The church in the village of Mayoka is going strong! Surveyed in 2009 by a former collegue, Ray Weekly. Planted in 2010 by Bill Brouwer and Pastor Pelegrino. The church has already grown out of its original building. They built this new building this summer (2011) and named if after Bill Brouwer's church in Greeneville, TN.
The original building is now our children's building! What a blessing for the children's class to have our own building!! And even more of a blessing- the people of Mayoka really want a children's class. Four have volunteered to help each week and begin learning how to teach. They have been without help for several months, and now they see their need to learn how to teach the children themselves.
I have been teaching for 3 weeks now and we have had about 40 kids each week. The "teachers-in-training" have been very active/ helpful in keeping the children in line. My problem is that half of the kids are very young and don't understand much Swahili yet. Generally they learn their tribal language at home- Kisukuma, and Tanzanian's trade language- Kiswahili- is taught in school. But even then 1st-2nd graders understand very little Swahili. This coming Sunday we're going to try an experiment- one of the teachers is going to translate for me. I'll have to cut my lesson in half, but I'm teaching on where Satan came from and the evil spirits. There is so much fear of evil spirits here that I really want everyone to understand!
The four "teachers-in-training" are Zebron, Alexi, Happiness, and Anastasia. Last week Zebron led the singing, and Happiness (pictured below- our new pastor's wife. She is a high school teacher in town and travels with her husband out to the villages on Sunday. She has never taught Sunday school before, but with her education she will catch on very quickly) taught the memory verse. She did an EXCELLENT job!! I'm hopeful that in time as she gains confidence in teaching, she'll catch the vision to train others in other churches.
After Sunday school I sit with our teachers each week and have a little discussion time, give them a chance to share some things they observed. The first time we sat together, I asked how teaching children is different from preaching a sermon. One teacher said, "nothing." Needless to say… we've got a ways to go.
A week from next Sunday I'm traveling with the Brouwers and another friend to Nairobi for a conference. It will be their first chance to lead the class on their own. I have been laboring over the best way to train teachers. I honestly never thought of doing it this way (working with 1 church for an extended period of time), but it's how the Lord has lead for this church (mainly because I don't have my own car yet). And, Praise the Lord, it's working! Then the idea of leaving for a week and letting them try on their own (without the foreigner there to make them nervous). It will be so good! They'll get their feet wet, and Lord willing be more eager to learn and be more observant when I teach. The Lord is so wise and good. He is answering prayers for wisdom and direction on how to train children's workers!