CHE training went well

The training we led for CHE (Community Health Evangelism) Feb 13-18 went well. Thirty people from the four church conferences closest to Gemena attended.

CHE Training Group

We had originally planned for this to go to Wednesday Feb 22, but after realizing the overall level of the participants and assessing what we thought they could realistically grasp, we decided to adjust the plan and end the training on Saturday at noon. The issue we faced was that the education level of the participants was really varied and some were very slow to grasp the concepts. It was too much of a reach for a few people.

The Vision for the Training
We wanted them to grasp that health is more than just physical: it concerns your spiritual, mental and emotional life plus your environment. God is concerned about all of these aspects of your life in addition to the state of your soul. The lessons many times make the point that you need to take charge of your own development and put the resources you have to work to solve the problems you want solved. We also wanted them to grasp that the CHE model is for the entire village — it is for the village to work together and not just be a ministry for the church members.

While fun and encouraging to see people grasp the new ideas, it was also a tiring week for us. We started at 8h15 and ended at 16h30/17h00 M-F with just a half a day on Sat. Our evenings were filled with debriefing the day a bit, reviewing the new Lingala translations to make sure we were ready for the next day’s lessons, and doing a little of the ever-present email. Preparing for the next day became more work later in the week as we kept adjusting which lessons we would lead.  On Friday and Saturday, Marta Klein from Karawa was able to attend the training and participate in leading a lesson on forgiveness. Good stuff.

The week following the training, we sat down with Jacques Lomande, the head of development, and Jean-Pierre Zuku, another agronomist we had invited to attend the training, to debrief and think about the next steps. Zuku is a former student of ours from our early days at IPOK.  Together, we realized that we need to be more selective with who comes to what we want to be a Training of Trainers. A number of those who attended will probably only be village CHE agents and not trainers, but that’s OK. We’re learning through this and everyone who attended went home with some important new ideas and a very different model of training. We also planned that over the next couple months both we and Lomande will work to visit those who attended. We want to see their local villages, hear what they have done since returning home, and be an encouragement.

Thanks for your continued prayers as people explore what health is and how to bring health to their villages.

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