We had a wonderful end of year Bible College graduation in December to close out 2020. Over 50 certificates were awarded, and six men and women passed all the required courses to be awarded their Theology diploma certificate! Eleven people also passed the Bible teacher course.
Training for pastors is important in Africa, as so many start churches without foundational knowledge of the Bible. These courses provide the foundation to be able to properly teach and care for the members of their congregations. Likewise, the Bible teachers’ course is needed as most attendees are more familiar with preaching than teaching the Bible. After having provided Bible teachers’ courses, we now are able to have more Bible study groups running simultaneously in different locations.
Despite the difficulties of COVID-19 restrictions, which meant that in-person classes were not possible for many months, the students took advantage of the lockdown to study God’s Word by correspondence courses. As we are not set up yet for conducting the courses online, all course material had to be printed, hand delivered and then collected in person. One graduate completed 8 courses during the year and others also studied multiple courses. We are also proud of the many women who are rising to the challenge of studying to be effective witnesses, teachers, and pastors.
By the end of 2020, we were able to launch our Bible College WhatsApp group, and it is steadily growing so that we can now shorten the cord not only in South Africa, but with pastors affiliated in other countries who are taking the courses, thereby multiplying our efforts. We now have 30 affiliate congregations in Africa receiving regular mailings.
Reactions to the Bible College courses
From Brookes: In 2020 we lost friends, brothers, and other family members. May God wipe away the tears. To us who are still around, Family Africa has not only provided us with food for body but also the soul. May we always stick to their teachings in order to be safe. May God bless everyone that keeps the fires burning at The Family Africa.
From Listen: I would like to thank all the Bible College staff for giving me this opportunity. The Bible courses have helped me a lot in many ways. My spiritual life and teachings have been activated to a greater extent and I have managed to impact also on others. Studying Bible courses during COVID-19 lockdown helped me learn to be more patient. I have had more time to understand all the teachings, and to pray and ask God for direction. I have became a better man on earth spreading the word of our God for which I'm grateful.
From Morris: I have learned a lot about the challenges of Christian living, how to witness the Gospel, the dangers of ancestor worship, how to counsel Christians, and how to be a good disciple. Studying the Bible course during COVID-19 lockdown helped me a lot. I'm at another level thanks to the teachers who have been guiding us up to the end. May our God bless you.
From Anna: At the time of coronavirus when others were crying, we were doing the work of God which is studying, praying and preaching the gospel. Being Christian means to love each other, care for each other. The counselling course helped me a lot. Being "fully present" for another person requires us to suspend our own judgments, curiosities and tendency to jump to conclusions. Being fully present and listening to others is an important part of showing love. I thank all the teachers who taught us the Word of God.
From Bekeleza: I enjoyed the course. It uplifted me and sharpened my faith to another level. I learned that Jesus cares about us and about His unfailing love, and about His assurance to us of Salvation and eternal life.