Namikango Mission

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2016 Teacher Refresher Courses

May 22, 2016

Reports by Ben Hayes & Symon Katete

Bible Studies for Namikango

Each year we have the week-long teacher refresher course on Namikango campus to refresh our Village Bible Teachers on the courses to be taught for the year before they head out to teach. This year’s theme was “The Christ Centered Teacher,” which was selected as a continuation of last year’s theme on “The Gospel”. One of the highlights of last year’s Refresher was time spent in group Bible Study and Prayer with our teachers. We continued this trend this year, along with classes. Some of this year’s courses were: Church Worship, Church Leadership, and Evangelism - among other subjects. In addition, we took a special trip out to a nearby conservation agriculture plot which displayed very clearly the difference between traditional farming methods used in Malawi, with more conservation methods. Since this has been a year of serious drought in Malawi, evidence between the difference that mulching and composting your soil, among other factors, can have on your crops was clearly demonstrated. This was an eye-opener to some of our teachers.

One of the Best Ever

Typically we have about 50-60 people. This year we had 80. Interest is strong, plus, we invited some church leaders from the Central Region who are not our Bible teachers. Our team thought inviting them would help build our relationship with this region of Malawi. It turns out it was a God-directed move, as their experience during that week sent them back with a “sweet aroma” of our work. I overheard one of the lady teachers commenting on the lessons taught during the week, in Chichewa saying “Ah, Yesundiwokoma.” The basic meaning of this is, “Jesus is good.” But literally translated, the word “good” here is more often used when describing a delicious meal or smell, as in “That was really tasty food.” Each language has its own beautiful way of glorifying God, and this is one of the picture/image phrases that has stayed with me. “Ah, Jesus tastes delicious” has the ring of Ps. 34:8 where David says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

This week did more than just refresh our teachers. It has refreshed us all. In the words of one of our long time staff members, “This has been one of the best refresher courses ever.” The strengthened relationship with the Central region brothers and sisters, along with the time of learning together made for a beautiful, God-blessed week. We give thanks to God for what he is doing among us.

Ben

Bible Studies for Mozambique

Brothers Bakali, Somanje, and I left for Mozambique on March 15th for the 2016 Teachers’ Refresher Seminar. We arrived at the Mozambican border at 8 am. There were strenuous luggage checks at the border and this stole much of our time. We were planning to have a 5 day refresher course for the Mozambique teachers, but, due to political unrest in the country, we were allowed to stay only three days. When we were finally allowed entry we hurried to the church at Niangasale. By the time we arrived word was out and all the participants were present. We had teachers from two districts in Mozambique, 33 teachers in all . . . , and we went straight to work.

Bro. Bakali taught on Christ centered leadership, Bro Somanje introduced the principles of Christian Health Evangelism and I taught the Gospel DNA Bible study. In our three days we completed a full study that had been planned for five days.

We saw an improvement in interest and participation of the teachers this year. The language problems we had last year were resolved. Lessons have to be translated from Malawi’s language (Chickewa) to Portuguese or Lomwe (two languages in Mozambique). The teachers were very appreciative of the leadership lessons presented.

On the last day of our trip we conducted the graduation of four men who have completed their studies with Namikango Bible School and presented them with Diplomas.I would say the Gospel continues to flourish in Mozambique.

Symon