Deb’s View: Pastor’s Conference 2011

I was so excited to be able to have a time of teaching with the pastor’s wives and women leaders during the Pastor’s Conference the mission has each year. This year it was in Xicumbane which was wonderful for us as this is the village our Second Baptist Church team has ministered to for the last seven years. Twenty-nine women from 7 different villages and Zimbabwe were in attendance.
 I chose the book of Philippians to teach from as it deals with not only with the encouraging words of Paul about circumstance and the church, but also about Christ’s deity and humanity. In addition, I felt the Lord impressed upon me to share the basics of the indexes in their Bible and some Precept Ministry steps when reading a passage of scripture. I noticed during morning devotion that if the women couldn’t find the book by flipping through the pages they just shut their bibles. Simply sharing the table of contents page with them for finding where to go for a book was a help to many as they did not know that page was even there. I also took them to the back of their bibles and showed them the index pages where they could look up a certain topic or person such as Pawulo (Paul) and then go the verses that will tell them more about that subject.  I drilled them every day as to what the six questions they were to ask themselves as they read a passage: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? By the end of our time together most were able to recite them. I encouraged them to pray before they read and then after reading a passage to ask themselves how this can apply to their life.
The women sat in on three of the teachings with the men: How to Establish a Bible Study, Pitfalls to Avoid/Mistakes Made in Mozambique and the Planning for 2012. Through discussion with them I learned that none of them attend a bible study, no one has Sunday school except for the women who came from Zimbabwe and there was only one woman who taught the children bible stories.
From testimonies that were shared, I believe God stirred a desire in the women’s hearts to know more of His word and to be faithful to follow it. I also think they see the need to teach the children. Unfortunately there are no Shangaan teaching materials for children or adults for that matter. As always leaving them was a sad time for me. It seems you just get started and you see God at work only to have to leave again.
Pray that they would continue to grow in the knowledge of God’s word and that the things of the world would not hinder their walk with Him.

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