“Kettering Family, Thank You”Categories: In the Bulletin
“You just can’t imagine how great this was. This week has helped me by giving me the opportunity to be fed spiritually instead of always teaching. I’ve learned how to be a better servant and man. I wouldn’t change a thing and I hope you do this for us again next year.” These are the reflections from just one person on this week’s preacher conference we had in Cali, Colombia with eight of the nine men we help support. Jason Schofield and I walk away very satisfied with what we accomplished. Almost 18 hours of instruction and study over three days. Personal interviews with our men. Late night conversations letting some of them talk through their problems. Watching them encourage each other, get to know one another better, and just talk. Time to relax, visit, and laugh with one another. It was all so good.
Between Tuesday and Thursday we were able to cover topics on the work and role of a preacher. We challenged them to allow their individual congregations to get more involved in the local work and support them more. We talked about the importance of sexual purity and setting an example as an evangelist. Jason challenged them with a class on church discipline from the perspective of grace — rather than a harsh spirit that gives little consideration to Christian weakness. We talked about the need for their personal spiritual growth and gave them ideas on how to plan on how to address their weaknesses. And finally, we talked about the very important topic of local congregational preacher support and the need to move away from dependency on American congregations.
Kettering family, thanks for making all of this possible. Over and over again, from each one of these men, we’ve been asked to tell you “thank-you”. They’ve all remarked what a difference it is for them that we have taken the time to get to know them, their families, and their work personally. It is much different from what they experience from other American congregations who often communicate very little other than through sending a monthly check. Our relationship and partnership with them means more to them than we may be able to understand. So again, thank you for the difference you all are making in bettering the lives of our Colombian team. To God be the glory!
— Matthew Allen