At Last…Teaching! : Trip 6

Monday morning was such a welcome sight because I would now see a bunch of men who have become friends and some of them my heroes. Take Omar Mohammed. A native of Khartoum, Sudan, he has fled from war four times and his parents were both killed in protests. Yet he finds his way here from the Adjumani refugee camp and hopes to plant a church in Sudan someday. I feel small compared to many here. 

My flesh was challenged before our first day of instruction. Our classrooms consist of two large, open air spaces (church sanctuary and Pastoral Training Center-PTC) and a small, enclosed classroom in the elementary school that is on site (the school currently meets with a partial group of rotating students due to COVID). My Lead Trainers (guys who I share the teaching load with and will be on their own next fall) secured the PTC for me…airy, two whiteboards, living large! Peter said he would take the classroom. When he went down to check it out, he saw an immediate problem. The cement block building would be a nightmare for his hearing aids. I was given the choice of the classroom or the sanctuary. Being the selfless saint that I am, I said I would take the classroom…providing I don’t have to in January when the high will be 95 instead of 80. Once the lawyers signed the agreement, I was ready to serve! 

Eight o’clock hit and the singing began. About fifteen minutes of singing was followed by a reminder of our mission and partnerships and some logistics and we broke up into our class sites. This is now the fifth time if worked with the same 14 guys. We have become comfortable with one another, and we enjoy a good laugh as we are giving them new tools to understand and communicate epistles through Ephesians. I’ve also learned who I can challenge in front of the group. Sunday, one of my two Lead Trainers, took lesson one as we are developing local leadership. I wondered how the group would do without me kicking things off. Sunday did great and we were off to a good start. Turns out I wasn’t missed at all! Our sessions include large and small group discussions, small group tasks in the Scripture and lecture. Many of these men have had little to no formal theological education and we are helpful for them as they seek to become more proficient in their craft. An added benefit is there are relationships that are developing on the way to our goal: 

An abiding network of 

Gospel centered 

Bible saturated 

African led churches. 

Peter says he can see it. I do too. It’s a real honor to be helping in this worthy kingdom task. Is it worth that hassles so far? Without a doubt! I am anxious to see what God does this week.

Larry Szyman

Pastor for Missional Life