WE WILL TRAIN NEW LEADERS TO BLESS THE GLOBAL CHURCH
The Good News came to Tuan’s remote mountain village in a strange, almost humorous way in the late 1980’s. Poverty, drugs, ancestor worship, and hopelessness were the norm. Then, the Communist government came up with an ingenious plan to bring atheistic, Marxist propaganda to these physically, culturally, and linguistically isolated peoples. Officials distributed short-wave radios to each village leader with instructions to tune in to government-operated stations in the capital.
However, after a while some bored community leaders decided to scan the airwaves in search of any broadcast they could find in their own language. By the providence of God, many of them inadvertently discovered a Christian station (FEBC) in the Philippines that proclaimed gospel truth. The result was that many individuals, and in some cases entire communities, began to turn away from atheism or false religions and put their faith in Christ. Years later, missionaries trekking in the mountains stumbled upon pockets of tribal Christians who had never met a Christian from outside of their own group.
Tuan was one of the new believers in his own tribe. They had acquired a few Bibles that were smuggled in from a neighboring country and eagerly gathered to read it together. Leaders were chosen and even a church was formed. However, as in most of the other tribal Christian groups, none of the believers, including the “pastors,” had been trained in how to study or teach the Word of God. They soon realized the critical need for someone to guide them as they sought to understand and apply biblical truth. They began to pray and search for a source of training.
The quest for biblical training eventually led them to the capital where they were able to connect with national church leaders. There was great discouragement initially when they discovered that all Christian theological training had been banned by the government more than 30 years before. However, a handful of them participated in secret trainings that took place sporadically, but this only made them long for more (Brook Hills teams were involved in some of these secret trainings).
In answer to much prayer, in 2013, the government granted permission to launch a Bible College! Tuan was selected from among a throng of applicants as one of the first class of 25 students. Due to legal and financial limitations, all the students coming from tribal areas were required to leave their families behind during their four years of Bible training in the city. Tuan, like most of the tribal students, was married and had two children. Entering Bible College in the capital meant that he would only be able to see his family two, or perhaps three, times a year. When asked why he was willing to make such a sacrifice, Tuan responded:
“God has come to our tribe. Since the gospel came, many of us have believed and been saved from our sins. We want to know God and serve Him, but no one in our tribe knows how to study and teach the Word of God. I want to be that man!”
Tuan was in the first graduating class in 2018. At his graduation, the Communist Secretary of Religious Affairs gave a charge to the graduates saying, “You have completed your formal training. Now you must go and live out and proclaim what you have learned.” Tuan has been doing just that!
The gospel is making an impact in the mountains and in the cities of this populous country. In spite of persecution and opposition from the authorities, and even family members, Tuan’s church is already reaching out to unreached and unengaged tribal groups. This is happening because the Word of God is being heard and taught! Let’s continue to pray and partner with our brothers and sisters so that His Name will be proclaimed and glorified in every tribe, tongue, city, and village on the planet!
The Global Offering provided resources for all 75 students who are currently studying at the Bible College this year. Through the Global Offering, students are provided tuition as well as room and board on campus each semester. Through your generosity and in partnership with leadership there at the college, these brothers are receiving master’s level theological training so they can be developed into faithful shepherds who lead the church in a very difficult and unreached area of the world.
- Pray for the 75 students currently studying at the Bible College in the capital. Resources are needed to provide housing, food and training.
- Pray for the on-site training that takes place several times a year, when teachers from the Bible College travel to remote mountain areas to provide training for those who can’t come to the city.
- Pray for those who have now received training to boldly lead their churches to reach out to the masses around them who have never heard the Good News.
Pray especially for new believers to stand strong in the face of painful persecution.