These 500 preachers generally have only a grade-school level education and minimal Bible training.
"They've had a burden for quite a while to bring the level of these preachers up to a pastoral level. In order to do that in an area the size of Indiana, where roads and infrastructure are almost nonexistent, they have to take the education to them," said Tom Cairns of Evangelical Free Church Mission.
The members of the Free Church of the Congo, who have already had Bible institute training, offer two to three training modules per year. Each module is a two week session that covers four courses which they have prepared themselves.
Recently the second of these sessions was held, which had more than 500 in attendance at nine different locations. "They spent two weeks in the Word growing, developing their pastoral skills, and, by all accounts, it was a tremendous success," said Cairns.
Positive reports have already been coming in from distant villages where these preachers in training are teaching. Cairn reported, "Based on what we've seen so far, in these first rounds, they are already going back and they're using these materials directly in their preaching, their study and in what they're sharing with their people."
The church's has high hopes for the continuation of this program. Within the next three years their goal is for these preachers in training to be at a level comparable to those who had Bible institute training.
During training, that costs $10 per session per person, the church communities rally together to provide food for them. EFCA has formed a sponsorship program for anyone who wants to help. "Were very eager to have people help join us on that and there's been a regular fund that's been established for this called CEFOC," Cairn said. quot;This project is very much open and we'd be very glad to designate any gifts that might be sent in."
You can pray for continued funding and that the knowledge these preachers are getting will be used well. Also pray for wisdom for those who are teaching and preparing the courses.