When I was preparing to preach on Sunday morning in Liberia I found these thoughts from Don Carson. It sums up why I go to Africa. Dr. Carson is possibly the foremost NT scholar alive today and an avid campus evangelist. Please take the time to read it. This is why I go to Africa. His words express my feelings.
“Should the Lord in his mercy ever pour out large-scale revival on any part of the world where I have influence, I shall devote all my energy to teaching the Word, to training a new generation of godly pastors, to channeling all of this God-given fervor toward doctrinal maturity, multiplication of Christian leaders, evangelistic zeal, maturity in Christ, genuine Christian fellowship. All over the world, the cry is for trained, strong, Bible-saturated leaders.” John Piper comments, “In other words, he would do what Barnabas and Saul did. They saw a great ingathering, and they taught and taught and taught. They strengthened the believers. They sank the roots of the people down deep. They brought stability. They built a foundation for missions.”
Africa has seen an explosion in the number of professing Christians in recent years but it has not been tethered to biblical teaching and training leaders. The church there is underwater with the health, wealth, prosperity, and deliverance false doctrines. Everywhere I go this disease is rampant. Thanks be to God, everywhere we teach and train, pastors and church leaders are understanding the error of this teaching and changing.
Above are three families from GraceLife church in Liberia being sent to plant a new church. All of these men have been in my classes. I gave the commissioning sermon, Acts 11, 13.
Below you can see the group of trainees in Liberia. The picture was taken on Friday afternoon. I was on my way to Sierra Leone early that morning.
I spent a week in Liberia and then traveled by car to Sierra Leone and visited two potential training sites. At the second location in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, I spoke at a three day pastor’s conference. It was exhilarating, hard, fulfilling, and eye-opening. I really have no words to describe the experience. I hope these pictures help.
The young girl is washing before going to prayer. She is Muslim.
The building below hosts an elementary school, which is a ministry of the church that hosted the conference, for approximately 60 children in a Muslim majority community of very low income families. They teach reading by teaching the Bible.
We led the men and a few women through nine lessons in the book of Colossians. They were excited and soaked up the teaching like sponges. They asked great questions, and they want us to come back.
Below you can see downtown Freetown and the beginnings of a new building for the school and for our future training.
We hope to begin a Training Leaders International non-formal site here sometime in 2022.
This is the new school under construction in Freetown, Sierra Leone. This will replace the dilapidated warehouse they meet in now. These rooms while host our non-formal site when they are finished.