Past. Toca, he must be very close to 60 years of age, got up and started testifying. Testifying the ‘electrifying’ way, if you ask me. He was fired up and started sharing: “God has a special plan for each. I started this program as an illiterate man, forgotten by many until I joined the 6 year Bible program. I told God … here I am … illiterate, poor and someone that never went to school. BUT … I have a desire … I want to be Your servant and teach your people in the Zambezi Delta your Word. Help me! And GOD did”, he told 48 other pastors who by now could not sit still on their chairs. Past. Toca joined the SBF (Bible Faith Seminary) program more than 10 years ago as an illiterate man staying in a small forgotten town, Baue on the banks of the mighty Zambezi river. Through a truly amazing miracle from God he started reading and writing the Bible …. and a ‘walking miracle’ as he describes himself.
Past. Toca (left) from Baue with his interpreter, Past. Elias from the same area.
One after one pastors got up and shared their miracle stories of how the program not only changed their lives and the lives of their churches, but how communities were totally transformed as they were busy completing their 6 year theology course.
Some of the students busy with studies on the book of Revelation. All of them are pastors of their own churches. Most of the are from Northern Mozambique.
We have a total holistic approach when it comes to the understanding of theology. The nearly 1 000 pastors in the SBF program follows an extensive 6 year course while they concentrate on various social problems within their immediate communities like:
·Orphan problems – creating orphan programs to take care and feed them with the help of the community;
·Starting pre-primary schools to educate kids before they start their official school year;
·Sustainable agriculture programs and food security for their communities during starvation periods;
·Using the church to teach hygiene and help local communities with literacy in various health issues;
·Providing solutions in agri programs by getting water to people;
·Using the church to help neglected women to empower themselves through literacy programs and participating in the 6 year theology course the moment they can read and write.
We just completed yet another intensive seminar with these great servants. We were fortunate to hold our first seminar in our newly built (although not yet finished) Leadership and Training centre. We shared various topics from Sustainable Agriculture, servant leadership techniques, health and hygiene related issues, food procurement models for communities, counselling techniques to mention but a few.
Once you meet these men who serves God without a salary, without any additional benefits just plain pure raw love and commitment … you are truly humbled. And when you, as teacher , want to share …. you immediately decide to keep quiet …. and just listen to what God is already doing through them!
One of our new students, a pastor from Northern Mozambique receiving his certificate after completing 2 modules of his 26 module theological course.
It takes a lot out of these pastors to complete their 6 year course successfully. All of our monitors completed their course successfully with not one quitting. Despite community problems, hunger, sickness and disease and even death that plague the families so often could not hinder these great men from completing their studies.
Meet the two brothers – Mathew and Prosper! They both participated in the program by being our interpreters. We host a multitude of languages during the program. Shona, Portuguese, Chewa, Senna and English are but a few of the dialects we have to make provision for.
YES … and some strange food. Roasted flying ants. They are actually very nutritious and don’t taste that bad at all. And if you are hungry …. this really would get you going throughout the day!