When we donate Packing Hope resources to missions and churches for the work overseas, we routinely ask for a report back. We often receive great stories and images, which we share with you as time allows. Last week, I received this great report from Jeff Hensley who pastors a Heritage Christian Fellowship in Medford, Oregon. I think it really exemplifies the ideal scenario for our collaboration: solid, biblical resources getting into the hands of pastors in Asia, Africa, and South America and being deployed in the context of long-term relationships and mentoring.
Thank you so much for the ESV Study Bibles to our Ugandan mission work in March of this year. We have had a partnership with a church body in Mbarara, Uganda for almost 5 years now. Each year we travel over and do pastoral conferences to train the local pastors in the Word of God, typically by selecting a book of the Bible and teaching through it verse-by-verse.
This year we decided to do something different. Instead of teaching them through a book of the Bible, we decided to equip them with resources, like your ESV Study Bibles, and to teach them how to use these resources to study God’s Word for themselves. The results were astonishing. The Ugandan pastors and elders felt as if they had been given powerful weapons that none could defend against! In an area riddled with prosperity theology and Islam, these pastors are now infinitely better equipped to teach God’s word to their people and to continue to send pastors out into the unreached people groups of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Congo.
Photos do not adequately reflect the amazement and wonder that was in the heart of each Ugandan as we told them of this gift. Hands trembled and tears fell as they received them. Together, we all used this biblical tool, teaching them how to use the maps, margins, notes, and cross-references, to study through the book of 1 Peter themselves. We believe this has equipped them to carry on with proper biblical exegesis long after the white American missionaries have left town! Thank you for supporting our church, their church, our mission, and God’s Kingdom.
We’re grateful to Jeff for this partnership and an opportunity to strengthen church leaders in Africa. Rejoice with us over what God is doing around the world through this kind of collaboration. Be sure to familiarize yourself with Packing Hope and how it may a great supplement to your work in the field where God has called you to labor. We also invite you to consider monthly support to help sustain the work of Theological Famine Relief for the Global Church.