Hunger for Gods’ Word

BWANA Asifiwe means “Lord be praised” in Swahili. When you hear this term repeatedly during a sermon shouted out by the pastor and the congregation, you realize that people feel strongly about the phrase. Sometimes, when you visit a church, the pastor may ask if you would greet the people and speak for about forty minutes from the Word. You learn to travel with a sermon already prepared!  This is an example of enthusiasm we are not used to in our typical North American church.

In the mid-1980s, when we were first in Kenya, my wife led several Precept Upon Precept studies with college students, starting with Thessalonians. The college students would regularly ask if the study could be held several nights a week instead of just once per week. There was no television or internet then, so college students had more time.  Another example of a deep hunger for God’s Word among the Kenyan people was a Vacation Bible School where 300 children attended when one or two dozen were expected. These are the examples of a hunger for God’s Word that amazed us.  However, it is not always about numbers.  We found that when a Christian music (rally) night was held by a gospel group, dozens of high school youth would come forward.  Typically, there would be no follow-up, and at the next Christian gospel music rally, dozens would come forward again, but many were the same students who had come forward before. Great numbers but with no discipleship, the impact was mostly lost. With technological advances such as television, multi-channel, internet, social media, smartphones, etc., students are very short of time.  Their day in boarding school would often go from 5 am to 9:30 pm with one hour per week for club activities such as Christian Union (similar to intervarsity).

We do no advertising or recruiting…word of mouth provides more study participants than we can facilitate.

40-Minute Studies became the perfect solution for Christian Union in the Kenyan high schools.   Over the four years of high school, we cover three of Precept’s 40-minute study books per year, one per 12-week term, for a total of twelve through the duration of grades 9-12.  We start with How To Make Choices You Won’t Regret and finish with Fatal Distractions: Conquering Destructive Temptations. In September of each year, we pick out prospective leaders then, in December, during school break, we provide Fast-Track leader training using Rising to the Call of Leadership so that they can co-lead and then lead 40-minute studies the following year.  We do no advertising or recruiting in high school as word of mouth provides more study participants than we can facilitate.  We are now training select high school graduates of the 4-year 40-minute studies to lead NISS studies in the community. When I compare the amount of time we typically spend recruiting Bible study participants in Canada, we are truly blessed in Kenya with an intense hunger for God’s Word. BWANA asifiwe.    

Check out all of the upcoming online Workshops for you to establish yourself in His Word and make disciples. 


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