This last week I had the opportunity to fly out to Florida and meet with Paul and Marcia Cowley, who head up Disciple Support Ministries in Nairobi. It was a great trip out there, even though it was very short!
I flew out Monday night. After trying to check in at the airport, I found out the my flight had been cancelled A MONTH AGO and was never notified. The airline was able to get me on another airline to Tampa, but it required a little juggling of the schedule, and I made it in time to meet up with Paul and Marcia.
During the meeting, I was able to see just how amazing this ministry is. DSM reaches out to the pastors and ministry leaders of the churches in the slums of Kibera and Mathare. Since these men and women already lead churches, the impact is phenomenal. With approximately 150 students each semester, this ministry basically feeds 150 different churches, reaching out to thousands of Kenyans.
A typical day at the school is very full. At 6:30 in the morning, students begin their day with service. typical jobs include cooking breakfast, cleaning the floors, setting up the desks, and others. At 8:00 class starts. Normally they go through a book from the Old Testament. Class runs through 12:00, when they break for lunch. At 12:45 school begins again, and for the next four hours they study a book from the New Testament. at 4:45 clean up begins, and usually lasts until 5:30.The schools each operate one day a week. The pastors are required to maintain a job outside of the church while attending school, so they are not tempted to fall into fleecing the church members. The pastors also regularly meet with DSM leaders to discuss areas of discipleship, such as family and work issues.
There is only one textbook at this school: the Bible. The pastors are taught how to interpret the Bible and teach the Bible by relying on the Holy Spirit to enlighten them. Since most of these pastors would never be able to afford a commentary or book about the Bible, this truly is a blessing. It has been said that the best commentary on the Bible is the Bible, and this ministry seems to live on that motto.
The amount of paperwork created by this ministry is large. 150 students created 300 homework assignments a week that need to be graded, and 300 test a month. This work, combined with the student files for the 500+ students that have gone through the school, shows just how important the gift of Administration is to DSM. DSM is constantly in need of people with administrative backgrounds.
I left the meeting feeling very confident about working with DSM. At this point, we are praying for God to confirm yet again that this is where He wants us. Please join us in praying that God will confirm this to myself, Adrienne, the Cowleys, and all others involved.