Why Do They Keep Coming Back?

Why Do They Keep Coming Back?

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Participants learning the skills of PPP.

As I was beginning to write this article with the title of “Why do they keep coming back?” Bryan (my boss) walked in with information written on the palm of his hand.
He then got me to write the contact address of Pastor Martin on the LT white board. Ps. Martin (Four Square Church) has requested for yet another BCT course!
The answer to the question is so obvious; they need the specialized skills for today’s church.
I am writing this as BCT 2 is being delivered for the Association of Baptists World Evangelism (ABWE) here the CRMF’s Communications Training Room. We have total of 12 pastors, including three women who are participating. The highlight of this second course is the individual Power Point Presentations (PPP) which will be done tomorrow (the fourth day of the course). When we pick the pastor with the bright red jumper and ask him why he came to this particular training, this is what he said. “I have tried to put a power point presentation on my own and I could not do it. Now this training has assisted me greatly and now I can put one together!”
The three women in this current course are full time in Women’s Ministry in their Church. They shared that with a program like Power Point Presentation it will help them to effectively teach writing and word recognition using slides.
They excitedly shared how they will use the skills learned by using pictures to teach children in their Sunday school classes.
With our female participants that have come through the training most of them are Sunday school teachers, vocational teaching staff and pastor’s wives who will assist their husbands with office administrative work.

These women are into full time Women’s Ministry

While the men are dominated by Pastors, Youth leaders with a lower percentage of church support workers.
So we ask again; “Why do they keep coming?” They all know what they want; to learn the needed skills to be able to be affected with today’s ministry environment.

Preparing a ppp for presentation

Judy doing her presentation

The week long training ended on Friday (25th September) with opportunity given for participants to present their work using the power point program.
As trainers we were satisfied with the presentations and even really impressed with one pastor who delivered a powerful message using the slides he put together.

Ladies during graduation lunch.

In closing the training our LTPNG Country Manager Mr. Bryan Mathew reminded the participants again that the BCT is only an added tool for the pastors to continue to do the good work they are already doing. We all thank the Lord for another successful BCT course. Once again we thank you for you faithful prayers and the generous giving that continues to support the ministry.

  Group photo

Effects of BCT’s

Effects of BCT’s

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Lina busy with two new laptop computers at Wewak

At the end of every BCT we have a slot where participants ask general questions regarding computer training and the ministry of CRMF. One of the most asked questions is; “How can you help us buy computers for a good price?”
We always tell them that CRMF sells good quality computers with twenty percent discount for Church and pastors. We know that even with the twenty percentage discount, it is difficult for pastors and ministry leaders in the remote places to afford a good computer for ministry.
In the  recent BCT in Wewak for the Evangelical Brotherhood Church, we had 24 Think Pad Lenovo laptops for training with six pastors and Church support workers who had brought their own computers. The addition of six more personal computers enabled us to train 30 participants bringing the total number of pastors and ministry leaders trained so far to 235. With three more new BCT scheduled for this year LTPNG could finish the year by training about 300 pastors; with the average intake of 20 participants per training. As we deliver training out in the field we see the delight of the participants during the training but the joy of graduation does not completely conceal the longing to own a computer. There is that sigh of longing to be able to own a computer and for most of them it would need a miracle to own a computer.
At the end of every BCT we have a slot where participants ask general questions regarding computer training and the ministry of CRMF. One of the most asked questions is; “How can you help us buy computers for a good price?”
I know that beyond the remote places of PNG there is place where good second hand computers can be obtained; and imagine a good second hand computer in the hands of the 200 plus pastors and ministry leaders that LTPNG has trained so far.

Lina checking out the EBC Goroka circuit pastors

Our key emphasis in all the training is that computer training is only a tool to enhance the ministry experience of the pastors so that the Word of God can be preached effectively. Ephesians 4: 11-13 sets the bases for equipping the saints for ministry and the final attainment of Christ’s fullness. We know that the training delivered is not only making an impact from the pulpit but also from the office of senior pastors and overseers of the different denominations that have come through the BCT courses; even the Goroka Pastors Fraternal office is benefiting from this needed training.

Every participant’s dream; to own a computer

When we returned from Brugam (See story “Giving Removes Remoteness”) Lina had two brand new lap top computers to activate. The two happy owners are participants who took the BCT 1 conducted for EBC Wewak. There will still be many who will need computers for ministry but few that have the means do not take chances.
Join us as we pray for the many remote pastors who have seen the tool and have learned the basic skills that will make an impact in their ministry; for opportunities to have a computer at their finger tips. For the Lord to open up the hearts of the congregation members to give towards buying of computers for their pastors and ministry leaders. Again thank you so much for your support and prayers as we praise God for the positive effects of basic computing skills.

Giving Removes Remoteness

Giving Removes Remoteness

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Our transport that took us 160 kilo meters to conduct the BCT for SSEC in Brugam

 What is the real definition of remote?

The synonyms for remote are distant, isolated, inaccessible, far flung, far off, far away, secluded and out of the way; all these words sound boring and give the message of hopelessness. But then they also give us a clue of the antonym! There must be something within reach to contrast the distances, to have access for the inaccessible, within sight for the far off and having a primary focus rather than declaring it as out of the way.

What is the Wikipedia definition?

Remote: describes a geographical area where a community is located over 350 km from the nearest service center having year-round road access. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remote_and_isolated_community

The above is a text book description of a remote community that closely describes the location for yet another Basic Computing course. After our EBC Wewak assignment (see story: Wewak by Fixing our Eyes on Jesus) we traveled a total of 320 kilometers round trip for this particular training. I assume the Wikipedia definition of the road access does not include the roads which are only accessible by four wheel drive vehicles, with changing of gears every 5 minutes to avoid a pot hole.

Effects of El Nino on the floor of our training place

For this particular stretch which is halfway toward Maprik, I figured the longest time to travel high speed without shifting down was 5 minutes; the implication is that your 3 hour drive can easily become a 5 to 6 hour drive.
Translate that into training hours in a remote community and it means that you do not have much time for training.
Then you add the potential risk of electricity failure to power the computers and the overhead projector for power point presentations and you have a have a situation.

Night sessions: 6:30 – 10 pm

Our plan to travel to Maprik and into Brugam on a Saturday did not work out. We discovered that catching a bus in Wewak was different from the getting on one in Goroka. As a result we travelled on a Monday to our training venue which meant that we had only two days for training. The scheduled training was for the second basic computing course.

This was the same Church denomination that we ran an introductory course in 2013 (See story on Stone Tablet).

On Tuesday morning we discovered that most of the participants who attended the first training were not present which meant that we would now do a BCT 1 instead of 2. We quickly adjusted and taught both day and night sessions and so by 9 pm on Wednesday night we had successfully conducted 4 days of basic computing course.

Training laptops set up in a bush material classroom looks good in a bush setting

We experienced the Lord’s control within that short period of time as we did what we could and the rest was up to the Him.

The zeal for the participants to learn in such a short time motivated us to keep going even though we were tired.

We thank the Lord for wisdom to be sensitive when situations arose.

We thank the Lord for wisdom to be sensitive when situations arose. We had a good learning experience when the generator that could not produce current. I decided to hand out A4 papers and got the participants to write down all the steps of what we were teaching them. The writing on paper must have lasted for about 4 hours and by the time the power came back on; they were able to follow the steps they have written.

Going through the steps for the participants to write

During the final night session, the participants requested that I take them through the steps so that they could write them down. I realized then that this was a learning style they were familiar with, as most of them were students of the local Bible school.

It made sense that with their written notes they could follow the steps when they have access to a computer. The training lap tops will be taken away but what they have written with remain with them.

It was not a hopeless situation anymore; they were not remote in acquiring basic computing skills as Bible school students. I learned a great lesson during this time that whatever the “remote” situation may be the wiliness to give and the hunger to receive can greatly rectify situations which seem remote, distant, far off, far away, far flung or out of the way.

Using own flash light to see the key board

We thank the Lord for the EBC Wewak Education Secretary; because he was willing to give his vehicle (Land Crusher) and his time the training venue which was 160 kilo meters away was not remote anymore!

We thank the Lord for giving us the strength and putting His love in our hearts to go into Brugam to offer the training as we were thinking of cancelling the trip to the remote.

The classroom that was given for the BCT training. A staff house was also offered for us to use

We were glad that we did go and experienced the true meaning of LTPNG’s goal of bridging the gap for the remote via technologies.

We can only bridge that gap by being available and willing to give what we have so that the Lord will bring hope to hopeless situations.

We again thank the Lord for this special privilege to be a small part of what He is doing for the Churches in our nation in this technological era as we offer basic computing skills to those seen as out of the way people.

Wewak: By Fixing Our Eyes On Jesus

Wewak: By Fixing Our Eyes On Jesus

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Hebrews 12:2a “Fix our eyes on Jesus”

LTPNG’s latest Basic Computer training has been with the Evangelical Brotherhood Church (EBC) in Wewak. The request for this needed skills training to equip the pastors and ministry leaders for today’s church continues to be the main activity for the LTPNG personnel.

For the Evangelical Brotherhood Church (EBC) in Wewak this recent training is the first for the MOMASE region (Morobe, Madang and Sepik Provinces).

The first 30 participants completed the course on Friday (4th September 2015) making way for more Basic Computer Training for the EBC pastors and ministry leaders in 2016 and beyond. The senior Pastor for EBC Wewak Pastor Joe Suai has already made plans to engage the LTPNG team for another two weeks in 2016. Pastor Joe stated that, “Besides men in ministry and leadership, there are many dedicated women pastors and ministry workers in our Church circuit and I will make sure that both men and women are equally represented in the next training. These next training will also involve teachers in the church’s education services program.

BCT sitting arrangement at EBC in Wewak using the new desks made by Edward (2nd front row)

One of the major obstacles in conducting training in the remote areas is the furniture and so when available, proper sitting arrangement can be organized easily thus creating an environment for learning to take place. The church buildings are the natural choice as you will always find something to sit on. The church here in Wewak had the basics available for the team to prepared it for the course; moving the blackboard on wheels and covering it with white material, arranging the new desks and then completing it with flower pots.

The first morning started off with setting up computers and then having the participants to have their places according to their registration arrangements; a registered participant would have a LTPNG computer to do the course. This was then followed by participants who had personnel computers to find their places; now we were ready to do devotions and start off the course with 30 participants.

We have discovered that the registration process is ongoing and the due date is before the graduation day. Therefore the challenge is to work closely with the senior pastor to print the certificates making sure that all have registered for the training.

We had only 4 women participants in this course

Hebrews 12: 2a says that we are to fix our eyes on Jesus who is the source and the perfecter of our faith. The EBC church in Wewak has this beautiful Scripture on the front of their church. It is a great Scripture verse for encouraging the pastors to take up the new challengers of today’s technological era by fixing their eyes on Jesus.
Interestingly, spelling Wewak phonetically becomes “We work” so we bring it into the contents of conducting the BCT for the EBC pastors in Wewak becomes; “We work to gain knowledge of the basic computing skills by fixing our eyes on Jesus. We started the devotions by encouraging them from the words of Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:11 that Jesus personally gave the different gifts for ministry in the Church with the bottom line of building up the body of Christ toward attaining the full stature of Christ (4:13).

Participants busy with training

Pastor Vincent Navi who served in the urban Church 7 years ago reflected on the former days of type writers. He said, “I have been out serving in the remote places and technology has brought a computer to be a vital machine for ministry instead of a type writer. I am glad that I can be equipped to be competent for ministry in the changes that are taking place.”
Elder Andrew Kanawi expressed his gratefulness for the course by stating that he did not imagine that he would in this kind of course; he can see his children participating but not an older person like himself. He concluded by saying that it is only because of God’s grace that he can participant in this course for the ministry he is involved in.

Community Health Worker, Rorope Wangu all smiles with a young supporter

A Community Health Worker (CHW) Mr. Rorope Wangu was all smiles after he received his certificate because as a health worker his knowledge of the basic computing skills will help him to monitor patient and drug figures. He said even though I do not fully understand all that was presented I have seen enough to know that the basic skills learned with really help me in my work.

This particular trip involved freighting 24 laptop computers, accessories and a video projector, making two connection flights via Lae and Madang. The good thing was that it was the same Airlines PNG (APNG) aircraft that took us from Goroka to Wewak. The major concern was that we had to pay a lot for the excess baggage for computers. Pray for wisdom for the team to check out flights available by different commercial and mission organizations so that computers can be transported economically and safely for training.

For Lina and I in Wewak, East Sepik Province, we survived the heat and enjoyed excellent hospitality by the EBC pastors and their families as we waited for the second part of the training with the South Sea Evangelical Church (SSEC) in Brugam.

  30 participants that attended

Something that really caught my attention on our assignment with EBC pastors in Wewak is the teacher student respect. The participants respected us so much that we did not have meals together; every meal was served separately for us. One evening I broke this respect tradition and invited a number of pastors for coffee; we had a great time listening to their ministry stories out in the outlaying jungles and rivers where even Wewak town does not hear about.

We had the WiFi Bible Box on during the duration of the course and the participants were able to download resources with ease; Tok Pisin Bible App is the hot item that all who had smart phones now got it on their devices.

Please pray that the Lord will allow and guide us to have the second BCT in 2016. Thank you again for faithfully praying and supporting which made it possible for CRMF to offer this most needed training.