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Published on February 4th, 2008 | by tdnimz7S

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CREATE Outline & Report

Christian Religious Education Awareness for Teachers (CREATE)

Outline and Report, February 1, 2008

Ken and Marge MacGowan

Outline of our ministry

In 1982, Iris Scheel developed a program to train teachers to instruct the Bible in government schools. Since then over 3,170 have attended the 3-month course and have gone on to increased responsibility in the school system,. More than that, they now have a new walk with Christ. In fact, half of those who have attended made decisions for Christ here at Goibei. The graduates were awarded government-recognized certificates.

We arrived in January, 2007, and immediately conducted the 67th CREATE class. Thirteen teachers attended the 3-month course, with four making decisions for Christ and choosing to be baptized in water. It is important to remember that these teachers reach thousands of children. The ultimate goal of CREATE is to draw children to Christ through their teachers, their pastors, and leaders. Recent events in Kenya indicate the need to touch the attitudes of children.

As the program developed, additional buildings were constructed. “Goibei” means “Rock of Water”. The facilities here provide living water through an outdoor amphitheatre for 600, a classroom, a library, a conference centre for 120, dormitories for 100, a lounge, a dining-hall, and staff housing. There are 11 families who depend on us for their family income.

New Developments

Since the year 2000, enrolment has declined. The main reason is that teachers want more than a certificate. With that in mind, we are now offering an upgraded diploma program that could lead to a university degree from Pan Africa Christian University. This program is conducted by extension, with 20 hours of classroom instruction per course, to complement studies at home. Our first contacts regarding this course have been encouraging. In fact, Ken is in the process of writing new courses for the degree program as we continue to recruit new students in different extension areas.

We have also developed an extensive array of teaching material which we offer in seminars. Some have lasted several days, but usually the material is presented in 6 hours. We have traveled extensively offering teaching on such subjects as Counselling, Evolution, the Family, Leadership, The Book of Revelation, Self-image, and AIDS/HIV. The computer and Power-point are often new to these rural leaders, and the program has met with great enthusiasm.

Marge has brought to fruition her vision of offering our facilities for retreats and conferences. Our first three retreats were a great success. The 11 families staffing our mission station are enhancing their income through retreat registration payments.

The goal of every missionary is to train local people to carry on the ministry. The use of our facilities as a retreat centre is something that is easy to indigenize, and our Kenyan friends are keen on developing new contacts who will hold conferences, retreats, or who will simply come to our Guest House.

Challenges

The greatest challenge is the lack of security. As I write, I am in Goibei without a vehicle. I had to fly here from Nairobi because the roads are not safe. (The public minibus trip from the Kisumu airport was an adventure.) I had to walk for an hour to reach the neighbouring town of Serem, to buy essential groceries. We never know when violence will erupt, as it did yesterday following a political assassination.

Our diploma course introductory meetings are underway but attendance is difficult because travel is unsafe. (A principal at Banja School, 3 kilometres away, had his life threatened unless he closed his school. He was told his wife would be beheaded if he persisted.) The 3-month CREATE 67 class has been postponed to May. My weekly teaching at the Bible School at Nyang’ori has been rescheduled for next month. Thank you for praying for our safety, for encouragement to the many people who are suffering in so many ways (over 1,00 have died in violence since December 27, and hundreds of thousands are homeless with their houses destroyed). We are excited about representing you, and Jesus Christ, in Goibei, Kenya.

A word about Photos

In a perfect world, I would forward photos from our digital camera. We have photographs of the 567 girls who attended our Sunday services, the 600 children who enjoyed our kids’ rally, the many churches we have visited, the teachers and leaders who have attended our extension seminars, and the 11 families you help support.

Unfortunately, the internet speed is very slow. It is not uncommon to wait for 15 or 20 minutes to download our first e-mail message. Efforts we have made to forward photos have been Herculean. Often the connection is severed before the photos have even been sent.

We will try, however, to forward photos as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.


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