Reaching the 90%
Posted on June 04, 2021
At Global Action, one of the great blessings we enjoy is getting to partner with God’s people around the world. Ian Amess from the Harare Theological College in Zimbabwe is one of those blessings.
Ian came to Christ as an adult, and soon afterward he began studying at Harare Theological College (HTC) to learn more about his new faith. Over time, he began working at the college as a lecturer and eventually left his career in the business world in order to serve at the college full-time.
Ian has a passion for equipping leaders with the Word of God. One of the challenges that he faced at HTC was reaching the 90% of pastors and ministry leaders who lack access to the training they need. It is very difficult for many pastors and leaders to leave their area of ministry and travel to Harare for college, and the financial cost would be far too great for the majority of these leaders. While the solution of online training may work in some contexts, it is not viable in the Zimbabwean setting where the cost of data is prohibitive and people learn best in a group setting.
In 2019, God began using Global Action to help meet these needs in Zimbabwe. In partnership with Ian and HTC, we are now able to offer training to the 90% who previously lacked access. HTC offers our training as a certificate-level program through their college, and we already have seven classes meeting in different locations (2 classes outside Harare, 2 in communal areas nearby and 3 in high density areas in Harare) with a total of 82 students.
Ian and HTC have been so excited about getting our training into the hands of leaders that they have they have had the materials translated into the main indigenous language of Zimbabwe, and plans for other translations are in place. These translations will allow us to reach many additional leaders in their heart languages. Praise God!
Partnering with HTC connects us with a strong network of instructors, churches, ministries, and other essential resources for our program. Their local reputation also lends credibility to our classes, which helps us make inroads when we first begin operating in a new country.
Zimbabwe is also where we are debuting a new platform for our training. Ian at HTC has developed something called a “ChatterBox” (CHurch Activities, Theological Training & Education Resource Box), which is a solar-powered wifi-router that is preloaded with content that can be accessed by anyone with a wifi-enabled device (such as a smartphone). It doesn’t cost the user anything to access the content!
Ian has set up ChatterBoxes in various locations (usually in a church) and loaded them with our Foundations program. Our Zimbabwe classes meet together weekly in those locations with their facilitator. While together, they use their phones or tablets to access the Global Action training manuals on the ChatterBox and go through the material together. The training is having a big impact already!
In addition to our Foundations materials, the ChatterBoxes also include useful resources like audio Bibles, the Jesus Film in 12 local dialects, Bible Project videos, and a large set of community resources which range from children’s schooling material to health worker manuals to instructional videos on good farming practices. These resources are a blessing to our students and to their local communities!
We couldn’t do any of this without our supporters. Right now the need for well-equipped pastors and ministry leaders is greater than ever—and you can help us reach them!
Through the end of June, any one-time donations will be matched by a generous donor. We invite you to join us in giving sustainable transformation by training leaders in places like Zimbabwe and around the world. Every gift makes a big difference, no matter the size!Back To Blog