Africa journal entry #4


did I mention…?

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 am

IMG_20140731_175451_400Bryce Whiting was a really big hit with the kids.  He was everyone’s grandpa.  In Mozambique the week before, Bryce had been teaching the men, and the North Carolina teaching team were teaching the women.  This week, Bryce would teach the women and I would teach the men.  Bryce has a special gift of compassion, and I got the impression that the group he taught really appreciated his time with them. He spoke French, which most of his listeners understood, but some needed the help of others who volunteered interpretations as needed.

IMG_20140731_102105_199 I had a healthy mix of younger and older men – most of whom were already in ministry.  Aside from the core group of nine trainers that we had met the night before, there were perhaps twenty or so others.  They had come from a long distance, and I felt challenged to share some significant things with them.  I did not want to waste this time. 

The morning session I spent teaching a condensed version of the content of my book, The Commands of Christ.  It was basically a summary of what Jesus had commanded his disciples to be like, derived from his commands in the Gospels.



I had a very capable interpreter named Joshua.  He knows four languages: his tribal language, Kiswahili, French, and English.  He must have had a good theological education as well, considering the relative ease with which he expressed some of the concepts I was trying to teach.



After each session, we had a question and answer session, and these could last quite long as well.  These men were hungry and thirsty for the word of God.  They asked practical questions – the kind that one gets after spending years in the ministry and struggling with difficult issues. I love this kind of intensive study, and it was clear that these servants of our LORD did too.




It was a challenge answering the questions, because I like everything to be thought out well and scripted when I teach.  But the Holy Spirit provided a special grace for me, enabling me to say what these men needed to hear.  As the week would go on, these men’s notebooks would get filled with content from the lessons and Q&A sessions.  They were soaking up the content, and I had no doubt that most of them would be teaching these things themselves in their home communities. Did I mention that I really love this?

Author: Jefferson Vann

Jefferson Vann is pastor of Piney Grove Advent Christian Church in Delco, North Carolina. You can contact him at -- !

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