was a need for funds to cover the costs of the school for its first year.  God provided all that was needful and sometimes in a surprising way.  At the end of last year there was still the need for $500 of the needed $5000.  Pastor Bob visited a small church last December to give an update of the ministry of Hope and Rescue Mission.  They had been previously praying regarding how they might use the $500 of money they had set aside for missions.  When they heard about the ministry of Faith Bible School and the need for $500 they gladly donated it to that cause!  On a more recent occasion an additional $2500 of unanticipated startup costs were covered in one unexpected gift.

Materials for the various courses of instruction have either been prepared or provided by Pastor Bob or me.  Some of the things that we’ve used before are being incorporated (i.e. spiritual disciplines study; First Steps with Jesus book; Bible Study Methods materials).  We’ve been busy writing some of the other lessons and tests.

Thank you for your prayers for Faith Bible School.  Pray that God might lead the teachers in all that they do that they might do a good job in their teaching.  Pray that the students might learn well and work to apply what they learn in their ministries.  Pray for Pastor Bob and I as we continue to provide and prepare materials.  And for Pastor Bob and Paul Mwesigwa as they oversee the ministry.   Praise God for His provision and direction in getting the school started!