December 2011 - VSM Africa completes its first course. . .

Famine, migration, refugees and devastating loss are all found in the first chapter of the book of Ruth. These are issues that most Africans can readily relate to and made the conversations in our first course on interpreting Scripture both lively and challenging. How do we respond to the fact that Africa has more refugees and displaced people within the continent than outside the continent?  How do we, as Christian leaders in Africa, deal with such real life issues that surround us on a daily basis?   

In December, leaders from all over Kenya met together to learn how to interpret Scripture. This is an important first step in training those who are influencing entire clans and villages in their region.

Often times, the Bible is interpreted in Africa in such a way as to be more of a weapon to intimidate others or a tool of control. We want to empower leaders to be “workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth (2 Timothy 2.15)”. This is not always easy because of the diverse backgrounds of those Kenyan leaders in the first course.

One Maasai pastor, over sixty years old, is from a rural, pastoral setting and has to walk many kilometers to find a computer or internet access. Issues of globalization and ecumenicism are all but irrelevant to him. In complete contrast was a newly married couple in the same class who are westernized, urbanized, with excellent English and a grasp on global affairs. 

Equipping all these leaders with an authentically African, Vineyard and relevant preparation for ministry is both an exciting and challenging prospect.