Thursday, November 1, 2018

Seven Days with Six Students in Togo

Today (31 OCT 2018) I finished up classes with the six students of the Mt. Horeb Lutheran Bible Institute here in Lome, Togo. These men took more than a week off from their secular jobs to attend classes while I was here. We've met for four hours of classes each day for seven days over the last week and a half. These men have been studying with Pastor Kossi since April of 2017. They are scheduled to complete their formal classroom instruction in October of 2020 when they will graduate, be ordained, and be formally assigned to a congregation or preaching station that they have been working with. They will continue to meet monthly for on-going training for years to come. Since each of these men work full-time to support their families they are not able to attend classes five days a week, so they meet for two days a week for classes and they preach and teach at a preaching station on Sunday mornings and do evangelism work on Sunday afternoons.

Mt. Horeb Bible Institute Students in Class (Oct. 2018)
Classes meet at the church building of the CLC affiliated Mission Evangelique Lutherienne Confession du Togo (MELC). This building serves as the worship sanctuary, Bible institute classroom, and weekly meeting room for the 30+ children in need from the surrounding community who come twice a week for Bible Study, Sunday School/Worship, Academic Study Hall, and to receive much needed nutrition. 
Mission Evangelique Luthereinne Confession du Togo (MELC) Church Building in Lome, Togo

We covered several topics that relate directly to serving in the Gospel ministry as we turned to God's word for direction and encouragement. We read, considered, and discussed what God's word reveals to us concerning the truth of the following topics: Preach the Word, Administer the Sacraments (Baptism and Lord's Supper), The Ministry of the Keys and Confession, Pray for God's People, Visit the Sick, Comfort those Who are Grieving the Loss of a Loved One, Call Sinners to Repentance (Church Discipline), Encourage Those Who are Weak in Faith, Guard and Cherish the Truth (Church Fellowship), Set an Example, and Evangelism. Our final day (October 31) of classes we had a review of Lutheran Reformation History with a focus on the importance of God's Grace in our lives and the lives of all sinners.

At the end of our studies each student was given the opportunity to give an oral summary presentation of one topic we discussed. Pastor Kossi translated from Ewe and French so that I was able to benefit as well. It was encouraging to hear these men give their presentations. They all demonstrated a good understanding of what we studied and a sincere desire to serve the Lord. It is clear that these men are "in it" for the all the right reasons. 
Mt. Horeb Bible Institute student giving oral presentation
Mt. Horeb Bible Institute student giving oral presentation
Mt. Horeb Bible Institute student giving oral presentation
Mt. Horeb Bible Institute student giving oral presentation
Students and teacher of the Mt. Horeb Bible Institute of the MELC in Lome, Togo
Pastor Kossi
They convinced me to do a selfie
These men range in age from 38 to 57 and they have been learning from Pastor Kossi from 4 to 10 years. They work as carpenters, ship port workers, electricians, handy men, well diggers, masons, and teachers. Some of them have been brought up as Christians while others were converted as adults. Each one has a unique story as to how the Lord brought them into contact with Pastor Kossi and why they are now eager to serve the Lord in the Gospel ministry. Please pray for these men, their families, their training, and the Good News they proclaim!

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