July 2013 saw a new chapter in the history of the Church in West Africa. As a result of the earlier conference in January, the Heart of Man Chart training as well as the HUB Church Planting training conferences was held in two countries, Togo and Liberia.
A total of 120 Pastors from Niger, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Chad, Benin, Burkina Faso and Senegal made their way to Lome to be trained in evangelism and church planting. For some getting there was a huge challenge – the Chadians spent seven days on the road to get there having had to travel through Niger and Burkina Faso! The training was also attended by David Mills, the Regional Superintendent for West Africa of the Church of God (second from right on the photo).
Raymond Lombard began by training the participants in evangelism using the Heart of Man charts. This was followed up with a practical session, where the pastors were paired and had to take turns presenting the Gospel to one another, using the materials provided. Soon after this training, the entire group went out onto the streets of Lome to share the Gospel. This “mini-outreach” – which lasted one whole hour – proved the effectiveness of the materials when over 60 people came to Christ!
Steven shared with the pastors how to apply the evangelism training to planting new churches and how other pastors could be trained for each of the new churches. Their faith grew and they recognized the potential for their cities, towns and villages. We ended on a high note with a commitment from each country represented to plant new churches before the end of this year. David Mills encouraged the group throughout; calling on years of practical experience to show how God works through those who are faithful.
The training was repeated in Monrovia, Liberia during the second training conference. This country, which had been involved in a particularly brutal civil war until a decade ago, is ripe for harvest . Here, 60 representatives from Mali, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and other pastors from Ivory Coast gathered for the training. Once again faith and hope grew and they all went home, re-energised for the work of God.