The year has been wonderful! Driven by faith, the Wesley Missionary Institute opened in January 2021 with the first class of 11 students. Most teachers have been Togolese this first term, but they have also welcomed teachers from the U.S. and Nigeria. To remind you, this is an 18-month-long residential missionary training program.
The students have completed two of their three internships. Most have had some ministry experience. Two came to us as ordained Free Methodist (FM) ministers, but all of them are being developed to cross the boundaries and obstacles of different cultures. The internships are done within Togo, with the students being attached to ministries of our existing FM churches in Togo.
One pastor was asked in advance of the first internship whether he would like a group of student workers. He said, “No, we don’t need them.” After hearing the results in other churches, he was first in line to receive a group of students for the second internship experience. Students worked with his church for four weeks. Formerly a church of primarily children, this church now has a more commendable group of adults and an adult trainee-leader working under the pastor.
Another exciting development we can’t take credit for: One of our four Nigerian students, who was not a French speaker when he came to us, now speaks French sufficient to do some work in French. Our school director said he wishes he could use him more in Togo. Praise the Lord for natural AND grace-enabled talents!
These 11 students have five months left (February-June 2022). Most of April and May will include their final internship. They return to campus for a final course and then will return to their home countries. THEN their local leaders will have the task of sending them out as missionaries, hopefully, to extend the work of the national church by making use of their new cross-cultural skills to widen the church’s work in unreached areas.
Please pray for these 11 students, their teachers and the leaders who will deploy them. We have high hopes for what the Lord will do through them!