More than two years ago Jason and Christy Carmean moved their family to Yaoundé, the capital city of Cameroon, where they help equip students with biblical training at the Grace Brethren Bible Institute.
The need for trained pastors in Cameroon is critical. According to Training Leaders International, there is one formally trained pastor per 450,000 people within the 10/40 window. The Bible Institute currently has 22 students enrolled in the program. By mid-2018 when the students graduate, the Cameroonian Grace Brethren Churches will have tripled their number of trained pastors.
Students in the program are in class two weeks each month and have two weeks off to work and support themselves. For the sake of sharing the teaching responsibilities and giving the students various perspectives to glean from, Jason regularly invites qualified individuals to visit as volunteer adjunct instructors. This last fall, he asked Dan Green and Zac Hess to come and conduct a two-week module about the world’s counterfeit gospels.
Both Dan and Zac serve on the staff at Grace Polaris Church in Ohio, which is one of the supporting churches that contributes to the ministry of the Bible Institute and to the personal support of the Carmean family. Dan, who spent fifteen years as an Encompass World Partners Global Worker in Brazil, is the Global Witness Pastor, and Zac is the Young Adults Pastor. Neither of them had ever taught in this kind of context nor had they been to Cameroon, but they were excited about the opportunity.
They split the two-week module into two phases. First, the class reviewed the biblical foundations for the Gospel of Christ. Second, they compared counterfeit-gospels with the true gospel. They explored major religions and cults, explaining their pitfalls, and also examined Christian sectarian beliefs like the prosperity gospel, which is very prevalent in Cameroon.
Once they found their rhythm, Dan and Zac were able to engage students with the material, creating an environment where students were asking questions and receiving the instruction with enthusiasm. The content was more than just an intellectual experience; it was practical and life-changing. Afterward, one of the students explained how he had been very attracted to the health, wealth, and prosperity gospel before the module began and said that his perspective changed through the class. For Dan and Zac, this evidence of the usefulness of their trip made all the work worthwhile.
Today, Biblical Illiteracy stands as a major issue in the global church, especially in the 10/40 window. People like Dan, Zac, and the Carmeans are faithfully working to dimish the need. Whether you are a teacher, administrator, or financial partner, assisting the training of individuals to “rightly handle the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15) is a God-glorifying investment.
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. -3 John 1:4 — from encompassworldpartners.org