May was a whirlwind of activity as Doug began the month by flying westward to Mongolia to teach a new group of Pastors and Church leaders. It was wonderful time of establishing new relationships with 25 precious believers and leaders. Then he returned for a few days to travel to Pennsylvania over the weekend reporting to a great Church family who are partnering with us in God’s ministry of TRI-M. After a few more days back “home” he headed Eastward to teach in South Sudan missing only a few time zones from going completely around the world in May.
As we have shared before, Doug is leading the new TRI-M group in Mongolia. The first group met us and each other in the April/ May teaching module to start the training. There were not only 19 new students serving the LORD as Church leaders and Pastors, but we also had four new Pastors coming to be trained as the Mongolian Mentors in between the TRI-M teaching modules. It was very exciting to see the organized efforts of the local leaders to establish an opportunity through TRI-M modules for these new relationships being formed with each other and their new Mentors.
Christianity is so new to this country and it’s people, that they are nearly all first generation believers. Many of these students do not have contact with those outside their own immediate fellowship. This training week assists them in establishing a wider network of potential support and encouragement as well as the learning that takes place in the classroom.
The classroom time went very well with the help of Pastor Gary Dull and Pastor Dean Bertsch sharing in the teaching of the 3 courses that week. It was not without some challenges. Doug’s course was not there when we arrived but a completely different course in Mongolian was in the student’s handout notes. With a little adapting, Doug was able to teach by combining material from the previous course taught and his own material without most of the teaching notes there. At the end of the week the students gave marvelous testimony of God’s work in our midst in spite of the mix-ups. A few confessed they came to just get away from the extreme pressure of the ministry, but by the middle of the week they were not only getting refreshed but also stretched to grow in their faith through the teaching from the Scriptures. The 3 course fit well together and lead some to confess that they were challenged to not be content with preaching other peoples interpretations without being discerning if that material was truly faithful to the Scriptures themselves. It was a blessing to be around brethren that were so open to the Holy Spirits leading through the teaching of God’s Word.
While there we saw a wonderful testimony to these men’s genuine walk with the LORD. Through an unexpected circumstances of only a few of us (3 Americans and 1 Mongolian) playing around with a guitar in an off time, God moved the manager of the facilities housing us to ask our small group to sing and share our joy with her staff of 6 workers. Quickly we rounded up 4 other Mongolians who jumped right in and sang Amazing Grace in Mongolian for this group. After the singing, one of these Pastors casually slipped in and began sharing a clear Gospel presentation from John 3:16. The staff was invited to trust in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and hope of eternal life. All 6 shook their heads very clearly in agreement. The Pastor then rehearsed the Gospel again and they agreed that this was what they needed. The Pastor led them in praying for God’s gift of eternal life! The rest of the week we saw the cool dude teenager that served our tables change dramatically and asked questions from a Bible he was given. Our “John Wayne style” maintenance man no longer had a sour expression but even greeted us each morning and throughout the day with a brilliant smile. All of them were noticeably different after their new birth. The other amazing thing was that there was obvious joy amongst our “students” but not a lot of reminiscing about that event. It was just something that they knew God does at times when you share the Gospel. Plans were made to follow up on this group and get them connected with a local Church. This is how the Christians have exploded from single digit numbers in 1992 to estimates of now 100,000 believers in 600 Churches throughout Mongolia. It is a great honor to be a small part of assisting these faithful believers to be better prepared to serve Christ through the teaching of His Word! Thank you for being a significant part through praying and financial support.
This last trip saw the final courses in the Certificate Level being taught by Doug and the first graduation for the South Sudanese Evangelical School of Theology (SSEST). So far Doug has done all the teaching for this group, mainly because of the demands for survival in the newest country in the world tries to establish itself and get back on their feet after over 25+ years of war and persecution. We were unsure of the next step they were willing to take in this needy area. However, God was at work even when we could not see it clearly. By the end of the week the leaders of SSEST had come up with a plan of how they could join Doug in the teaching responsibilities in order to continue these graduates on to a higher level of training and still start a new group of Church Leaders they had already registered for next November. Praise the LORD.
There are still many obstacles leaders must walk through to get this plan in motion. It will be more demanding on the students as well as these new Sudanese teachers taking on these responsibilities. However, this next move does show us that the Sudanese do have true ownership of this training and are determined to keep it going with or without him. It is encouraging to see such clear evidence of this attitude and confidence in our great God and Savior! God has made it clear that we are moving on to the next exciting step by sharing these teaching responsibilities.
NEXT OVERSEAS TRIP
Doug and Cheryl will be heading out on their joint teaching trip in July. They will travel to Uganda, Western Kenya and Tanzania and be a part of graduations in two of these venues of both men and women students. We have already seen one venue in Tanzania completed and a new one begun by a Tanzanian Pastor who is doing a TRI-M style of training with our courses. This only required a minimal assistance from us to start and no further need for our involvement on site to continue. That leaves just one ongoing venue that we will be seeking God’s wisdom regarding future involvement following graduation after the last week of teaching. The ladies in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda are excited to be recognized for their diligent studies as well as the men’s group. In Kenya, Pastor Thomas is seizing many opportunities to expand the training there as well as oversee planting of new Churches from his village Church. This man is amazing in starting satellite schools and vernacular new groups for the training at CAMSOM. It is almost like we saw God use us to be a small spark that He used to light a bonfire through Pastor Thomas! There seems to be no stopping him now. And isn’t that what we all want? (2 Tim. 2:2)
Please join us in prayer for,
1) God’s leading in the Mongolian Mentors that are following up the students of our first class in April/May to be sure they are understanding and applying the training in a culturally appropriate way.
2) God’s strength and wisdom as the Sudanese Leaders of SSEST begin to organize the expansion of the training there and take on the increased work of teaching with Doug.
3) God to supply the increase costs to add 3 Mongolian training modules in 2015
4) Doug and Cheryl to be sensitive to God’s wisdom and leading in these venues experiencing transitions.
5) Our youngest Daughter Dani as she makes plans to transfer to IUPUI for fall semester.
And Rejoice with us over a wonderful first solo visit by our 5 year old Grandson in June! Also we will be with his sister and our daughter in July. We praise God for them and their parents!
1. Rejoice with us over a wonderful first solo visit from our five-year-old grandson, Caden, in June! (We plan to be with his sister, Addie, and our daughter, Katy, in July.) We praise God for these little ones—and their parents!
2. Finally, thanks to Faith Baptist Church, in State College, Pennsylvania, for donating three laptops and two printers for Africans as they do translation and print Tri-M course notes.
Striving to Serve Christ,
Doug Boisvert, D. Min.
Tri-M Eastern and Central African Director
sent out by Springville Baptist Church, PA
“To this end I also labor, striving according to His working…” (Colossians 1:29)