Stephano is a pastor in the small African country of Malawi. When he was only four years old, both of his parents died. He was then raised by extended family members and, in the process, exposed to witchcraft. In fact, while still a teenager, Stephano became a witch doctor until the Lord miraculously saved him in 2011. After his conversion, Stephano began to share his faith in the midst of increasing opposition from his family. He even started teaching others and later became a pastor. However, Stephano lacked training to equip him for this work.
Recently, though, Stephano heard from a friend that Training Leaders International would be coming to a local church to train pastors in a village outside of Liwonde, Malawi. This is exactly what Stephano needed and what he had been craving. He saw it as the perfect opportunity to gain understanding of his mission and grow as a minister.
During the intense, week-long training, Stephano was thoroughly engaged. He was eager to develop his ability to study, interpret, and preach God's word. In this foundational course, Stephano learned for the first time that Scripture alone was to be his authority in faith, life, and ministry. He also learned basic principles of looking at a passage and asking good questions to understand its meaning and application.
“Stephano was thoroughly engaged. He was eager to develop his ability to study, interpret, and preach God's word.”
As the week progressed, Stephano began to confess to his teachers that he previously hadn't studied or preached the Bible accurately. His lack of training, by his own admission, resulted in theological error and unbiblical practices in his church. But he left the week determined to change and to be faithful to the Lord and his word. In fact, within two weeks of completing the first course, Stephano gathered two other pastors and started teaching them everything he learned in class.
Please pray that God's word will continue to transform Stephano and others like him, and that as a result many churches in Malawi will be strengthened as they see the glory of Christ in all of Scripture.