It is a great privilege to serve our God and Saviour by helping to further equip men in Zimbabwe who are pastoring or are training for the pastorate. These men are being faithful in very difficult conditions. Certain things seem to be improving there (food on the shelves, US dollar stabilizing prices, cholera outbreaks rare and some potholes fixed), but others continue to be a problem (electricity unreliable, water shut-offs and unemployment). To be training men in the sinner-saving, life-changing, culture-transforming gospel of Jesus Christ, our Lord, is of inestimable and eternal value. What a great way to spend a week—even without a shower for a few days!
One of the young men we are working with, Michael, put together the following report.
Twelve men attended the preachers’ course. The courses were out of the realization that there was very little knowledge about the Reformed faith in Zimbabwe.
Under the auspices of Sola 5, and in particular Free Grace Baptist Church, the courses have been held occasionally.
Pastor Jeffrey Gage has been coming to Zimbabwe for these courses, at times accompanied by Errol Wagner or Doug Van Meter. This time Jeff was accompanied by Errol.
During the four-day preacher course from 14-18 June, Jeff Gage taught about the covenants whilst Errol Wagner looked at the book of Galatians. The teachings highlighted how the covenants are interrelated to each other. “Of interest was how Jeff Gage taught the series of covenants and how Errol married the covenants to the book of Galatians and how they pointed to Christ,” Pastor Soko said.
These courses have helped individuals in understanding, as Pastor Jimu from Bindura highlighted: “The courses have helped in correcting the things I thought were right and personally I have been helped in presenting sermons.”
Personally the preachers’ courses have made me understand the word of God and what it means to be a member of the family of God. The courses have seen individuals excel and grow in Christ as a result and this has helped the church in Zimbabwe grow. “When we started with men from our churches we saw growth in our churches especially the preaching skills,” Pastor Soko said.
During Sunday service Pastor Errol Wagner preached to the congregation in Harare. He touched on the paradox of Christianity: how God uses people not because they are well known, or people of a high status in society but God uses people despite their eminence.
His message came from Luke 1:26-56. He cited that the King was shamed by an act which does not give eminence but instead shames, that of being nailed to the cross. Of interest was that this shameful act is the essence of Christianity and that the weaknesses of Christianity are in actual fact its strengths.
The courses have made a huge difference in the church in Zimbabwe and brighter prospects as the courses have taught and made the teachers of the Word more aware of the Word of God and have improved the preaching of the men taking part in the courses.
The Reformed Baptist Church in Harare sends its gratitude to Sola 5, Free Grace Baptist Church, Pastor Jeffrey Gage and his family, Errol Wagner and his family, and all sister churches who have set aside time to pray and assist the church in Zimbabwe. “We are very thankful to Sola 5 and in particular Free Grace Baptist Church as they are custodians of all donations given by sister churches to Zimbabwe,” said Pastor Joseph Soko.
Concerning donations, everything that has been donated to date for the pastors’ support has been passed on to them, for which they express their deep gratitude. The funds for training trips have nearly run out so more such funds will be needed. If your church has special missions offerings or end-of-the-year giving, perhaps you would consider designating that for the Zimbabwe Mission. Our next training trip will be in February/March 2011 after the Sola 5 conference in September 2010.
Only by grace,