What a great week in Lusaka!

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3.16-17

My good friend, Pastor Simon Mawdsley and I have just finished our 2nd workshop here in Lusaka, Zambia. We worked this week with a great group of 16 pastors who believe the Scriptures are God’s Words and useful in all of life. However, most of them have had little access or opportunity to be trained how to study God’s Word.

Pastor Alick Tembo

During the training, one of our young pastors, Alick Tembo, took me aside and told me with tears, ‘I’ve been a pastor for over 10 years but no one has ever come alongside me and taught me how to study and understand the scriptures. I honestly feel like I am dreaming because I never thought I would have training like this.’

What a joy and high privilege to be able to come alongside brothers like Alick, Charles, Jeremiah and others, growing in how to dig deeply into God’s Word, carefully observing what is there, not adding what is not there, fighting against the temptation to tickle ears and bending God’s Word.

 

Here’s more about Pastor Alick and a message of deep gratitude to you:

Vision Bible Church International

Pastor Alick Tembo pastors the Vision Bible Church International, a church that he planted in a poor area of Lusaka six years ago. Beyond the good teaching and encouragement of his former pastor, Alick has had no access to bible training. He was thrilled to be chosen as one of the 16 pastors for our PathwaysAfrica workshop in Lusaka.

His church has already noticed the difference the Pathways workshop is having on Alick’s preaching – new power and clarity as he is preaching right from the text of God’s word, keeping his finger in the text. And he’s been sharing what he has learned with other pastors in his community — pastors training pastors!

Alick is married to Dorothy and they have two daughters, Jennifah (14) and Gloria (9). As is typical with most of our pastors, Alick’s church is able to pay him very little. As a result, Alick is a ‘tent-maker,’ working a second job to make ends meet. In his case, Alick sets up a table several days each week on a sidewalk in the busy city center, selling inexpensive cell phones and accessories.

Consider the financial sacrifice Alick and his family and the other pastors are making to faithfully participate three weeks each year in our PathwaysAfrica workshops! And think of how their tent-making impacts their time to study God’s Word to feed their people each week. Pray that local churches will be able to financially support their pastors to free them up full time to shepherd the flock.

Since ‘International’ is in his church’s name, I asked Alick, ‘Does your church reach beyond the borders of Zambia?’ He responded with a smile, ‘Not yet but we will take the Good News of Jesus to the ends of the earth!’ What a vision God has given Pastor Alick.

Welcome to Zambia!

Pastor Jean Berchamas invited us to open our bibles to Colossians. As he began to unfold God’s Word, tears came to my eyes. In our first few Pathways workshops in Rwanda, Pastor Jean and the other 15 pastors would open their bibles, read a verse, and then launch into stories and exhortations which had little to do with the passage they said they were preaching.

But now, several Pathways workshops later, Pastor Jean (second from left) and the other pastors were handling more accurately God’s Living Word, faithfully keeping their finger in the text. Stories from their churches told of new joy and obedience as God’s Word was preached faithfully, with clarity and relevance. And these 16 pastors were actively passing on what they were learning to other pastors in Rwanda!

These pastors had not lacked love or passion for Jesus. Rather, like so many other pastors around the world, they lacked access to training in how to study and teach God’s Word.

On July 29, I will transition from Lead Pastor of Paseo del Rey Church and become a missionary from Paseo del Rey. It has been a joy and a privilege to shepherd these wonderful people of Paseo del Rey Church for the past 38 years.

Now, God has opened a new door, and I will be focusing my time and attention on training more pastors who will train pastors in Africa. April and I will continue to live in Chula Vista, but I’ll be in Africa more, 3-4 times a year, 3-4 weeks at a time (April will join me on one journey each year).

I will be leading two different Pathways Training Networks. Each Pathways Training Network consists of 16 pastors who prepare for and participate in 9 one-week workshops that span three years. Being together over the three years provides time to nurture trusting relationships that are the bridge for meaningful and lasting discipleship, growth and training. We are launching our first Pathways group in Zambia in May, even before my transition actually occurs.

Paseo del Rey Church is committed to training pastors in Africa with me, and is generously providing a portion of my support for Pathways Africa.

I’d like to invite you to join my Pathways Africa Partnership team, investing in training pastors, like Jean in Africa. I am asking God for a group of partners like you who will pray regularly and financially support my work each month, or with an annual gift, over and above what you are giving your local church.

You can respond by clicking here. Join me in investing in training pastors who train pastors in Africa. Paseo del Rey Church will receive and administer your financial gifts—there are no administrative fees, and as your gifts are given directly to Paseo del Rey Church they are fully tax deductible.

Your partnership will bring a feast of God’s Word to many as together we team to train pastors who train pastors to study and preach God’s Living Word.

I hope and plan to talk personally with many of you individually over the next few months to share more about investing with me in Pathways Africa.