Training Up Leaders in Africa
“AIM’s call has always been to the inlands, to the regions beyond, to the other sheep, to the places where there is no gospel . . . we are called to pioneer the church, not to take over the church. We need to get in, plant the church, and move on.”
- Dr. Luke Herrin,
AIM International Director
Leadership Forum 2014
Winter in Lesotho
Hello, friends and family! It’s that time of year in Lesotho - time for frozen water pipes, fired-up heaters, and lots of hot tea and coffee. This time brings us both challenges and blessings while we make repairs on the house, care for sick kids, and enjoy snuggling by the fire watching Curious George and World Cup football. We thank the Lord for His constant care for us and for the beauty of snow, a reminder that He has washed away the scarlet stain of our sins and made us “as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).
Since our last update letter, I have had the opportunity of attending two different conferences which were both a huge encouragement to me. The first of these was our first TEE Mokhotlong conference for our Basotho pastors. This one-day conference is the part of our TEE curriculum that allows the pastors an opportunity to fellowship together, write exams to complete the books they have studied, listen to a lecture by a guest speaker, share a couple of meals, and spend time in prayer for each other’s ministries. I was so blessed to see our pastors’ enthusiasm for their study of God’s Word. All of our pastors who were able to attend passed both exams. The most fun part of the conference was when they received their final test scores and started comparing to see who scored the highest. It was a friendly spirit of competition, especially when a husband and wife would both take the test (Ntate Mpesi scored higher than his wife on the first test and she scored higher than he on the second!). By taking and passing their exams, I feel like the pastors’ confidence in the program and their own studies has grown significantly. They are asking if they can recruit more people to study and want to make TEE T-shirts. One pastor suggested that we take on a group ministry as TEE, instead of as individual churches. It is encouraging to see the pastors take real ownership of the program and be motivated to study God’s Word further. May God allow this spirit of Christian unity to spread!
My second conference…
…was AIM’s biannual leadership conference in Nairobi, Kenya! I was very honored to be invited to this conference, for most of AIM’s international leadership have been serving in Africa for many years. One man there had been with AIM for 45 years! Our main goal during the week was to sharpen our mission’s focus. AIM exists to plant the church among the unreached people groups of Africa. At points in our history, we have branched out into many ministry areas and occasionally lost our focus for the unreached. Our new international director, Luke Herrin, is working hard to restore that focus and help us to align all of our ministries to express that priority for the unreached. We support this renewed focus wholeheartedly! This is why we left Mexico and came to Africa. Those who have never heard the gospel must be given the highest priority in mission efforts and our work, in particular, is to catalyze the local African churches to help reach the unreached on their continent. I have heard this expressed before as triage. It is not that those who have rejected the gospel are less important to God, but those who have never heard it should be given “more urgent” care, as in the case of large medical emergencies.
Abby and the kids…
…spent the week in South Africa with some of our team members from England. This worked out well, because they have two boys about our kids’ ages and two older girls to help care for the kids as they had a “jolly old time” being together throughout the week.
Last month we celebrated...
Ellee’s first birthday! We invited our Basotho neighbors over for dinner and cake and had a great time doting over our girl. It is so exciting to watch as she grows and learns new things every day! She is crawling all over the house now (usually following Mama!), chatting new phrases (“Uh-oh…”), giving kisses, and busily playing with her baby dolls and her big brother. Thank you, Lord, for our sweet girl.
We are trying to stay warm…
…by making stews, soups and chili! It really helps that our anthracite heater doubles as a cook-stove. We will get a lot of use out of Abby’s cast iron pot this winter.
Thank you for your prayers and support…
…of our ministry. Please pray for our kids’ health right now (cold / upset stomach). Also pray for me (J) to be diligent in completing my semester (ends August 15). Please contact us by email how we can pray for you as well.
- Jonathan, Abby, Kyle & Ellee St.Clair