Gather The Fragments Bible Mission has a three-pronged approach to Bible training
First, we offer Bible Institute-style training for men and women in our immediate local area. Classes are held on Sunday and Friday evenings for three hours each night. Currently we are working our way through the book of John. On Wednesday evenings we have a hymn singing class where we are teaching traditional hymns of the faith to those who can read. With a literacy rate of only 38%, Sierra Leone is ranked in the bottom 10 nations for literacy. Our purpose in teaching these hymns is to introduce them into the regular church service for the benefit of those who cannot read thereby teaching sound Bible doctrine in a manner which will make it easy for our people to retain.
Secondly, we hold week long leadership training seminars. These are for men who are already in leadership positions of churches in more distant villages. The purpose of the seminars is to give participants understanding of the biblical structure and leadership of the local church. During this week of training our classroom doubles as a dormitory and we provide for all the needs of these men. This frees their minds from the concerns of life so they can fully concentrate on the intensive training; hiring women from Laura’s Bible study group, we cook their meals and wash their laundry. The days are long and full with our first class starting at 9:00; we conclude the day around 9:00 in the evening with robust hymn singing. The eager men often talk far into the night discussing and debating what they have learned during the day. It is exciting to see them grow in grace and knowledge. One church has already been planted as direct fruit from this method of training.
The third prong of our training is still under development. We are making plans to implement a circuit of training to augment our seminars. Because it is difficult for these men to take a full week away from family and work, we would like to use the military model of “exportable training” – taking the school to the students. This would give the added advantage of training the men on their home turf as well as afford time for evangelism within their own villages. We are eager to see this phase of the training begin.
The only requirement for attendance in classes is that the participant can read, write, and understand English. We are seeing growth in some who have long been entrenched in the Pentecostal mire of false doctrine; the greatest opposition to the mission work comes from Pentecostalism. The work is slow but with our three-pronged approach, we are seeing the Light of the Gospel pierce the multiplied generations of darkness.