Continuing Education Seminar for Pastors taking shape

Colleague David Stockamp writes:  “Ever had an experience where you just basked in God’s goodness thanking Him for being able to participate in something transformational?  This was one of those weeks as the Continuing Pastoral Education Initiative (CPEI) takes shape.”

L to R:  Pastors Kotokambo, Vungbo, David, Ambwa and Mbula

L to R: Pastors Kotokambo, Vungbo, David, Ambwa and Mbula









Over the last two weeks David met with a team composed of Pastors Ambwa, Kotokamba, Mbula and Vungbo.  Together they worked to flesh out the CEUM’s vision to provide encouragement and inspiration for equipping 1,700 pastors for effective ministry.  They met for 11 full days assessing the state of pastoral challenges in the Evangelical Community of the Ubangi-Mongala (CEUM) while articulating CPEI’s goals and laying out objectives.  An inventory was made of available training resources and a three day training seminar model was established.  Training assignments were given and each team member worked diligently preparing and revising their training material.

Before we started the work of God, we were the people of God.  Each team member shared their life story of how God has brought them to this morning.  It was a blessing to hear of their call, their joys and hardships, testimonies of deliverance during the war, and affirmation of God’s faithfulness.  We also shared our vulnerabilities, fears, and unanswered questions.  After each life story was shared, the other members of the team gathered around the sharer and ministered in prayer.  Powerful stuff!

pastors hard at work

pastors hard at work








During the latter part of the first week each member shared their training lesson in front of the group.  Time was given for affirmation, reaction, and suggestions.  There was such a good air for feedback that included some positive criticism.  “Could you say your point more positively?”  “What about using this Bible story to illustrate your point?”  “Could you make this section shorter? That’s fine to say in front of a larger audience when you have more time, but what about in print?”  And on and on it went.

rewriting and revising

rewriting and revising








Several evenings we relaxed together and watched inspirational movies in French:  Courageous, The Life of St. Paul, Jesus, Mary Magdalene’s Story, and Pelendo (a local evangelist).  On Saturday afternoon the Smith’s house became a writers’ workshop.  Study materials in the form of Bibles, books, commentaries, and concordances were provided.  There was plenty of paper and ink and each pastor had a designated work area to spread out.  David was became a resource person.  Rev. Mbula asked him for some translation of an African Christian Ethics book.  Rev. Ambwa, asked for some concordance assistance.  Rev. Kotokambo asked if he could photocopy a few pages from a book he found helpful that addressed poverty.  Rev. Vungbo was working with a laptop and needed to be connected to a 12 volt inverter before he lost power.

team of pastors at work preparing lessons (5) [640x480]








David writes that  soon he heard the pastors talking among themselves asking for help with a Bible reference.  “How would you say the same thing in Lingala?” asked Kotokambo.  This was truly a workshop.  As the afternoon session drew to a close I called Celia and put her on speaker phone and she greeted the pastors while I translated.  The men extended warm greetings to her and thanked her for her prayers.

We are excited about this project because it responds to a real need for these pastors who receive little such encouragement.  We look forward to mid-July when the team starts giving the continuing education seminars.  If you want to support this project CLICK this link Donate to Pastors Education in Congo.

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