Mission Work Conferences

Nairobi Conference: November 2020

Braman Foundation of Charities
2020 CEF Sunday School Teachers Super Seminar
Venue: Deliverance Church, Embul Bul, Ngong
Prepared by Mark Owuor Otieno

CEF 2020 Super Seminar Overview

Braman Foundation of Charities (BFC) in partnership with the Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) conducted an introductory Sunday school teachers training in the Nairobi Metropolitan Area of Ngong. This was the first training within Ngong District and is projected to be the area of implementation for various BFC programs including Blessing Bag.

Planning

During planning, I identified a consortium of 40 grassroots churches that serve the entire Ngong’ District of Kajiado County. Ngong District is lies within the expansive Nairobi Metropolitan Area. The churches are spread across several wards namely Embul Bul, Vet, Olepolos, Kerarapon, Kibiko, and Matasia. Over several months, I visited these churches to introduce them to BFC, assess their capacities, interests in the partnership, and Sunday school structure among other observations. Out of the interactions, training requirements, and prevailing COVID -19 requirements, I settled on 15 churches who I felt had an interest and deserved such a training. In the weeks leading to the training, I added 2 more churches who appreciated the need to be trained and requested to send participants.

Once I had confirmed the number of churches, I started communications with Child Evangelical Fellowship (CEF) national director and their Nyanza Region director (Edwin Ogolla). Edwin, the churches, and I settled agreed that the Seminar takes place from September 23, 2020, to September 25, 2020. During the planning, I communicated with individual Sunday school teachers and communicated the importance of keeping time, dedicating to the program, and implementing what will be taught.

I picked Deliverance Church Embul Bul to host the Seminar because of its centrality to the churches and the hotel in which the facilitators lived. The church also offered a dedicated conference hall, washrooms, electricity, and kitchen for the catering team.

All the facilitators arrived on September 22, 2020, and left on September 26, 2020.

Budgeting

The budgeting process involved looking at two types of facilities. The facilities were a church venue and a hotel conference facility. We settled on a church venue to save on budget. The church venue was also centrally placed and within a walking distance from most attending churches. I also had to outsource for outside catering to provide food for the participants.

Seminar

The seminar started on time on the first day. I introduced the participants and led a devotion session then introduced BFC, our programs, and plans. The first day had 16 participants and the next two days had 15 participants. The theme of the Seminar was “Evangelizing Children Effectively.”

The objective of the seminar was to give teachers introductory skills and tools to enable them to evangelize children effectively. The topics covered include:

  1. Introduction to Child Evangelism Fellowship
  2. The Final Authority (Why Evangelize Children)
  3. Foundations for Life (Memory Verses)
  4. Use of Visual Aids in Teaching
  5. 1-2-3 Jesus Loves Me (Presenting the Message Of Salvation to Children)
  6. Memory Verse preparation and presentation
  7. Classroom Management
  8. Drawing in the Net (Salvation Invitation)
  9. Message of salvation preparation and presentation
  10. Guiding the Child to the Savior (Counseling for Salvation)
  11. Bible Lesson Preparation and Presentation
  12. Life Changing Evangelistic Bible Lesson Preparation & Presentation
  13. Good News Club / S/s / PPI Program Demonstration

The facilitators were:

  • Rev. Edwin Juma Wanyang – CEF National Director of Trainings
  • Rev Edwin Ogolla Otieno – CEF Nyanza Region Director

Immediate Outcomes

  1. 15 participants effectively trained and equipped to evangelize Sunday school children effectively.
  2. 15 participants effectively facilitated to evangelize children effectively by receiving training manuals and several teaching aids.
  3. Teacher’s training assignments show positive learning outcomes.
  4. Partnership created with 22 churches. We will work with these churches for the upcoming seminars and programs like Blessing Bags.
  5. More churches that I had not contacted expressed the desire to be part of the partnership in the future.
  6. Participants pledged to be present during the next seminar (How to Disciple Children Effectively) for continuity purposes.
  7. This was the most engaging seminar so far with participants showing interest to learn (Observation from facilitators and myself). I believe this was because of carefully picking the participants and communicating the importance of the seminar in advance.

NB long-term outcomes to be assessed 3 months and 6 months after training.

Challenges

  1. Coordinating churches required more patience and God’s grace than I initially thought. Working with pastors, you have to keep constantly follow-up and remind them of the next process.
  2. COVID-19 restrictions in Kenya made coordination and purchasing expensive and tiresome than usual. For example, Public Service taxis charged twice the normal rates because of reduced carrying capacity for social distancing purposes.
  3. COVID-19 related socioeconomic restructuring affected part of the participants. A number of participants could not attend because of the loss of employment and had to relocate back to their rural areas. This is the reason I allowed some churches to send two participants.
  4. Having started planning a few months back, I faced several challenges including; moving around the churches and introducing myself. Coordination became simpler once Peter sent money for the conference.

Recommendations

  1. Print few business cards to help me introduce myself better. I relied on the About the Foundation landing page of the BFC website for confirmation. Introducing BFC and myself without any proof of being associated with BFC was not easy.
  2. The next seminar (How to Disciple Children Effectively) in the series to happen by December with the same participants for them to fully appreciate the process and be equipped to disciple children. After this, the teacher can undergo 2 full-course trainings before moving to the next group of teachers.
  3. Organize a joint Vacation Bible Study (VBS) by mid-2021 conducted by the 15-trained teachers.
  4. Trained teachers to form Good News Clubs in their churches, homes, or schools. BFC will conduct a follow-up starting in November 2020.
  5. BFC to brainstorm on different ways through which we can fundraise to expand the program in order to include activities like frequent monitoring and other child-related Christian events.
  6. BFC to buy a projector that can be used in the entire East African programme.

Conclusion

Generally, the training was a success as the trainees expressed enthusiasm for the work of Christ in children ministry. It is our hope and prayer that they effectively implement the knowledge and tools to the benefit of children.

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