Every day I hear from someone in another country asking for training for pastors. Many of the brothers in these countries have no access to pastoral preparation and the theological education that they know they desperately need. They remind me that they do not have Christian parents or grandparents as we do and did not grow up in the shadow of a good church attending VBS as kids. When we are onsite, these brothers often see our Reaching & Teaching instructors as the Christian Google to ask questions they have wondered about for years.
It is overwhelming to be constantly reminded of the untold millions still untold. It is even more staggering to think that what passes for Evangelical Christianity in many cases is actually the health and wealth heresy of the “prosperity gospel.” It is heartbreaking to have to send an email every day to someone else who is asking for the help that we do not have the staff and funds to supply, knowing that this means continued heresy and syncretism. When I consider that so many need help, I remember William Carey’s response upon seeing the masses in India. He said that if India would ever be won for Christ, the Indians would have to do it. He knew that they could never send enough missionaries to reach and teach the multiplied millions of India. We share that vision at Reaching & Teaching.
I rejoice to see the partnership we have with Felipe Castro, Cris Garrido, and the IBI church in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Felipe and Cris have participated in our work that Cris started in El Cercado since the beginning. Indeed, it was their initiative that launched us into Haiti this year. Not only do they provide the teaching teams for these two locations, Felipe led a team of brothers from the DR to two remote locations in Peru to teach for Reaching & Teaching this summer. We now regularly have teams made up of international teachers from multiple countries. Our motto has always been, “All of God's people going into all the world faithfully obeying all of the Great Commission.”
God has His people all over the world to join in the effort of training leaders. A pastor studying in our class in Panama is a university professor who plans to take what he learns from us and train others in the part of the country where he lives. That is our joy and desire for all of our students.
However, the exploding need and people requesting our training is increasing faster than we can plan and staff trips to train. We believe God is calling for an expanded model. We are working to respond to requests all over the world, and in some countries like Brazil we are launching multiple locations at once. Our expanded model calls for us to begin training centers to train trainers of the many needed institutes, sending them to train the thousands of pastors and leaders who need training in scattered locations more accessible to more students.
The genesis of the model grew out of a pure need to respond to the requests in Brazil. However, if the Brazil model would help immensely to meet the needs in that vast country, why not elsewhere? Think of the many requests we have to come to Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, East Asia. Where would it stop? It doesn't stop. At least it doesn't have to; we only need to connect with the ones God is calling out and equip and empower them to follow Him.
Imagine sitting in a darkened indoor sporting arena. What if everyone would light a candle and help those who are struggling to get theirs lit? Together we can light the world for the Light of the World. How is God calling you to share in this ministry? Would you consider going on a team to train, going career to receive teams and coordinate training, giving to make this possible, or praying to plead God’s favor? I would love to hear from you and help you connect with the place God has for you in the world.