What a blessing it is to have a new group of missionary candidates here at the MTC! It thrills our hearts to see the Lord raising up more laborers to send out into the mission field. It is our joy and privlege to have a part in the lives of so many neat folks. Please pray as we learn together about how we can have a part in seeing the gospel go around the world!
As I look at this photo, I am reminded of my African neighbors who we came to know during the years that we lived with them. They had to live “hand to mouth” since their farms barely produced enough food for them to exist. There was a season of the year called “hungry season” because their food would start to run out before a new harvest of rice was available. Many of the kids had parasites so even the little food they did eat didn’t alway nurish their frail bodies as well as it could have.
Would you be willing to pray for those who do not have the Bible in their language? There are hundreds and hundreds of language groups without the Word of God.
This photo shows an “African lunch box”
Thanks so much for taking the time to read about the ministry we are involved in.
We are excited about the coming year here at the Missionary Training Center. We always enjoy getting to know a new group of students who arrive at the MTC. The missionary candidates are eager to gain the skills needed to go out into the world to “expand the reach of the gospel”
As the students study here, they will be given many tools that they will need in order to plant a church in a remote tribal location.
Sonya and I are grateful to have a part in equipping our new coworkers. Each day we have several opportunities to interact with the student body.
- Sonya looks after about a dozen toddlers so that their parents are able to attend class. It is so neat that these children are about the same age as our granddaughter.
- Bob is involved in teaching several classes. Some classes include: Time Management, Communication Skills, and Teamwork.
- Each day we meet with a couple of students in our home. We discuss life on the mission field, class content, and graduation standards.
We like to share with students the experiences we have had on the mission field in order to better prepare them for their future ministry
We love to get letters from our former students who are now on the mission field. One of our greatest joys is to hear how these godly young men and women are taking the gospel to all the world.
When rice is harvested, it has chaff that has to be removed before it can be eaten. In the village where we lived, the people would use a mortar and pestle to remove the chaff from the rice. In the photo you can see some young people who are standing beside a mortar. The process of growing and processing food is very time consuming out in the bush. Every member of the family was involved in the process of planting and gathering food.
There were very few schools out in the bush so a lot of kids didn’t have the opportunity to attend school. Even when schools were available, some people couldn’t afford to send their kids to school. Often kids spent their time helping their family to work on the farm. Since food is so abundant in North America, I sometimes forget that many folks around the world are less fortunate.
Today, I will make a point to thank the Lord that it was my privilege to attend school. My parents were able to work in order that I was able to attend class and not be worried about daily bread.
In Liberia, where we served as missionaries, hunters don’t hunt the way we do. Very few people can afford a gun or the shells to go hunting. When a man does own a gun, a single bullet cost about half of a days wage. Since the tribal people are animists, they believe they can go to a witch doctor and have him “bless” their guns so they will have success when they go out to shoot game. Hunters prefer to hunt at night when the animals are not on the run.
Most of the people prefer to catch animals in homemade traps. The traps usually are very simple. Sometimes a hunter will notice the tracks of an animal in the bush and he will set up a trap along the trail that the animal has made. Tribal men make a trap by bending a sapling tree and then they attach a cord to the sapling in such a way that the trap will be sprung when the animal runs through the loop.
Many people go without meat and as a result you can see children with discolored skin due to protein deficiency.
The next time I have the chance to drive through a McDonalds, I will make a point to thank the Lord for the opportunity to have a juicy hamburger.
In the tribe where we lived, the tribal folks cook over an open fire, so they always need firewood. Farms out in the rain forest are made by cutting down trees to clear a piece of land. The trees that are cut down on the farm provide an abundant source of firewood.
In the photo you see a few young girl carrying pieces of wood that were cut on the farm. Since farms are quite a long distance from the village, it is not uncommon to have to carry firewood a mile or two back to the village.
Many people do not have shoes so it is normal for the folks to go bare foot. It is not uncommon to step on sharp objects out in the bush. The people\’s feet become calloused and very strong since they have never worn shoes. Even so, it was not unusual for them to have cuts and scrapes on the bottom of their feet.
The other day I was looking at the collection of shoes at our doorway. We each have several pairs of shoes
When we grow up in America, we believe that it is everyone’s right to have at least one pair of shoes. It is easy to forget the many privileges and blessings that we take for granted on a daily basis. Thank the Lord for shoes!
Here at the MTC, the students are fortunate to hear teachers who have actually "been there and done that." The teachers and the curriculum are very relevant for students who desire to go to a remote location with the goal of seeing a church planted!
Since we have served on two different mission fields in West Africa, we see how needful the classes are for the missionary candidates. We have the privilege to interact with students one on one every day and we constantly underline and hi light the principles being taught in class.
Please pray for the students as they are aware of the fact that the task ahead of them is a "God size" job and they cannot do it in their own strength. We do our best to help the students to have the best training possible, but in the end it all comes down to a dependence on the Lord for the strength to see the task accomplished. Jesus said "I will build my Church".
We have the privilege to be involved in the training of tomorrow’s missionaries. We have the opportunity to impart some of the passion and experience we have to a group of students who are highly motivated to be a part in taking the gospel to the ends of the earth.
This photo shows Bob teaching a class here at the Missionary Training Center in Missouri.